Adelaide company involved in Aladdin’s magic carpet

As the much-anticipated Aladdin and its magic carpet musical sweeps its performances around Australia, a niche Adelaide engineering company is helping keep the American-designed centrepiece in the air.

Peter Spooner is predictably tight-lipped on revealing any detail about how the intriguing carpet actually flies, saying only that “it’s actually magic, it’s a flying carpet”.

But adds that he’s looking forward to taking family and friends to see the Disney Theatrical performance when Alchemy helps move it into the Adelaide Festival Centre next year.

Photo by Deen van Meer courtesy of Disney.

The talented engineer, who established Alchemy Engineering with his friend Michael Shone in 2011, is only home in Adelaide for a 40-hour stopover after overseeing the show’s current installation in Perth.

Next stop is Indonesia where he’s helping work on some scenery for the opening of the Asian Games as a mechanical technician, but this job’s details are being kept quiet too.

For this creative company, growth has been about building industry contacts and trust in a multitude of confidential projects.

“Our business is all about building a relationship,” Peter says.

The Aladdin work came from Peter first meeting Australian Mark Henstridge from Disney during a job working on The Lion King in South Africa in 2006, and maintaining a connection.

In a tight-knit global industry, Peter and Michael have also worked on making sets for the State Opera and joining forces with Global Creatures, creators of theatrical arena show Walking with the Dinosaurs.

Alchemy Engineering directors Michael Shone, left, and Peter Spooner.

One of Peter’s favourite jobs was providing engineering and site support for Global Creature’s King Kong production in Melbourne, created in collaboration with PRG Scenic Technologies in the United States.

King Kong was amazing, it was a very big eye opener of how big and technically advanced the market is,” Peter says.

It’s these spin offs that prompted the two to start their business – “there’s the prospect of travel, there’s all the people that you meet, they are really interesting, they’re worldly, plus we’re building big contraptions that are doing some crazy things.”

There’s been work at Vivid in Sydney last year to support an award-winning lighting and sound display and building the floor for Annie the musical.

Peter has also worked with artist Craige Andrae creating installations throughout Adelaide including a statement maple leaf for a Mt Barker housing development and the silver rings sculpture on Osmond Terrace in Norwood.

There’s also the Memorial to the Forgotten Australians, four giant stainless steel daisies in the North Adelaide parklands created as a symbol of healing for children who suffered harm in state care.

While in 2014, Alchemy took care of the mechanics for giant fan leaves created for the Myer Centre fashion show in Sydney.

Alchemy was behind the mechanics for these large decorative leaves overhanging the runway at the Sydney Myer Centre fashion show.

Peter says the company runs a highly flexible and stripped back business model, the two control projects with admin support, and call in “a bunch of casual guys who have industry experience” when projects roll in.

There can be up to seven in the workshop at one time, with the company also relying on a valuable local supply chain of mainly South Australian businesses.

It was back in 2005 when the fitter and turner trained directors met working in the Adelaide Festival Centre engineering department to build scenery and props.

Their shared interest in weekend hobbies led to the two renting a workshop together in Wingfield where Peter was refurbishing his 1972 Toyota Celica car and Michael a sailing boat.

“It was our hobby workshop and we had started buying machines and tools, that was where we were on the precipice, and we decided why not have a go?” Peter says.

They moved into a larger Wingfield site and created four sections to the business, stage and theatre, architectural fabrication – “that’s really ramped up in the past two to three years”, industrial design and corporate display.

Alchemy has worked with architects and builders including Space Craft and Damien Chwalisz on one-off projects from staircases to balustrades and fences.

And on more traditional engineering work, producing wheel nuts, laser cutting and a contract with Adelaide company Top Shed making coffee tampers with a specific design brief.

“All of our suppliers are from SA, apart from some of the electrical components, and we try and buy Australian steel,” Peter says.

“Our business is all about building a relationship, to get the best out of everyone and for everyone to get the best out of us, it’s about people being honest with timeframes and their ability to deliver and it’s about having nice people to work with.”

