Brisbane Startup Profiles
In just over 18 months of operating, ACAC Innovation has invested in 21 Australian businesses spanning manufactured products, tech/software, travel and financial services industries.
Nine of these startups have already relocated their operations to ACAC’s Brisbane Innovation Incubator facility and are utilising the opportunity to collaborate and grow in their new home.
Independent Products – Steve Heaton
Steve Heaton established Independent Products to create solutions for reducing the energy consumption of air conditioners.
This company has a mission to improve the energy efficiency of one million air conditioners by 2020. To achieve this energy efficiency, Independent Products has created the Energy Reclaim Kit, a technology solution that recycles waste water used by air conditioners.
With the Australian market being heavy users of air conditioners, the innovative solutions offered by Independent Products have great potential to save energy and money for commercial and residential customers.
Independent Products aspires to be a premium energy efficiency brand and pioneers of improved sustainability. The brand is already an award winner, recognised throughout Australia for its global impact, engineering and innovation.
Motoinno Pty Ltd – Ray Van Steenwyk and Colin Oddy
Motoinno Directors, Ray Van Steenwyk and Colin Oddy, have combined their passion for motorcycles with a disruptive new technology set to globally transform motorcycle steering and suspension systems.
Until now, the telescopic fork steering and suspension system used in most modern motorcycles was interdependent.
Based on Formula One car technology, motoinnoTS3 is a patent pending totally new and unique front end system that separates steering from suspension and braking, giving riders enhanced performance and a more predictable ride.
The MCI ‘Triangulated Steering and Suspension System’ (TS3) is the culmination of 16 years of tireless research, design and development, and manufacturing, with comprehensive prototype testing. The end result being an affordable and globally acceptable product that surpasses current benchmarks for safety, performance and quality.
Rhino Floats – Michael Coughlan
Michael Coughlan, founder of Rhino Floats, has development underway for two revolutionary products designed to reduce the chance of back injuries common amongst many concreters.
As a former concreter, Michael was inspired by the permanent injuries he has sustained from the concreting process over the years.
Rhino Floats will introduce two new products to the concreting industry: a vibrating float and a mini rotary trowel machine, enabling workers to concrete from a standing position.
Now at the production and testing phase of development, Rhino Floats is anticipated to reduce workplace injury and improve quality of life for workers in the concreting and building industry.
Machinam – Claire Bennett, Felicity Furey and Jillian Kenny
Machinam was founded by engineers Claire Bennett, Felicity Furey and Dr Jillian Kenny, with the vision of changing the social fabric of engineering, technology and design.
Currently developing an app-based resource for high school maths classes, Machinam uses authentic learning, real life context and digital technology as an alternative to traditional textbooks.
Machinam is tackling the age old question, ‘Why do we need to learn this?’ by framing maths problems in a way that allows students to connect what they are learning in class to their own life and future careers.
Already receiving positive feedback from the Australian education sector for their innovative and engaging learning strategies, Machinam modules are easily mapped to the Australian curriculum.
Lawcadia – Warwick Walsh
Lawcadia provides web-based procurement tools to help companies manage their outsourced legal work.
Lawcadia’s founder, Warwick Walsh, had a vision of a better legal market, and saw an opportunity to change the way companies buy legal services and provide law firms with access to new clients outside of their existing relationships.
Extensive market research across global markets identified that companies and government organisations are frustrated at the lack of accountability and transparency over legal fees. Unfortunately, it is very common for legal bills to regularly come in much higher than the original estimate. Existing procurement strategies utilised by organisations, such as fee estimates, fixed fees, legal panels, and requests for proposals, are not solving the issues of transparency and predictability in legal costs.
Lawcadia’s unique, two-stage legal procurement process works by firstly connecting companies with quality law firms based on expertise and experience, and then provides a competitive procurement process to allow companies to understand the market price.
Lawcadia’s Financial Reporting Tool introduces a clear framework around which fees are reported and, if required, adjusted. Lawyers are then held accountable for their pricing and service through a sophisticated ratings system that allows clients to provide valuable feedback on their experience, building trust and accountability for all Lawcadia users.
Sustainable Organic Solutions – Dr Nikolai Kinaev, Dr Evgeny Sagulenko and Serge Kovalev
Sustainable Organic Solutions (SOS) is exactly what the name suggests – a sustainable solution for organic farming.
Internationally recognised scientists, Dr Nikolai Kinaev, Dr Evgeny Sagulenko and Serge Kovalev have joined forces with Steve West to create SOS, a research project with a vision to revolutionise agricultural production.
