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21 Dec

CEA backed TrademarkVision launches ‘deep learning’ image recognition for IP protection

by launch-admin Dec 21, 2016 0 News


CEA backed TrademarkVision launches ‘deep learning’ image recognition for IP protection

Advanced system enables easier visual search for IP protection

Australia, 21 December 2016: CEA backed creative-tech startup, TrademarkVision, has announced the release of its ‘deep learning’ algorithms to further enhance its world leading image recognition technology.

Law firms and corporates around the world leverage TrademarkVision to protect brands through visual search. However, highlighting the impact the new technology is having on the industry, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), one of the largest IP government bodies in the world, has become the first government to officially launch TrademarkVision’s technology in its eSearch platform on 10 December. This followed a successful beta trial that saw around 1,000 trademark image searches conducted per day.

The integration of the ‘deep learning’ algorithms into TrademarkVision’s already sophisticated image recognition technology now allows for advanced detection of objects, as opposed to other algorithms that compare attributes such as shape and texture. Entrepreneurs can ensure that their Intellectual Property (IP) is unique, with the technology able to search trademark images automatically – reducing a laborious, manual search process down to just seconds.

Based out of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia’s (CEA) incubator, TrademarkVision was an early recipient of CEA’s dedicated creative-tech Startup Fund and continues to work closely with the startup organisation as it strives to scale out its advanced technology to additional global government bodies.

CEO of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia, Anna Rooke, said the growth of TrademarkVision is testament to how Australian creative-tech startups can be game-changing.

“TrademarkVision’s new technology being adopted by the EUIPO is a huge achievement for the company. TrademarkVision has developed a creative-tech solution that will implement high-level change as to how brands worldwide will manage their IP in the future. The EUIPO is one of many government entities integrating with TrademarkVision, and the new year will see some further announcements as they change the course of the industry.

“Results like this is why we worked so hard to establish the CEA Startup Fund, so we can provide support for entrepreneurs in the creative space who are building products of huge impact,” added Ms Rooke.

Founder and CEO of TrademarkVision, Sandra Mau said that the CEA Startup Fund investment and ongoing support has been a welcome backing in her long-term vision to use image recognition technology to protect brands and drive innovation.

“When you come across a logo, it’s easy to compare it with your own, but when you want to compare it to millions, suddenly the task becomes very daunting. For anyone who has ever wanted to create a unique logo or ensure their IP is safe from possible infringement, they know this process can take hours, days and sometimes weeks.

“We’re grateful for the support from the CEA team and Startup Fund that has backed our mission to overhaul this process, globally. TrademarkVision’s technology cuts trademark, brand and logo searches down to seconds. Our technology has the potential to not only improve brand owner’s lives, but completely change the game of brand protection,” added Ms Mau.

The CEA Startup Fund – established by QUT Creative Enterprise Australia in 2013 – is the first and only dedicated investment fund specialising in accelerating the growth of creative tech companies. The fund, which offers between $25,000 for pre-seed stage and $150,000 for early-stage businesses, is available for commercial investment in high-growth, scalable businesses in Australia.

The CEA Startup Fund currently has funding remaining to support two more Australian creative-tech ventures in 2016.

For more information, visit: qutcea.com/startup-fund/ 

– Ends –

Media Contact

Sarah Bond, Launch Group

E: sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au | M: + 61 449 543 181| T: +612 9492 1041. 

About QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA)

CEA helps start, grow, scale and connect creative companies. Providing essential business skills and mentoring focused on company growth and investment, CEA accelerates companies with a focus on design, fashion, entertainment, photography, music, film and television, digital technology, games and interactive content. 

Since 2008, CEA has established more than 50 startups, engaged with 4,000 entrepreneurs, supported over 500 creative industries businesses on site and raised over $60m in capital. CEA offers access to workspace, business mentoring, special events, networks, research expertise and capital to foster the growth of the creative industries in Australia.

About TrademarkVision

Launched in 2013, TrademarkVision is a technology startup creating advanced image recognition solutions to help protect brands. The technology is currently used by multiple government IP offices as well as leading law firms and corporates around the world. 

In late-2016, TrademarkVision launched its ‘deep learning’ algorithms and other machine learning algorithms for the world’s first semantic image search for logos, enabling the system to recognise objects like humans do. The world leading technology offers the most intelligent trademark image search on the market. For a free trial of TrademarkVision go to www.trademark.vision/start and to take a look at their latest research projects visit www.trademark.vision/labs



15 Dec

Solar power users prepare for bill shock as NSW Feed-in Tariff ends31 December

by launch-admin Dec 15, 2016 0 News

Five-point check-list for NSW residents on the current Solar Bonus Scheme


Many solar power customers are in for a bill shock, with a predicted increase of hundreds of dollars on their home energy bills as the Solar Bonus Scheme draws to a close in New South Wales in two weeks on 31st December 2016.


Whilst solar systems alone have been an attractive and affordable proposition under the bonus scheme, a more reliable source of sustainable energy savings is needed once the Solar Bonus Scheme ends. 


