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Wangaratta duo makes waves with underwater robotics technology

Media Release

  • Two teenage Wangaratta entrepreneurs have been recruited to work with Melbourne startup ROVing Intelligence to develop cutting-edge, underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)
  • The pair were still in high school when they won a Pitchfest for innovators, hosted by Startup Shakeup
  • They say the innovation community in North East Victoria has made the impossible feel possible.

There are two things Lachlan Carboon (19) and his friend and business partner Ryan Falconer (17) love to do – build things and solve problems.

But it’s much more than teenage tinkering – they’re using their talents to improve the safety of the bridges you drive across, the jetties you fish from and the weirs that protect your water supply.

The Wangaratta students have been engaged by Melbourne startup ROVing Intelligence to develop software for remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) used to survey underwater assets including jetties, weirs and bridges.

The opportunity came about through their involvement in Startup Shakeup, North East Victoria’s innovation network.

Lachlan and Ryan were classmates at Galen Catholic College when they won the Startup Shakeup Pitchfest people’s choice award in 2019 for an online booking system connected to a smart lock that allowed remote entry to buildings.

The duo’s winning innovation didn’t progress further, but their business mentor Mark Cooper put them in touch with ROVing Intelligence founder Matt Curtain who was looking for tech-smart, creative minds to work on his startup.

“Their energy, creativity and open thinking brings a lot of value to startups like mine,” said Matt who has taken on fifteen university interns in total.

“Personally I get heaps of satisfaction in being able to be part of their growth.”

“It’s shown us how much work goes into a startup and what it takes to make it a success,” Ryan said.

Matt, Lachlan and Ryan will be at the Wangaratta Regional Study Centre on Friday May 28th 12pm-1.30pm to showcase the ROVs underwater survey capabilities in the region.

In addition to their work with ROVing Intelligence, Lachlan and Ryan are developing their own new business idea which is almost ready to pitch.

“I’m feeling really confident with the research I’ve done and the pitch I’ve created – all those things I’ve learnt through Startup Shakeup. You develop the confidence to know how to back your ideas. You know when to walk away and when the idea is worth pursuing,” Lachlan said.

He praised the high-quality advice and mentoring offered through Startup Shakeup, saying it “makes the impossible seem possible”.

“One of the best parts is all the connections I’ve made and grown. I have this group of people through Startup Shakeup that I can come back to for feedback and they’ll be here to support me. And the quality of what I’ve learnt is so high. I’ve learnt so much.”

Lachlan is currently studying a Degree in Mechatronics at Deakin University, a mix of mechanical, software and electrical engineering, while Ryan is competing Year 12 at Galen Catholic College and plans to study an electrical engineering or mechatronics degree next year. Both have well and truly been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug.

“We’ll keep working on business ideas and startup projects we have in development,” Ryan said.

“Hopefully in the future Ryan and I will own our own company, a successful one we’ve built from the ground up. That would be amazing,” Lachlan added.

Friday 28th May, 12pm-1.30pm
Wangaratta Regional Study Centre, Charles Sturt University, 218 Tone Road, Wangaratta
Event information/bookings https://bit.ly/3u3yBzq

The event will include interview opportunities with Lachlan Carboon, Ryan Falconer, Matt Curtain (ROVing Intelligence) and Ilena Young (Chair, Startup Shakeup).

Want to know more or organise an interview?
Contact: Jessica Tucker, Startup Shakeup Project and Communications Facilitator
0467 999 901

Roving Intelligence: www.rovingintelligence.com
Startup Shakeup: www.startupshakeup.co