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Advance Queensland Innovation and Investment Summit

The inaugural Innovation and Investment Summit (27–29 April 2016) put a global spotlight on Queensland innovation, bringing together some of the world’s best visionaries in technology and innovation to inspire and empower Queenslanders.

The summit was jointly presented by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, and the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation.

If you missed the live streaming, you can watch some of the sessions below.

Summit photos

View all photos from the summit.

Summit partners

This summit would not have been possible without the support of our amazing partners - meet our partners.

Summit program

Thursday 28 April 2016

The summit sessions explored how we think about innovation, why it matters, how it is shaping markets here and around the world, and what it means for Queensland businesses.

Some of the key industries the sessions focussed on included agriculture technology, energy and resources, life sciences and medical technology, and creative industries.

Friday 29 April 2016

The final day of the summit was dedicated Startup Festival to showcase the talent and potential of Queensland’s entrepreneur community. This inaugural event enabled startups, investors and businesses to learn from successful entrepreneurs, collaborate and create partnership opportunities to commercialise Queensland ideas.

Summit speakers

An exciting selection of speakers joined us at the summit and shared their experiences, igniting conversations with event attendees.

Thursday 28 April

Steve Wozniak

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Steve Wozniak

A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Steve Wozniak has helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products the Apple I and II and influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. For his achievements at Apple, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 1985, the highest honour bestowed on America’s leading innovators. In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment. Through the years, Wozniak has been involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools and stressing hands-on learning and encouraging creativity for students. Wozniak is Chief Scientist at Primary Data and is a published author with the release of his New York Times bestselling autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon by Norton Publishing.

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Bernie Hobbs

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Bernie Hobbs

Bernie Hobbs has always had a thing for science. And while she’s spent some time actually doing it, her real passion is for talking (and talking, and talking) about it, which she has done on ABC radio and television since 1997. The former science teacher and medical researcher, with first class honours in biochemistry and microbiology, is best known as a regular judge on The New Inventors and host of children’s science show experiMENTALS. She is also the brainchild behind a number of award-winning websites including Bernie’s Basics, Planet Slayer, Green at Work and ABC Zoom.

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Dr Curt Carlson

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Dr Curt Carlson

Dr Curt Carlson is an innovation evangelist and pioneer in the development of innovation best practices. He is an advisor to presidents and prime ministers, CEOs and others on innovation, R&D and economic development policies. Curt was the president and CEO of SRI International from 1998 to 2014. During this time SRI’s revenue more than tripled and the company became a global model for the systematic creation of high-value innovations, such as HDTV, Siri other world-changing advances. He served on US President Barack Obama's National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and is a member of the national scientific advisory boards of Singapore and Taiwan. Curt is the founder and CEO of Practice of Innovation, which works with entrepreneurs, startups, established companies, governments and universities to sharpen their innovative performance.

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Sanoop Luke

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Sanoop Luke

Sanoop Luke is an expert in digital media driving YouTube’s Kids and Learning Content in Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia. He serves as a strategic adviser to leading Kids producers, ranging from international TV broadcasters, to independent studios, to the next generation of native YouTube creators – some as young as nine years old.

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Bruce Dell

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Bruce Dell

Bruce Dell is the CEO of Euclideon Unlimited, a Brisbane-based technology company that creates hologram technology. The company builds both hardware and software and is best known for the unlimited detail 3D search algorithm that gives computers unlimited power in 3D graphics. Four years ago, the internet was full of scepticism around Euclideon’s technology, but today this technology is used by some of the largest geospatial companies in the world. Euclideon is launching its hologram room technology and a new holographic entertainment centre on the Gold Coast soon.

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Dr Catherine Ball

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Dr Catherine Ball

2015 Telstra Business Woman of the Year Dr Catherine Ball is the director of applied innovation at Elemental Strategy and founder and CEO of Remote Research Ranges. The drone expert and her colleagues have delivered several world-firsts over the past few years, including evaluating turtle rookeries and investigating infrastructure such as roads for flood damage. Catherine won the national Telstra award for her work using drones to improve environmental outcomes on engineering projects. She uses drones to explore remote islands, map vegetation and conduct marine fauna surveys, allowing infrastructure companies to make informed choices to preserve native species.  She has now started to train people with the power of remote sensing technology and continues to consult governments and private companies. Catherine holds a PhD in Statistics and Modelling, Microbial Ecology, Molecular Biology from University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK).

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Glen Giovannetti

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Glen Giovannetti

Glen Giovannetti is the Global Life Sciences Sector Leader at Ernst and Young. He leads a team focused on understanding the evolving needs of companies in the life sciences industry, monitoring trends and business drivers and networking with and informing EY professionals globally. Glen has over 30 years of experience with EY. Previously he was a partner in the firm’s Silicon Valley practice and also spent three years in its Milan office. He is on the board of trustees at Linfield College, a member of the Leadership Council of The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a former board member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

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Wayne Gerard

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Wayne Gerard

With a background in engineering, mining and consulting, entrepreneur Wayne Gerard wanted to provide engineers with a better way to edit maps. So he co-founded RedEye, a Brisbane-based tech startup that offers a cloud-based solution for managing engineering drawings. The company has international offices in Houston and Palo Alto and is now expanding into Silicon Valley. Before RedEye, Wayne co-founded engineering company Waterline Projects and consulting firm SDG. He has served as the chair of CCIQ Innovation Committee, and is currently a board member of StartupAUS and a member of the Queensland Startup Working Group.

