Syntro Biosystems, Compost Central & Subpod
Andrew Hayim De Vries
Director | Founder | Inventor
Compost Systems Designer
Andrew is an Australian-born ecological artist and designer. His passion for recycling and up-cycling, composting and vermiculture, and the need for re-educating people on environmental values, are all behind the founding of Compost Central, the first interactive compost education facility in Byron Bay, and the invention of the Subpod®. A true believer in education and integrated learning, he has lectured globally on the art of composting.
M +61 413 530 559
Saadi Allan is Head of Marketing with BeeInventive (Flow™ Hive), the company that launched the Northern Rivers beehive invention that took the world by storm on crowdfunding platform Indigogo. In April 2015 the campaign was ranked as the 5th largest campaign in history, reaching $70k in 7 minutes and $12.4 million in 30 days. Saadi heads up the team that won the 2016 D&AD White Pencil at Ad Week, New York which celebrates outstanding work in design and advertising that promotes positive change. He combines his background of marketing, sales, business strategy and activism with his passion for sustainable business and a deep respect for the earth and a love for poetry.
M +61 4477 44785
Greg is a passionate innovation start-up specialist with over 20 years’ experience in corporate structuring, commercialising, internationalising and resourcing new Australian technologies.
He mentors and sits on the boards of a number of private and public companies and having been the co-founder of a couple of successful start-ups himself Greg has the empathy, battle scars and experiences to make a difference in taking innovation from idea to commercial success.
Greg has a strong executive management background, was the co-founder of a private equity fund, is an active angel investor and is a retired partner of a successful professional advisory and accounting services company dedicated to working with rapid growth enterprises wanting to go international.
Director | Research Biologist
Ph.D. Biology, A.B. Genetics (Hons)
Peter, a research biologist, having working in the fields of cancer and stem cell biology for 25 years, now researches and applies practical and local methods of carbon capture. He is particularly excited about the synergy of combining vermiculture with biochar to reliably improve long term soil fertility and plant health. He and Andrew collaborate, setting up local biochar production as part of larger scale Subpod™ and Subpod™ Tropic installations.
Dr Howard holds a Bachelor Degree (Hons) from the University of California Berkeley and a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of California San Diego.
M +61 401 355 289
Project Coordinator | Admin
Kathryn brings a wealth of experience and skills to the team, with a diverse background in business administration, project management, Permaculture education and Hawaiian studies. Having also worked in the hospitality scene, she has a natural passion for food and loves helping people to learn how to grow food in their own garden. She and has been involved in the development of Subpod since it’s inception, supporting Andrew's vision to educate people about composting and bringing subsurface composting to the world.
Kathryn has the essential role of making sure the team at Compost Central has everything they need to get the job done - including food in their belly!
Brand, Media & Creative Development
Having worked with startups for over a decade, Ky consults to a wide range of small businesses in different industries across Australia, helping shape their commercial identity and digital presence. His business, Keep It Frank, supports all aspects of the business startup, from registration, branding and printed media, to website and online store, as well as social media marketing and ongoing business development support.
Ky has been with us from before day one, and currently facilitates all online and social presence, as well as any designed media.
Peter is passionate about soil and this passion can be seen through his thirst for knowledge of compost and soil biology. The amazing world of microbes is something he aims to share through everyday conversation. He believes that understanding soil is key to improving nutrient density in foods, organic waste management and carbon sequestration.
Peter has been educated with The Soil Food Web Institute, a Cert III in Permaculture, an Advanced Diploma in Laboratory Technology and a Bachelor degree in Environmental Science. You can be sure that Peter is always looking to extend his knowledge base through research and experimentation.
Phil Johnson is a serial entrepreneur with a wealth of knowledge from his extensive experience in the action sports, fashion, consumer electronics, food and beverage, alcohol and homewares industries. He founded his first company when he was 16 and since then has built and sold over 7 companies including Jet Pilot, Rivet, Aerial7 and Arcade Headwear. Phil is a founder of Australia’s latest online success story, Koala Mattress www.koala.com.
Phil has a broad skill set with strengths in brand creation, product design, product development, manufacturing, marketing, sales, distribution, licensing, fundraising and exit strategies. But it’s his innovative ideas, strategic planning and exit strategies that have brought success to his career. He has passion for design and innovation and has a number of patents in categories such as water sports, electronics, fastening systems and audio.
Phil has built a network of global contacts that includes entrepreneurs, sporting legends, fashion icons and rockstars.
Phil believes that his idyllic lifestyle in Brunswick Heads Australia gives his constant inspiration and fuels his creative thinking.
Advisor | Mentor
Dr Hetzel has been involved in the development and commercialisation of technology for the past 17 years. Previously he had a distinguished scientific career with the CSIRO in the field of Animal Genetics. In 1998 he co-founded Genetic Solutions Pty Ltd to commercialise genomics technology in livestock and the company was sold to Pfizer Animal Health in 2008. Dr Hetzel holds a Bachelor in Agricultural Sciences (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and a PhD in Animal Genetics from the University of Sydney.
Jay has served on a number of industry and government advisory groups for over 10 years, including the Queensland Biotechnology Advisory Council and the Australian Government Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee. He is currently a non-executive Director of ASX listed Anantara Life-sciences. Jay is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Ric Richardson is an independent Australian inventor, well known for winning a multi-Million dollar Patent Infringement case against Microsoft. Ric is the founder of Haventec PTY LTD, which is revolutionising online security using Haventec Authenticate, Secure Wallet and Blockchain.
Ric is happy to assist other inventors and start-ups by passing on knowledge and advice that he has learnt along the way of his amazing and challenging career.