The introduction of battery powered renewable products is offering Australian consumers an innovative alternative which can generate as much as 80 per cent energy bill savings.Renewable energy tech startup Evergen has received thousands of responses to its new intelligent home energy management system launched last month, with New South Wales at the centre of demand.  


Evergen is the nation’s first, next-generation, intelligent home energy management system – backed by AMP Capital and CSIRO – leverages the combined strength of solar and batteries with smart technology. The Evergen system continuously analyses and optimises home energy costs, always choosing the most economic source between solar, battery and the grid at any time


Evergen CEO, Emlyn Keane, said that more than half of the demand for the Evergen home energy management system is coming from NSW, where a recent report that crunches the numbers on the financial impact shows 146,000 NSW customers will be hit hard by the upcoming changes.


“For the NSW households currently on the Solar Bonus Scheme tariff that ends soon, it is crucial to think about what this means to their energy bill, and what the next steps are. The energy sector is currently facing huge disruption with the customer having more control than ever over their home energy costs. There are plenty of opportunities for individuals to reduce their bills going forward, by using a combination of more advanced and complementary technologies like batteries, coupled with intelligent management technology that manages all the system components for you. 


Mr Keane’s five top tips before the Solar Bonus Scheme 31st December end date:


1.     Check your bill

It’s important to check your bill and see what credit you are currently receiving for the solar power your system generates. How much is it? What will your quarterly bill look like once the Solar Bonus Scheme ends on 31 December? There are many reasons to shift to a renewable option – control, environmental impact and cost-savings. However, without the return on investment, renewable energy technology is more of a luxury or conscience item. New systems in the market such as Evergen offer up to 80 per cent reduction on your standard energy bill – providing a practical alternative that adds up with or without government subsidies. 


2.     Speak to your electricity provider about your meter

Many houses on the Solar Bonus Scheme will have to change their electricity meter when the scheme ends if they want to be paid anything at all for solar energy they export to the grid. The company you buy your grid electricity from should be able to help here. If that gets too hard, Evergen can arrange a change in meter as part of our broader solar battery installation.


3.     Have a think about when your house uses the most energy

With the end of the Solar Bonus Scheme, you are best to try to use all the solar power your panels generate yourself, rather than let it go to the grid. Most solar systems generate their peak output in the middle of the day – so if possible, try to align your electricity consumption to use the most in the middle of the day. 


4.     Have you thought about a battery?

For many houses, it is difficult to consume lots of electricity in the middle of the day, when the sun is out but nobody is home. In this case, a home battery system can make sure you get the most out of your solar panels, by storing the solar energy generated in the middle of the day, and releasing this energy when consumption increases when everyone gets home. By allowing you to store energy for when you need it most, a home battery system means less reliability on the grid, and considerable cost savings. Batteries need careful management though, to make sure they are saving energy for when it is most useful to your house, and to ensure the batteries themselves last as long as possible.


5.     Consider an intelligent home energy management system

An intelligent home energy management system can automatically look after your solar and batteries for you, ensuring you save the most money, and maximising the life of these important assets. An intelligent energy management system should include monitoring and forecasting of your electricity consumption and future solar generation. The remotely managed and CSIRO analysed Evergen system, for example, learns the power consumption patterns of each customer household and forecasts solar production based on local weather to build a picture of future energy flows. This analysis (done every few minutes) automatically chooses the lowest price source to power your home – whether that’s solar, your battery or the grid.  


“Since our launch in July, we have seen a sharp take up of the Evergen intelligent home energy management systems in the State. Our customers will have the first remotely-managed renewable energy centre for domestic use, which offers them far greater control and choice over the way energy is used and distributed in their home,” Mr Keane said.


Mr Keane continued: “Not all systems are equal and many do not have the intelligent management needed to get the most out of the solar and battery hardware. Therefore, questions to ask include: Does the system allow you to store excess energy for a rainy day?  Is there ongoing monitoring and customer service to ensure you are getting the most out of your investment? Who re-configures the system if your energy tariff or living circumstances change? Are all the hidden costs identified such as initial consultation and installation?


With December 31 around the corner, it’s important to act now and investigate the product options on the market. With the additional energy savings available through combined battery and solar systems, it makes sense to consider an upgrade.




Media Contact: louise@launchgroup.com.au | 02 9492 1003 | 0452 574 244


About Evergen:


Evergen is a new energy services company that sells and manages intelligent home energy systems comprising solar power and batteries. The ’intelligence’ technology is provided by the CSIRO, which periodically analyses and remotely updates the system to improve over time. AMP Capital is a major investor in the company alongside CSIRO.


Evergen is run by energy scientists and advocates of change for clean solar and battery storage technologies for the home including renowned energy scientist Dr Glenn Platt and former CEO of AMP Capital and Evergen Chairman Stephen Dunne.