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Grain handler Viterra recruiting for 1500 jobs across SA

Grain handler Viterra is on the hunt for 1500 seasonal workers to fill roles at about 80 different locations across South Australia.

Applications are now open for harvest workers to take on a range of roles from October to January at a number of Viterra’s storage and handling sites including along the far West Coast of SA, through the Yorke Peninsula, up to the Mid North, on the outskirts of Adelaide and down through the South East.

Depending on how the harvest season finishes, casual work will be available for several months from October to handle deliveries of the main commodities grown in SA – wheat, barley, canola, and pulses.

Viterra’s human resources director Ben Norman says Viterra is a major employer in regional areas with a workforce of 800 permanent staff, which is significantly boosted during harvest.

“We are a proud supporter of regional SA and are pleased to provide employment opportunities each year through our harvest recruitment,” he says.

“A range of positions are available for people seeking short-term work between October and January which is grain growers’ busiest time of the year.”

Viterra undertakes an annual harvest recruitment drive and this year was the only SA company nominated for Best Recruitment Campaign at the 2018 Australian HR Awards.

“Our company provides a great avenue for young people to gain work experience, semi-retirees looking for something different, or those between jobs seeking short-term work,” Ben says.

“No experience is necessary. We provide training for the various roles which include general grain handling, bunker operations, weighbridge operations and grain classification.”

The range of available roles include:

  • General grain handling – makes up the majority of Viterra’s harvest work. Involves using site equipment and machinery to unload grain from the trucks.
  • Bunker operations – revolve around the storage of grain on site, operating equipment to unload grain trucks, handling bunker ground covers and tarpaulins and directing traffic.
  • Weighbridge operators – weigh grain trucks when they arrive and again before the truck leaves the site, recording data for each load.
  • Grain classification – involves assessing the characteristics of grain to determine the appropriate grade.
  • Supervisory roles – for people experienced in leading a team in an operational environment.
  • Service centre (Adelaide only) – provide customer service to grain growers in a call centre environment.
  • Laboratory grain analysts (Adelaide only) – assist with general testing of Viterra commodities, report on related grain analysis and other lab requirements.

The SA grain industry contributes about $2 billion to the state’s economy every year and continues to be an important source of quality Australian grain exports to the rest of the world.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Waikerie’s growing olive bounty

Riverland horticulturalist Roger Hefford is surprising olive industry experts with the high volume of olive oil he is producing from trees he only planted in 2015 at his Waikerie property.

The fourth generation grower and his wife Megan McKenzie established their business, Waikerie Olive Grove, three years ago and made the decision to specialise in super high density olive trees.

Each of their three year-old-trees produce on average of one litre of premium extra virgin olive oil when harvested in April.

Roger attributes the bounty of oil he is already producing to the Italian signore variety he has chosen to grow and the hedging technique he uses to manage them.

Waikerie Olive Grove’s “the distinguished olive” oil is becoming highly sought after in SA and interstate.

He says most of the bigger olive oil producers in Australia still grow traditional olive trees and use bigger machines for harvesting.

Local fruit grower and contractor Anthony Fulwood uses a wine grape harvester to pick the olives, which are taken by Roger to Prema Brothers at Munno Para Downs, north of Adelaide to be processed into oil.

The olives must be processed within 24 to 48 hours of picking to ensure they produce premium extra virgin oil.

All of the 22,000 olive trees at Waikerie Olive Grove were hand-planted by Roger who gives each one careful attention and encourages their growth by talking to them as well.

“Since I was a little kid I was rotary hoeing up Nana’s front lawn and growing parsley,” he says.

“I always wanted to be a grower.”

The olives have replaced the peaches, nectarines, apricots and apples, which the Heffords pulled out during the drought in 2004, due to high irrigation costs.

Waikerie Olive Grove has only just produced its second vintage.

It already has its own olive oil label, “ the distinguished olive,” which has become highly sought after.

It is presently available in some shops in the Riverland, Adelaide and East Maitland in NSW and at farmers markets in the region.

“We only had 600 bottles of olive oil last year and then we ran out!” Megan says.