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Don Meij

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Don Meij

Entrepreneur Don Meij began his career as a pizza delivery driver and worked his way up to be group CEO and managing director of Domino’s Pizza Enterprises. Under his leadership, Domino’s became Australia’s first publicly listed pizza chain, in May 2005. Technology has been at the forefront of the company’s transformation. Also in 2005, Domino’s launched Australia’s first online ordering website including innovative Pizza Tracker technology. Domino’s continued to launch innovations such as SMS ordering, Smart Watch ordering and Pizza Mogul crowdsourcing app, which allows customers to design their own unique pizza flavours and sell them through social media to earn a slice of the profits. Domino’s GPS Driver Tracker is the latest in a host of innovations revolutionising the fast food industry. Last year, Meij was awarded the Channel 7 Business Person of the Year at the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Business Awards.

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Dr Nina Tandon

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Dr Nina Tandon

Dr Nina Tandon is CEO and co-founder of EpiBone, the world’s first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction. She is the co-author of Super Cells: Building with Biology, a book that explores the new frontier of biotech. Nina is a TED senior fellow and adjunct professor of electrical engineering at New York’s Cooper Union. She has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the Cooper Union, a Master’s in Bioelectrical Engineering from MIT, a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and an MBA from Columbia University. Her PhD research focused on studying electrical signalling in the context of tissue engineering, and she has worked with cardiac, skin, bone, and neural tissue. After completing her PhD, she consulted at McKinsey and Company, but since 2010 she has continued her work in tissue engineering. Nina has published 10 journal articles and six book chapters, and has three patents. She was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company and a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer.

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Dr David Finn

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Dr David Finn

Dr David Finn is the cofounder, managing director and CEO of Tritium, a power electronics engineering company specialising in sustainable energy applications.He is passionate about creating new and cutting-edge technology in the transport and energy sectors. David has a background in business, management and engineering and over a decade’s experience designing and implementing power-electronic products. He has a PhD in electrical engineering from The University of Queensland.

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Bindi Karia

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Bindi Karia

Known as the “Queen of Startups”, Bindi Karia has devoted much of her career to connecting the dots between investors, founders, corporates and government.Bindi is a former vice president of Silicon Valley Bank, where she helped drive its early-stage efforts in Europe and build relationships within corporate and emerging venture capital sectors. She worked as the venture capital/ emerging business lead at Microsoft UK for five years, where she managed BizSpark (now Microsoft Ventures). Bindi is an active mentor at London incubators such as Seedcamp, TechStars, Startupbootcamp, WAYRA, JLab, Microsoft Ventures & Level39. She sits on many industry advisory boards including Startup Europe, Tech London Advocates and Up Global Europe. In 2014, she was named in the Silicon 60 and Top 100 Influential Londoners by the Evening Standard and listed in Britain’s 100 Most Influential Women List by GQ Magazine.

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Dr Justin Wong

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Dr Justin Wong

Dr Justin Wong is an engineer, a medical doctor and founder of the startup OnCallogist. Spotting a need for a more efficient way for hospital clinicians to respond to patients’ requests he developed OnCallogist, an app that allows doctors to receive real-time information so they can prioritise requests based on urgency and location. The app puts an end to constant pager interruptions and the traditional paper-based system of managing patient care. It provides reassurance to patients, letting them know when their doctor will arrive, and saves time – on average 42 minutes! The app won the 2015 Premier’s award for fostering innovation. Justin has a Bachelor of Science (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery from The University of Queensland.

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Leanne Kemp

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Leanne Kemp

Leanne Kemp is the founder and CEO of Everledger, a global digital ledger that records the ownership and origin of diamonds to thwart theft and fraud. Everledger increases transparency and prevents fraud in the diamond market by using block chain technology that cannot be altered, making it impossible to change an entry on the ledger once it has been written. Everledger participated in the Barclays Techstars Accelerator 2015 in London. The business has received global attention from many industries including insurance, tech, mining and banking, and is listed in the top 25 most exciting Bitcoin startups globally. Leanne has more than 20 years’ experience in emerging technology in supply chains and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from James Cook University and a Bachelor of Criminology from Griffith University.

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Professor Ian Frazer AC

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Professor Ian Frazer AC

Australian of the Year for 2006 Prof Ian Frazer AC is the co-inventor of a world-first cervical cancer vaccine, which is now saving countless lives right across the globe. The Scottish-born clinical immunologist leads a research group that is looking into the immunobiology of epithelial cancers at The University of Queensland’s Translational Research Institute. Ian also heads a biotechnology company, Admedus Vaccines, which is working on new vaccine technologies. He is a board member of several companies and not for profits, the current president of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and a member of the Commonwealth Science Council.  Ian was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science and the Balzan Prize in 2008, and elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2012. He was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2013.

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Richard Suhr

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Richard Suhr

Richard Suhr leads Ernst and Young’s digital practice in the Asia-Pacific region, where he supports large-enterprise customers to plan and execute their digital strategy. He is an expert in creating high-growth digital businesses and advises several technology startups. Richard previously worked for Google as the managing director of the tech giant’s Enterprise Geospatial Division in Asia-Pacific and Japan. He managed BearingPoint’s Government and Financial Services practice and worked in London for Accenture for nine years. Richard holds a Bachelor in Art History from the Victoria University of Wellington.

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Professor Sagadevan Mundree

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Professor Sagadevan Mundree

Prof Sagadevan Mundree was recently appointed director of the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities at Queensland University of Technology. Prior to that, he was deputy director of the CTCB for five years, and a senior executive in Queensland’s Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries where he led a team that was responsible for investments in research, development and extension. Sagadevan is a former academic from the University of Cape Town and served as CEO of South Africa’s National Innovation Centre for Agricultural Biotechnology. He has a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology, which he completed at Auburn University (US) on a Fulbright Scholarship, and an MBA from the University of Cape Town. Sagadevan is a member of the South African Academy of Science and served on the National Biotechnology Advisory Council.