There are two major issues that SOS is addressing. It is a challenge for traditional farming to decrease application rates of mineral fertilisers to achieve the required crop yield which is falling and encouraging the use of ever more inorganic elements which in turn is increasing environmental pollution and production costs. For organic farmers it is also the high price of organic fertilisers and uncertain yield efficiency that is a problem causing pressure on farm revenues.
SOS has developed a microbial based organic fertiliser system, which is proving in laboratory and small field trials (including in hydroponic conditions and greenhouse applications) to be a promising alternative to chemicals. SOS researchers have proven that by introducing particular bacteria to the plants root systems, the yield can be increased by up to 30%.
The goal is to sell SOS microbial based organic fertiliser at the same price as cheap chemical alternatives on the market, decreasing the use of mineral fertilisers and making organic farming much more affordable and available to consumers.
The overall mission of the project is to achieve a significant increase in food production worldwide in order to feed our ever-growing population and simultaneously decrease environmental pollution caused by traditional inorganic mineral fertiliser based agricultural practice.
Full Embrace – Kate Amos
Founder of Full Embrace, Kate Amos, is tackling a problem that many women around the world face every day. Kate found that large busted women are restricted when it comes to lingerie and clothing, with the limited choices in store being ill-fitting, unsupportive, uncomfortable and unattractive. These women are required to settle for larger garments or widen their search to online stores.
Seeing an opportunity to solve this problem for Australian women, Kate created Full Embrace; a company devoted to designing quality bras and clothing specifically suited to a bigger bust. Full Embrace promises a new range of fashionable, well-fitting lingerie and clothing to embrace, not hide, a woman’s curves.
This company presents itself as a strong competitor, selling customised lingerie and clothing catering for women with large busts (E-K bra cup), including breastfeeding mothers.
Heroic Ventures – Mike Carr and Dan Groch
When tech entrepreneurs Mike Carr and Dan Groch realised they and many other men experienced romantic failures for similar reasons the two put their heads together to create a solution using cutting edge technology, resulting in the world’s first partner retention service at a time when everyone was focused on the booming partner acquisition industry.
After thorough market testing, HeroBoyfriend has evolved to become a clever mobile app based personal assistant. It collects important information about a user’s relationship and makes continually meeting their partner’s expectations a simple, quick and enjoyable process. It does this by ensuring timely and personalised inspiration, expertly curated suggestions and seamless execution.
From a business perspective what makes HeroBoyfriend valuable beyond it’s sophisticated technology and global scalability is its unique customer base. Having the trust and attention of men who lack time, creativity or understanding when it comes to the romantic side of their life provides third party suppliers lucrative access to a market segment that is traditionally difficult to penetrate.
MicroHeat – Cedric Israelsohn
MicroHeat’s inventor and founder, Cedric Israelsohn, applied his experience in electronic engineering, the automated manufacturing and ICT industries to the creation of the technology that is incorporated in the MicroHeat Continuous Flow Electric Water Heater (CFEWH).
This pioneer product in fluid heating technology, allows water to be heated quicker and more efficiently than traditional heating systems, meaning less water and energy wastage.
For use in both domestic and commercial applications, MicroHeat is the first continuous flow electric water heater that is electrode technology-based and digitally controlled.
Featuring an adaptive hot water temperature control, MicroHeat gives consumers safe and accurate control of water heating as well as digital controlling abilities that encourage energy efficiency.
MicroHeat is well on its way to being marketed globally as it continues through development and commercialisation.
MOVUS – Brad Parsons, Michel Lamarre and John Gardner
Brad Parsons and co-founders Michel Lamarre and John Gardner make up a team of experts in technology, business management and engineering. With the mission to enable more efficient use of assets and resources, MOVUS provides innovative enhancements to the productivity of large, industrial equipment.
MOVUS is built on the foundations of three goals: to increase efficiency, minimise waste and empower people. By enabling companies to make more informed decisions, MOVUS offers the potential to save money, generate less waste and increase employee satisfaction.
Solutions by MOVUS are offered through fresh eyes and new thinking, or by creating something entirely new to solve unique problems. MOVUS engineering solutions combine technology and machinery, bringing equipment to life by making it more intelligent and accessible.
The MOVUS team strives to collaborate with strong partners in the energy, industrial and transportation sectors, engaging innovative thinking from highly skilled industry professionals.
Scrunch – Danielle Lewis, Salvatore Garozzo and David Novakovic
Co-founders Danielle Lewis, Salvatore Garozzo and David Novakovic saw an opportunity to easily bring brands and online influencers together for collaboration.
Scrunch is a data-driven Influencer Marketing platform that enables brands and agencies to discover the right bloggers and social media Influencers.
