$1.16 million




Christopher Panzetta, 30, Tash Tan

Head office


Year founded





Communications and marketing


S1T2, or Story 1st Technology 2nd, is a creative technology agency offering creative, virtual reality, film and other digital web services and is another new entry to the Smart50 this year.

Founder Chris Panzetta says a lack of a film production society at the university where he studied – the University of the New South Wales, is what led him and his friend to start their own in 2007.

When in 2008 the society required public liability insurance to shoot footage in public, the core members shelled out $600 each and incorporated S1T2.

It was then that Tash Tan was brought into the fold to help spearhead the digital areas of the business.

Panzetta and Tan eventually bought out the other founders to restructure the non-profit society into a viable business; the business crossed the coveted $1 million revenue mark this year.

A lack of startup capital and inexperience in the creative and advertising industry are two of the biggest difficulties S1TU has faced since inception, according to Panzetta.

“These dangers manifested themselves by limiting the company’s exposure to potential clients, industry reps and agencies, as well as stifle the growth of S1T2 in its early years because of the need to establish relationships,” he says.

“We have since been able to overcome these difficulties though through hard work and persistence culminating in winning key accounts with prestigious clients that have opened doors to new networks.”

But for Panzetta, the real challenge has been one of self-discovery.

“The challenge has been realising our success is based on our own personal desires and the passion to pursue them as opposed to following a well-worn road map to success that the competition has used before,” he says.

“This has result in mis-starts, eggs in the face, and even inauthenticity at times.”

Panzetta says the next big move will likely be in the virtual reality space, followed by augmented reality.

“We want to establish ourselves as one of Australia’s pioneers for VR, and help to rally the community of content creators in Australia together, starting with Sydney,” he says.