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Kristen Souvlis

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Kristen Souvlis

Kristen Souvlis is co-owner and managing director of Like A Photon Creative, a children’s content production company. She is currently producing Balloon Barnyard, an animated preschool series for Disney Australia, and Pixapops, a content platform for kids with a worldwide release. Kristen began her television career as a production coordinator for Network Ten children’s series Totally Wild. After five years at Jonathan M. Shiff Productions in the producing and development team for shows such as H2O: Just Add Water, Lightning Point and Mako Mermaids, Kristen went on to produce Handball Heroes for ABC3; 5 Kangaroos for Sesame Workshop USA out of Carbon Media, and Toasted TV, Network Ten’s national hosted cartoon show. In 2015, she worked with Hoodlum, an award-winning media company, producing television and multiplatform content for a variety of clients including Hewlett Packard and History Channel’s Vikings and Texas Rising.

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Wayne Denning

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Wayne Denning

Wayne Denning is the founder, executive producer and managing director of Carbon Media, and a proud Birra Gubba man from Blackwater, Central Queensland. Founded in 2006, Carbon Media is a multi-award-winning creative services and media production company, which strives to give Indigenous Australians a positive voice through television shows and social change campaigns for a diverse client portfolio. Productions have included films for global iconic TV giant Sesame Street including 5 Kangaroos and most recently, sports entertainment series League Nation Live for NITV. Wayne is currently the deputy chair of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. He has served as a member of the board of the Brisbane Writers Festival and Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts and as Chairman of the Indigenous Advisory Group for Brisbane Festival. He holds a Master of Business Administration from QUT and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in sociology, psychology and political geography, from CQ University. Wayne is an Advance Queensland Community Digital Champion.

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Dr Laurie Hammond

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Dr Laurie Hammond

Dr Laurie Hammond has invested in many startups and early-stage technology ventures through inQbator and iQ Capital Management and advises companies on commercialisation and business development.  He is chairman of the boards of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and CMTE Development Limited (previously CRCMining). His earlier roles include 20 years as a scientist and research director and 10 years as a chief executive in several organisations in Australia and overseas.  Laurie has served as chairman of the Commonwealth Government's Commercialisation Australia Board and as a member of its Innovation Australia Board and Cooperative Research Centres Committee.  He has current and previous adjunct professorial appointments in the business schools of several Australian universities, and holds a PhD in marine ecology from the University of the West Indies, an MBA from the University of Melbourne, and a BSC (Hons) from James Cook University.

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Mark Sowerby

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Mark Sowerby

Mark Sowerby is the founder and managing director of Blue Sky Alternative Investments, an ASX 300 company with more than $1.7 billion in assets under management. Blue Sky invests across private equity, venture capital, private real estate, real assets and hedge funds, and has delivered net returns to investors of 16.9% per annum compounding since inception. Mark holds a Master of Business Administration from The University of Queensland, a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment at the Securities Institute of Australia, and a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. In 2015, Mark not only received The University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Award and was named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Queensland but he also swam the English Channel!

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Jillian Scherf

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Jillian Scherf

Jillian is a commercial finance professional with a knack for innovation. She joined Rio Tinto in 2008 where she is a general manager in analytics and systems. Jillian was a fundamental member of the innovation team that set up Rio Tinto’s Mine of the Future and she has been responsible for the development of the company’s governance, intellectual property and commercialising technologies. In 2014, Jillian was appointed chair of the Rio Tinto Innovation Centre in Pune, India, where the focus is on Big Data Analytics and Systems Engineering. She was appointed a board member of the Foundation for Australia Japan Studies in 2015.

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Andrew Roberts

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Andrew Roberts

If you’ve ever created content on the Internet, chances are you’ve used one of Andrew Roberts’ products. He has founded three different technology businesses including Ephox, where he is now the CEO. Ephox's rich text editing platform is downloaded more than 300 million times a year and is used to create over 30 per cent of the world’s websites. Andrew was awarded a Young Australian of the Year Award and started his first company at age 17. Andrew graduated from the University of Queensland in computer science and is an active member of the Australian community in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Adam Spencer

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Adam Spencer

According to comedian, mathematician and media personality Adam Spencer, anyone who has been bitten by the numbers bug knows it bites early and it bites deep. It bit him when he was seven. His fascination eventually led him to study a PhD in pure mathematics at the University of Sydney and, while there, he won the inaugural triple j Raw Comedy competition, which launched his career in radio. He then hosted the Triple J breakfast show alongside comedian Wil Anderson for six years and worked for 702 ABC Sydney radio for eight years, where he maintained second place in Australia’s largest and most competitive market. Adam hosted the television series Sleek Geeks with Karl Kruszelnicki, and has appeared on The Drum, The Back Page and Good News Week. He has written two books, World of Numbers and Big Book of Numbers, and delivered one of one the most popular maths talks ever – a TED talk about monster prime numbers, viewed by 1.4 million… and counting.

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Will Wilson

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Will Wilson

Will Wilson is a fourth-generation cattleman and well-known visionary who pioneers new technologies in Australia’s rural industries. He is the founder and director of MANDRA, a company that specialises in integrated information management systems. Will created the revolutionary livestock management app called iHerd, which allows farmers to track and monitor cattle and provide sustainable and traceable information direct to consumers. He also owns and operates Calliope Cattle Company, and is the cattle board director of AgForce Queensland.

