Team Members

  • John Forbes
  • Jonathon Martin
  • Ted Pettigrove
  • Sebastian Lau


Social Media

We enable governments, communities, and others to navigate the population and urbanisation challenges facing humanity.
Our system rapidly produces inexpensive and efficient infrastructure designs to make it easy and cheap for settlements to develop quickly.

Venture Concept Overview

Two children are born.

One will be wealthy, healthy, safe, and well educated.

The other will be poorer, susceptible topreventable diseases, and violence.  

Why should we accept this?

According to World Bank research (e.g. this literature review), there are strong relationships between poverty and infrastructure.  This, coupled with a global demographic trends of increased population and urbanisation presents a profound challenge and a golden opportunity.

Our Canberra based team has developed a proof of concept artificial intelligence (AI) based system to revolutionise the design and provision of infrastructure networks.  We apply the latest advances in AI to the growing volumes of high quality geospatial data, particularly satellite and aerial imagery to produce development projects attractive to consumers, governments, utility providers, and investors alike.

Our scalable system extracts information from complex data and imagery, projects future settlement behaviour, and produces highly efficient integrated network designs packaged into economically sound development projects.

Our vision is to develop a service and platform to scale rapidly and become the global market leader in urban infrastructure design.  Once established we will use our data assets to provide predictive maintenance, and smart city services.

To conceptualise the potential revenue, for the NBN, the cost per house is approximately $3000 with 15% to 20% of that figure associated with design.  This means that for a small town of 6000 people we could expect income of $0M9 to $1M2 for a single infrastructure layer.  Given the global potential of the system the growth and revenue prospects are vast.

Team Details:

Our InnovationACT consists of the following people:

  • John Forbes, experienced in infrastructure design and construction (Original NBN Fibre Rollout), currently completing a Master of Computing in Artificial Intelligence at ANU, he also holds a Master of Engineering Management, and a Bachelor of Engineering, from UTS.
  • Ted Pettigrove, worked in engineering roles for ActewAGL and Northrup Grumman.  Currently in his penultimate year of a Bachelor of Software Engineering at ANU.  Ted is passionate about Business development, management and sales.
  • Jonathon Martin, is also in his penultimate year of a Bachelor of Advanced Computing (Intelligent Systems). He has worked in the Australian Public Service in mobile and web development.
  • Sebastian Lau – Experienced with software development and data analysis for the federal government.  He is entering his final year of a Bachelor of Software Engineering and Commerce at ANU.

We are further supported by a pool of other contributing professionals and students.  So far we have raised $5k in equity, and made some revenue from consulting.

Our plan: Complete our prototype by November, and then demonstrate it to customers and investors; followed by sales and informed development activity over the course of another year.

We have initiated relationships with ACT Environment and Planning, TransportACT,, and others.  If successful in InnovationACT, we will pursue local opportunities first.  This will inform our development and serve as initial revenue.

Cash support would greatly accelerate our progress and enable some fulltime software development as well as a dedicated workspace.


The Idea

Our Canberra based company produces life cycle cost efficient civil infrastructure network designs using AI technologies with satellite, aerial, and other geospatial data.


We are a team of engineering and computing ANU students supported by engineering and computing professionals from industry.

The Market

Investors who want a stable roi
People who want modern infrastructure
Governments that want to promote growth and employment
Suppliers that want to significantly increase sales.

First home buyers wanting to enter the housing market.

The Competition

Manual labour intensive bureaucratic processes.  Use of contractors and sub-contractors.

The Vision

Following our initial prototype we will look at providing services in the following fields:

GIS feature recognition from aerial and satellite imagery

Localised economic modelling for the estimation of demand changes across industries for traders/investors and other customers

Smart-city integrations

City management dashboard metrics

and others


In general our strategy comprises 3 branches that match our strengths:

1 – Innovative (GIS and other) data collection and analysis services.

2 – Unique insights from data

3 – Optimisation and problem solving solutions


With respect to our core business, we have from the beginning intended to scale and serve the globe.  We will provide our services to any city, town, or other settlement anywhere at anytime.  Once we are capable of producing a design for one settlement our system will be able to transfer to any other location on the planet.  Our initial challenge is finding a smaller scale value proposition that fits with our strategic direction that can provide sufficient revenue to support our longer term development activities.