This year, the couple produced 8000 bottles of extra virgin olive oil from their olive trees.

The liquid gold has also been used to create a range of bath and beauty products including soap, bath bombs and lip balm.

The products are handcrafted by 17-year-old Ellie Everett, who is originally from Waikerie and has been making soaps and moisturisers since she was just 12.

The exquisite soaps are handmade by Ellie Everett, formerly of Waikerie.

Waikerie Olive Grove hopes to produce at least 50,000 bottles of olive oil next year.

Roger and Megan have also purchased an olive grove next door, which will also increase the volume of olive oil they can produce and hopefully enable them to export overseas in the future.

Roger and Megan who met in Adelaide have two children, Jack, 4 and Ava, 8, and they are excited about their decision three years ago to make the Waikerie olive farm their permanent home.

A shop is being built on their property to enable consumers to buy from them directly.

The Riverland family are also eager to share their picturesque olive grove with others and help boost tourism in the region and their next goal is to establish a five star farm stay.

To find out more about Waikerie Olive Grove and their products click here.

Header image is Roger Hefford and Megan McKenzie with their son Jack and daughter Ava.

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Meet the SA producer leading our TV and filmmaking initiatives

Film and TV producer Kirsty Stark has never felt the need to leave South Australia in order to pursue a successful career in filmmaking.

The 34-year-old, who heads Matchbox Pictures’ SA office, cut her teeth on the sets of SA-based feature films, learning from world-class directors and cinematographers taking advantage of the state’s picturesque scenery.

“Being in SA is what gave me the opportunity to build my career because I got the chance to work on feature films, learn from people, and get experience on set,” Kirsty says.

“There seems to be a lot of really interesting projects coming out of SA that are unique compared to what you would see in Sydney and Melbourne, which seems to be more standard.

“In SA we’re able to create projects that have a bit more of a unique voice.”

Matchbox Pictures is filming Channel 7 hit crime drama Wanted at SA Film Corporation’s Adelaide Studios, as well as in Murray Bridge and the Flinders Ranges.

Lead actors Rebecca Gibney and Geraldine Hakewill are in SA for the project that will eventually flicker on TV screens in living rooms across the country.

Matchbox Pictures’ development producer and I Choose SA ambassador Kirsty Stark.

Kirsty is fulfilling her role as Matchbox’s development producer and she’s on the lookout for local writers and directors to develop their concepts for the screen.

“My role is to look for concepts from SA writers or directors and to develop them, so they can turn it into a production that we can hopefully film here in SA,” she says.

“We’re open to anything that’s scripted content – so not documentaries or reality TV.

“They can just get in touch with me and we can have a meeting or they can send through documents if they’ve already started on their idea.

“It’s a shame to see people go interstate to pursue those opportunities, so I’d love to build the industry here in SA.”

Kirsty’s climb to the producer’s chair began with her completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Screen Production, before tackling an Honours degree at Flinders University.

She then set out for the film industry, assisting camera departments on set of a number of Aussie dramas being shot in SA, including Beautiful Kate, Oranges and Sunshine, Lucky Country, and the notorious biographical crime horror film Snowtown.

“I loved all of my camera assisting experiences, part of it was being able to travel so much to different parts of SA and seeing so many unique locations,” Kirsty says.

“I was starting to build projects and have a bit more creative control over things, and through that my friend Vivyan Madigan and I started Epic Films.

“We were both camera people and wanted to shoot on 16mm film, but realised the only way we’d have the opportunity to do that was to do it ourselves.”

Through Epic Films Kirsty produced the company’s first major project, a post-apocalyptic series Wastelander Panda, which was ABC iview’s first drama series commissioned in Australia.

Epic Films is also behind ABC iview comedy Goober, kids show First Day and documentary series Unboxed.

As an individual, Kirsty also produced the film A Month of Sundays starring Anthony LaPaglia and John Clarke.

While the larger states of Australia may be seen as the entertainment meccas of Australia, Kirsty says it is possible to make a career in film and TV in SA.

