Tech23 Impact Circles: Leaders & Contributors

August 2021 onwards • Online and in-person

If you have a suggestion for a Tech23 Impact Circle topic or contributor, please email us on circles@tech23.com.au and let us know!

Harry Al-Wassiti

Dr Harry Al-Wassiti

BioEngineer, Monash Program in mRNA Therapy and Vaccines and Research Fellow, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University

Circle: Next Generation Cancer Treatments

Harry Al-Wassiti is an early-career researcher in bioengineering. He’s an advocate of programmable medicine, a new paradigm in therapy. In this paradigm, nucleic acids such as mRNA or DNA are coded and therapeutically used to program our body to fight against invading viruses or cancer.

Harry developed the first mRNA therapeutic program in Australia at MIPS in 2018, and used mRNA to develop a candidate vaccine against COVID-19. The vaccine platform can be used to address other emerging viral epidemics.

Harry focuses on inventions and innovation, where the impact is achieved through collaboration with industry, developing and commercialising pharmaceutical technologies, and an unwavering focus on solving real-world problems through therapeutic and biotechnological innovations.

Stephenie Andal

Dr Stephenie Andal

Head of Strategic Policy, Cyber Security CRC

Circle: Cybersecurity is a Team Sport

Stephenie Andal is the Head of Strategic Policy at the CSCRC, working to shape strategic thinking on key cyber security legal and policy issues and demystify complex issues to inform boards, organisations and the wider Australian public. Prior to joining the CSCRC, Stephenie was the Manager of the NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node, a Government initiative funded by the NSW State Government and AustCyber whose aim is to build future-focused, sovereign cyber security capabilities. Before taking up that role, Stephenie worked on AustCyber’s national innovation and capability programs, driving the commercial growth of the Australian cyber security sector.

Prior to commencing work in the Australian cyber security sector, Stephenie was a doctoral researcher in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, where her PhD research focused on Chinese cyber security policies, foreign policy and geopolitics in the Asia-Pacific region.

Stephenie holds a PhD from the University of Sydney, a Master’s degree from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Calgary.

Jesse Arundell

Jesse Arundell

Head of Emerging Technology, Commonwealth Bank

Circle: How and why do big companies buy from gamechanging Startups?
Jesse Arundell is responsible for accelerating the Commonwealth Bank’s adoption of new and emerging technologies through the execution of a portfolio of innovation initiatives, which are focused on either building, experimenting or investing in new and emerging technology capabilities (e.g. 5G, AI, ML, DLT, Cloud-Native Core Banking, Quantum Computing).

Outside of the Bank, Jesse also currently sits on the Advisory Board for the Internal Association of Innovation Professionals and is the Co-Lead for the Australian Chapter. He also sits on both Standard Australia’s and the International Organisation’s (ISO) technical committees for the development of global innovation management standards (ISO/TC 279).

Jesse has also represented Australia at the Cannes Young Lions competition at the International Festival of Creativity, been recognised as one of Australia’s Top 100 Future Leaders and has been a finalist in NSW’s Young Achievers competition for the last three years.

Mary Bebawy

Prof Mary Bebawy

Professor of Pharmacy and Head of Laboratory of Cancer Cell Biology and Therapeutics, Graduate School of Health, UTS
Circle: Next Generation Cancer Treatments

Mary Bebawy is Head of the Laboratory of Cancer Biology & Therapeutics, UTS. She is a founding member of the Graduate School of Health (GSH) and Discipline of Pharmacy and was the inaugural Director of Research and Innovation at GSH. She has an active research program focusing on the molecular basis of cancer relapse. She is an internationally recognised cancer researcher and pharmaceutical scientist with a background in commercial R&D. Her team was the first to discover the role of extracellular vesicles in the acquisition and spread of cancer multidrug resistance. Her research has been translated clinically with her team discovering the utility of EVs as a prognostic Myeloma PCT/AU2018/050420.

Mary’s national and international standing has been recognised on numerous occasions, including a showcase of her achievements by “Women in Science Australia” in promoting research excellence in Australia. On the international stage, she receives many invitations to speak at prestigious scientific meetings and international research institutes including: Harvard Medical School 2017; Cancer Research Institute Queen’s University, Canada 2017; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY 2015; Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY 2014. Her reflections have been included in a book The Power of Conferences: Stories of Serendipity, Innovation and Driving Social Change. She is currently Deputy Editor for the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles.

Juliet Bell

Juliet Bell

Mission Lead, Climate, CSIRO

Circle: Saving the Planet with Data — Environmental Intelligence

Juliet Bell is leading CSIRO’s Climate Resilient Enterprise Mission. She joined CSIRO over twenty years ago to work on climate systems modelling and scenario analysis. Prior to this, she worked in the financial services sector.

From 2007-2019, Juliet was Executive Manager CSIRO Global where she led the development of global strategy, building CSIRO’s global footprint across three continents and key international relationships.

Juliet has deep interest and expertise in building partnerships, strategy and the role of research in improving Australia’s competitiveness and resilience. Since 2019, she has been building climate intelligence solutions in partnership with the private sector that enable disclosure, adaptation and response to climate risk and opportunity.

Dror Ben-Naim

Dror Ben-Naim

Founder and CEO, Smart Sparrow (acq. Pearson)

Circle: Why Mentors Matter for Founders on the Frontier

Dror Ben-Naim is the founder and CEO of Smart Sparrow, an adaptive learning pioneer, which was acquired by Pearson, the world’s largest learning company.

An entrepreneur at heart, Dror is lucky to have gone through the entire founder journey: wrestling with a new idea, developing first-of-its-kind tech, raising VC, growing a team, scaling into the US and ultimately a successful M&A exit.

Today, while developing a few new ideas, Dror mentors, advises and invests in tech-infused startups that are tackling meaningful challenges.

Dror’s the proud dad of two beautiful young kids and holds a BsC in Physics and a PhD in AI from the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Christoph Bergmeir

Dr Christoph Bergmeir

Senior Lecturer in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, Monash University

Circle: Saving the Planet with Data — Environmental Intelligence

Dr Christoph Bergmeir is an ARC DECRA Fellow in the Department of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at Monash University, Australia. He is usually a Senior Lecturer in the department but his current Fellowship lets him focus on his research.

Christoph’s research is on Machine Learning methods in time series forecasting, and involves global modelling across time series with Neural Networks and Gradient Boosted Trees, feature extraction, and ensembling, and he also does some research in explainable AI around local interpretability.

Christoph has a track record of successful industry engagement around forecasting, mostly in retail, supply chain, and sustainable energy.

Franki Chamaki

Franki Chamaki

Co-founder and Marketing Director, Hivery
Circle: Industry-Research collaborations to grow and boost your business
Franki Chamaki established Coca-Cola’s first accelerator program, a network of entrepreneurs working in the most innovative cities worldwide to build the next generation of billion-dollar businesses with the support of Coca-Cola. In 2014, he spun a new venture out of The Coca-Cola Company called Red Garage Ventures; a startup venture connected to Coca-Cola’s global assets and investment.

