Canberra start-up Pixelated Induction intent on making charging your smartphone effortless

Posted 21 Apr 2017

Story by CBR Canberra

Has your smartphone ever run out of power when you needed it most? And you’ve found yourself stranded in a world without Google maps, siri-less and unable to make a phone call?

You know what we’re talking about.

Ironically, it seems the more reliant we become on our gadgets, the quicker they run out of power.

But now, thanks to Canberra tech start-up Pixelated Induction, this sad, power-less scenario could well be a thing of the past. Their mission is to make charging your device effortless.

Pixelated Induction have designed the world’s first customisable large-area wireless charging solution, meaning that simply placing your smartphone on a Pixelated surface will see it start wirelessly.

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An example of the Pixelated Induction product; an ordinary table converted into charging station.

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A prototype of the Pixelated Induction charging station.

Bennett Schneider, co-founder of Pixelated, says the business idea started as part of an Engineering course at the Australian National University (ANU).

“I am in my final semester as a B. Engineering (Research and Development) / B. Science (Physics) undergraduate at ANU.

Pixelated Induction began as a part of an Engineering course with an idea to scale up wireless charging technology to work over large areas,” he said.

The founders of the idea have had the support of Canberra’s innovation ecosystem to help them get their business idea off the ground.

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The co-founders of Pixelated Induction from left to right; Avinash Upadhya, Thomas McMenamin, Andrew Jamieson, Bennett Schneider and Andrew Spooner

In particular, Pixelated began to pick up some speed with the help of the CBR Innovation Network (CBRIN) when it was entered in the Innovation ACT (IACT) competition.

IACT is a learning journey where teams participate in workshops, hear from experts and build connections within the start-up community.

Each year, hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs from across Canberra take part in IACT, with the top ideas sharing the $50,000 seed pool.

“We entered into the IACT competition which helped us to develop our value proposition and business sense, whilst also working on our prototype hardware,” Bennett said.

“We were really lucky to come out as winners of the competition which gave us some funding to register the business and refine our prototype, all while giving us access to the wide range of resources and contacts that CBR Innovation Network has to offer.”

Bennett says the Pixelated team have received incredible support from several institutions in Canberra.

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The co-founders of Pixelated Induction brainstorming; Andrew Jamieson (back left), Avinash Upadhya (back right), Bennett Schneider (front left), and Thomas McMenamin (front right).

“The innovation community in Canberra is quite small and centralised around places like CBRIN, University of Canberra, and the ANU,” he said.

We are lucky enough to have great ties and connections within each of these institutions.

Everyone has been so exceedingly kind to us and we have found that the community is very enthusiastic about helping a local start-up,” he said.

Canberra’s smaller size has allowed the Pixelated team to make connections and access a range of skilled people which have helped them develop the business.

Not to mention, it’s easier for remarkable start-ups to stand out from the crowd in Canberra.

“There is a wealth of knowledge in Canberra for those who are enthusiastic and willing to learn. Because the ecosystem is intimate and friendly, it’s easy to navigate and to differentiate yourself within it,” he said.

If you have a brilliant business idea, do yourself a favour and use the great innovation support networks that can be found in Canberra. You will be ahead of the rest before you know it!

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