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Daley Pearson

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Daley Pearson

Daley Pearson is an Emmy Award winning creator, writer, director and co-founder at Ludo Studio, a creative studio that specialises in producing original stories and innovative formats across all platforms. Daley wrote and directed the comedy series #7DaysLater for ABC television, which won an International Emmy Award for Best Digital Program: Fiction in 2014. He created The Strange Calls, which is being remade and piloted at 20th Century Fox and NBC Universal, starring Danny Pudi (Community) and Daniel Stern (Home Alone). Daley is also co-creating and writing the animated comedy series The Strange Chores (ABC3) along with The Sketchy Show (Cartoon Network) and an original comedy feature film, ET & ME, with Sacha Baron Cohen’s US company.

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Piers Hogarth-Scott

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Piers Hogarth-Scott

Director of Digital Consulting at KPMG, Piers Hogarth-Scott Piers has been recognised by Business Age as one of the top 50 entrepreneurs in the UK to have made the most significant contribution to the Internet, innovation and wealth creation. He has built a career in digital since the mid-90s, leading fast growing digital and technology services firms in Australia and Europe. His current focus is around digital disruption, digital transformation and the Internet of Things, with a particular focus on smart cities and smart agriculture.

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Roger Leaning

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Roger Leaning

Roger is a qualified metallurgical engineer, who spent his early career as a project engineer designing, constructing and commissioning mineral, energy and industrial processing plants. Roger joined Morgans in 2004 as a resource analyst and was appointed head of research in 2007, before joining the Corporate Department in July 2015. Roger's engineering and construction experience is of great value during this period of unprecedented global resource capital expenditure in new mineral and energy capacity.

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Friday 29 April

Bindi Karia

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Bindi Karia

Known as the “Queen of Startups”, Bindi Karia has devoted much of her career to connecting the dots between investors, founders, corporates and government.Bindi is a former vice president of Silicon Valley Bank, where she helped drive its early-stage efforts in Europe and build relationships within corporate and emerging venture capital sectors. She worked as the venture capital/ emerging business lead at Microsoft UK for five years, where she managed BizSpark (now Microsoft Ventures). Bindi is an active mentor at London incubators such as Seedcamp, TechStars, Startupbootcamp, WAYRA, JLab, Microsoft Ventures & Level39. She sits on many industry advisory boards including Startup Europe, Tech London Advocates and Up Global Europe. In 2014, she was named in the Silicon 60 and Top 100 Influential Londoners by the Evening Standard and listed in Britain’s 100 Most Influential Women List by GQ Magazine.

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Bob Moczydlowsky

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Bob Moczydlowsky

Bob Moczydlowsky has dedicated his career to removing obstacles between musicians and fans. He’s managed bands and events, created artist web sites and in 1996, founded one of the web’s first licensed streaming music sites. As the former head of music for Twitter, Bob focused on building music industry partnerships and maximising the platform's impact for artists and their fans. Bob is the past SVP product and marketing at Topspin Media. Before his time with Topspin, he worked at Yahoo! Music, founded the media agency Closed System and worked closely with the Sundance Institute and the NEA to help musicians, filmmakers and educators. Bob has degrees from The University of Kansas and Carnegie Mellon University, and teaches in CMU’s Master of Entertainment Industry Management program.

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Dr Catherine Ball

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Dr Catherine Ball

2015 Telstra Business Woman of the Year Dr Catherine Ball is the director of applied innovation at Elemental Strategy and founder and CEO of Remote Research Ranges. The drone expert and her colleagues have delivered several world-firsts over the past few years, including evaluating turtle rookeries and investigating infrastructure such as roads for flood damage. Catherine won the national Telstra award for her work using drones to improve environmental outcomes on engineering projects. She uses drones to explore remote islands, map vegetation and conduct marine fauna surveys, allowing infrastructure companies to make informed choices to preserve native species.  She has now started to train people with the power of remote sensing technology and continues to consult governments and private companies. Catherine holds a PhD in Statistics and Modelling, Microbial Ecology, Molecular Biology from University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK).

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Glen Giovannetti

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Glen Giovannetti

Glen Giovannetti is the Global Life Sciences Sector Leader at Ernst and Young. He leads a team focused on understanding the evolving needs of companies in the life sciences industry, monitoring trends and business drivers and networking with and informing EY professionals globally. Glen has over 30 years of experience with EY. Previously he was a partner in the firm’s Silicon Valley practice and also spent three years in its Milan office. He is on the board of trustees at Linfield College, a member of the Leadership Council of The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a former board member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

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Brad Feld

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Brad Feld

Brad Feld is a US entrepreneur, author, blogger, and venture capitalist at Foundry Group who’s been an early-stage investor and entrepreneur since 1987. He is also an art collector and long-distance runner who has completed 23 marathons as part of his mission to finish one in each of the 50 United States!  As well as Foundry Group, he has co-founded Mobius Venture Capital, Intensity Ventures and Techstars. Brad has also been active with several non-profit organisations and is now chair of the National Center for Women & Information Technology and co-chair of Startup Colorado. He is a speaker on venture capital investing and entrepreneurship, and writes the blogs Feld Thoughts, Startup Revolution and Ask the VC. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Management Science from MIT.

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Dr Nina Tandon

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Dr Nina Tandon

Dr Nina Tandon is CEO and co-founder of EpiBone, the world’s first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction. She is the co-author of Super Cells: Building with Biology, a book that explores the new frontier of biotech. Nina is a TED senior fellow and adjunct professor of electrical engineering at New York’s Cooper Union. She has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the Cooper Union, a Master’s in Bioelectrical Engineering from MIT, a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and an MBA from Columbia University. Her PhD research focused on studying electrical signalling in the context of tissue engineering, and she has worked with cardiac, skin, bone, and neural tissue. After completing her PhD, she consulted at McKinsey and Company, but since 2010 she has continued her work in tissue engineering. Nina has published 10 journal articles and six book chapters, and has three patents.  She was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company and a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer.