Matchbox Pictures hasn’t been the only film and production company with its sights set on SA, as Screentime Australia and Technicolor are also establishing a presence here.

“It feels like it’s set to take off here. There will be many exciting things coming out of SA,” Kirsty says.

“We’re all supporting each other instead of feeling like we need to compete … we’re just doing what we need to do and creating an industry for ourselves.”

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Overheard at Entrepreneurs Week 2018

More than 400 innovators poured into the Adelaide Convention Centre on Monday, July 9, to reign in Entrepreneurs Week 2018, the fourth annual installation of the event.

There were app developers, business founders, health professionals, scientists, CEOs, PhD students, and educators from South Australia and abroad all soaking up the wisdoms, teachings and inspirations on offer.

Continuing until Friday July 13 (and spilling a little into the following week) Entrepreneurs Week explores new technologies, workspaces, and why social entrepreneurship may be the most important of them all.

Brand SA News was there to soak up the pearls of wisdom, and here are a few.

South Australia is impressive, there are incredible companies here. I think SA is one of the leaders, if not the leader in just pure entrepreneurial spirit. – Chris Adams, former Facebook insider and Entrepreneurs Week keynote speaker.

Entrepreneurial schools are coming to SA

Four public schools will become entrepreneurial hotbeds, teaching students creativity, problem solving and collaboration.

“We will have specialist entrepreneur schools where you will see real life entrepreneur activity and very strong relationships developed with industry and the private sector,” Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni told the Entrepreneurs Week opening event on May 9.

The four schools will be chosen later this year and are expected to help set the course for the state’s next generation of entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship will also be added to the school curriculum, Mr Pisoni says.

“The SACE board is at this moment developing an entrepreneurial curriculum to be rolled out in our high schools,” he says.

“So every high school in SA, whether it be in the private sector or the public sector, will have access to the entrepreneurial curriculum.”

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The old Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) site is one to watch

The State Government has big plans for the old hospital, which closed in 2017 following the opening of the city’s world-class new RAH in 2017.

Part of the vision for the North Terrace/Frome Road site includes an innovation and start-up hub for entrepreneurs and businesses.

The precinct will be a place for the generation of new ideas and technology within sectors such as defence, cyber security, space, food and wine, medical technology, robotics, and creative industries.

Mr Pisoni says that 2000 people will be working for businesses in the entrepreneurial precinct by this time next year.

“Certainly the heritage buildings on that site (are) being converted into the largest innovation and entrepreneur centre in Australia where we will see a mix of start-ups and high-tech companies,” he says.

“Within a decade we want our state to have the highest number of start-up businesses in the nation.”

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July is the entrepreneur’s version of Mad March.

You thought the festival season was only in March, right?

Not quite. July is also getting its fair share of festivities with the calendar of events an entrepreneurial playground.

Aside from Entrepreneur’s Week, we have Hybrid World, Avcon, the Umbrella Winter Sounds Festival, The Adelaide Festival of Ideas, the Adelaide Dance Festival and the Joint Dance Congress.

Acting Adelaide Mayor Sandy Verschoor sums it up well.

“I think we can look forward to what’s happening now which is a bit of winter renaissance,” she says.

“This month is going to be absolutely huge.”

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The entrepreneurial game is full of lessons, including failure.

Former Facebook insider Chris Adams was a keynote speaker at the Entrepreneurs Week opening event.

He shared highlights of his extensive career so far, including how he created and produced the first user-generated reality TV series, Facebook Diaries, which lead to the launch of the Facebook ‘share’ button.

He shared an insight into what it’s really like to become an entrepreneur from the ground up.

“If you are going to fail, fail spectacularly. Fail as quickly as you can but make it part of your story,” he says.

“Someday you’ll look back when you tell your story at whatever point in your life, and that failure will be like the hero’s journey, a challenge, something on the curve in which you found yourself, an incident that changed your path.”

Chris also believes that to reach success you must lay the groundwork.

“Every time we build a company or join a company, we’re looking at the $20m house with marble floors. We look at the interior design and the lighting, the taps in the bathroom,” he says.

