CEO of Ecospectral, David Keightley says the entrepreneur bug has hit Canberra and it’s here to stay

Posted 11 May 2017

Story by CBR Canberra

Canberra is full of brilliant possibilities to work, live, learn, play, and do business. Someone who knows this better than anyone is David Keightley, who relocated from the U.S.A and is absolutely loving living in Australia’s capital.

David’s developed not one, but two companies in Canberra.

With his history in research, development and commercialisation, David developed his first company; Mediaware in Canberra in 1997.

Fast forward to 2017, he is now CEO and founder of Ecospectral; an energy saving sensor solution which analyses and understands how people move in a space to optimise both energy and comfort in real-time.

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“The technology has the ability to spot problems within an area and effectively control heating, lighting, AV equipment and more to optimise safety, comfort and save energy,” David said.

Before developing Ecospectral, David passed up the opportunity to move back home to the U.S.A as he couldn’t part with the amazing lifestyle in Canberra saying ‘it’s near impossible to beat’.

“This place is already the most liveable city and it’s becoming a thriving smart city to be in,” he said.

“I have a good life/work balance here and I can easily fit in daily exercise. I take the bike path networks to work daily which I have found really healthy for my mind and body.”

David says the connectedness of the city combined with the wonderful support networks available for tech start-ups have been valuable assets to Ecospectral.

“I have found it’s not hard to develop connections in Canberra, if you reach out to someone they’re more than likely to help you out or someone you know will get you a contact,” he said.

“I developed connections with Australian National University (ANU), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the University of Canberra (UC), and I knew the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) had untapped reserves of capable students with great research skills,” he said.

David says he has never seen Canberra’s start-up community as strong as it is right now.

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“With CBR Innovation Network (CBRIN), ANU Connect and other programs at UC there is significant enthusiasm and energy for taking a risk, a calculated intelligent risk in Canberra” he said.

“Ecospectral were introduced to CBRIN and have been working with them in shaping the company to an investment-ready company,” he said.

“They gave us the opportunity to be involved in the technological innovation showcase in Singapore where we were able to pitch to more than 100 international investors.”

“We made excellent contacts and now have a very good pitch deck to work with. We were able to meet others in similar positions outside of our direct group which has been very valuable,” he said.

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(Picture: David Keightley pitching to 120 registered investors in Singapore)

With so much experience, David recommends other start-ups and businesses to get involved in Canberra’s innovation ecosystem.

“Starting a new venture or launching a new product is pretty challenging, however, CBRIN have great programs for multiple levels of assistance and an environment where you meet others facing some of the same challenges you are,” he said.

For those who have been tossing around a business idea, now is the time to head to Canberra, where you will find the right support to develop your dream into a reality.

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