Franki is currently Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of HIVERY, a data science company where its mission is to reshape retail with data leveraging Artificial Intelligence, Operations Research, and Design. Prior to this, he worked at AMP — a leading specialist wealth management company — where he led various business design roles and later years in strategy & innovation.

Growing up, Franki was a tinkerer; from re-inventing mouse traps to selling recycled rubber as erasers. He often branded himself as a “Professional Geek” and has launched several early-stage startups, namely: DatingCompanion, an app that helps couples keep their romance alive; mockupmytattoo.com, an online service that helps people see how their tattoo would look like; and spaceble.com; a peer-to-peer marketplace for physical space.

Franki often is invited as University Guest Lecturer to run workshops on Lean Start-up Entrepreneurial, Corporate Innovation, Corporate Entrepreneurial, Business Model Validation, and how corporates can leverage AI and deploy in existing operations. He goes by the belief that anyone who tries to improve a situation is an entrepreneur.

Jas Chambers

Jas Chambers

Founder, Ocean Decade Australia
Circle: Ocean’s Potential
Jas Chambers works at the intersection of STEM, governance, policy and action with a passion for work that calls for collaborative approaches often in complex stakeholder contexts. Jas has worked in Australian higher education and government in senior leadership roles across STEM operations, communications, and international science diplomacy including with United Nations Specialized Agencies and the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, representing Australia.

As Director of Provenance Consulting, she works with research, academia, government agencies and their audiences to build and realise solutions that grow understanding and engagement across all stakeholders. Jas works to a philosophy that is highly collaborative and inclusive, dedicated to integrity, quality and transparency and cultivates innovation.

Jas is a Founder of Ocean Decade Australia, an initiative designed to ensure Australia’s Ocean Stakeholders have their say about what success for ocean looks like during the United Nations declared Ocean Decade 2021 – 2030. She serves as Secretary to Science & Technology Australia and Chair of the Sydney Institute for Marine Science Foundation.

Nick Chiarelli

Nick Chiarelli

Co-founder and CEO, Ocean Impact Organisation

Circle: Ocean’s Potential

Nick Chiarelli is the CEO and Co-founder of Ocean Impact Organisation (OIO). OIO is an Australian charity and startup accelerator with a mission to transform ocean health through inspiration, innovation, and good business.

OIO launched in early 2020 and provides a range of startup programs, mentoring, and support to help people to start, grow and invest in businesses that improve ocean health. OIO has a five year target of accelerating 100 startups that improve ocean health.

Nick has held a number of traditional finance, operations and strategy roles over the last 20 years, and now firmly believes that a new dawn of ‘purpose business’ is necessary in order to achieve the type of rapid and mass change required to achieve a sustainable future.

Philip Daffas

Philip Daffas

CEO, PainChek

Circle: AI-Enabled Patient Care

Philip Daffas is the CEO and Managing Director of PainChek based in Sydney, Australia. He has over 20 years’ global experience in marketing and business development in the medical device and diagnostics market.

Philip has held global business leadership roles in Europe, US and Australia with blue chip companies including Roche Diagnostics, Cochlear, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Shiley and IVAC.

During this period he has developed extensive global business and customer relationships in the areas of interventional cardiovascular disease management, diabetes care and blood glucose management, ENT/audiology and cochlear implantation, intensive care management, pathology in vitro blood diagnostics and life science research technologies.

Philip has an electronic engineering background, has obtained diplomas in industrial management and marketing and has an MBA from Kingston University in UK. He is also a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Craig Davis

Dr Craig Davis

General Manager Growth Programs, Canberra Innovation Network

Circle: Why Mentors Matter for Founders on the Frontier

Craig Davis has a deep interest in the commercialisation of Australian research and innovations. He is passionate about enabling entrepreneurs to succeed and make a difference by empowering them with the right skills, mindset and connections. He is GM Growth Programs at the CBR Innovation Network, runs the GRIFFIN accelerator which he co-founded, leads workshops, innovation programs and more. He has been involved in startups as a Co-founder, CEO, Director, investor or mentor for over 20 years.

Craig co-founded TakeABreak, an online accommodation business that was sold to Fairfax in 2011. He led the integration with Fairfax’s competing business Stayz and the group was later-on sold for $210 million.

Craig is a former Chair of Capital Angels and is also a scientist. He has a PhD in physics and held research positions at the University of Cambridge (UK) and the Australian National University. He also held executive positions in the Australian Department of Defence for 7 years.

Casey Ellis

Casey Ellis

Founder, Chairman and CTO, Bugcrowd

Circle: Cybersecurity is a Team Sport

Casey Ellis is an 18 year veteran of information security, servicing clients ranging from startups to multinational corporations as a pentester, security and risk consultant and solutions architect, then most recently as a career entrepreneur.

Casey pioneered the Crowdsourced Security as a Service model launching the first bug bounty programs on the Bugcrowd platform in 2012, and co-founded the disclose.io vulnerability disclosure standardisation project in 2016.

A proud ex-pat of Sydney Australia, Casey lives with his wife and two kids in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is happy as long as he’s passionately pursuing potential.

Sam Elsom

Sam Elsom

CEO, Sea Forest

Circle: Ocean’s Potential

Sam Elsom is a passionate environmentalist with over 15 years’ experience in sustainability. Sam founded one of Australia’s first sustainable apparel businesses to measure social and environmental impact across supply chains and implemented a satellite factory in India to support poor communities with income, training, clean water and education.

Sam was drawn to explore seaweed cultivation for its impressive capacity to sequester CO2 as a potential solution to reverse Climate Change.

Sam Elsom

Dr George Feast

SME Collaboration Nation Lead, CSIRO
Circle: Industry-Research collaborations to grow and boost your business
George Feast is leading the ‘SME Collaboration Nation’ mission during its pre-launch phase. His role involves engaging the Government, university and industry stakeholders to create national-scale leadership and systems to increase SME engagement and drive the Australian economy forward through innovation. He also provides leadership to the CSIRO Kick-Start program which helps start-ups and very small businesses access dollar-matched funding to undertake a project with CSIRO.
Megan Flamer

Megan Flamer

Head of Startup Programs, Monash Generator

Circle: Growth in the time of COVID

Megan Flamer spent almost five years in San Francisco where she consulted on mindfulness and performance for some of the world’s biggest tech companies. Her company, Mindful Under Fire continues to provide training in the US, UK and Australia for individuals and teams to succeed in high pressure situations.

Prior to her stint in Silicon Valley, Megan worked as a journalist and radio host with the ABC for over a decade in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

Megan currently serves as Head of Startup Programs for Monash University, and is an active investor and advisor in the Australian and New Zealand startup ecosystems, working to build thriving startups with healthy, balanced founders.