14 Dec

Sydney Angels backs new startup looking to take on Australia’s billion-dollar construction market

by launch-admin Dec 14, 2016 0 News
Sydney Angels backs new startup looking to take on Australia’s 
billion-dollar construction market
Australia, 14 December 2016: Construction site management platform, SignOnSite, has announced a seed funding raise of $590,000 as it looks to take on Australia’s $207 billion construction market.
Launched in mid-2016, SignOnSite has already reached impressive milestones, with $1.6 billion worth of active projects across Australia and New Zealand currently under management on its platform – which is taking manual compliance requirements online to overhaul site safety, attendance and evacuation processes. 
The recent round led by Sydney Angels raised over half a million dollars in total, with $260,000 contributed by members of the angel investor group and Sydney Angels Sidecar fund. Further capital was contributed by private industry investors.
Sydney Angels investor and Senior Consultant with engineering firm WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff, James Smithers, said that mobile technology is fast enabling the construction industry to innovate its manual processes.
“Mobile technology has opened up so many new opportunities for improving upon how things are done on construction sites, and SignOnSite has nailed it with its safety focus and ability to connect and communicate with every person on-site. 
“With the app already installed on every on-site person’s phone, this creates further opportunities to scale the platform and its functionality, in particular around data capture and industry insights. The Sydney Angels members could not overlook the future potential of SignOnSite as a key innovator within Australia’s billion-dollar construction market, which is expected to reach $15 trillion globally by 2025,” Smithers added. 
SignOnSite provides simple solutions to mandatory daily tasks and compliance protocols, such as visitor and contractor sign-in, providing accurate lists of who’s on site, reducing sign-in waiting times and the ability to trigger immediate alerts direct to the app during emergency evacuations. 
The app also provides transparent, real-time information of the construction management processes, hazards and risks, allowing teams on-site to make better, more informed decisions that enable the project to run more efficiently and safely. 

SignOnSite CEO, Mitch Harmer, said that the support of Sydney Angel’s will be instrumental in enabling the platform to expand its technology into further innovative features. 

“While mobile technology is helping a lot of static industries and roles become mobile, the construction industry has always been inherently transient, so leveraging technology in this space is a natural fit.
“To date, SignOnSite has clocked up 555,000 hours of site management on the platform, and helping our clients – such as Huon – reduce their evacuation process from 24 minutes to 14 minutes. We look forward to adding more innovative features to our platform that will help the construction industry cut costs by streamlining traditional processes, with the purpose of creating safe and efficient environments.” Harmer added.
Major brands already signed up to SignOnSite include Mirvac, Construction Control, Manteena, Huon – plus ACT Government’s $1.3 billion Asbestos Response Taskforce project.
Download links:
About SignOnSite: SignOnSite is a site management platform created to aid in safety on construction sites. When a worker shows up on site, they can bypass the line at the sign-in register and get straight to work, relieving the management team from traditional paper systems that clog up time and office space. SignOnSite was born out of necessity. It’s replacing the stack of paper with a cloud-based platform that you control. Better yet, a system that you can be comfortable with.
About Sydney Angels:
Sydney Angels is an angel group whose members invest in innovative early-stage companies with high growth potential. Sydney Angels provides its members with quality deal flow, a collaborative investment process, and an opportunity to support entrepreneurs and the early-stage ecosystem. Sydney Angels offers entrepreneurs an efficient path to capital, expertise and experience from its members, who are backed by the $10 million Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund, and recently by its successor, Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund2, which is now open for investment.
Media Contacts

Sarah Bond sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1041 or 0449 543 181

6 Dec

Sydney Angels Backs Kids Lifestyle Technology Brand, Elanation

by launch-admin Dec 6, 2016 0 News
Sydney Angels Backs Kids Lifestyle Technology Brand, Elanation

Cyber-safe kids’ fitness wearable launches in time for Australia’s predicted $48 billion Christmas 2016 spend[1] 

Australia, 29 November 2016: Australian kids lifestyle technology brand, Elanation, has announced its official launch since closing its seed-funding round. 
Securing $110,000 in capital from the Sydney Angels investor group, Elanation proved a popular venture with a further 14 Australian investors backing the budding start-up. A Series A round is now planned for 2017.
Co-founded by Australian entrepreneurs Katherine Pace and Aimee Atkins, Elanation was born from the need to support the digital native kids of today, whose $1.4 billion annual spend in pocket money often goes to adult technology due to a current gap in the kid-tech market.
Elanation’s award-winning, kids’ fitness wearable is waterproof, tracks steps, distance and heart-rate, with its unique game play setting it apart from any other wearable. The ETURBO wristband is connected to an iOS app that houses a cyber-safe virtual galaxy community. Every step in the real world translates into in-game advancements, where kids can build their own planet, explore a futuristic world, fight off monsters and compete in daily missions to unlock video content and rewards. 
Sydney Angels investor and syndicate lead, Sandrina Postorino, said that the business model behind Elanation would pave the way for further kid-tech initiatives in the future.
“The kid-tech space is currently underserviced due to many reasons – perhaps including the dangers of kids having access to the online world. Initiatives such as Elanation’s ETURBO are innovative in their targeted approach, so that they can interact with one another in a virtual, yet safe environment.
“Our investors could not overlook the potential of Elanation, particularly in the lead up to Christmas where tech gadgets for kids are in high demand. A recent Roy Morgan survey indicated that Australians will spend more than $48 billion this upcoming season, with tech gadgets topping the top three of kids’ wish lists,” Ms Postorino added.
Research shows that 77 per cent of children already play games on mobile devices, with almost half of children owning their own smartphone. Australians spend an average of $2.5 billion on toys annually. 
Elanation co-founder, Katherine Pace, said the support of investors such as Sydney Angels was instrumental in driving the growth of the startup which is an important move into, not only satisfying the need for targeted kids technology, but also to inspire and motivate fitness. 
“We’re thrilled to have the support of the Sydney Angels team, with their investment and market expertise. Our investors understand the potential that this industry holds and understands why our team are the best to deliver it. 
One in four children in the country are already classified as obese, however many mainstream wearables are illegal for children under the age of 13. Elanation’s ETURBO wristband is designed to strengthen kids’ enthusiasm for sports and creativity. Kids of today are born into the digital world, yet most technology is designed with adults in mind. ETURBO is just the beginning for us,” added Ms Pace.