“Planning – it’s the boring stuff and the stuff we don’t see that supports what we do see. So put your dreams in the $20m house, in the beautiful taps and the Mercedes, but put your work into the slab.”

Entrepreneurs Week keynote speaker Chris Adams at the opening event.

Entrepreneurs come from all walks of life and abilities

Social entrepreneur Dr Guy Turnbull, who was named UK Entrepreneur of the Year, is in SA to inspire budding innovators and business founders on what it takes to make it in the game.

The Entrepreneurs Week keynote speaker was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was two, and has exercised his entrepreneurial skills his whole life.

“When I make myself a cup of tea … although it takes a bit longer I haven’t burnt myself in 52 years. So it’s about ingenuity and that again is another entrepreneurial trait,” says the former managing director of Care And Share Associates (CASA).

“Entrepreneurs come from many different sectors, and many different walks of life, and from many different abilities.”

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We’re kicking goals when it comes to female entrepreneurship

SA is home to a community of female entrepreneurs with global ambitions.

Look at Italian rocket scientist Flavia Tata Nardini, who came to Adelaide for love after meeting her engineering husband who is from SA.

She now runs Fleet Space Technologies and is one of the people behind the push for SA to become Australia’s space technology hub.

Flavia, along with a number of other local female entrepreneurs, shared their insights at the Entrepreneurs Week Celebrating SA’s Female Founders session.

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Murraylands dried fruit producers urge shoppers to pick local

Fourth-generation apricot producers in the Murraylands are encouraging shoppers to choose local when buying dried fruit products to support growers and keep the industry afloat.

Dried fruit producer Paul Prosser has been growing apricots on his Mypolonga property, about 15km from Murray Bridge, for decades.

In the last 15 years, he and wife Kathy have run their own dried fruit business Aussie Apricots, consisting of dried fruits, confectionery, jams and chutneys.

They grow, hand pick and cut apricots by hand and machine before processing, sun drying and sorting the fruit.

Entertaining Tawnya Bahr chef/tour guide from Sydney

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The Prossers grow a variety of apricots including Morpark, Storey, Hunter, Riviera, Riverbright species.

One patch of their apricot orchard is three generations old and they plan to plant a further 750 trees this year.

The Prossers say their dried apricots are rich in colour and the flesh is soft – two attributes to look out for when searching for high quality, locally grown and produced dried fruit products.

The apricot season is in full swing in summertime, when Aussie Apricots’ pickers are “flat out” hand-picking the fruit, often in 38-40C heat.

Apricots sun-drying at the Prosser’s drying facilities at Mypolonga.

Last season’s haul (earlier this year) was a healthy six tonnes of dried fruit.

Kathy says growing apricots is relatively disaster free, but a harvest’s success relies heavily on the weather.

“If we have reasonable weather conditions, it’s not so bad,” she says.

“The only issue is that you have only one crop per year so you only get one chance.”

Aussie Apricots employs a small team of regular full time employees, with its workforce swelling to about 30 casuals during harvest.

The Prossers also grow peaches, oranges, avocados and figs and source fruit from six other growers in the region.

“It’s a lot of work but it’s an achievement because without us they (other growers) would be struggling to sell their product,” Paul says.

Once picked and cut, the apricots are laid out in a specialised sun drying house for three or four days before being washed, sized and sorted.

They then undergo a dehydration process before being packaged and sold to supermarkets and green grocers across SA and interstate.

The apricots are also processed into confectionery, jams and chutneys.

Kathy and Paul also produce a skincare range of apricot soaps, sourcing buffalo and cows milk from the region’s last few existing dairies.

They hope the skincare products will appear on IGA shelves soon.

To find an Aussie Apricots stockist click here.

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Quality at every turn for SA surfboard builder

South Australian surfboard shaper Mark Benson is keeping the local industry (not to mention the surfers themselves) afloat, by focussing on quality over quantity.

SA surfers are a hardy bunch, braving cold water, heavy Southern Ocean swells and the occasional toothy visitor in the pursuit of the perfect wave.