Simon Fonteyn

Simon Fonteyn

Founder and Managing Director, LeaseInfo

Circle: Industry-Research collaborations to grow and boost your business

Simon Fonteyn is one of Australia’s leading experts in retail, childcare and medical leasing and rental valuations. He holds a Degree in Accounting & Finance, a Diploma of Valuation, a Masters of Management and is an Associate of the Australian Property Institute.

With over 25 years’ experience in the commercial property industry, Simon founded LeaseInfo as a way to provide more transparency to the industry.

Jerad Ford

Tristonne Forbes

Founder and CEO, Pathwize
Circle: Why Corporations need Startups to Innovate
Tristonne Forbes is a startup coach, corporate management consultant and angel investor that specialises in growth and innovation. Tristonne has consulted on strategic direction and competitive intelligence projects for big corporates such as Lion, CUB, Incitec Pivot and others. She has also coached more than 100 startup founders in programs she co-designed and delivered including LaunchVic CivVic Labs, Cicada Innovations GrowLab, CSIRO ON Accelerate, ACMI Xcel, and Melbourne University’s TRaM Program.

Most recently, Tristonne has been designing demand-led innovation approaches that enable large organisations and startups to collaborate for mutual benefit. Tristonne is also an investor and advisor to a number of startups and an active ‘pay-it-forward’ member of the startup ecosystem.

Jerad Ford

Jerad Ford

Critical Energy Metals Mission Leader, CSIRO

Circle: How and why do big companies buy from gamechanging Startups?

Jerad Ford is currently helping stand up an end-to-end innovation system that CSIRO can deliver to large corporate entities to help them achieve greater impact using science and technology.

This system comprises: 1) strategic insights from CSIRO Futures to identify large innovation problems; 2) ideation, using CSIRO’s internal network, and its entire university system, to find unique solutions; 3) acceleration, using CSIRO’s expertise from running the nation’s deeptech accelerators “ON” and “ON Prime”; 4) incubation of these formative technologies through applied R&D; and 5) commercialisation of new products.

Sheryl Frame

Sheryl Frame

Circle: Why Mentors Matter for Founders on the Frontier

Sheryl Frame has been a strategic business consultant for over 30 years. She has held numerous senior management and board positions in Australia and overseas. Her extensive in-depth technology, marketing, strategic planning and business skills have underpinned her success in advising, guiding and mentoring innovation and commercialisation of a wide range of early-stage companies.

Sheryl currently works as a Commercialisation Adviser to Accelerating Commercialisation, a Federal Government initiative, which assists innovative new businesses in their transition from idea to commercial venture.

Sheryl is also vigorously committed to the representation of women in enterprise and government. She served on the Board of AWISE (Australian Women in IT, Science and Engineering), she has served on the committee of Women in Technology, WA (WITWA) since 2006, and is a Board Member of SBE Australia. Sheryl is also a Director of StartupWA.

Darren Gibson

Dr Darren Gibson

Director of the Research and Innovation Office, Department of Health (WA Health)

Circle: AI-Enabled Patient Care

Darren Gibson, PhD, is currently the Director of the Research and Innovation Office (RIO) within the WA Department of Health. RIO facilitates, supports, and promotes high quality research and innovation in both WA Health and the wider WA health and medical research and innovation sector.

Darren previously led the collaboration, innovation and industry engagement program at Edith Cowan University. He also has extensive research governance experience, including managing the Scottish Mental Health Research Network. Darren has extensive experience in medicinal chemistry, having been a senior research scientist within Biotechnology (UK and New Zealand) investigating novel oncology and HIV therapeutics.

Darren graduated in Medicinal Chemistry, BSc (hons), from Dundee University, and obtained a PhD in Biological Chemistry from the University of St Andrews. He also completed an LLM in Medical Law and Ethics from De Montfort University and is currently undertaking an MBA.

Kath Giles

Kath Giles

Managing Director and CEO, OncoRes Medical

Circle: Next Generation Cancer Treatments

Kath Giles joined Brandon Capital Partners in 2012. Prior to this, she was an Investment Manager with Perth-based Stone Ridge Ventures, a fund manager specialising in seed-to-early stage technology investment. In addition to her investment experience, Kath has startup experience in medical apps, diagnostics and fitness devices. She still practices as a medical doctor mainly working within the surgical field and has experience as a medical officer monitoring clinical trials.

Before entering the commercial world, Kath spent a few years working in clinical medicine, gaining a range of experience across medical and surgical specialities and critical care. Kath is a Director of the Curtin Commercialisation Advisory Board. She graduated from her medical degree (MBBS) with Honours and has an MBA from the University of Western Australia. She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Gregor Gimmy

Gregor Gimmy

CEO, 27pilots

Circle: Why Corporations need Startups to Innovate

As CEO of 27pilots, Gregor Gimmy is responsible for strategy and growth. He is focused on helping companies understand the value of the Venture Client model and how to integrate it with already existing strategic management vehicles, including innovation and venturing tools. To further advance the Venture Client model, he is deeply engaged in publishing, researching and lecturing about the Venture Client Model at leading business schools.

Gregor is also an Executive in Residence at the IMD Business School, and case co-author and guest lecturer at INSEAD business school. His academic research about Venture Clienting is mainly with Prof. Andreas König at the University of Passau, with whom he co-authored the first academic publication about the Venture Client model, published by the Harvard Business Review in 7/2016. He is also a frequent speaker at startup-relevant conferences such as Slush, Websummit, 4YFN and DLD.

Jemma Green

Dr Jemma Green

Co-founder & Chairman, Power Ledger

Circle: Green Hydrogen

Setting her career trajectory early on, Dr Jemma Green became the voice of sustainability and corporate social responsibility in the business of big money lending while at J.P. Morgan in London. She then went on to complete a PhD in electricity market disruption and become a research fellow at Curtin University, was Deputy Lord Mayor of Perth, helped set up Australia’s first fossil fuel free pension fund‎ and has sat on numerous boards championing sustainable business such as the Water Corporation, Carbon Tracker and Climate-KIC Australia. In 2016, Jemma co-founded blockchain technology company Power Ledger and in 2018, received the EY Fintech Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Sophia Hamblin Wang

Sophia Hamblin Wang

Chief Operations Officer, Mineral Carbonation International

Circle: Decarbonising Our Entire Economy — especially heavy industry!

Sophia Hamblin Wang is Chief Operations Officer of Mineral Carbonation International, a technology platform that transforms carbon dioxide into building materials and other valuable industrial products.

Sophia is also a member of the ACT Climate Change Council, Curator of the Canberra Hub for the Global Shapers, and a Sessional Lecturer at University of Sydney, where she co-lectures and co-designed the undergraduate course International Business in Practice, now a cornerstone course for undergraduates in international business.

