WA’s Sunovate and Minnovare make Top 12 Aussie Tech Companies


12 of Australia’s best emerging technology companies were this week named as finalists for the Australian Technologies Competition 2018 (ATC18), and two of WA’s finest were among the dozen…

Twelve finalists – including 2 from WA – will battle it out to be the Australian Tech Company of the Year at showcase events in Melbourne (4th October) & Sydney (15th November).

Perth startup Sunovate were delighted to make the top 12.

“We are very excited about the early recognition our technology is receiving,” cofounder Cesira Leigh said.

“The Sunovate technology has phenomenal global application. Around 40,000 solar panels are installed globally every hour. Every one of those existing PV’s presents an opportunity for retrofitting with the Sunovate system. It’s a really exciting market and sector to be involved in.”

Sunovate’s technology converts solar energy from solar cells to electrical and thermal energy.

As solar panels warm up, they become less effective, so the Sunovate panels convert that heat into energy, reducing the waste and making the whole panel more efficient. Sunovate can be retrofitted to existing PV’s or installed new.

“We want to see the global low grade heat market rapidly transition to renewable energy,” cofounder Glen Ryan told Startup News. “It’s a phenomenal market that’s searching for a cleaner solution. One that the Sunovate team has the ability and technology to address.

“We are currently looking for showcase sites in Perth that have a need for heat and electricity, to add to our growing portfolio. We aim to roll out these commercial trials early next year.”

This recognition comes on the back of other wins for the team, as they were finalists in the WA Energy Innovation Award 2018, and are also a state finalist for the Climate KIC Launchpad 2018 (National Finals 3rd October.)

The team were graduated from Curtin’s Accelerate program earlier this year.

The “Azimuth Aligner” in action

‘The Azimuth Aligner’

The other WA winner was Minnovare, who are a bit further along with their technology.

Founded in Perth in 2012 by Mike Ayris, Callum McCracken and Michael Beilby, they have developed advanced technology that specialises in improving the accuracy, reliability and economic efficiency of industrial drilling operations.

Their flagship mining exploration/civil product, going by the wonderful name of ‘The Azimuth Aligner‘, is used in over a hundred projects worldwide to automate the alignment process; more than doubling the accuracy (+/- 0.2°) and reducing overall set-up times by up to 90%.

Now in its eighth year, the Australian Technologies Competition has announced finalists across seven industry categories.

This follows on from the extensive mentoring and business plan judging by the competition’s panel of experts. With a focus on building global success stories, the judges are looking for not only the best technologies but also the best managers and the best business plans.

This year’s 34 semi finalists have spent an average of A$3.36 million to develop their technologies and have an average of 13 employees. They are independently seeking an additional $2.54m of investment each to bring their solutions to market.

Competition Organiser Patrick Mooney of Impact Tech Ventures says he is on a mission to turn great technologies into great businesses.

“We aim to find the best companies, provide them with the best mentoring possible and connect them with global partners that will enable them to scale globally, ” he said. “With support from the Department of Industry, Innovation & Science and their growth centres, we want to help create global success stories.”

The full fist of finalists, in alphaneteical order, are:

  • AdAlta (VIC) – generating a new class of protein therapeutics, known as ibodies
  • Advanced Robotic Technology (QLD) – sStructural steel processing system using robotic automation
  • Anatomics (VIC) – software that enables surgeons around the world to order 3D printed customised medical implants or devices
  • Capricorn Power (VIC) –  transforming the problem of waste-disposal into an on-site sustainable heat and power solution
  • Hydrox Technologies (QLD) an innovative agricultural plastic
  • Inkerz (NSW) – captures every pen, pencil or paint stroke on any piece of paper, canvas or board of any size
  • Kesem Health (VIC) – easy to use bladder monitoring device
  • Minnovare (WA) – solution for aligning long hole drills used for production drilling
  • RedEye App (QLD) – engineering data management platform for enterprise asset owners
  • Sunovate (WA) – converts solar energy from solar cells to electrical and thermal energy
  • Universal Site Monitoring (NT) – a personal safety monitor for the heavy industrial, oil and gas and mining sectors
  • Ynomia (VIC) – providing locational data to the construction industry


FEATURE IMAGE: Sunovate cofounders Cesira Leigh and Glen Ryan.