Founded by Trent De Clews-de Castella, Dean Kominek, Joseph Purdam, Steven Kounnas, and Rayyan Roslan, PHORIA is an immersive technology company on a mission to empower anyone with the ability to experience a physical place in a digital space.
The team entered the Accelerator in 2014, on a quest to pioneer immersive technology for social good, and a focus on democratising innovative new tools in commercial sectors, that can help fund and scale social impact outcomes.
Since then they have worked with some of the biggest companies in the world including IBM, Netflix, Google, WWF and Facebook, and even had their work showcased at Google IO.
The company continues to design and build impactful computing interfaces enabled by Extended Reality (XR) technologies, and have become the leader in the XR sector within Australia,
The company secured seed funding from a group of incredible investors who believe in their mission, and are truly pioneering a new realm of experiential realities that will serve to help us live a better tomorrow.
Trent is passionate about immersive tech-enabled disruption. He is on a mission to redefine the way we interface with the physical and virtual worlds. As Co-founder and CEO of PHORIA, he aims to use virtual and augmented reality to transform human experience, allowing us to connect more deeply with each other and the world around us. Today, Trent firmly believes that Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) have converged into a unified medium in XR. He is harnessing these innovative technologies in projects that seek to extend our perception of the world around us and our ability to connect with it and each other. What originated as expertise in human psychology and interaction design, has evolved into practical commercial tools that have high impact outcome. His talent has been recognised via Forbes 30 under 30 for enterprise. He has also been the EY young entrepreneur of the year. Is a Facebook VR Ambassador, and has been a keynote speaker alongside Steve Wozniak.
Joseph started his career in Canberra, working in the photography and digital media sector. After living in Canada and Japan working as a photographer, Joseph moved to Melbourne to pursue more impactful and exploratory work. He has since honed his skills in the use of immersive technology, transferring and evolving his technical expertise from photography and content creation into new mediums. Joseph is devoted to using emerging technology to create powerful experiences that promote understanding and empathy, and over the past five years has been doing so, working at the cutting edge of immersive storytelling. Joseph has been heavily impact focused, leading clinical research projects in the health care space around the application of VR as a pain and anxiety intervention in youth oncology, and as a mindfulness tool for both general and patient populations, along with building treatment simulations and other platforms."
Steven has a strong background in business strategy, corporate recovery and finance. After having developed a versatile skill set in corporate relations, sales, team management and financial accounting, Steven decided to transition to PHORIA full time as CFO/COO.
Steven graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Economics majoring in Accounting, Finance and Economic Modelling, Mr Kounnas is committed to running an agile business based on the lean startup methodology.
As an co-founder, Mr Kounnas’ role in finance and operations has continued to evolve. Steven had previously worked in corporate recovery at BDO. Mr Kounnas oversees the Company’s due diligence as CFO and a director for the Company. His responsibilities ensure that clear and concise communication is shared with shareholders on a routine basis.
Rayyan led PHORIA's brand evolution in 2015. From creation of the name and mark through to infusing its meaning with an otherworldly spirit. He has taken on a primary role in cementing PHORIA as globally recognised XR Company. Rayyan understands the value of brand identity, awareness and communication.
In addition to crafting content and design, Rayyan pioneers PHORIA's creative direction to transform human experience. He acts as the conduit between product and development teams to ensure PHORIA's approach is delivered in a consistent and purposeful manner. With a strong focus on how immersive technology and emerging tools can extend human experience by integrating this mindset into PHORIA's design process.
Dean is a trustworthy and honest General Manager who has a passion for ensuring all of his fellow colleagues have a safe and fun working environment whilst continually encouraging them to do their very best!
He has excellent management skills which has lead him to become the Product Manager of PHORIA's software platform CAPTUR3D where he manages all development, UX/UI and business development.
His life-long event management experience (Australian HotelsAssociation, Australian Pork & Hyatt Hotel) have assisted sales growth and branding for PHORIA. Marketing strategy and communication skills are vital to his role and received a Bachelor of Advertising and Marketing Communications & Major in Event Management from University of Canberra.