It is our current intention to start providing services to businesses and government agencies in and around Canberra and once we have demonstrated our capability to move rapidly to both national and international markets.  When moving into international markets we will initially focus on English speaking countries at least until we gain the skills to deal with and support non-English speaking customers.

Mentor Pitch

Our solutions aims to partly address the urbanisation and population challenges facing humanity by employing the latest advances in artificial intelligence technologies.  We use: computer vision to quantify existing demand and ascertain the current state of the world; machine learning to estimate how the world will evolve; and AI search and optimisation techniques to solve the complex problems of the future.

We hope that our system by the easy provision of modern infrastructure services will lift billions out of poverty and help build a sustainable equitable future.

Our team consists of high performing students in computing and engineering who specialise in the fields relevant to our project.  The team leader, has direct experience in large scale infrastructure network design and construction projects.

We want a mentor with passion who has startup experience and is knowledgeable about: AI, infrastructure, government, urban services, and development.

Video pitch

The Customer Experience

via website and direct contact over phone calls or at conferences

The Team

AI and computing skills of Computing students in team.
Infrastructure and Engineering experience.

We have hardware we can use to demonstrate proof of concept functionality.

We are very close to a working prototype having implemented various subsystems.  By the end of the current semester we expect to have a demonstrable proof of concept service.

Our Partners

Data, time for development, cash for paying for the developers.  The people in our team all have other opportunities so we need to ensure the risk and opportunity cost is balanced.

We need better skills in the non-computing or engineering areas.

We can be contacted via our facebook page or via email which is listed on our website.

Funding Sought

Still need to do a detailed plan of costs, but the primary cost is development time and costs of reaching customers either physically, over the phone, at conferences, or on the web.

Assuming a full-time two person team working for a year (living expenses rather than full salary, 2 * 22 [k$]), plus a place to work with typical work space costs (small 2 person office 12[month]*1[k$/month] + web, phone, insurance =~ 18 [k$]).  Additionally some allowance for travel and conference attendances should be made (perhaps around 3 [k$].  So probably something in the order of 60 to 65 [k$].

Edit (Oct 3rd): Below is a revised estimate of expenses under different models.

 SuperLean   Local   Local2   National   Global 
 Rent   $                        –    $                 6,000  $              12,000  $                18,000  $                 30,000
 Labour   $              12,500  $              25,000  $              50,000  $                75,000  $               125,000
 Sales   $                    500  $                    500  $                    500  $                   6,000  $                 18,000
 Comms   $                        –    $                        –    $                 2,160  $                   2,640  $                    3,600
 Other   $                    500  $                 1,000  $                 2,000  $                   5,000  $                 15,000
 Total   $              13,500  $              32,500  $              66,660  $              106,640  $               191,600
 Buffer Approx.   $              15,000  $              35,000  $              70,000  $              105,000  $               200,000
 People   $                         1  $                         1  $                         2  $                           3  $                            5
 Living Wage   $              25,000

Some of this funding may be possible to raise from our existing pool of interested people, however the larger the contribution from IACT the more likely we will be able to commit the development time required for success.

Our Partners

We met with and are maintaining an ongoing discussion with Kieran Lawton who is the Investment and Enterprise Development Manager at the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate.

This conversation has led to us preparing Small Business Innovation Partnership applications for:
Transport Canberra, and
Department of Environment and Planning.
We are putting forward some potential value propositions for these organisations where we can demonstrate our capability.

Also, we are in the early stages of a relationship with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade InnovationXChange ( who have taken some interest in our initial propositions.

We have also met with local geospatial company GeoInt to discuss possible partnering opportunities, however, we have not been able to establish a formal partnership yet.

Capturing Value

Still exploring this, however it will likely be a two branch system.  One that has a pay per use model, and another that operates as a subscription.  We are also considering the licensing of designs so that the costs to the customer arise over the long term which is also when they are more likely to have the income to support the expense.