About Elanation: 
Elanation is a lifestyle technology brand designed for kids producing high-quality sporting products connected to an exciting online community and futuristic galaxy. Elanation products are designed in Australia and manufactured in the wearable capital of the world, Shenzhen. 

About the Co-Founders: 
Katherine Pace
 is an Australian Design Engineer with experience managing the Creative Director of Bang & Olufsen’s design studio out of Copenhagen. 

Aimee Atkins is one of the original Dorothy the Dinosaur’s from The Wiggles and has over 20 years’ experience creating successful children’s products and entertainment.

About Sydney Angels: 
Sydney Angels is an angel group whose members invest in innovative early-stage companies with high growth potential. Sydney Angels provides its members with quality deal flow, a collaborative investment process, and an opportunity to support entrepreneurs and the early-stage ecosystem. Sydney Angels offers entrepreneurs an efficient path to capital, expertise and experience from its members, who are backed by the $10 million Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund, and in the near future, by its successor, Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund2, which is now open for investment. 
Media Contacts

Sarah Bond sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1041 or 0449 543 181

5 Dec

Regional Tech Startup JESI Secures European Partnership

by launch-admin Dec 5, 2016 0 News


Regional Tech Startup JESI Secures European Partnership

Mobile workforce solution continues global expansion through partnership with 
Strategic Analytics Team

Australia, 5 December 2016: North Queensland mobile workforce start-up, JESI, has announced a new partnership with UK-based operational expertise management specialist, Strategic Analytics Team (SAT), as it continues to support the growing amount of mobile workers, predicted to encompass 73 per cent of the workforce by 2020.

The partnership with SAT provides JESI with its first foothold in the European market, becoming its sixth international supplier and adding to its current reach that includes the United States, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

SAT will be implementing the JESI journey management software into its operational logistics programs provided to some of the world’s largest companies, to enable organisations to efficiently and safely manage the travel of their mobile workers. Through the introduction of JESI software onto employees’ smart devices, workers can input their travel details complete with check-in points that enable employers to track their whereabouts. Alerts are sent should a check-in not be actioned.

Joe Hoolahan, Co-Founder and CEO of JESI, said: “The partnership with SAT is very exciting for JESI and provides us with a strong foothold into the European market. SAT has supported many businesses internationally with their operational logistics, so the collaboration with JESI journey management software is a natural fit. An organisation’s obligation to staff wellbeing is not just good practice, but it’s often legislated. JESI provides a solution to uphold employee health & safety regulations even with a nimble, mobile workforce that may be dispersed across several locations.”

Operating its global business out of Townsville, JESI is flying the flag for Australian regional innovation and is a perfect example of how technology is allowing work to be performed from any location across the globe. Specialising in the construction, resource and health sectors, JESI enables employers to monitor every step of their employee’s journeys, which provides peace of mind, particularly when heading to remote or unsafe locations.

Paul Jorgensen, Senior Partner and Founder of SAT, said: “SAT is proud to announce an agreement between SAT and JESI. We have been in discussions with JESI for over six months now and during that time we tested their products to ensure that they would meet the very high standards and quality control required by both ourselves and our clients.

“Throughout this process, our focus has been on the way that end users can use the products and how employers can effectively manage their duty of care for their employees and protect an ever-increasing mobile workforce. Through JESI we are able to provide an offering that allows employers to do just that, no matter how big or small their business is.”

SAT will undertake comprehensive training programmes with all new clients implementing the JESI software, ensuring the companies have a number of ‘super users’ within their organisations.  This will help embed the full solution into the clients’ systems and processes and bring about the cultural change management needed to enable them to get the best from the new system.


Media Contact:  

Sarah Bond, Launch Group: sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au | 02 9492 1041 | 0449 543 181

About JESI:

JESI is a global workforce management business which uses innovative technology to help workers to travel safely and communicate with their teams from even the most remote locations. Operating out of Townsville, North Queensland, JESI was the first recipient of regional investment as part of the Queensland Government’s Advanced Queensland initiative. JESI journey management software is already used and trusted by a variety of companies in a wide range of sectors including resources, construction, education and health, both in Australia and internationally. For more information, visit www.jesi.io.

