Machine Dreams awarded start-up pitch prize at Mainstream 2019

Melbourne-based Machine Dreams has been honoured at the recent Mainstream conference, with the company’s adaptive machine learning concept wowing the judges.



Burgeoning software developers Machine Dreams have won the Start-up pitch award at Mainstream 2019.

The conference, billed as “a celebration of the leadership, technology, ideas and innovations that are literally transforming Asset Management in Australia and New Zealand”, staged a start-up pitch competition, sponsored by Enterprise IS and StartupBootcamp.

Machine Dreams was one of six start-ups selected to compete, all of whom were in the fields of building, energy, infrastructure, and asset maintenance.

Their winning pitch netted Machine Dreams $1000 in prize money, but more importantly has opened many doors for the Melbourne-based company.

For Machine Dreams co-founder and Business Development Director Bernadette Schwerdt, the team’s victory came down to a number of factors.

“The software we created is unique,” she said “It is a machine learning software program that helps replace manual inspections with robotic inspections.

“The data we create helps train the ‘machine’, such as a computer, to learn what is a defect and what’s not.

“Our software can create millions of ‘synthetic’ images so that the machine can learn what it needs to learn.

“Currently, most companies don’t have that data to feed the machine. That’s why machine learning for many companies is out of reach.”

Craig Hurkett, Managing Director of Enterprise Improvement Solutions – and the event’s organiser – commented on how fantastic it was to meet the Machine Dreams team, and noted it was a pleasure to sponsor and award them with the “Start-up pitch” prize at Mainstream 2019.

“The competition was tough, but the Machine Dreams team were clear winners with a fantastic concept that will change the way defects are identified in the industry forever,” he said.

“We are extremely excited to see where the team takes this concept and look forward to potentially supporting their product with our clients in the future!”


Machine Dreams was one of six start-ups selected to compete, all of whom were in the fields of building, energy, infrastructure, and asset maintenance.


Bernadette went on to say that Machine Dreams’ software provides data for object recognition where there is none, skipping the process of capturing tens of thousands of images, and generating the data to train a machine learning model.

“It gets you to the point of testing object recognition for a fraction of the time and cost.”

The team’s victory underscored the value of pitching for people in the tech start-up field.

“Many commented that it was because of the five-minute pitch they were keen to learn more,” Bernadette said. “This emphasises the need to take pitching seriously, put the time in to hone and craft the pitch, rehearse it and do what’s needed to get noticed.”


The Mainstream Conference


While they were at Mainstream to ask questions and learn, Bernadette found that the other conference attendees were very giving with their time and informing them about problems they’re trying to solve.

“We’re keen to find real pain points to develop our platforms toward rather than being a solution in search of a problem,” Bernadette said.

In just two days, the team secured meetings with industry heavyweights KPMG, Downer, Fortescue Metals, with many others to follow, proving the conference to have been a significantly valuable one.

Machine Dreams is the brainchild of Bernadette with co-founder – and tech expert – Toby Tremayne.

“All start-ups need a ‘hacker’ and a ‘hustler’ – one to do the tech work, one to manage the marketing.  We are a team with complementary skills,” she said.


Further information about Machine Dreams, their technology, people and operations can be found online. For more information about Mainstream, visit the website.

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