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Perth software startup Sentient Computing takes out top prize at the first KPMG Energise accelerator

Perth software company Sentient Computing was last night named the winner of the first KPMG Energise accelerator program, taking out the $100,000 prize thanks to its new MVX product, which uses data to create interactive 3D environments.

The eight startups who took part in the accelerator, which was created to tackle challenges in the energy and natural resources sector, have already secured industry contracts worth a combined $400,000.

The contracts, with companies including BHP, Woodside, and FMG, will see the startups’ products trialled and deployed over the coming months, which Gary Smith, West Australia chairman for KPMG, said is a result of how the accelerator program was set up.

“Energise set out to trial a new kind of accelerator model, putting the focus squarely on the immediate and actionable needs of the mining, oil and gas, and utility sectors for Australia, and ensuring that key players in these sectors were on board throughout the entire process,” Smith said.

“By keeping this focus, and augmenting it with input from some of the best global minds in the startup ecosystem, we have truly plugged startup innovation into the energy and natural resources sector.”

As well as working with KPMG’s industry partners, the startups were mentored by entrepreneurs including Peter Rossdeutscher, Gary Coover, manager of Samsung’s Silicon Valley accelerator, Google’s Rohan Thompson, and KPMG advisors.

Sentient Computing received a $100,000 prize to help facilitate the roll out of its technology, while Skrydata, which uses advanced analytics to highlight insights from big data, was named winner of the Enrgise Innovation Award, which recognises the startup with the strongest value proposition regardless of its business maturity or current business model.

Other startups who took part in the twelve week program include Ecocentric Energy, which has created a system that helps conserve energy in commercial buildings and industrial facilities; Global Unmanned Systems, which uses drones to provide customised environmental and social baseline data acquisition and monitoring solutions for the natural resources sector; and mechatronic engineering firm Element Engineering, which has developed an IoT product that enables real-time monitoring of products or structures through modular devices and wireless communications.

Each of the eight startups will receive $50,000 worth of professional services from KPMg and $50,000 of web hosting credit from Amazon Web Services.