Croc Pitch 2022 Winners!!



Event Date: 26th October 2022

Event Location: Darwin Innovation Hub

Croc Pitch 2022 Winners

Croc Pitch 2022 Winners Announced!

Hosted by the Darwin Innovation Hub on the 26th of October as part of the Spark Festival and October Business Month’s Innovation week, Croc Pitch 2022 continues to be an event not-to-be missed by entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and investors. With up to $1 million in Venture Capital investment on the line, the DIH opened its doors (and screens) to competitors from Australia and the world. The criteria simple… the winning pitch must have an economic benefit for the Northern Territory.

DIH COO Emma Nesbitt says, “The Darwin Innovation Hub has had great success attracting both interstate and international companies looking to do business in the Northern Territory, across a range of industries including advanced manufacturing, quantum sensing, robotics and AI, gaming, medical technologies and sustainable materials.”

Once registered, companies attended Croc Camp at the DIH to receive feedback and refine their pitches, on completion of the Camps, the DIH narrowed down to 8 companies to compete at the final.

DIH’s Commercialisation Manager, Geoff Thomas, had the job of reviewing over 26 applications which came from the Territory, Australia, and Singapore, selecting the best 8 for the final.

He says, “It was great to be the facilitator of the three Croc Camps this year. It was a difficult decision on selecting the finalists. This was due to the high quality of the applications. In particular, most companies really nailed their pitches, and for interstate and overseas companies, they have really worked on developing their Northern Territory involvement.”

This year’s competition was fierce with 8 incredible high-quality pitches. It was so tough that the panel ended up awarding two winners for investment and one StartNT scholarship!

Atomionics Croc Pitch Winner

Atomionics is a Singapore based startup building quantum sensors for Navigation and Resource Exploration. They were awarded a venture capital investment of $500,000 from the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund (PIIF). The technology measures gravity, acceleration, and rotation to build a complete map of the underground, and help pinpoint underground structures, like bunkers and tunnels, predict earthquakes, provide precise navigation, and build a universal positioning system that works everywhere – underground, underwater, and even in space. Their purpose is to “Do more with less” by minimising environmental externality and maximising resource efficiency. Atomionics plans to use their funds for paid trials in mine sites across the Territory.

Sahil Tapiawala, Co-Founder and CEO at Atomionics said, “We are very excited to bring the cold atom interferometry technology to the Northern Territory and ensure that the birthplace of the renewable energy revolution is in the Territory. Our technology will provide huge impacts for some of the biggest industries in the NT such as, mining, oil and gas and carbon sequestration. Thanks so much to the panel, Croc Pitch has been a fantastic experience.”

Harley Paroulakis – CEO Paspalis says, “We like Atomionics for a number of reasons, an exciting technology that has enormous potential for exploration application in north Australia, particularly in some of the rich mineral provinces we have around Darwin. We think the strength in the company lies in its international partnerships that they are already in contract discussions with. We feel the technology has the potential to be massively commercialised on a global basis, which is exciting in terms of the company’s valuation and future revenue model.”

Kraken Coding Croc Pitch Winner

Kraken Coding an NT based Health-tech start-up, founded by Darwin local John Shanks was another winner, awarded $500,000 in investment from PIIF.

His innovation “Clinical Branches” is the world’s first drag and drop healthcare pathway development tool. With specialised clinical experience as a trained scientist (biotechnology) and pharmacist, John recognised a Billion dollar inefficiency in Australian hospitals that rely on document-based procedures, leaflets, and classical patient ward lists. While Healthcare continues to grow in complexity these documents get longer and more numerous. Rather than presenting all possible information, his technology asks questions and then performs analysis to provide targeted recommendations for your circumstances.

The project originated following success of the integrated ward lists project and open-source antimicrobial stewardship pathways project led by John, and now deployed across twenty-three Health Services in Australia.

John says, “The market for this system is considerable, I felt for myself the burnout from having to make decisions on the fly in a fast-paced environment, these medical information systems are still based on a communication framework developed in the 1900’s, we will change that!”

Due to the large quantity of finalists from Singapore, Michael Png, the Northern Territory Business Development Director, based at Austrade in Singapore, dialled in to the competition,

“I am glad that DIH itself is thinking out of the box, going global in its outlook, and recognises the vibrant and innovative tech ecosystem in Singapore, and are tapping into the vast and amazing entrepreneurial talent pool and investment opportunities that Singapore and Southeast Asia offers.”

VIP NT a Darwin based high end tourism startup were awarded a StartNT Scholarship valued at $15,000 where they have access to expert advice to begin their commercialisation journey.

In 2021, the $1,000,000 investment prize from Croc Pitch was awarded to Amphibian Aerospace who aim for the Territory to become Australia’s first manufacturer and exporter of the iconic Albatross G-111T, an amphibious aircraft which can take off and touch down from land, snow, ice and water. Dan Webster, CEO of Amphibian Aerospace said,

“Croc Pitch 2021 was a great experience. We were introduced to a number of other start-ups which we hope to collaborate with in the future. Securing $1M in investment from the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund will enable us to open our office in Darwin and make a start. Consequently, Croc Pitch 2021 represents a pivotal moment in the life of Amphibian Aerospace Industries.”

Supported by the Northern Territory Government, AusTrade and AusIndustry, and Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, the event had noteworthy panel members who provided insights on what investors are looking for in a company. Expert Panel members for the final included, Stuart Palmer – Director of the Local Jobs Fund; Stephen Land – Chief Investment Officer of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility; Harley Paroulakis – CEO of Paspalis; Cassandra Schmidt – Program Director of the National Decommissioning Research Initiative; Josh Garratt – Facilitator of AusIndustry Accelerating Commercialisation; Camilla Philip – Director of Trade Strategy of Northern Territory Government, Andrew Carey – Non-Executive Director of Amphibian Aerospace Industries; Aaron McMahon – Defence Industry Advisor, Office of Defence Industry Support.

“In July 2023, and in partnership with the Developing Northern Australia Conference, Croc Pitch will expand across all of Northern Australia, looking to snap up more exciting opportunities,” says Emma Nesbitt.

Croc Pitch 2022 was an exciting showcase of the best innovations and business ideas for the Territory. If you think you could be the next Croc Pitch winner, follow the Darwin Innovation Hub for more on Croc Pitch 2023 scheduled to take place in Darwin as part of the Developing Northern Australia conference in July of 2023.

(All investments are subject to due diligence)

Croc Pitch 2022