Immersed in creative reality

18 Aug 2021

Adelaide entrepreneur Anton Andreacchio is excited about being a part of the fast-evolving Lot Fourteen precinct – and surfing the new frontier of virtual reality.

Pictured: Anton Andreacchio

Anton Andreacchio’s fingers fly over his phone. “Have a look at this,” he says. “It’s a little teaser for one of our latest projects.”

The screen bursts to life with light and sound, signalling the start of a trailer for Square Circles VR, a high-concept immersive virtual reality work centred on the music of noted Australian composer William Barton and the Australian String Quartet.

“No-one knows about this yet,” Andreacchio confides while chatting in a meeting room in his suite of offices on Level 2 of the Eleanor Harrald Building at Lot Fourteen. “It’s an online trailer for what we’re doing as part of this year’s Illuminate Festival.”

The full 10-minute production – described as a “rare fusion of culture and technology” – has been created by Jumpgate, one of five companies 34-year-old Andreacchio runs from the former Royal Adelaide Hospital nurses quarters.

Between them, his creative industry start-ups – Jumpgate, Convergen, Artisan Post Group, Double Bishop and GMTI Consulting – are involved with hundreds of projects, en compassing everything from film and television production and infrastructure visualisation through to virtual reality projects training AFL players and creating contemporary artwork.

And Andreacchio, a member of the state government’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, says there’s no better base than Adelaide’s fast-evolving Lot Fourteen precinct.

“I believe Adelaide’s the best place for us,” he says emphatically. “We’ve had offices all around the country, but we love the Adelaide tone and adjacency. We find there’s a real openness here, if you’re authentic about it, to give things a shot.”

A keen pianist and mathematician, Andreacchio takes a similarly disciplined philosophy towards his businesses.

“We tend to run our own race,” he says. “We’ve been consistently growing across the company group for 10 years, but we take a slowly-but-surely approach – it’s not just about more jobs, it’s also about getting more efficient.

“We’re currently working on about 200 VR projects, 700 infrastructure projects and about 30 film projects. So, we’ve got an incredible amount on, but we’re interested in not getting big ... but in developing agile and tailored groups to help around different projects.”

Virtual reality work carried out under the Jumpgate banner is a case in point. “We’re really interested in immersive visual media ... but we’re interested in things that are interesting and adventurous and allow us to break through and find new ground in these different areas that we do.

“There’s a frontier of VR that’s evolving, so we feel our strategy is trying to surf that rather than trying to control it. There are so many factors out of our control these days.”

Andreacchio points to the co-location of a diverse array of firms as being integral to Lot Fourteen’s appeal – along with a willingness to assist others where possible.

“Co-location is really important and a key part of being here, but it doesn’t make a culture by itself,” he says. “We’re next to space, next to AI, next to cyber security – the creative industries plays a really important role looking at the human sides of these.

Sourced from: ‘Space & Creative Industries, Future Industries Jobs of Today’, Sunday Mail, 1 August 2021, p.4.