Of course, to do this, a surfer needs a board and Mr. Damage Surfboards, based out of Port Elliot on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula, has a strong local following amongst those who take their surfing seriously.

Mark Benson works on one of his masterpieces. Photo by Andy Alford of Photograffix.

The label was originally founded by local surf-culture icon Syd Willmett, whose surf shop, Southern Surf, still operates in the town’s main street.

Syd sold the shop and retired to Queensland many years ago, but the Mr. Damage brand lives on in the safe hands of owner and head shaper Mark Benson.

Mark got hooked on surfing at a young age and developed a habit of dropping into Syd’s shop after his regular lunchtime surf sessions.

Syd must have seen something special in his young visitor, because he eventually offered Mark a job, which included a three-year, informal apprenticeship in the surfboard shaping trade.

He didn’t know it at the time, but this was the beginning of a long and distinguished career.

Mr. Damage Surfboards has built a loyal following. Photo by Andy Alford of Photograffix.

In the early 1990s Mark also made the move north, earning his stripes alongside some of the country’s most respected shapers.

After so many years in the business, Mark can only guess at the number of boards that have passed through his hands.

“I did a bit of calculating a couple of years back,” he says.

“Including boards I’ve shaped or laminated (with fibreglass), I worked out that I’ve made perhaps 15-20,000 so far.”

In 2009 Mark decided to hang up the tools and move back to SA, but it turns out you can’t keep a good shaper down.

A persistent chorus of voices asking for boards, paired with an offer from a friend to finance the set-up of a new factory, eventually convinced Mark to get back in the game.

And so, with Syd’s blessing, the Mr. Damage label was reborn.

When art and surfing collide. Photo by Andy Alford of Photograffix.

The decision wasn’t without its risks, of course. Surfboard manufacturing has undergone a significant shift in recent times, with small producers under significant pressure from big brands flooding the market with cheaply made imported boards.

But partly due to his extensive experience, and partly to an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time, Mark has managed to carve out a niche for himself in Port Elliot.

“People recognise that I’ve put the work in and there are decades of experience behind every board I make,” he says.

“And the people who ride my boards like the fact that they’re made locally.

“They can come to the factory and chat with me about what they’re looking for, and a couple of weeks later walk away with a quality custom board made just for them.”

Anyone wanting to order a board from Mark need look no further than Facebook.

Alternatively, the Mr. Damage Surfboards factory can be found at 44 Hill Street, Port Elliot.

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Global reach a reality for Adelaide creatives

Anton Andreacchio is waiting for a flight to take him to the Taipei Film Festival when he grabs a few minutes to run through the swathe of projects his virtual reality company Jumpgate VR is delivering in the coming financial year.

It kicks off with Anton’s presentation at the festival and leads onto a series of meetings with some of Taipei’s most important cultural leaders, including from its symphony orchestra and performing arts centre.

This thriving Adelaide business has certainly piqued the interest of cultural institutions around the world after creating what is believed to be a world first virtual reality symphony with the Adelaide orchestra back in 2015.

“We have about 35 projects on the go, most are in South Australia and Victoria but we’ve got some in Northern Territory with some mining companies, in the arts, film making, entertainment, to high performance training in sport and safety training,” Anton says.

The company, based in Adelaide but also with an office in Melbourne, is currently touring an Adelaide Symphony Orchestra virtual reality production throughout SA that brings its unique performance to life for those unable to make the town hall.

The Jumpgate VR team Genevieve Rouleau, left, Carlo Andreacchio, Anton Andreacchio, and Piers Mussared at a football game following the company’s joining of forces with the AFL to incorporate VR into the game.

Its successes are also seeing a growing number of contracts in the sporting world after Jumpgate joined forces with the Australian Football League a few years ago.

The work ranges from bringing new VR elements to the games for fans to helping its elite athletes improve their performances – with players donning headsets to observe replays or new game play simulations.

“Each club uses it very differently,” Anton says.

This nimble and creative business is not the only one in Adelaide making its mark in the creative and virtual reality space with Adelaide companies like Monkeystack and Untethered VR also working to push the boundaries.

