Over the past couple of days, more than 1000 city leaders, policymakers and investors from over 140 cities were side-by- side with entrepreneurs, start-ups and new businesses to shape our future cities and get deals done at Innovation Alley at the 2019 Asia Pacific Cities Summit (APCS) and Mayors’ Forum in Brisbane.
In a first for the Summit, Innovation Alley provided a dedicated exhibition space for entrepreneurs to demonstrate how their innovative technologies and initiatives can enhance our cities’ liveability, mobility and sustainability.

Dr. David Cole, Founder and CEO of integrated drone management platform FlyFreely, was one of 42 Australian start-ups seeking to take their companies further at Innovation Alley, helping to shape the future of the Asia Pacific in the process.
David and his team have developed a software and services platform that enables any organisation to safely and effectively operate drones in a way that works for them.

“We train and mentor employees of an organisation to a standard where they’re competent to fly drones safely and legally by themselves under our supervision,” he said.
“No other company is doing what we are — building an organisation’s internal capability while managing the regulatory compliance and risk management associated with drones. It’s about removing the blockers that prevent organisations like councils from adopting and deploying drones at scale. In time organisations can ‘graduate’ to performing their own approvals, continue to use FlyFreely or outsource operations all on the same integrated software platform”

FlyFreely is currently working with Townsville City Council to train and mentor their employees and approve their operations so they can focus on using drones to deliver value to the community including monitoring erosion, invasive weeds in rivers and feral animals in the region.
Another CEO at the forefront of innovating industry is Tim Walmsley, Founder and CEO of BenchOn — a business talent sharing platform that allows organisations to tap into the largest untapped talent pool in the country — the happily employed.

“While working in the Defence industry, I noticed a clear problem in employee under-utilisation. I realised there must be another way to maximise the use of your employees while the work is dry while addressing the talent shortages experienced in industry,” he said.

“BenchOn matches idle staff from reputable businesses to short-term contracts with non-competing companies and government agencies. We currently have clients in Defence, IT, construction, mining, engineering, cyber security and logistics who are making use of our platform and we are growing rapidly.”
In just three years, BenchOn has grown its platform to more than 600 clients, ranging from global corporates to small businesses and have processed more than $100 million of contracts. Their new enterprise product which launched in January 2019, is already showing significant growth — providing 400% market growth over the next six months.

Other companies adopting out-of-the-box thinking exhibited at Innovation Alley during the 2019 Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayors Forum which ran from 7-10 July at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. For more information about the Summit, visit https://www.apcsummit.org/

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