About Strategic Analytics Team:

Strategic Analytics Team (SAT) was established by a group of individuals who have worked in operational logistics for many years for some of the largest companies in the world. It understands the logistics business and what organisations in this sector want to achieve from greater efficiencies, reporting, risk management, fleet management, and compliance to the last mile of delivery. It supports its clients by leveraging the combined knowledge and skills of subject matter experts in the global team and using a combination of robust technology, in house solutions, Research and Development, and the application of quality, environmental and social performance. The company’s vision is ‘to provide assured risk and operational expertise management to support and improve the safe transportation of people and goods, no matter where they are in the world’. For more information, visit www.strategicanalyticsteam.com.

1 Dec

StartupAUS Crossroads Report: Capital, culture and talent key to acompetitive startup ecosystem

by launch-admin Dec 1, 2016 0 News

Crossroads will officially launch Thursday, December 1 at International Towers, Barangaroo


Australia, 1 December 2016: Australia is well-placed to capitalise on the strong growth seen in its fledgling startup sector, but some significant barriers remain to enjoying a truly world class startup ecosystem StartupAUS, Australia’s peak advocacy group for startups, said today.


Releasing the third annual Crossroads Report, a comprehensive review of the nation’s startup ecosystem, StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley said an improvement in the conditions for entrepreneurship in Australia could see up to $170 billion added to the Australian economy.  


“It has been a strong year for startups with some solid progress in the transition to a competitive, high tech economy. However, at a time when our traditional industries are under siege by global competitors, it’s vital we foster the growth of this powerful new economic segment.


“We have made a lot of progress. Australia is ranked 1st in the Asia-Pacific and 7th globally in the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Index. However Australia still records some of the lowest rates of startup formation, and one of the lowest rates of venture capital investment for a developed nation.


“With the right kind of focus, we have the opportunity create companies that will disrupt global industries and generate powerful economic growth and jobs for Australians,” said Mr McCauley.


Supported by Australia’s leading startup authorities and enterprise contributors, the StartupAUS Crossroads Report features a State-by-State brief on the progress of local ecosystems, an analysis of the effect of innovation-boosting measures already in place and identifies 14 concrete policy options that will address growth barriers and help us accelerate the development of globally significant technology companies.  


These include recommendations which would generate high impact, immediate improvements to the success of our startup ecosystem. These are:


Improving the R&D tax incentive by making it more favourable to startups: The R&D tax incentive is the government’s largest innovation-focused program. It could be made significantly more effective by increasing a portion of the refundable tax offset and paying it quarterly for early-stage startups.


Creating a national innovation agency: A national innovation agency would address the current fragmentation of innovation policy and expenditure, and give much-needed focus to Australia’s efforts to transition to a knowledge economy.


Implementing a national Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program: A prestigious national Entrepreneurs-In-Residence program would engage a series of internationally experienced entrepreneurs, angel / VC investors and startup advisors to provide much-needed guidance to early stage Australian startups.


Making targeted amendments to legislation affecting Employee Share Schemes: There remain two fundamental issues to the Employee Share Schemes (ESS) that require attention in order for ESS to achieve their full potential. Addressing these would remove the remaining bugs in what is otherwise a world-class system.


Establishing a program to attract promising international startups to Australia: Australia can be an attractive destination for foreign startups, however internationally there is still limited appreciation of the breadth and depth of startup activity that exists here. In parallel with implementation of an Entrepreneur Visa, an international business development capability would help to inform promising startups from around the world about the benefits of establishing in Australia and encourage them to move here.


According to the report’s author, Colin Kinner, Australia needs to produce a greater amount of entrepreneurs and do everything possible to stack the odds in their favour.


“Startups can be an economic growth engine for Australia, but only if we greatly increase the number of startup founders and equip them with the skills, capital and supportive regulatory environment they need to succeed on a global stage.”


“Having spent some time in Silicon Valley it’s clear that Australia is a challenging place from which to grow a global tech company. We are geographically isolated from major markets, and despite having some world-class startups we still see many first-time founders learning by trial and error. We need to invest in startup founders and ensure they have the right skills and connections to compete globally,” Mr Kinner said.


The official launch of Crossroads will be held at International Towers, a progressive new workspace, located on the harbour foreshore at Barangaroo, beginning 5pm Thursday, December 1.


Dual towers – Two International Towers and Three International Towers – are a collective of some of Australia’s most respected innovative firms and industry disruptors.  Mr McCauley said the space is a great fit for the Crossroads launch event, with a powerful commitment to supporting the growth of game-changing, high growth Australian companies both established and emerging.


StartupAUS Crossroads is a comprehensive analysis of the startup ecosystem. For more information and the full report visit: www.startupaus.org/crossroads/




Media Contact

Louise Proctor louise@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1003 / 0452 574 244


About StartupAUS


StartupAUS is a not-for-profit entity with a mission to transform Australia through technology entrepreneurship. StartupAUS believes a strong home-grown tech sector is vital to future Australian jobs and wealth. But getting there will require a national imperative to create the right environment, with a supportive culture and more entrepreneurs with the right skills.


For more information, visit: www.startupaus.org

30 Nov

ACS Forum: Ministers and International Tech Experts Tackle GlobalICT Challenges

by launch-admin Nov 30, 2016 0 News

Sydney, 30 November 2016: The ACS, the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector, will bring key New South Wales and Victorian ministers together with international technology experts to tackle the most pressing global ICT challenges.


