Sentient Computing managing director Doug Bester.

Sentient, Skrydata tops at Energise

Tuesday, 6 October, 2015 - 23:46

KPMG’s Energise accelerator has delivered an immediate return for the eight start-up companies participating in the program, with pilot projects and prizes worth more than $650,000 being awarded.

Balcatta-based Sentient Computing was judged last night to be the top company in the 12-week program, in the process winning a $100,000 cash prize donated by Woodside Petroleum.

Curtin University spin-out Skrydata received a $50,000 innovation award, which went to the start-up with the strongest value proposition, regardless of its business maturity.

The eight participants will receive $50,000 of professional services from KPMG and $50,000 of web-hosting credit from Amazon Web Services.

On top of the prizes, an even bigger return has come from contracts with major resource-sector players Fortescue Metals Group, BHP Billiton, Laing O’Rourke, South 32 and Woodside.

Ten agreements collectively valued at $400,000 have been signed with these companies, which plan to test, trial and deploy the various technologies.

KPMG WA chairman Gary Smith said Energise set out to trial a new kind of accelerator, with a focus on the immediate and actionable needs of the mining, oil & gas and utility sectors.

“By keeping this focus, and augmenting it with input from some of the best global minds in the start-up eco-system, we have truly plugged start-up innovation into the energy and natural resources sector,” Mr Smith said.

Energise program director Toby Gardner said the eight participants had been able to hone their products, build new client and partner relationships and prepare to scale their business.

Sentient is a relatively mature business, having been established in 2002 and winning contracts with the likes of BHP, Rio Tinto, Woodside, CSBP, Bluescope Steel and Accenture.

It is a software development company providing 3D visualisation and automation solutions for its clients.

Skrydata is focused on ‘big data’ analytics, with clients including iiNet, Landgate and Cobham Aviation Services.

Its innovation award was sponsored by Resource Capital Funds and Melbourne-based Jolimont Global Mining Systems.

Other companies selected to participate in Energise were Ecocentric Energy, Element Engineering, Global Unmanned Systems, GreenSync, Sandpit Innovation and Notio.