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Steve Baxter

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Steve Baxter

Steve Baxter is an investor and entrepreneur, best known as one of the “sharks” on the popular Australian television show Shark Tank. He is a founding director of StartupAUS and has invested in early-stage businesses with combined value of over $100 million. Stevelaunched his first startup, internet service provider SE Net aged 23 and it went on to be acquired by OzEmail/UUNet under the helm of its founding director Malcolm Turnbull. In 2001, he founded PIPE Networks with a school friend, which later sold to TPG Group for $373 million. In 2012, Steve founded River City Labs in Brisbane, a co-working hub for early-stage and startup companies in the mobile, internet, telecoms and technology sector. In 2014, he instigated a mission to send 20 future entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley called the Startup Catalyst.

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Dr Elaine Stead

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Dr Elaine Stead

Dr Elaine Stead began her career as a stem-cell biologist before becoming an entrepreneur and moving into venture capital. She is now the investment director at Blue Sky Alternative Investments, responsible for managing their venture capital fund and portfolio. Elaine has worked as a venture capitalist in Australia and the US across a broad range of industries including agriculture, healthcare and IT. She has also worked in strategic management consulting, with both NASDAQ and ASX-listed and private companies in Australia and the US. She is a member of AVCALs venture capital stakeholder committee and a member of the Australian National University’s venture capital fund investment committee, ANUConnect Venture Capital. Elaine has a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Adelaide.

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Dr Curt Carlson

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Dr Curt Carlson

Dr Curt Carlson is an innovation evangelist and pioneer in the development of innovation best practices. He is an advisor to presidents and prime ministers, CEOs and others on innovation, R&D and economic development policies. Curt was the president and CEO of SRI International from 1998 to 2014. During this time SRI’s revenue more than tripled and the company became a global model for the systematic creation of high-value innovations, such as HDTV, Siri other world-changing advances. He served on US President Barack Obama's National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and is a member of the national scientific advisory boards of Singapore and Taiwan. Curt is the founder and CEO of Practice of Innovation, which works with entrepreneurs, startups, established companies, governments and universities to sharpen their innovative performance.

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Leanne Kemp

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Leanne Kemp

Leanne Kemp is the founder and CEO of Everledger, a global digital ledger that records the ownership and origin of diamonds to thwart theft and fraud. Everledger increases transparency and prevents fraud in the diamond market by using block chain technology that cannot be altered, making it impossible to change an entry on the ledger once it has been written. Everledger participated in the Barclays Techstars Accelerator 2015 in London. The business has received global attention from many industries including insurance, tech, mining and banking, and is listed in the top 25 most exciting Bitcoin startups globally. Leanne has more than 20 years’ experience in emerging technology in supply chains and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from James Cook University and a Bachelor of Criminology from Griffith University.

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Stephen Phillips

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Stephen Phillips

Stephen Phillips is the CEO of Brisbane-based startup Mawson Robotics, which aims to design intelligent machines to grow Australia’s most valuable industries. Stephen was the co-founder and CEO of popular music search company We Are Hunted that was acquired by Twitter in 2012. The website provided a constant stream of new music and allowed users to discover, play and share popular emerging songs in real time. He worked for Twitter in San Francisco as a senior staff software engineer during the company’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Juliette Wright

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Juliette Wright

Juliette Wright is the founder and CEO of GIVIT, an online platform connecting those in need with those who can give. In 2015, Juliette was awarded the title of Australia’s Local Hero at the Australian of the Year Awards, for her work alleviating the effects of poverty across the country. During the 2011 floods that devastated Queensland, GIVIT became the State Government’s official website for matching donors and recipients. In three weeks, 1.8 million hits resulted in 33,500 goods matched. All up, almost 240,000 items have been distributed across Australia since GIVIT was established in 2009. Juliette has recently launched GIVIT Kids, a safe online platform for children to give new or pre-loved belongings to those in need. Juliette is an Advance Queensland Community Digital Champion.

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Dr Stefan Hajkowicz

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Dr Stefan Hajkowicz

Dr Stefan Hajkowicz is an in-demand speaker for professional and public audiences on the topics of future trends and decision-making. He authored Global Megatrends and is widely published in international research literature. Stefan is the principal scientist (strategy and foresight) at CSIRO’s Data61 and his current research portfolio includes global food security, the rise of the digital economy, the future of Australian sport, new models for retail and human service delivery. His research aims to assist organisations to explore plausible futures, decision-making and planning. Stefan is an expert in geography, economics and decision theory, with qualifications from the University of Queensland and University of New England.

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Jane Lu

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Jane Lu

Jane Lu started the global online fashion store Showpo with a laptop and two shelves of clothing in her parents' garage. Jane worked in corporate finance but after returning from travelling overseas, couldn't adjust back to “cubicle life” and quit her job to start her own business. Her first business failed – but she used it as a stepping stone to build Showpo up to where it is today. Through being disruptive in the retail and social media space, the business that started in September 2010 is now a well-known and loved clothing store for girls around the world. Showpo’s focus is on being on-trend, affordable and mixing exceptional customer service with fast delivery. Jane has also recently co-founded a business group that encourages female entrepreneurship. The group has 2100 members after just six months and hosts monthly free events to promote women in business.

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Mark Sowerby

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Mark Sowerby

Mark Sowerby is the founder and managing director of Blue Sky Alternative Investments, an ASX 300 company with more than $1.7 billion in assets under management. Blue Sky invests across private equity, venture capital, private real estate, real assets and hedge funds, and has delivered net returns to investors of 16.9% per annum compounding since inception. Mark holds a Master of Business Administration from The University of Queensland, a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment at the Securities Institute of Australia, and a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. In 2015, Mark not only received The University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Award and was named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Queensland but he also swam the English Channel!