Held at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney’s CBD on Wednesday 30 November 2016, the ACS Ministerial Forum will host three exclusive panel discussions comparing Australian and international approaches to current ICT issues such as cybersecurity and eGovernment. The panels will canvass the regulatory, economic and business impacts of ICT developments, as well as the opportunities these offer Australia.


·       Panel One – Achieving Digital Utopia: How does the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), algorithms and artificial intelligence create new opportunities and challenges never before seen?

·       Panel Two – eGovernment and Digital Leadership: NSW Minister for Innovation, the Hon. Victor Dominello MP, will join a panel discussing the evolving role of government as an influencer of innovation, technology adoption and economic growth.

·       Panel Three – Cyber Resilience, Global Approaches: Victorian Minister for Innovation, the Hon Philip Dalidakis MP, will join global experts to discuss how Australia can manage threats and take advantage of the $US639b[1] global cyber security market.

·       Release of ACS’ cybersecurity guide for businesses: The ACS will launch Cybersecurity: Threats, Challenges, Opportunities, an accessible guide for Australian businesses on a topic that is fast becoming mainstream. It identifies major cyber threats and outlines four pillars of cybersecurity readiness.


In addition to panel discussions, the forum will feature a special presentation by the winners of the 2016 Australia 3.0 ‘Wicked’ Policy Challenge on ICT Procurement and Open Data.


ACS President Anthony Wong said: “Australia is at a crossroads, as we move from a society already entwined with the internet to the coming age of automation, Big Data and the Internet of Things. As such, the ACS is very pleased to host international ICT experts and bring them together with Ministers Dalidakis and Dominello and our members, to address some of the most challenging ICT issues.


“The ACS has long played a leadership role in raising awareness of cyber threats. As technology continues to disrupt our world in new and different ways, cybersecurity issues will only grow in importance. Today’s launch of Cybersecurity: Threats, Challenges, Opportunities, is a timely guide for Australian businesses and consumers,” Mr Wong said.


The ACS presents today’s forum in collaboration with IFIP (The International Federation of Information Processing) and the Pearcey Foundation.  


Media are invited to register and attend the event. For more information about the forum or to RSVP please contact sarahjane@launchgroup.com.au.

Event details:


What: ACS Ministerial Forum


When: Wednesday, 30 November


Time: 8.15am until 4.30pm (registration opens at 8am)

For the timing of each panel session, see attached agendas.


Venue: The Hilton Hotel, 488 George Street, Sydney



·       For details of participants for each panel, please see attached agenda.

·       Panellists will be available to speak with media at the conclusion of each session.


ACS Guide ‘Cybersecurity: Threats, Challenges, Opportunities’: Key Insights

·       The cybersecurity industry is projected to be worth $US639b by 2023. However, Australia has only a small cybersecurity sector, with less vendors than France, Germany, Canada or India.

·       Less than six per cent of C-Suite executives in Australia think cybersecurity is a critical issue, indicating there is a disconnect between the reality of threats and the awareness of them at the executive level.

·       Unsecured devices, which can include webcams and IoT gadgets, are a major source for DDoS attacks (the type of attack which took down the Australian Bureau of Statistics eCensus website in August this year).

·       The average cost to an Australian business from cyber attack is $276,000. Globally, cyber attacks costs businesses as much as $US500b annually.

·       Demand for cybersecurity specialists has grown 57 per cent in the last year. At the same time, Australia faces a critical shortage of skilled ICT professionals to meet this demand.

·       Education and awareness are key factors for improving Australia’s cyber resilience across government, business, industry and the nation as a whole.





Further information

Sarah Jane Williams, Launch Group, 0409 362 675, sarahjane@launchgroup.com.au

Louise Proctor, Launch Group, 0452 574 244 louise@launchgroup.com.au


About the ACS

The ACS is the professional association for Australia’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Over 20,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The ACS exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.

28 Nov

StartupAUS Board welcomes Topaz Conway

by launch-admin Nov 28, 2016 0 News

Board member and investor, Teresa Engelhard, announced as Chair


Australia, 28 November 2016: StartupAUS, Australia’s peak advocacy group for startups, has appointed entrepreneur, angel investor and director Topaz Conway to the board of the organisation and announced existing board director and Redbubble investor, Teresa Engelhard, as Chairman.


Topaz Conway is Chair of Springboard Enterprises; a NFP Accelerator that helps women-led technology businesses achieve high growth, scale and investment. An active champion of Australia’s innovation culture, Ms Conway also works as an advisor to the Australian Government’s Accelerating Commercialisation program to help early stage businesses commercialise their technology.


Ms Conway’s international experience diving into various industries such as hi tech, biotech and ecommerce led to her roles as Chair of PAFtec Pty Ltd and Biothoughts, Director – NSW Council on Women’s Economic Opportunity, as well Telstra’s Industry Advisory Board.


StartupAUS CEO and Executive Director, Alex McCauley, said Ms Conway’s long-held commitment to the growth of early stage startups and her leadership within the diversity area brings great value to the board.  