Animation and interactive design studio Monkeystack recently won a substantial international 2D animation contract.

It’s keeping the details under wraps but expects it will help swell staff numbers by 40%.

Its Adelaide-based team is equally as adaptive working across 3D animation, VR, simulations and visual effects, growing from its three founders in 2004 to a team of 36 artists, producers, programmers, designers and project managers.

Untethered VR has also found its own niche, creating Adelaide’s first virtual reality arcade with its doors officially opened by Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese in March this year.

Anton says companies are recognising Adelaide is a great place to work but they needed to remember that it shouldn’t be trying to mimic other cities.

“Our whole business plan is to reach really high in Adelaide and to pivot across Australia, it’s a great testing ground,” he says.

Jumpgate may have burst onto the arts scene with its virtual reality show of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, but now its joint owners including Anton, his brother Carlo and Piers Mussared, are winning international recognition for their cutting edge approach to all kinds of genres.

It has a close relationship with the Australian String Quartet, and its recent collaboration with famed Australian photographic artists Narelle Autio and Trent Parke The Summation of Force was selected for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

The work, co-directed with Matthew Bate, appeared in the New Frontier program of cutting-edge digital art at the prestigious Sundance event in the United States.

The program aims to push storytelling boundaries with new technology.

Anton says another artistic collaboration, this time with artists James Darling and Lesley Forwood and the Australian String Quartet, is currently showing at Hugo Michell Gallery in Norwood.

Jumpgate VR managing director Anton Andreacchio.

Their Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe installation has involved flooding two thirds of the gallery and generating a landscape spanning three billion years.

“It’s virtual reality without the headset, it’s showing where the building is and how it looked three billion years ago,” Anton says.

Meanwhile, Jumpgate is also finding a growing interest from industries around work, health and safety.

It has formed a relationship with industry based group training organisation PEER, along with mining and construction companies, as they discover virtual reality’s potential in giving them an edge in training staff.

“We’re really excited about the art world work and the potential with virtual reality but the other one we’re really excited about is the PEER relationship, industry is really interested in being engaged,” he says.

“It will be a paradigm shift.”

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Coopers pops top off this year’s Royal Adelaide Beer and Cider Awards

The largest Australian-owned brewery Coopers has good reason to enjoy a pint or two this weekend – it’s taken a swag of awards at this year’s Royal Adelaide Beer and Cider Awards (RABCA).

The 156-year-old South Australian-based brewery’s Sparkling Ale won the Champion South Australian Beer, Most Outstanding Beer in Show, and Champion Traditional Australian Style Pale Ale.

Coopers was also named Champion Large Brewery, while its Mild Ale won Champion Reduced Alcohol Beer and its Sapporo took Champion Other Lager.

A strong field of regional SA breweries also took home awards.

The awards were presented at the Adelaide Showground on July 6 at the Adelaide Beer and BBQ Festival, which plays host to the largest gathering of brewers in the country.

RABCA chief judge Tony Jones says the awards, run by the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of SA, recognise the importance of Australia’s $7 billion beer and cider industry.

“This year’s awards attracted 252 entries from 54 brewers of all sizes from across Australia and New Zealand, with all entries judged blind by an expert industry panel,” he says.

Myponga beer lovers Smiling Samoyed Brewery and Mismatch Brewing Company in Adelaide won the Small and Medium Brewery Awards respectively.

The Adelaide Hills’ Lobethal Bierhaus took home both the Champion Pilsener and Champion Stout Beer Awards with Bohemian Pilsner and winter-perfect Chocolate Oatmeal Stout.

Port Lincoln’s Beer Garden Brewing also found success with its Cage Diver IPA (Champion India Pale Ale) and Section 49 Wheat Beer (Champion Wheat Beer).

Thousands of people will gather at the Adelaide Beer and BBQ Festival this weekend.

The craft brewers recently made headlines with their new release of a stout beer made with native Coffin Bay oysters.

Local Cider makers didn’t go home empty handed, with Kangaroo Island Ciders winning both the Best Cider in Show and the Best SA Cider exhibit with their Colony Cove Draught Cider.