Michael Hofman

Prof Michael Hofman

Director of Prostate Cancer Theranostics and Imaging Centre of Excellence, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Circle: Next Gen Cancer Treatments
Michael Hofman is a nuclear medicine physician, physician-scientist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne (Peter Mac). At Peter Mac, he is the Program Director of the Prostate Theranostics and Imaging Centre of Excellence (ProsTIC) and member of the Research Leadership Group.

Michael has a strong track record leading Phase I – III clinical trials ranging from first-in-human evaluation of novel radiopharmaceuticals to conducting complex multi-centre randomised clinical trials. His collaborative approach has brought together multi-disciplinary expertise from more than 10 centres around Australia to conduct first-in-field trials resulting in seminal research published in high impact journals such as The Lancet. He has active grants totalling more than $20 million dollars.

Michael has a passion for cancer imaging, enjoys teaching the next generation of specialists and bridging gaps between nuclear medicine and other specialties to improve patient outcomes.

Natalie Hummel

Dr Natalie Hummel

Global Head of New Ag Technologies, UPL

Circle: Lowering the Intensity of Agriculture

In May 2021, Natalie Hummel joined UPL as the Global Head of New Ag Technologies at the OpenAg Center in RTP, NC. In this role, she leads teams in the US and France who are developing new solutions to support emerging needs of farmers around the world.

Natalie brings 15+ years of industry experience at the USDA, Land Grant Universities, and private industry. Before joining UPL, she worked at ADAMA as US Development Leader and Bayer CropScience as a Product Development Manager and Global Project Leader. She has also worked in Academia as an Associate Professor at Louisiana State University and University Administrator as Director of Research Stations & University Field Labs at NC State University.

Natalie began her career as a classically trained entomologist and holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Biology and a Doctor of Philosophy in Entomology from the University of California. She is driven to create economically and environmentally sound agricultural solutions for farmers by leveraging partnerships and understanding customer needs to build innovative solutions.

Alan Jones

Alan Jones

General Partner, M8 Ventures

Circle: Growth in the time of COVID

Alan Jones is a startup founder coach and tech startup angel investor based in Sydney. He has advised hundreds of Australian startups and invested in many of the best.

Alan has coached startup founders in programs for Atto, BlueChilli, Catalysr, Collider, CyRise, Monash University, Moonshot, muru-D, NZ ScaleUp, Remarkable, Startmate, Sydney School of Entrepreneurship and UTS.

He’s the chair of Catalysr, an entrepreneurship program focused on marginalised migrants and refugees. He’s also a regular conference speaker, technology guest for News Tonight on ABC2 and has been a contributor to AFR, The Australian, InnovationAus, SmartCompany and StartupDaily.

Martin Karafilis

Martin Karafilis

Co-founder and COO, Tiliter

Circle: How and why do big companies buy from gamechanging Startups?

Martin Karafilis is the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Tiliter, an Australian tech startup that creates AI software which recognises products without barcodes. Martin has a background in both Electrical Engineering and Business with a strong emphasis on challenging the normal.

Striving to drive emerging technologies, Martin uses his experience from large global corporates and growing startups to introduce world-leading technology on local, regional and global levels. Martin follows a strict range of core values when carrying out business with a strong focus on creating environmental and social impact, ultimately trying to shape the world for the better through technology.

Located between Sydney, New York and Munich, Martin has strong experience in growing businesses and building exceptional teams with a deep understanding of how political, cultural, social, economic and technological impacts shape international markets.

Alan Jones

Dr Sarvnaz Karimi

Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO’s Data61
Circle: Industry-Research collaborations to grow and boost your business
Sarvnaz Karimi is a senior researcher with expertise in Information Retrieval (IR), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning. Sarvnaz has over 10 years of research experience in biomedical NLP. She co-supervises PhD students from different universities across Australia through the CSIRO Research Office and Data61 scholarships.

Before CSIRO, Sarvnaz was a researcher at NICTA, working on search and information retrieval in the medical domain (BioTALA project). Her research focused on how language technology can assist biomedical researchers and improve evidence-based medicine.

Sarvnaz is very active in both NLP and IR communities by serving as chair, area-chair and programme committee member of a number of local and international conferences, including ALTA, ADCS, SIGIR, CIKM, COLING, and ACL. She serves as reviewer for a number of journals including ACM Computing Surveys, Artificial Intelligence for Medicine, BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, Language Resources and Evaluation, and Information Processing & Management.

Louise Keyte

Dr Louise Keyte

General Manager – Innovation Development, Boral

Circle: Decarbonising Our Entire Economy — especially heavy industry!

Louise Keyte is Co-Director of the UTS-Boral Centre for Sustainable Building and has more than 20 years’ experience in research and development for the construction industry. She has been working for Boral for the past 13 years.

Louise leads development for the Innovation Factory in Australia, which develops new solutions for Boral’s customers and is one of the cornerstones of Boral’s vision of achieving performance excellence through innovation. She is also passionate about encouraging diversity in the construction industry.

Heba Khamis

Heba Khamis

Co-founder & CEO, Contactile
Circle: Our Robotic Future — Why we need Automation
Heba Khamis is the CEO and Co-founder of Contactile and believes that people shouldn’t have to work like robots. She has a PhD in Engineering, an Honours degree in Software Engineering, and a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Science from the University of Sydney. She has been researching human tactile sensing and tactile sensor design since 2012 and has extensive experience with programming for Kuka, Epson, and Physik Instrumente robots.
Sue Klose

Sue Klose

Non Executive Director, Envirosuite

Circle: Saving the Planet with Data — Environmental Intelligence

Sue Klose is an experienced non-executive director and executive, with a diverse background in digital business growth and operations, corporate development, strategy and marketing. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of Envirosuite (ASX: EVS), a provider of real-time environmental intelligence management systems, Nearmap (ASX: NEA), a provider of aerial imagery and location intelligence; Pureprofile (ASX: PPL), a digital consumer data and research firm; Stride, one of Australia’s largest mental health care providers; and Honan Insurance Group, an insurance, risk and financial solutions provider.

Sue also has an MBA in Finance, Strategy and Marketing from the JL Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

John Konstantopoulos

John Konstantopoulos

Co-founder and Executive Director, Artrya
Circle: AI-Enabled Patient Care
John Konstantopoulos is Co-founder and Executive Director of healthcare technology company Artrya, which develops artificial intelligence solutions for clinicians to accurately diagnose patients at risk of heart disease.

John has more than 20 years of commercial and technical experience providing strategic advice to industries such as Electronics, Healthcare and Industrial, globally. He has advised senior executives of some of the world’s and Australia’s largest corporations on product commercialisation, development and digital transformation and has driven growth in markets such as Asia, US and Europe.

John has extensive experience in commercialisation, strategy development, product development, strategic marketing, and business development.

As a forward thinker, John actively speaks at a number of conferences and blogs on recent trends.