“We are excited to welcome Topaz the StartupAUS board. Topaz is a passionate entrepreneur who is deeply committed to helping other Australian entrepreneurs succeed and to building a diverse startup ecosystem in Australia. We look forward to benefitting from the perspective Topaz will bring to the expert team within the StartupAUS board as we roll out a number of exciting initiatives in the coming 12 months.”


Commenting on her appointment, Ms Conway said, “I am delighted to join such an influential and passionate group who are creating real change to benefit the sector and the broader Australian economy. I strongly believe that the goals we share are critical but also achievable.”


Earlier this year RedBubble Non-Executive Director, Teresa Engelhard, was appointed to the StartupAUS board and has since been appointed Chairman – a rotating position that has been formerly been held by StartupAUS Founding Director & The Beanstalk Factory’s Co-Founder and CEO, Peter Bradd, as well as Engineering Director at Google, Alan Noble.


StartupAUS’ current focus is on establishing technology startups as the central part of the growth engine in Australia’s economy, picking up where the mining boom left off. Through policy work and fundraising, StartupAUS has been instrumental in shifting the political debate around innovation, particularly towards the policy settings outlined in the Prime Minister’s innovation statement – with many of the recommendations around technology and innovation coming from StartupAUS’ annual, action-oriented Crossroads Report to be launched at International Towers, Barangaroo on Thursday, December 1, 2016. 


Current StartupAUS board members are: Peter Bradd, Alan Noble, Bill Bartee, Glenn Smith, Andrew Larson, Wayne Gerard, Teresa Engelhard and StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley as an Executive Director.




Media Contact

Louise Proctor louise@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1003 / 0452 574 244


About StartupAUS


StartupAUS is a not-for-profit entity with a mission to transform Australia through technology entrepreneurship. StartupAUS believes a strong home-grown tech sector is vital to future Australian jobs and wealth. But getting there will require a national imperative to create the right environment, with a supportive culture and more entrepreneurs with the right skills.


StartupAUS will expand its efforts to bring financial partners on-board to help corporates have a bigger voice in the emerging innovation conversation and assist StartupAUS in increasing its resources and activities ahead of this year’s election, as both sides of politics vie for innovative traction. The organisation’s current corporate partners include Salesforce and Google Australia. It also has a growing list of philanthropic benefactors including successful tech entrepreneur, Steve Baxter, Co-Chairman of CHAMP’s Board of Directors and Investment Committee, Bill Ferris, and Director and Co-Founder of Allen & Buckeridge, Roger Allen.


For more information, visit: www.startupaus.org  




28 Nov

The Horizon to release special edition directed by Priscilla’s Stephan Elliott

by launch-admin Nov 28, 2016 0 News
Australia’s most successful online drama series to launch full length TV pilot this World AIDS Day

Sydney, Australia, 28 November 2016 – Australian production company, Cobbstar Productions, today announced it will release a special edition, full length TV pilot of The Horizon online, directed by Stephan Elliott (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), to coincide with World AIDS Day – 1 December 2016. A percentage of proceeds from all digital downloads during the month of December will be donated to ACON’s Red Ribbon Appeal to end HIV.

The hour long episode of The Horizon was created initially to promote the series to Australian and US broadcasters. Based on the lives and loves of gay men in Sydney, The Horizon is Cobbstar’s digital flagship series which has achieved notoriety in Australia and around the world. It is Australia’s most successful online drama and the world’s most watched gay web program. Since its debut in 2009, the series has spanned seven seasons with over 110,000 subscribers and 50 million views online.

Creator and writer of The Horizon, Boaz Stark, said, “I live in Sydney, one of the most vibrant gay cities in the world, and no one was telling our stories the way I see them. After seven years, the series is renowned for its realistic portrayals of Sydney’s LGBTQIA community. This year, we want to take this further and by releasing the TV movie on World AIDS Day, we hope to raise more awareness of the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS with our viewers.”

Producer, Brian Cobb of Cobbstar Productions, said, “The addition of acclaimed film director and screenwriter, Stephan Elliott, best known for his work on The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, has really brought the characters to a whole new, fabulous level. We went back to the start, re-making the first two seasons in order to link the entire online series with a consistent cast and quality level of production.”

Director, Stephan Elliott, commented, “I was ‘tickled pink’ to be able to step up to the director’s chair. Boaz Stark actually came to me five years ago for guidance on a small gay web series he was planning – who would have thought that this little online program would be such an important piece of content in the cultivation of identities of hundreds of thousands of people?”

Funded by Screen Australia, The Horizon is a leading voice in the gay community. The special edition, full length episode will be available online worldwide at https://www.hyvio.com/thehorizon on World AIDS Day – 1 December 2016.

To view the trailer, click here or copy and paste the link: https://www.hyvio.com/thehorizon/H0jd8yPU.

About The Horizon
Celebrating the lives and loves of Sydney’s gay, queer and alternative community, The Horizon is Cobbstar Productions’ digital flagship series which has achieved astounding notoriety in Australia and around the world. It is the most watched online series made out of Australia and the most watched gay web series in the world. It is the first Australian web series to go viral on the internet with over 110,000 subscribers and 50 million views online since debuting in 2009. For more information, visit www.thehorizon.tv.