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Leigh Angus

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Leigh Angus

Leigh Angus has a passion for disruption and specialises in implementing emerging technologies, digital products and services innovation. She is the head innovator at Domino's Pizza Enterprises and has 20 years’ experience in large corporate, research environments and technology startups in Australia and Israel. Leigh is also the director and co-founder of Junior Engineers, a business providing software coding courses to children, offered in 40 schools across Queensland and Victoria. She is also the Student Entrepreneurship and Innovation senior advisor at the University of Queensland, helping to grow a co-working space to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration at the university. Leigh is a member of the Queensland Startup Working Group and the state lead of the National Innovation Special Interest Group at the Australian Information Industry Association.

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Lucas Patchett and Nicholas Marchesi

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Lucas Patchett and Nicholas Marchesi

2016 Young Australians of the Year Lucas Patchett and Nicholas Marchesi are helping to give dignity to the homeless with the world’s first free mobile laundry, Orange Sky Laundry. During school the pair volunteered for a food van service for the homeless, and were inspired to establish the startup when they identified the need for a mobile laundry service. They co-founded the laundry in September 2014 as 20-year-olds, with an old van nicknamed Sudsy fitted out with a generator, water tanks, two washing machines and driers. They have now expanded to 36 locations across Melbourne, southeast Victoria, Sydney and the Gold Coast. More than 270 volunteers help wash more than 350 loads of clothes and blankets each week. In February 2015, they provided disaster relief for four days in communities devastated by Cyclone Marcia.

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Erica Hughes

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Erica Hughes

Erica Hughes is the practice lead at DX Solutions and former head of change management, transformation and innovation at Westpac. She has extensive experience in corporate leadership, business transformation and change management, and has led major transformation programs in the banking and finance industry. Erica is the founder of Westpac’s innovation acceleration initiative Westpac Garage, a specialist team dedicated to fast-tracking innovative financial services. She has established several startups including a pharmaceutical clinical trial company, Nucleus Network, and a gene therapy business, V-Kardia.

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Taj Pabari

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Taj Pabari

Taj Pabari is a 16-year-old inventor, entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of Fiftysix Creations. The company sells tablets and coding kits for children to inspire them to embrace technology, entrepreneurship and innovation. The kit allows children to build and customise their own Android tablet to learn about hardware through experimentation. The tablet comes equipped with Planet 56 and Run Macro apps, which teaches how to code and program computers. Taj was named the The Australian newspaper’s Young Innovator of the Year for 2014. He is currently studying in Year 12 at John Paul College in Brisbane. Taj is an Advance Queensland Community Digital Champion.

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Richard Suhr

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Richard Suhr

Richard Suhr leads Ernst and Young’s digital practice in the Asia-Pacific region, where he supports large-enterprise customers to plan and execute their digital strategy. He is an expert in creating high-growth digital businesses and advises several technology startups. Richard previously worked for Google as the managing director of the tech giant’s Enterprise Geospatial Division in Asia-Pacific and Japan. He managed BearingPoint’s Government and Financial Services practice and worked in London for Accenture for nine years. Richard holds a Bachelor in Art History from the Victoria University of Wellington.

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Anne-Marie Birkill

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Anne-Marie Birkill

Anne-Marie Birkill is an expert in technology commercialisation and has worked with companies in the biotechnology, clean technology and IT sectors as a consultant, mentor, advisor and director. She is a partner and executive director of OneVentures Innovation Fund. Anne-Marie served as the CEO of i.lab Incubator and mentored more than 100 early-stage technology companies. She is an industry fellow with The UQ Business School, a member of the Federal Government’s $200million Clean Technology Innovation Fund Committee and a director for Springboard Australia.

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Peter Bradd

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Peter Bradd

Peter Bradd is “serial entrepreneur”, charity founder, corporate innovation and government policy advisor who is passionate about enabling Australians to innovate. He is the CEO and co-founder of The Beanstalk Factory, which enables individuals within corporations to innovate faster and with more confidence. Peter is a founding director and chairman of StartupAUS, a not-for-profit that aims to transform Australia through entrepreneurship. He is the CEO and founder of ScribblePics, which allows people to personalise postcards using their own photographs, and has leading travel clients including Qantas, Jetstar, Hilton, Expedia and Contiki. Peter is also the founding director of Sydney’s first tech co-working space Fishburners, home to more than 175 tech startups.

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Anna Rooke

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Anna Rooke

Anna Rooke is CEO of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia, the commercial arm of Australia’s first dedicated creative industries precinct in Brisbane. CEA helps companies to start, grow, scale and connect and is Australia’s only dedicated creative industries accelerator. CEA offers services including co-working space for creatives and support for emerging startups. They also host Creative3, Australia's largest conference for creative entrepreneurs. CEA has a portfolio of companies including Fame and Partners (e-commerce), GiggedIn (crowd-funded live music), Metaverse Makeovers (wearable tech start-up specialising in augmented reality), and Trademark Vision (image recognition improving trademark searching and brand monitoring using image searching tools). During her role at CEA, Anna has been engaged as an advisor to creative industries projects in Europe, Indonesia, China and Taiwan.

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Peter Ball

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Peter Ball

Peter Ball is a long-time advocate for social innovation who is the co-founder and managing director of Yonder Co and Impact Academy. Peter specialises in incubating and scaling social enterprise through social franchising and impact investment, and has worked extensively with non-profit organisations and startups.  Yonder Co is an advisory firm that works with government, non-profits and corporates to develop high-growth and high-impact initiatives to enhance social innovation. Impact Academy is an accelerator that supports leading social enterprises achieve rapid enterprise growth to ensure sustainable and scalable social impact.