Bronwyn Le Grice

Bronwyn Le Grice

CEO and Managing Director, ANDHealth
Circle: AI-Enabled Patient Care
Bronwyn Le Grice has over 18 years’ executive experience in the health technology sector, spanning commercialisation, venture capital, capital raising and industry advocacy. Formerly an Investment Director with leading healthcare venture capital firm, BioScience Managers, between 2012 and 2017 she managed over $65 million of private and public equity capital raisings and was actively involved in over $30 million of portfolio investments.

In 2017, working with a consortium of industry partners, Bronwyn created ANDHealth, Australia’s only commercialisation organisation dedicated to digital health, with a specific focus on digital medicine and digital therapeutics. The novel ANDHealth+ incubator piloted in 2018-2019 supported 10 companies to raise over $42.5 million, create 265 jobs and impact more than 176,400 patients in just three years. ANDHealth’s unique cooperative commercialisation model has led to significant growth within Australia’s nascent digital health sector and continues to be a driving force for the development of sovereign capability in evidence-based, regulated digital health technologies.

Bronwyn in a Non-Executive Director of Lumos Diagnostics and holds various advisory roles including: the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum Health Technologies Sector Group, Swinburne University’s Innovation Precinct Advisory Board, the RMIT University Health and BioMedical Sector Expert Research Advisory Group and the NSW Cyber Security Industry Standards Harmonisation Taskforce.

Michael Loewy

Michael Loewy

Co-founder, Tide Foundation

Circle: Cybersecurity is a Team Sport

Michael Loewy is Co-founder at Tide Foundation. He’s an experienced CPO and Marketing Director, with a long track record commercialising digital products in enterprise (inc Yahoo!, Dell, Westpac, News Limited) and startups. He spent 10 years growing and successfully exiting a decorated digital agency and was an academic professional at the University of Illinois. Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Information Systems and Accounting with merit, UNSW.

Cass Mao

Cass Mao

Circle: Why Mentors Matter for Founders on the Frontier, Decarbonising Our Entire Economy — especially heavy industry!

For the last 9 years, Cass Mao has worked with startups, varyingly as an early employee, advisor, and investor, with a focus on companies with impact at the centre of the business.

Most recently as founding Venture Partner at Tenacious Ventures, Cass supported the GPs to raise a $35 million fund focused on Australian agtech startups with climate impact. They invested in six companies in the first 12 months of investing, all with a deeptech component.

Cass is now looking to build a deeptech company as a founder, CEO, or CCO — commercialising research with a decarbonisation focus (energy, materials sciences, and food/ag).

Rohan McDougall

Rohan McDougall

Director, Commercialisation, Curtin University
Circle: AI-Enabled Patient Care
Rohan McDougall has been the Director of Commercialisation at Curtin University since 2008. He has more than 20 years of experience in commercialisation of new technologies including being integrally involved in the establishment and operation of numerous technology-based companies. He has played a lead role in the negotiation and completion of countless technology-based agreements and partnerships with companies in Australia and internationally. He has worked in both a commercial startup environment and in institutional technology transfer roles. Before Curtin, he worked for a listed biotechnology company as the Chief Operating Officer and in commercialisation of technology out of the University of New South Wales as a General Manager, Life Sciences at Unisearch.

Qualifications include a Bachelor of Science degree and an MBA from the AGSM. He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Current directorships include i-Cetana (Chairman) and Renergi. Other activities include co-founding a number of innovation community events including Univation and WestTech Fest.

Katharine McKenzie

Katharine McKenzie

Principal Project Developer, Australian Industry ETI, Climate-KIC Australia
Circle: Decarbonising Our Entire Economy — especially heavy industry!
Katharine McKenzie is an award-winning energy lawyer and policy specialist pursuing her passion for clean energy transition through a portfolio of commercial and NFP roles. She is President of the Australian Institute of Energy; Vice-President of the United Nations Association of Australia (WA); and founder of Women in Energy, a network to connect, support and inspire women in the energy sector.

Katharine founded Macht Consulting to provide strategic regulatory, policy and stakeholder engagement advice to clients seeking to future-proof and decarbonise their supply chains and develop new low carbon business models and projects.

As Principal Project Developer for the Australian Industry ETI, Katharine works with some of Australia’s biggest companies, including BHP, Woodside, Wesfarmers, Bluescope Steel, AGIG and APA Group, to develop a portfolio of demonstration projects focused on achieving net zero emissions supply chains.

Katharine’s work in the energy sector has been recognised at both State and National levels: she was named ‘Young Energy Professional of the Year’ at the 2017 Western Australian Energy Awards and was also named in the 2016 Doyle’s Guide National Energy & Resources Rising Stars Ranking.

Carolyn Mee

Carolyn Mee

Founder and CEO, Sound Scouts
Circle: Growth in the time of COVID
Carolyn Mee specialises in serious game and app development with a focus on health. Carolyn set her sights on developing a game to improve children’s hearing screenings and in 2011, collaborating with the National Acoustic Laboratories, the research arm of Hearing Australia, Sound Scouts was created.

In 2015, Carolyn was honoured to receive a NSW Medical Devices Fund Grant for $1.1million, enabling the continued development and commercialisation of Sound Scouts.

Phil Morle

Phil Morle

Partner, Main Sequence Ventures

Circle: Why Corporations need Startups to Innovate

Phil Morle is a Partner at the CSIRO’s venture capital fund — Main Sequence Ventures. Here he invests in deeptech founders who are building unimaginable new companies with a strong connection to research. Before this, he was the founder of Australia’s first Silicon Valley style incubator, Pollenizer, where Phil played an instrumental role in developing the startup ecosystem across Asia Pacific and advised some of the world’s biggest organisations on practical ways to deliver new growth and the cultural change that is required to get there.

Mike Nicholls

Mike Nicholls

Partner, Main Sequence Ventures

Circle: Next Generation Cancer Treatments
Mike Nicholls is an entrepreneur, inventor and technologist. He has over 30 years of experience in Sales & Marketing, and has been CEO and Managing Director of four companies, with practical experience across a range of industries.

Mike helps a lot of startups, researchers and entrepreneurs in the Australian startup and research ecosystem and is the fund expert at helping startups generate their early customer leads and opportunities.

Mike leads the Health and Decarb challenges for the fund and is interested in semiconductors, opticals, AI, renewable energy, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular or brain disease. He also is obsessed with learning and teaching how to get better at sales, marketing and scaling your business.

Juan Nieto

Juan Nieto

Asia Representative, CEMEX Ventures

Circle: Automation in the Built Environment

Juan Nieto is the Asia Representative and Investment Analyst for CEMEX Ventures in Shanghai. He expands CEMEX Ventures’ reach in the Asia Pacific region by building and growing the Contech ecosystem in the area. Juan works in the scouting, analysis, and investment of promising solutions, supporting them and their growth in the construction technology space.