Hahndorf microbrewery won Champion Hybrid Beer with its SmokeStack Rauchbier.

“Many of the entrants will be exhibiting their beers and ciders at the festival which will provide a great opportunity for the public to discover a range of styles from many different brewers,” Tony says.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Is Adelaide poised to become the mecca of start-ups?

Adelaide’s talent pool of thinkers, its world-class universities and gigabit speed internet networks make it the ultimate breeding ground for start-up business and budding entrepreneurs, says TechInSA’s Dr Judy Halliday.

The director of industry development and Hybrid World Adelaide LAB mentor says the city’s small-town environment also works in favour of entrepreneurs wanting to connect with the right people.

“I think there are a number of advantages in South Australia,” says Dr Halliday who has been with start-up support agency TechInSA, born from the former State Government’s bioscience agency, since 2016.

“There is high quality talent here as well as world-class universities, and there’s a lot of defence related work going on.

“Adelaide has that small enough but big enough thing going on … in the bigger cities it’s a bit more competitive.”

TechInSA’s Dr Judy Halliday.

Dr Halliday has more than 25 years’ experience working in technology commercialisation and innovation and has helped raise millions of dollars for start-up businesses.

She says the gigabit speed internet networks – GigCity and Ten Gigabit Adelaide – are a huge advantage over other cities, particularly in the gaming and virtual reality (VR) sector.

“GigCity is really important for supporting start-ups and technology development in VR, AR (augmented reality) and the creative and gaming space,” Dr Halliday says.

“But also our universities are world-class and the biomedical precinct on North Terrace is a great aggregation of a lot of intensive, useful and really cutting-edge health sector related opportunities.

“There are many real strengths.”

Born overseas and moving to Australia in the 1980s, Dr Halliday built her career as an inventor, founder, investor, academic and industry professional in Brisbane.

Before moving to SA she was non-executive director of a company in the US state of Georgia, Que Oncology, which ended up raising $16m in a Series A round.

Dr Halliday says she was lured to SA by its burgeoning innovation ecosystem.

“I could see that there was a deliberate intention to support the innovation ecosystem in SA, and I thought that was a terrific opportunity,” she says.

“I was really attracted to the opportunity to be here and get involved very early on in the ecosystem in SA, which is world class.”

Thebarton-based TechInSA works with start-up companies and entrepreneurs to bring their innovations to global markets.

The agency provides grants, programs, business and marketing assistance, lab and office spaces and access to international networks.

Since late 2016, TechInSA has assisted more than 150 start-ups in business advice, networking, and marketing.

“TechInSA’s broad aim is to provide support for early stage commercialisation of technologies developed in SA,” Dr Halliday says.

“Recently we were involved in taking four SA founders to London Tech Week to help expose them to global markets.

“We’re there to support companies and founders that have a global intention … it’s about building sustainable businesses for SA’s future.”

TechInSA’s success stories include Adelaide space start-up business Myriota, which recently raised US$15m through a number of venture funds.

Dr Halliday says the support and services TechInSA provides helps fast track a business’ success.

“It’s really about getting more quickly to a point whether that be getting a product to a customer, getting an investor or supply chain partner, or in some cases it’s about knowing whether this idea, product or service is going to succeed or fail,” she says.

Hybrid World Adelaide creative director Robert Tercek on stage at the HWA conference.

Later this month, Dr Halliday will be involved in Hybrid World Adelaide (HWA), a digital entertainment and technology event that celebrates tech culture in the state.

As a HWA LAB mentor, Judy will assist 15 finalists in developing their projects, pitches and ideas.

The finalists, to be revealed next week, will come together over two days.

“It’s a fairly intensive opportunity to meet with many mentors who have experience in a number of different industries, to pressure test their idea, business plan or go to market strategy,” Dr Halliday says.

“It’s an opportunity to ask lots of questions and hear what is often confronting feedback from mentors to help them really make their business leaner and meaner.

“It’s not often that you have access to many high-quality mentors in a short amount of time.”

HWA runs from July 20-24. Click here to check out the program.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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