The UNSW Founders has invested $140,000 in seven startups as part of its 2020 10x Accelerator program.
The ventures were chosen from among 75 startups that applied for the program and each one receives a $20,000 investment from UNSW. The companies will now take part in the 3-month support program, which this year will be delivered online, although it’s also opened up the possibilities for the startups involved, who this year as based in the ACT, Victoria and Queensland, as well as NSW.
The UNSW Founders 10x Accelerator began in 2018 and is for startups founded by UNSW students, staff or alumni.
David Burt, Director of Entrepreneurship at UNSW said the 2020 cohort ranges from a robotic gripper can grasp any object to mimic human dexterity, to a mobile docketing system that replaces the need for paper receipts and image software for fashion which hopes to reduce the high rate of online shopping returns.
Burt said a higher proportion UNSW alumni teams, signalled that “many people in career transitions are starting new companies rather than seeking another corporate job”.
The program’s alumni include Tiliter, which reduces theft, waste and time at supermarket checkouts and InsideSherpa which runs free company-branded virtual internships with the world’s largest companies.
“We are excited to be supporting the global ambitions of these next seven startups,” Burt said.
“We know from research conducted in both Australia and overseas that the overwhelming majority of new jobs are created by companies less than five years old. It’s data like this that proves if we want rapid job creation in Australia, we need to support the people who are stepping up to start and lead new companies.”
The 10x Accelerator kicks off mid-August and culminates early November with a Demo Night.
The seven startups in the 2020 UNSW Founders 10x cohort are:
Inadequate tactile sensing in the gripper fingers means robotic dexterity falls far short of human ability.
This prevents the use of robotics in unstructured environments in numerous industries to help alleviate job shortages and/or start new markets.
Contactile provides robots with a human sense of touch, enabling robotic dexterity by using world-leading bio-inspired tactile sensor array which can measure 3D deflection, 3D force and 3D vibration at each array element, as well as important properties of torque, incipient slip and friction.
With these sensors, a robotic gripper can grasp any object with optimal grip force, regardless of object weight, size, and friction.
Founders: Stephen Redmond, Ben Xia, Heba Khamis
Online fashion retailers strive to convey a realistic look of the fabric used in their garments via product photography. However, nearly a third of all returns are specifically a result of the garment looking different to what was featured on the website.
Bandicoot Imaging Sciences provides retailers with a simple and fast way to capture the colour and texture of the materials and fabrics and easily display it as a digital image on their website.
The magic happens when the potential buyer looks at this image on their phone or tablet and tilts it to see the play of light across the material, providing a highly realistic view.
Founders: David Karlov, Peter Fletcher, Matthew Arnison, Dave Monaghan
More and more large organisations, such as telcos and utilities, require a fast and cost-effective way to inspect their assets and infrastructure for regular assessment or to attend to issues in a timely manner.
Aerologix is a platform that allows the increasing talent pool of drone pilots to complete client missions. Any drone vision can be uploaded to the platform from anywhere.
The Aerologix app controls the drone and can fly the mission using Aeropath, patented technology that ensures quality image capture.
Founders: Tom Caska, Rakesh Routhu
Many businesses around the world still use hard copy paper dockets or forms. These can easily be lost, are difficult to file, require manual input for accounting, and paper is unsustainable.
The Record Time solution is a mobile digital docketing system which replaces paper forms.
Benefits include less admin time, convenient remote approval, more trees and less landfill. With Record Time, the user can set up any number of unique templates to suit any purpose.
The templates are all fully customisable, so can replicate any form.
Founders: Jeremy Murray, Rav Karki, Nash Khanal, Peter Valtonen
In agriculture and ecology, while data can be accessed from satellites, sensors, interactive software, manual surveys and robots, very little is used.
Connecting real-time data in agriculture, ecology and research remains a big issue. This reduces productivity of farms, leads to environmental degradation, and locks up research in inaccessible vaults.
Amphora Data, a data marketplace and management platform, connects real-time and location-aware information for researchers and innovative companies.
Users can find new data sets, share their own, and manage all their external data integrations in a single workbench. They can interact with the platform through a web application or, more commonly, through APIs.
Founders: Rian Finnegan, Isaac Donnelly
Current 3D Animation tools used for rapid prototyping, storytelling and visualisation are difficult to learn and to use.
Using artificial intelligence, Block42 has developed easy to use and cost effective, 3D animation software to make 3D models and 3D animations.
Being passionate about STEAM, the Block42 team has launched their 3D animation platform for school age children to equip themselves with the skills of the future, and unleash their creativity, while collaborating and having fun.
Founders: Chris McFarlane, Richard Fu, Charlene Hu, Brian Zou
PV Master – Renewable Energy Laboratory (REL)
In Australia, Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) are paid by power plants based on the “causer pays factor” calculated with Australian Energy market Operator (AEMO).
For solar and wind power plants, the “causer pays factor” is proportional to the difference between actual power generation and power forecast made by AEMO.
However, these forecasts can be extremely inaccurate and a 100MW solar power plant can be charged over $500k for this issue, which increases the cost of operation and also technically limits the capacity of renewable energy that can be connected to the grid.
REL specialises in data analysis of renewable energy, providing power forecasting and asset management services for renewable power generation and integration, which makes renewable energy more predictable, manageable, and profitable.
Founders: Yang Li, Dr Zi Ouyang