The Entrepreneurs

Uppercut GamesFounded in 2011 by Ed Orman, Andrew James and Ryan Lancaster, Uppercut Games is an independent video game development studio based in Canberra. In 2012, Uppercut expanded to include John Travers and Evan Zachariadis, with Ben Driehuis joining in 2014. Interactive games are not only a major part of contemporary culture but contribute substantially to the economy. According to the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA)1 $184.6mil in income was generated by Australian Game development studios in 2019/2020. The industry grew its revenue by 29% since 2019, with the impact of COVID-19 seeing many people in lockdown searching for entertainment.

Dr Christopher WarrenTourism Australia defines sustainable tourism as travelling that balances the needs of people and place alongside profit. This means not only protecting the natural environment but also enriching the tourism experience by incorporation stories about people and place. There are a growing number of tourists who care about their impact on the environment and the communities they visit, providing a range of opportunities for the tourism industry. Seventy six percent of tourism's footprint is due to travel, 24 percent in the accommodation sector and the remainder from recreational activities. Underpinning this is the need to create a profitable and sustainable industry that delivers employment and economic benefits to the communities involved. My Green Butler won the national Banksia Award for sustainability and has since been selected by the United Nations Environment Program as its leading example of sustainable tourism twice, for its focus on helping tourist accommodation reduce the resources used, costs of operations and pollution all while increasing guest satisfaction.

Space Services AustraliaSpace was the last frontier and the domain of government agencies with deep pockets. But reducing launch costs, advances in technology, and rising public sector investment is likely to create a trillion-dollar industry. Space Services Australia has developed world-leading software that allows an organisation to build a spacecraft like you would a Lego kit. Spaces Services Australia works with component providers to make digital replicas of their parts. These can then be connected in a simulation to allow companies to quickly try different ideas and configurations for their proposed spacecraft.

Matthew WilsonPenten is a Canberra-based cybersecurity company that provides secure wireless devices for classified information exchange to Defence and other government agencies in Australia and overseas. Penten's products include AltoCrypt technology which secures sensitive information in a small device, the size of a USB and on a commercial phone; TrapDocs, which helps to detect and track unauthorised access to documents and files; and Tactical Communications Security, which creates entirely sovereign communication solutions for battlefield, emergency and disaster situations.
Penten employs 132 staff and assists clients in over five countries, including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada and the US to protect their systems and data against digital threats. Focussed on true innovation and pushing the boundaries of technology, the ethos of the company is to try and solve problems that haven’t been solved globally before.

Aristotle MetadataAristotle Metadata started out as a software project a number of years ago. At the time, founder Sam Spencer had been working on metadata modelling and practical registry design for the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. His work in the public service allowed Sam to see the potential of how metadata could be used to help improve services.

QuintessanceLabsInformation can be considered the lifeblood of many organizations by virtue of the competitive and strategic advantage it can provide. It is clearly an asset worth protecting. According to Dr. Vikram Sharma, CEO of Quintessence Labs, encryption provides one of the strongest mechanisms to protect this valuable asset. The key to data security is to understand what data you have and what value it brings to the entity, and protecting it appropriately.
Based on quantum physics, the two key elements of QuintessenceLabs’ offerings are true random number generation, which is an essential element of successful encryption, and the use of quantum effects to securely transport encryption keys from one location to another. These capabilities are integrated within a software suite to provide very strong data protection. And while the technology sounds complicated, it has been carefully developed to be simple to use and flexible enough to work in any corporate environment.

Maddie SinclairMarketing agencies and marketing departments have changed considerably over the past decade. They now operate in a connected world where technology is ubiquitous, and the customer’s use of multiple devices demands a constant supply of fresh and engaging content. These changes have required new skills from marketers and specialisation in constantly changing technologies and processes. This fast-paced, always-on world demands quick turnaround times from the modern marketing agency and Catch the Sun Communications (CTS) is a Canberra-based virtual freelance communications hub that is uniquely positioned to service this market.

Kinetic Performance TechnologyKinetic Performance Technology was founded in 2002 to bring power monitoring to the weights room.
Originally the company provided a range of different products including altitude houses for altitude simulation training. However, in the past 7 years they have specialised in providing GymAware, a device which measures the performance of the athlete in the weights room.

Marcus DaweWith a year marked by bushfires, hailstorms and a global pandemic; climate change and the decisions we make today are going to determine the challenges we face in the future.
The innovative carbon engineering technology developed by Canberra based Mineral Carbonation International (MCi) provides a decarbonisation solution for industries such as mining, manufacturing, cement, steel and energy. Not reliant on carbon pricing, offsets or subsidies; MCi creates products from CO2 emissions by using mineral feedstocks to combine with CO2 to create valuable materials for use in manufactured products.
As technologies improve to capture carbon, the question is what will we do with it? Store it or use it?

Cogito GroupCogito Group is a cyber security company specialising in authentication, encryption and data protection, the technology that protects the storage, processing and management of sensitive information. Founded in Canberra in 2011, Cogito Group began in a garage in Weetangera. Husband and wife team, Bernadette and Richard Brown quickly expanded to an office at the back of the Hawker shops and then moved their growing team to substantially larger premises in Barton. They also began exporting their services globally, setting up an office in Wellington.

Wildlife DronesWhat started off as a grant-funded research project for ecologist Dr Debbie Saunders, has turned into Wildlife Drones, a company providing world-leading radio-tracking drone systems.
Like most startups, the idea started many years ago with a problem that needed solving. Debbie was studying the movements of the Swift Parrot, a small critically endangered bird that migrates between Tasmania and mainland Australia. One of the biggest challenges facing conservationists tracking endangered animals is that they have to manually track one animal at a time, on foot and very often in rugged and remote terrain. This limits the number of animals that can be monitored.
Debbie was talking with a colleague who researched lions.

mHitsmHITs Limited is a Canberra-based FinTech mobile remittance pioneer that has developed a simple way to tackle the problem of global wealth inequality.

For migrants, sending money home to families overseas can be problematic if the recipient does not have a bank account. According to Harold Dimpel, the founder and CEO of mHITs, there are about 2.5 billion people in the world who do not have a bank account (the unbanked) and there are about 4 billion people in the world who do not use a bank account regularly or at all (the underbanked). This might be because they do not have a formal job, don't receive a regular income or they are not formally engaged in the economy.

Smart BloxWith over 2 million households1 now having solar panels installed, renewables are no longer just a nice-to-have they have become more of a necessity. While in many parts of Australia we are lessening our impact on the environment, Smart Blox is attempting to solve the problem of what happens on the fringes. The Canberra-based company believes that there is a gap between technology and the people who consume energy on a daily basis. Not everyone has the financial ability to move to solar and in some locations it’s not practical or even available. Smart Blox believes that this gap is caused by an accessibility problem and this is the biggest hurdle that we need to overcome in our journey towards a renewable energy future.

Liquid InstrumentsCanberra is home to an innovative company that has the potential to fundamentally change the test and measurement industry. Liquid Instruments’ Moku:Lab product replaces 12 instruments in a lab with one single multifunctional device. The spin-out from the Australian National University (ANU) has a unique approach that combines precision hardware with the versatility of software. It delivers solutions for professional scientists, engineers and students working in research and industrial labs across industries such as telecommunications, aerospace, defence and electronics manufacturing. Moku:Lab provides the same functionality as tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment but at a fraction of the cost offered by the well-established test and measurement hardware market.