Sarah Nolet

Sarah Nolet

Founder and CEO, AgThentic

Circle: Lowering the Intensity of Agriculture

Sarah Nolet is an internationally recognised food systems innovation expert, the CEO and Founder of AgThentic, a global food and agriculture strategy firm, and Co-founder of Tenacious Ventures, Australia’s first dedicated agrifood tech VC firm. Sarah has been instrumental in building the early stage agtech ecosystem in Australia — from advising dozens of startups, designing accelerator programs and consulting to established agribusinesses, to helping industry, universities and government develop and implement forward-looking initiatives in food system innovation.

Sarah is also the host of the AgTech…So What? Podcast, and Co-founder of Farmers2Founders, a national innovation program that supports Australian primary producers to commercialise inventions and new businesses, as well as gain early access to emerging technologies.

Sarah holds a Masters in System Design and Management from MIT, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Human Factors Engineering from Tufts University.

Georgina North

Georgina North

Operations Leader, Laing O’Rourke

Circle: Why Corporations need Startups to Innovate, Corporations as Customers of gamechanging Startups

Georgina North is a chartered chemical engineer with 10+ years of global experience in fields such as: technology and innovation in construction; oil and gas facility design and operations; research and development for sustainable plastics design and manufacturing; and sustainability consulting for urban master-planning and industrial processes.

Georgina is looking to be a driver of change, following a passion for profitable sustainability and becoming a role model for women in engineering.

Georgina has an academic background in: chemical engineering; chemical process design; life cycle assessment; sustainability; energy policy; business planning; and management of technology and innovation.

Craig O'Kane

Craig O’Kane MBE

Chief Operating Officer, Everledger

Circle: How and why do big companies buy from gamechanging Startups?

Beginning his career with Prudential plc as a fund manager in London, Craig O’Kane subsequently joined the UK Government as Head of the British Consulate Brisbane and led inward investment into the UK for over ten years. In 2019, Craig was honoured for his work by HM The Queen for developing the political, trade and investment relationship between the UK and Australia. Craig then joined the Queensland Government to work alongside Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp. Most recently in June 2021, Craig became Chief Operating Officer, Everledger, the digital transparency company, providing technology solutions to increase transparency in global supply chains.
Kaustubh Pandya

Kaustubh Pandya

Principal, Brick & Mortar Ventures

Circle: Automation in the Built Environment

Kaustubh Pandya has always enjoyed problem solving — first as a forensic structural engineer, second as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company, and third as a rock climber. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer and brings over 8 years of industry experience in advising and working with owners, technology providers, and other AEC stakeholders. Kaustubh is passionate about accelerating the pace of construction technology.

Kieren Parker

Kieren Parker

Managing Partner, Addisons

Circle: The Joys and Challenges of Co-founding

The work that Kieren Parker undertakes with clients is across the spectrum of mergers and acquisitions, corporate and commercial transactions. He brings the additional perspective gained through investing a significant part of his career working on the client side of transactions, holding executive roles from corporate development and strategy, to line management with profit and loss responsibility.

Kieren trained with a US corporate firm in Sydney, and then worked with a magic circle firm in London, specialising in private equity. He has never been too far from the industry, taking commercial roles with portfolio companies of The Carlyle Group in London (energy infrastructure) and Advent Capital in Sydney (construction), and consulting to CHAMP Private Equity.

Dr Tim Parsons

Dr Tim Parsons

Chair, SmartSat Aurora Space Startups Cluster

Circle: Decarbonising Our Entire Economy — especially heavy industry!

Tim Parsons is an experienced and passionate tech executive with board-level, C-suite and front-line experience in corporates, scale-ups and startups, research organisations and not-for-profits.

Tim has been agency-side running tech- and product-innovation teams, and client-side building massive-scale B2C and B2B products and services. He has produced multiple documentary films, conferences, hackathons, accelerator programs, strategic growth and co-design workshops.

Michelle Perugini

Dr Michelle Perugini

Co-founder and CEO, Presagen

Circle: AI-Enabled Patient Care

Michelle Perugini is an entrepreneur, academic and an internationally renowned expert in health, medical research, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Michelle has a PhD in Medicine and spent the first 13 years of her career in health and medical research, specialising in predictive genetics and translational medicine. She led large complex research projects that translated genetic mutation analysis (bioinformatics) to clinical treatments for cancer patients.

In 2007, Michelle co-founded the innovative startup ISD Analytics where she led the research and development, and commercialisation of its award winning human-population behaviour predictive analytics software product Simulait. ISD Analytics was acquired by Ernst & Young (EY) in 2015 and became one of EY’s global suite of analytics products.

Michelle is now the Co-founder and CEO of Presagen, an AI Healthcare company focused on building scalable AI products for women’s health. She is also a dedicated mentor and advisory board member for many startups, and a Committee Member on the Australian Commonwealth Research & Development Incentives Committee.

Dr Tim Parsons

Ben Reid

Founder and Chief Product Officer, Digital Creators
Circle: Why Mentors Matter for Founders on the Frontier
Ben Reid loves the art and science of designing, building and commercialising digital products. Over 22 years, Ben has worked with 70+ companies, devoted 20k+ hours of work, and designed and built 30+ platforms. He works with big budget projects in large companies through to small projects with 1-3 founder teams.

Ben is passionate about the pursuit of a true multi-discipline and diverse skill set which includes strategy, research and insights, ideation, science, experience, engineering, team, growth and commercial.

While Ben has covered a large cross-spectrum of industries, he has gone particularly deep on: mobile, marketplaces, media, OTT video, telco, education, sports, fintech, retail, aged care, disability, sustainability and the broad category of “offline to online” (O2O).

Julia Reisser

Dr Julia Reisser

Co-founder, ULUU

Circle: Ocean’s Potential

Dr Julia Reisser is co-founder of ULUU — a startup developing a polymer derived from ocean resources: seaweed, seawater and saltwater microbes. This ocean material is able to replace fossil plastics, while tackling climate change and boosting marine biodiversity. Julia is also a highly regarded marine scientist and adjunct fellow at the University of Western Australia. She holds a doctorate in plastic pollution with over 15 years of experience leading R&D for universities, technology companies and foundations, including The Ocean Cleanup, The University of Western Australia and Minderoo Foundation. Julia is also completing her MBA at UWA and has a PhD, Masters and Honours in Oceanography.
Nancy Schellhorn

Nancy Schellhorn

Co-founder and CEO, RapidAIM

Circle: Lowering the Intensity of Agriculture

Nancy Schellhorn is a Co-inventor and Co-founder of RapidAIM Insect Sensing Technologies. Prior to co-founding RapidAIM, she was a Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO where she developed and led concepts to achieve pest-suppressive landscapes. Nancy has led several national projects including as the Chief Investigator of the National Research & Development for Profit Project on ‘Area-wide management of QLD Fruit Fly: Guidelines for SIT’, PI for the National GRDC Pest Suppressive Landscapes project, National Diamondback Moth, and Revegetation by Design projects. She has worked across cotton, grains, vegetable and fruit systems in temperate, tropical, sub-tropical and Mediterranean climates.