Scrunch has one of the world’s largest Influencer databases with over 20 million profiles and billions of data points.
The platform makes it easy to gain data on Influencers, and features some awesome CRM and outreach style functions to make campaign management easy.
Hose Grip – Don Hoult
With a background in mining and marketing, Don Hoult saw room for improvement in the universal snap-in garden hose fittings that are prone to failure.
Familiar with the vulnerability of these fittings when exposed to extreme temperatures, pressure and the strain of constant use, Don designed the Hose Grip fitting to improve an age old design.
The innovation of Hose Grip offers flexibility like no other on the market and reaches international standard. Designed to accept any watering appliance worldwide, Hose Grip uses a unique adaptor to maintain full swivel movement.
Ready for anything, Hose Grip has been through prototype tooling and test-marketing in Australia and is internationally patented.
VDYO – Damian Miles
Damian Miles, founder and CEO of VDYO, has been in the film and television industry for 23 years. With a keen interest in new technologies and online video delivery, and an idea for how to improve the process, Damian created an instant video portal called VDYO.
Entering the industry as the first of its kind, VDYO is the only instant video provider online and taps into the powerful world of video content.
VDYO is a video management tool, allowing users to safely distribute, sell, and share content. This enables businesses to manage and distribute video files, providing protection from any unauthorised sharing.
As well as offering security, VDYO also features accessibility and global reach capabilities with its instantaneous nature and ability to distribute across multiple screens and devices.
VDYO offers exciting solutions for tracking user engagement with video content, especially in the context of online training.
TicTocTrack – Karen Cantwell
Inspired by GPS tracking technology, Brisbane mother of two and businesswoman Karen Cantwell has developed a child safety device called TicTocTrack watch.
Utilising breakthrough advancements in GPS, the business partners pioneered the world’s smallest tracking watch to help nurture children’s independence, while giving their parents peace of mind.
The resulting TicTocTrack watch allows parents to create ‘geo-fences’ around safe areas for their children to play or stay in; be it a neighbourhood, sports grounds, school or friend’s house. The parent is alerted if they leave these zones, allowing them to contact the child via a two-way voice function while locating them on their desktop or smartphone.
Importantly, if children are in distress or feeling unsafe, they can contact their parents with a press of the SOS button on the watch. Parents can also call or send a message to their child at any time.
TicTocTrack gives children the freedom to explore the world safely without their parents or carers ‘hovering’ over them; which is integral to child development.
Fewzion – Alex Retzlaff and Paul Moynagh
Fewzion founders, Alex Retzlaff and Paul Moynagh, saw a genuine demand for a simplified and efficient project management solution for business.
Combining their financial, technical and quality management expertise across mining, finance and technology industries, Alex and Paul have developed Fewzion work management software.
Based in Brisbane, the Fewzion team help blue collar workforces manage their frontline processes, people and equipment to get control and improve production results.
Organisations are already seeing the benefits of integrating Fewzion into their project management toolkit, with typical benefits of improved production (+39%), reduced unit costs (-60%) and reduced lost time incidents (-50%).
Tooletries – Saul and Josh Cockburn
Saul and Josh Cockburn have a passion for design.
The Brisbane brothers have joined forces to create a funky, fresh and functional range of bathroom and travel accessories.
Founded in 2014 with the vision of manufacturing innovative and sleek travel and bathroom products, Tooletries is already gaining attention internationally.
Made from the highest quality materials, Tooletries are built tough to handle the rigours of traveling and everyday life.
CruiseTraka – David Clarke
Founder and CEO of CruiseTraka, David Clarke, has combined a love for adventure with his digital marketing expertise to create a unique product for travellers.
Based in Brisbane, this social media marketing company is focused on the Global Adventure Travel and Cruise Ship industry.
CruiseTraka uses GPS ship tracking with social media and email updates so travellers can easily share their cruise experience with family and friends.
The flagship TrekTraka product continues to service travellers everywhere adventure calls – from Mount Everest to the deserts of Namibia.
The Travel Bra – Annie Holden
Formed in 2015 by Dr Annie Holden, The Travel Bra™ Company responds to an undeniable need amongst all female travellers – safety.
Working internationally as an economic anthropologist, Annie’s career often took her to remote places where there were no ATMs or hotel room safes (assuming there were even hotels!).
Annie created The Travel Bra™ as an alternative to obvious money belts or bags, allowing women to safely store valuables and feel comfortable while travelling.
The Travel Bra range is now expanding to include sportswear, accessories and mens travel trunks, so safety and comfort can be yours no matter what you’re doing.
The ACAC Innovation Team is here to help.