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Aysegul Kayahan

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Aysegul Kayahan

Aysegul Kayahan is the non-executive director of Brisbane Angels, a large group of private investors who target early-stage technology companies. Aysegul has invested in more than 20 startups across a number of industries since 2009 and mentors scalable science and technology startups through Brisbane accelerators. She sits on the board of Five Faces and on the advisory board of ProcessPA. Aysegul is an experienced company director and global mobility professional who is the founding partner and principal of Relocation Specialists.

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David Hulston

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David Hulston

David Hulston is a seasoned angel investor with more than 30 years’ experience in finance, commercialisation strategy and management roles at technology businesses. He was a founder-director in 1998 of a £3.3 million management buy-out of the Central Research Laboratories from EMI. Two years later the business, Scipher, was floated on the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of £330 million. He founded and developed QED Intellectual Property, a licensing and management service business that included the Open Innovation marketplace yet2.com, with offices in the UK, Japan and the US. Clients for this business included most of the Fortune Global 500. Since 2005, David has been an angel investor in early-stage technology businesses. He is currently a non-executive director of Comparison Creator, Inngot, Pwinty and Rantmedia Games, and investment director of Indycube Ventures. In December 2014 David was the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Visiting Entrepreneur.

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Dr Laurie Hammond

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Dr Laurie Hammond

Dr Laurie Hammond has invested in many startups and early-stage technology ventures through inQbator and iQ Capital Management, and advises companies on commercialisation and business development.  He is chairman of the boards of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and CMTE Development Limited (previously CRCMining). Earlier roles included 20 years as a scientist and research director and 10 years as a chief executive in several organisations in Australia and overseas.  Laurie has served as chairman of the Commonwealth Government's Commercialisation Australia Board and as a member of its Innovation Australia Board and Cooperative Research Centres Committee.  He has current and previous adjunct professorial appointments in the business schools of several Australian universities, and holds a PhD in marine ecology from the University of the West Indies, an MBA from the University of Melbourne, and a BSC (Hons) from James Cook University.

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Wayne Gerard

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Wayne Gerard

With a background in engineering, mining and consulting, entrepreneur Wayne Gerard wanted to provide engineers with a better way to edit maps. So he co-founded RedEye, a Brisbane-based tech startup that offers a cloud-based solution for managing engineering drawings. The company has international offices in Houston and Palo Alto and is now expanding into Silicon Valley. Before RedEye, Wayne co-founded engineering company Waterline Projects and consulting firm SDG. He has served as the chair of CCIQ Innovation Committee, and is currently a board member of StartupAUS and a member of the Queensland Startup Working Group.

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Sandy Blackburn-Wright

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Sandy Blackburn-Wright

Sandy Blackburn-Wright is a social innovator, thought leader and change maker. She is the managing director of Social Outcomes, which specialises in the design and implementation of social and financial innovations including shared value, impact investing, social impact bonds and payment by outcomes contracting. Sandy has 15 years’ experience in international development in South Africa, where she worked as part of the anti-apartheid movement, and 10 years in professional and financial services in Australia. She was the head of social innovation for Westpac, where she established the bank as a major player in the impact investing market. She also created Westpac’s Organisational Mentoring Program, which supports not-for-profits and social enterprises to build organisational capacity. Sandy serves on the board of the Australian Centre for Not-for-Profit and Philanthropic Studies at QUT and the Community Services Industry Alliance, and is an Impact Investing Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact.

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Manju Bansal

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Manju Bansal

Manju Bansal is the vice president of SAP Startup Focus, a company that supports scalable startups in the big data, predictive and real-time analytics industry to develop new applications on SAP HANA and accelerate market traction. Prior to SAP, Manju founded his own startup, Thinknotes, a content delivery platform that connected consumers, physicians and pharmaceutical companies, and created personalised content repositories to help consumers manage their unique medical situations.

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Marita Cheng

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Marita Cheng

Marita Cheng is passionate about encouraging young women to pursue careers in engineering and technology. In 2008, she established Robogals Global, an educational organisation with 32 chapters around the world that has so far taught 45,000 schoolgirls the importance of engineering through school visits, robotics workshops and other fun, educational activities. In 2012, Marita was named Young Australian of the Year for her important work, and in 2013 she founded 2Mar Robotics, a company that makes robotic arms for people with limited upper mobility.

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Don Meij

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Don Meij

Entrepreneur Don Meij began his career as a pizza delivery driver and worked his way up to be group CEO and managing director of Domino’s Pizza Enterprises. Under his leadership, Domino’s became Australia’s first publicly listed pizza chain, in May 2005. Technology has been at the forefront of the company’s transformation. Also in 2005, Domino’s launched Australia’s first online ordering website including innovative Pizza Tracker technology. Domino’s continued to launch innovations such as SMS ordering, Smart Watch ordering and Pizza Mogul crowdsourcing app, which allows customers to design their own unique pizza flavours and sell them through social media to earn a slice of the profits. Domino’s GPS Driver Tracker is the latest in a host of innovations revolutionising the fast food industry. Last year, Meij was awarded the Channel 7 Business Person of the Year at the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Business Awards.

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Monica Bradley

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Monica Bradley

Monica Bradley is a corporate engagement specialist who advises startups, boards and organisations in strategies for innovation in the digital economy. She is the director of venture capital group Purposeful Capital, and is an active investor in early-stage startups and social impact enterprises. Monica returned to Australia in 2012 after working extensively in the United States and the Middle East designing business models and strategies for corporates, government, not for profits and startups. She has collaborated with QUT and PwC to establish the PwC Chair in Digital Economy, to drive research, facilitate participation and stimulate growth in the digital economy. Monica is a non-executive director of Brisbane Marketing, City Smart and B Corporation Australia.