Nancy has over 1600 peer-reviewed citations, many plenary and keynote engagements, and awards including Chairman’s Medal (CSIRO’s top scientific achievement accolade). She has been a member of several national and international committees and advisory panels and served 10 years on the Federal Office of Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) Technical Advisory Committee, the GRDC National Grains Pest Advisory (GPAC) Committee, the Cotton Industry Bt Technical Advisory Committee, and the OECD Integrated Pest Management Advisory Committee.

Megan Sebben

Dr Megan Sebben

Kick-Start Program Manager, CSIRO

Circle: Industry-Research collaborations to grow and boost your business

Megan Sebben is the Kick-Start Program Manager in CSIRO SME Connect and is based in Clayton, VIC.

Her role is to help Australian startups and small SMEs access dollar-matched funding and facilitation to undertake a project with CSIRO. The Kick-Start program provides eligible companies with vouchers of up to $50k to perform research, development or testing of projects utilising CSIRO researchers, capabilities and facilities. The Kick-Start team connects the business to the best CSIRO research expertise, utilising their national CSIRO network of facilitators and contacts.

Megan has extensive experience in environmental research and consulting in both the public and private sectors. Her research interests lie in groundwater modelling, fractured rock hydrology and coastal hydrogeology. Megan joined CSIRO Education and Outreach in 2017, where she was the STEM Professionals in Schools Project Officer for Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Since joining SME Connect in 2019, Megan has been facilitating and supporting a variety of Kick-Start collaborations, as well as promoting the range of programs available through SME Connect.

Vijay Sivaraman

Vijay Sivaraman

Co-founder, Director and CEO, Canopus Networks

Circle: Industry-Research collaborations to grow and boost your business

Vijay Sivaraman is Co-founder, Director, and CEO of Canopus Networks. He was an early engineer in a silicon valley startup manufacturing optical switch-routers, and has done extensive product architecture, development, and operations of carrier-grade solutions for Telcos. Prior to that, he worked at Lucent Bell-Labs where he invented new architectures for high-speed switching chipsets.

Vijay is a tenured Professor at UNSW Sydney, Co-founder of the ANZ SDN Alliance, and has raised millions of dollars for SDN and IoT Technologies from government, defence, and private industry. He holds 4 patents, has published over 100 research articles, and is a regular speaker at conferences and trade-shows.

Vijay received his B. Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Delhi, India, in 1994, and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2000.

Peter Soulsby

Peter Soulsby

Director, Security Practice, NTT

Circle: Cybersecurity is a Team Sport

Peter Soulsby is the Director of NTT’s Cybersecurity practice in Victoria. In his role, Peter is responsible for leading a business that supports NTT’s clients in their Business and Cyber resilience objectives. His business protects the assets of a number of strategic Victorian public and private sector organisations from Cybersecurity attacks.

Peter is a firm believer that Cybersecurity is not something that can be solved in isolation. His mantra is that Cybersecurity is a community initiative and that the more we work together, the better our chances of protecting our collective assets.

David Spence

David Spence

Circle: Why Mentors Matter

David Spence has been involved in over 25 internet and telecommunication businesses since the early 90s. Born in South Africa, David joined Consolidated Press on arriving in Australia in 1989. He joined pioneering ISP OzEmail as COO in 1994 and has been CEO, Founder, and Chairman of many internet businesses, including CEO of Unwired, the pioneer of wireless broadband and Chairman of Vocus, which went from startup to ASX 100 in seven years. Today, David chairs PayPal Australia, National Narrowband Network Co (NNNCo), DiscoveryAG, GoannaAg and Canopus Networks. He recently co-founded a new business, AllThingsEncrypted, to look at new ways of encrypting IoT networks.

David Spence

James Stewart

Head of Marketing and Strategy, FiberSense
Circle: Why Corporations need Startups to Innovate
James Stewart is a startup advisor and angel investor skilled in strategy, innovation and marketing (having worked at FiberSense, Interactive, IAG, George Weston Foods, BCG, GKN Aerospace, and UK Ministry of Defence). He is an experienced strategy consultant, advises startups directly and mentors for several accelerators (Moonshot, NZ Government’s REWA, Antler Sydney, Remarkable, The Impact Accelerator, USyd Incubate, UNSW 10x and CSIRO ON & D-Start). He is also a part-time Venture Partner for Loyal VC, a global venture capital fund.

James studied engineering at Cambridge, an MBA at INSEAD, is a Marketing Academy alum and a graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors. In his spare time, he is a keen surf lifesaver, trainer and Patrol Captain at Bondi beach, and a board director for C-Res (a national for-purpose enterprise helping regional businesses to supply to BHP), the INSEAD ANZ Alumni Society, and The Marketing Academy Alumni.

James is a very active advisor and angel investor supporting founders in a range of startups and is the Head of Marketing for DeepTech Scaleup Fiber-Sense.com.

Charmaine Tham

Charmaine Tham

Project Leader, Boston Consulting Group

Circle: Why Corporations need Startups to Innovate

As part of the DigitalBCG team of expert consultants, Charmaine Tham specialises in thought leadership of digital business topics and large-scale digital transformation projects around the globe. Her experiences include digital ventures, customer journeys, digital transformation strategy and implementation, cost and efficiency, and new ways of working. She has worked across a broad range of industries, with deeper experience in financial services, media, and mining.

Charmaine is particularly passionate about driving digital transformations of financial institutions in today’s rapidly changing (and exciting) banking landscape, particularly leveraging the power of AI/ML and data analytics, modernising technology architecture and embracing new ways of working to enable rapid innovation.

Martie-Louise Verreynne

Prof Martie-Louise Verreynne

Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation), College of Business and Law, RMIT
Circle: Industry-Research collaborations to grow and boost your business

Martie-Louise Verreynne is Associate DVC (Research & Innovation) and a Professor of Innovation at RMIT University. She has held roles such as Interim Head of School, Deputy Head of School, Head of Strategy and International Business, and Program Leader for several programs during her tenure at the University of Queensland.

Martie-Louise is a recipient of an Australian national citation for contribution to student learning based on her work in the area of commercialisation of high-tech startups. She developed and led the MicroMasters in Corporate Innovation delivered through EdX.

Martie-Louise is internationally recognised for her research on innovation, strategy and entrepreneurship in small business, is a senior associate editor with the Journal of Small Business Management and publishes widely in top-tiered journals. She has been successful at winning ARC Discovery, ARC ITTC and several other Category 1, 2 and 3 grants. She actively works with industry to create research impact and has received several awards in recognition of this work.

