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23 July 2018

Preserve challenge winner announced

Group of people holding a cheque

After months of preparation, the winner of Ignite SA’s Gigabit Challenge: Preserve was announced at tech conference Hybrid World Adelaide on Monday by the Hon David Pisoni MP.

The winning team, Sandpit created ‘Cipher’, a visitor experience platform for museums, galleries and cultural institutions that allows for a range of personalised content to be delivered to each visitor, triggering audio and visual artefacts from the collection. It can also be tailored based on the visitor engagement before, during and after their visit.

The Preserve Challenge required applicants to submit their proposals, of which three were shortlisted to present as part of the Hybrid World Adelaide technology conference in front of a judging panel.  Judges included Director of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Kristie Parker; Former Engineering Director of Google ANZ and Founder, AusOcean, Alan Noble; CEO of LeapSheep and Entrepreneur in Residence at UniSA’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre, Kirk Drage; and Head of Humanities at the South Australian Museum, Professor John Carty.

Drage said the judges were impressed with aspiration and commitment of the teams.

“If we want a city brimming with successful serial entrepreneurs, having the community enthusiastically seize on these opportunities is precisely what’s going to get us there,” he said.

“Sandpit were particularly impressive with their strong project history in this space and an existing platform investments that have the potential to deliver oversized value in addressing this important challenge for the Museum.”

The first of many challenges by IgniteSA, Preserve was conducted in conjunction with the South Australian Museum to utilise SA’s high-speed networks in making the Museum’s extraordinary collection of Australian Aboriginal culture accessible to the world. Sandpit won the $20,000 grant by illustrating how their solution could be expanded to enhance other digital humanity collections in Australia and internationally.

A South Australian based startup tech company who creates immersive, personal experiences, Sandpit will now also have the chance to access a further $5,000 from Ignite SA, to attend a conference in the US to showcase their solution on a global stage.

Ignite SA also partnered with Hybrid World Adelaide to support the HWA Lab event at UniSA’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre.

Those participating were mentored by international and local industry leaders including leading creative innovator and world renowned entrepreneur Robert Tercek, TechinSA’s Industry Development Director Judy Halliday, one of Finland’s leading business speakers André Noël Chaker, Ernst & Young’s Marie-Louise Symons, American CEO Dr. Phillip Alvelda, and many more.

Over two days, six teams were shortlisted from the original 14 to pitch at the conference following the Preserve challenge, for their chance at $85,000 worth of funding.

Athlete’s AI (a company combining computer vision and machine learning for athletes to deliver distinct mechanical advantages over competitors) and (a company delivering scientists a friendly way to amplify research papers through augmented web application that turns vocal recording into social media videos, podcasts and more) were both awarded $40,000.

Athlete’s AI were also awarded an additional $5,000 travel grant to represent Ignite SA at the US Ignite Summit in Denver Colorado in April 2019.

Ignite SA’s Technology Leader Karl Sellmann says Ignite SA is committed to fostering tech development within SA utilising the state’s advanced speed networks.

“The Preserve Challenge and the HWA Lab illustrates that there is a thriving and growing tech startup community in South Australia. A big thank you to all of the participants for your innovative ideas and hard work,” he says.

“Ignite SA is continuing to push to make SA the leading innovative tech city in Australia announcing the next Gigabit Challenge.

“The Triple 10 Research Grant will provide three $10,000 grants to boost existing research application projects using SA’s advanced networks.

“Further information can be found on the gnite SA website, so I encourage researchers to apply.”

Thanks to the sponsors of the Preserve challenge: US Ignite, the University of South Australia, the South Australian Museum, SABRENet, Optus and Cisco.

Media contact: Georgia Minarelli email:; phone: 08 8302 7620 mobile: 0413 314 726

South Australian Government

University of South Australia