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Allan English

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Allan English

Allan English is a philanthropist and social entrepreneur with “a big hairy audacious goal” – to fund 1 million people out of poverty. Allan is founder and executive chairman of Silver Chef, an equipment funding solution that gives young entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry access to the equipment essential to establishing their startups. The company is listed on the ASX and has 20,000 clients in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. In 2000, Allan established the Queensland office of Opportunity International, an organisation that provides small loans to women in developing countries to start their own small business. He also established the English Family Foundation in 2010 to support social entrepreneurs whose enterprises are benefiting the community. English was awarded Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Northern Region) in 2006 and the Queensland’s Philanthropist of the Year Award in 2012. He currently sits on the board of Philanthropy Australia.

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Tania Walter

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Tania Walter

Tania Walter began her career in software development aged 21 and developed a high-tech field service automation application – Obzervr. The cloud data management platform allows scientists to collect environmental field data such as water and soil information, and immediately validate it – a process still done mainly on paper. Tania began her entrepreneurship journey as the founder of Blue Rose Projects in 2002. The all-female boutique project and program management consultancy services blue chip customers in in the oil, financial services, retail and insurance sectors. Tania is on the board of the Brisbane Montessori School and is a long-standing project management professional through the Project Management Institute.

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Dan Gavel

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Dan Gavel

Dan Gavel is the director of Black Sheep Capital, an investment firm specialising in venture capital and property. He manages a substantial portfolio including property joint ventures, direct equity capital and angel investments, with more than $40 million in client assets. Dan is involved in selecting and investing in early-stage, high-growth startups seeking angel and seed investment. He has more than 10 years’ experience in the financial services industry as a senior financial planner and business owner, working with both small boutique and large licences.

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Ali Rowghani

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Ali Rowghani

Ali Rowghani is a managing partner of YC Continuity at Y Combinator, the most successful incubator for startups in Silicon Valley. Ali was previously an executive at Twitter, serving as the chief operating officer and chief financial officer. He successfully led the company’s initial public offering, and is credited with developing a close relationship between Twitter and Apple and driving Twitter’s push into television. Prior to Twitter, he worked for Pixar Animation Studios for eight years in several roles including chief financial officer and senior vice president of strategic planning.

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David Merson

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David Merson

David Merson is the Chairman of Euclideon, an advanced technology company pioneering 3D visualisation. He founded Mincom Limited in 1979, and helmed it to become Australia’s largest software developer and exporter, with revenues of $200 million, 1300 staff and 20 offices around the world.David has worked in the information technology industry in Australia and Europe since 1966, and has served as a director of a number of Australian software companies, research institutes and charitable institutions.His contributions to the industry have been recognised with a CSIRO iAward, a Centenary Medal from the Australian Government, the Export Hero award from the Australian Institute of Export, an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from the University of Queensland, the inaugural Australian Information Technology Association’s Gold Award and the 2015 Pearcey Medal. 

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Michael Dempsey

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Michael Dempsey

Michael Dempsey built payment solutions business Ezidebit from scratch in 1999, frustrated at chasing parents to pay bills at the childcare centres he ran. From a $300 turnover in its first month, Ezidebit now processes more than $3.5 billion on transactions a year. The company helps small businesses regain control of their cash flow by setting up and maintaining secure online recurring payments, including direct debit, BPAY and e-commerce. In 2014, Ezidebit was acquired by US-based Global Payments for $305 million. Michael currently works for Pipeline Capital, a venture capital firm that specialises in investing in tech startups.

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Philip Lee

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Philip Lee

Morgans’ executive director Philip Lee has over 29 years’ experience in the stockbroking industry. He is proficient in every aspect of equity capital raising for listed public companies and companies seeking to list, including offer structure, prospectus preparation, due diligence, accounts and forecasting, risk management, sales and marketing, logistics and legal requirements.

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Aaron Birkby

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Aaron Birkby

Aaron Birkby has a background as a tech entrepreneur with four successful exits, and is currently the Entrepreneur In Residence for the River City Labs Accelerator program in partnership with Telstra's muru-D. He is also the co-founder and sponsor of the Silicon Lakes startup incubator, and plays an active role in building the Queensland startup ecosystem. This role includes being a facilitator and board member for Startup Weekend in Australia, a member of the Queensland Startup Working Group, along with serving on two university advisory boards for entrepreneurship and ICT, and a weekly technology segment on ABC radio.

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Andrew Fox

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Andrew Fox

Andrew Fox is the sales director for business mobility and end user computing at VMware, responsible for leading the company’s end user computing portfolio including AirWatch. An IT industry veteran, Andrew has a strong record of driving business growth, technical excellence and managing large teams with a focus on customer needs. Before joining VMware in 2015, he worked for 10 years at SAP, leading the strategic mobile business with telco, SI and technology partners across the Asia Pacific region.

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Rob Fitzpatrick

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Rob Fitzpatrick

A passionate technology advocate with over three decades’ experience, Rob Fitzpatrick is helping to shape Australia’s innovation agenda by encouraging industry to embrace disruption. His career spans research and advocacy at the Property Council of Australia; corporate strategy, sales and marketing at McKinsey & Company; telecommunications at SingTel Optus; technology innovation at shopfast.com.au; commercialisation of early stage research at Data61; investing in technology-based startups; and influencing technology adoption in traditional businesses. As CEO of the Australian Information Industry Association, Rob connects member associations—from large ‘born global’ companies to small and medium businesses and entrepreneurial startups—with public and private sector organisations. Rob holds degrees in economics and law from the University of Sydney and a Master in Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Last updated
20 May, 2016

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