Aude Vignelles

Aude Vignelles

CTO, Australian Space Agency
Circle: Saving the Planet with Data — Environmental Intelligence
Aude Vignelles is the CTO of the Australian Space Agency. As part of the senior executive team, Aude leads and is responsible for writing the civil space strategy technical roadmaps, scoping and managing the Agency’s space programs and delivering on domestic and international activities. She provides an in-depth understanding of the national and international space industry, program management expertise and a breadth of space science or systems engineering skills. Prior to this role, Aude was the Executive Manager, Satellite & Fixed Wireless Operations at nbn.

Previously, Aude held senior and executive roles within Foxtel, Austar, Telstra, and Technicolor.

Aude is a space and aeronautics engineer (graduating from ENSICA, Toulouse) who started her career at the European Space Agency in the Netherlands, where she became an expert in spacecraft Assembly Integration and Testing (AIT). Her 30 years of experience in delivering large and complex programs embrace the introduction of new technology in the telecommunication, space and media industries. Aude has been living in Australia for the past 20 years and has contributed to the Australian space capability through White Papers, events at conferences with the growing start-up community in Australia, and promotion for Women in Space and Engineering at universities.

Anastasia Volkova

Anastasia Volkova

Co-founder and CEO, Regrow

Circle: Growth in the time of COVID

Anastasia Volkova has her PhD in visual drone navigation with Australian Defense Science and Technology Organization. She has 10 years of experience in academia, business & software development. Anastasia is a 2020 MIT “35 under 35” Innovator and one of the BBC 100 Women.

Anastasia’s passion is Earth observation, automation, and efficiency. She believes the world can be a better place if we make smarter decisions. Along with three degrees and a doctoral thesis on autonomous navigation systems, she has gained experience in project management in transport and IT: such as leading a 370-people team for UEFA, workshopping with Airbus, managing software development teams for American/European companies, starting her own web-development company and a successful event management startup.

Academically, Anastasia’s thesis “Feature-based Visual Navigation in GPS-denied environment” framed her work on the development of software for processing of remotely sensed images (including Machine Learning), assignment of semantic labels on visual features and multi-sensor/multi-temporal data fusion for localisation purposes.

Rob Waterworth

Dr Rob Waterworth

Director, The Mullion Group

Circle: Saving the Planet with Data — Environmental Intelligence

Rob Waterworth has extensive expertise in research, designing and implementing technical systems to achieve sustainable land management. He has played a leadership role in policy development, program management and international climate negotiations. He has a deep understanding of the requirements of and relationships between policy, technical systems and the role of research and programs to deliver systems that meet policy needs, including REDD+.

Rob is currently Co-Director of moja.global, an international foundation established to lead the development of new open source, globally adaptable MRV tools for forestry and agriculture. These tools bring the latest science and computer software development together in a next generation tool that uses remote sending data to improve the accessibility and quality of carbon accounting.

In 2008, Rob was part of the team awarded the Eureka Prize, Australia’s premier science prize, for work in developing integrated remote sensing and ground data systems. He is an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a lead reviewer for the IPCC Guidelines, an author of the Global Forest Observations Initiative: Methods and Guidance, and holds a Ph.D. from the Australian National University, and a Bachelor of Forest Science / Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne.

Peter Williams

Peter Williams

Chief Edge Officer, Centre for the Edge, Deloitte Australia

Circle: How and why do big companies buy from gamechanging Startups?

Peter Williams is a recognised thought leader and practitioner in innovation. He started working with internet technologies in 1993 and in 1996 founded an eBusiness Consulting group within Deloitte Australia.

Since that time, Peter has been the CEO of the Eclipse Group, a Deloitte subsidiary, and then founded Deloitte Digital. He is also the Chairman of Deloitte’s Innovation Council and the Chief Edge Officer of the Centre for the Edge.

Peter does public speaking and private consulting through Rexter Consulting. He was recently named as one of Australia’s top Digital Influencers and is an Adjunct Professor at RMIT.

Sally-Ann Williams

Sally-Ann Williams

CEO, Cicada Innovations

Circle: Ocean’s Potential

As the CEO of Cicada Innovations, Sally-Ann Williams leads Australia’s pioneering deeptech incubator, building companies solving the world’s most pressing problems through science & engineering. Cicada Innovations has nurtured hundreds of visionary deeptech innovators to validate, commercialise and scale high impact technologies globally across MedTech, HealthTech, AgTech, FoodTech, Clean Energy, AI, Manufacturing 4.0 and more.

Sally-Ann has been involved in driving national engagement and change strategies in innovation & entrepreneurship, Computer Science and STEM education as a member of the COAG STEM Partnership Forum and contributed to the foundation of StartupAUS, a non-profit with a mission to transform Australia through technology entrepreneurship. She has led several cross-sector working groups to drive change both in policy & cultural transformation needed to grow a thriving technology-driven economy, and served on four University Industry Advisory Boards in the engineering and computer science departments.

Anna Wright

Dr Anna Wright

Co-founder and CEO, BindiMaps

Circle: Growth in the time of COVID

Anna Wright is the CEO and Co-founder of BindiMaps – a navigation app revolutionising the way we navigate indoor spaces. She developed the idea for BindiMaps after undergoing years of major surgery to save her own eyesight — a daunting experience that led her to ask the question “how can we make the world more accessible for people with vision impairment?”.

Prior to launching BindiMaps, Anna had helped many other businesses move from startup through to IPO, as a consultant specialising in Business Development and Business Analysis. She holds a PhD and has built an academic career as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney, researching and teaching in the areas of Innovation and Valuation. Today, her startup has grown to a team of ten full-time employees and closed a $1.5 million financing round during COVID.

Anna is a recognised leader in the startup ecosystem, lighting a path for non-technical founders to start and build tech companies that can change the world. It is her passion for impact that has seen Anna nominated for 2019 Australian of the Year, in recognition of her leadership and commitment to creating a more inclusive world through BindiMaps. She has also been listed as one of the top 10 Australian entrepreneurs to watch in 2019, top 5 female Australian entrepreneurs 2019, top 10 dynamic Australian entrepreneurs for 2020 and 2020 NSW Pearcey Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist.

Mike Zimmerman

Mike Zimmerman

Partner, Main Sequence Ventures

Circle: Saving the Planet with Data – Environmental Intelligence, Automation in the Built Environment

Mike Zimmerman is an investor and entrepreneur with a wide range of experience building technology companies, particularly with growth companies in enterprise SaaS, internet and energy/IoT sectors. He has been the Founder/CEO or senior executive in 3 venture-backed companies in AU/US and an investor (venture or angel) in 12 companies, most of which started in AU and moved to the US.

Mike’s expertise is in sales and marketing, business models and strategic partnering, and on the people side: executive recruiting/ performance management, board development and evaluation, and advisory boards. Mike’s transactional experience includes angel and venture financing, buy- and sell-side M&A, public offerings and restructurings.

Mike’s specialties include: helping build early stage technology companies, with particular interest in applying new technology to industrial applications; SaaS; data analytics; machine learning; UAVs; internet of things; predictive analytics; smart grid; energy efficiency; demand response and load management.

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