About Cobbstar Productions
Cobbstar Productions is a Sydney-based company creating quality, innovative entertainment across Australia and internationally. Developing its own projects from concept, Cobbstar Productions produces progressive films and television, with a strong focus on cutting-edge content for the ever-evolving digital platforms. Cobbstar Productions is emerging as a leader in the digital content space with its flagship series The Horizon and was recently awarded the City of Sydney Cultural Grant for occupancy of the former Metro Screen space, located in Paddington Town Hall. For more information, visit www.cobbstarproductions.com.

About World AIDS Day
World AIDS day raises awareness around the world about the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. It is a day for people to show their support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate all those that have suffered from one of the world’s most prevalent still-incurable diseases. A percentage of proceeds from all digital downloads during the month of December will be donated to ACON’s Red Ribbon Appeal to end HIV. For more information, visit www.worldaidsday.org.au  and www.redribbonappeal.org.au.

23 Nov

Community housing to save on bills with renewable energy

by launch-admin Nov 23, 2016 0 News

Renewable energy tech company, Evergen, partners with SGCH

to provide clean energy systems to social and affordable housing communities


Australia, 23 November 2016: Renewable energy tech company Evergen today announced an Australian first, pilot program with leading community housing organisation, SGCH, which will see the installation of the Evergen intelligent home energy system in 10 low income households in New South Wales.


Evergen (backed by the CSIRO and investment leader AMP Capital) launched the nation’s first remotely-managed intelligent renewable energy centre for domestic use. Evergen combines the strength of solar and batteries with intelligent technology, allowing SGCH tenants to reduce their energy bills by up to 80 per cent. The pilot project – the first of its kind nationally – is co-funded by the Office of Environment, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and SGCH to deliver an innovative solution for social and affordable housing tenants.


The systems, to be installed in October 2016, will have solar PV’s installed on the roofs and the batteries installed in a common, purpose built shed. Each property will have its own Evergen intelligent home energy management system, allowing the systems to be tailored to each user’s specific needs to maximise their savings.


Commenting on the initiative, renowned energy scientist and Evergen CEO, Dr Glenn Platt, said: “The Evergen system has the capability for SGCH tenants to save significant amounts off their household energy costs. As well as reducing energy costs, we hope that by providing the tenants with more information about how they consume energy via the Evergen app, we can empower them to better manage how they use energy. This is a piece of technology that we see as vital in the future of community housing and we are excited to be at the forefront of this.”


CEO of SGCH Group, Scott Langford, said low income households spend more of their household budget on essentials such as energy. The results of thispilot project will provide valuable information on the benefits for households that are more vulnerable to rising energy costs.


People on low incomes are struggling the most with the rising cost of living including high energy costs. Many social housing tenants have high energy consumption: as a share of household income, low income households spend three times what high-income households spend on in-home energy**. It is these people who would benefit the most from energy saving measures in their homes, but who can not afford the large up front costs of items like solar panels.


“SGCH is committed to sustainable housing design, ensuring tenants who are vulnerable to rising energy costs can benefit from savings now and in the future. We are excited to work with Evergen to offer our tenants cutting edge technology that will make a real difference to their energy bills, health and wellbeing,” Mr Langford said.



The Evergen intelligent home energy system learns the power consumption patterns of each customer household and forecasts solar production based on analysis of local weather to build a picture of future energy flows to make smart decisions that reduce energy costs.  


The company has selected battery hardware provided by one of the world’s leading manufacturers, Alpha ESS, who has worked collaboratively with Evergen to develop its intelligent energy system.


Managing Director of Alpha ESS Australia, Mr Dong Lin, said: “Alpha ESS has always been committed to providing superior quality battery systems, and we are particularly proud to be associated with this project with SGCG, which brings the benefits of energy technology to people who would not ordinarily be able to afford the upfront cost.”



*Based on Evergen trial customer results. Actual savings will depend on system size, electricity consumption and tariff rates.

**ABS 4670.0 Household Energy Consumption Survey




Media Contact: louise@launchgroup.com.au | 02 9492 1003 | 0452 574 244


About Evergen:

Evergen is a new energy services company that sells and manages intelligent home energy systems comprising solar power and batteries. The ’intelligence’ technology is provided by the CSIRO, which periodically analyses and remotely updates the system to improve over time. AMP Capital is a major investor in the company alongside CSIRO.


Evergen is run by energy scientists and advocates of change for clean solar and battery storage technologies for the home. The Evergen team includes renowned energy scientist and CEO Dr Glenn Platt and former CEO of AMP Capital and Evergen Chairman Stephen Dunne.


About SGCH:

SGCH is a leading not-for-profit community housing provider with over 30 years’ experience in developing and managing sustainable, safe and affordable homes and connecting people to opportunity.


Recognised as one of the largest Community Housing Providers in Australia, SGCH houses over 8,500 people in 4,300 homes across the Sydney Metropolitan Region.


Our pioneering partnerships with government agencies, community groups and support services allow us to increase the number of good quality homes in the places we work and connect people to training, education, employment and community engagement opportunities.