Tech23 2012 Logo TUESDAY

industry leaders

Bill Bartee | Managing Director, Southern Cross Ventures Partners

Bill Bartee photo Bill is a founding partner of Southern Cross Venture Partners and has co-founded three successful companies. At Southern Cross he focuses on early stage software, telecommunications, and internet services companies. From 1997 to 2001, he helped build and lead the early stage investing for Macquarie Technology Ventures (MTV), a balanced venture fund focused on software, telecommunications, internet and life sciences. At MTV, Bill led investments in several market leaders including Altium (ASX: ALU), LookSmart (NASDAQ: LOOK), Seek (ASX: SEK), Telera (acquired by Alcatel), Thrombogenix, ePredix, and onebox (NASDAQ: OPWV).

Before founding Southern Cross, Bill was the CEO of Mantara, a company that makes high performance, content based message routing systems. Prior to moving to Australia, Bill had 12 years of research, operational, and entrepreneurial experience in the United States.

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Paul Bassat | Co-founder, Square Peg Ventures

Paul Bassat photo Paul Bassat is an active investor in early stage and growth companies. He is a co-founder and major shareholder in both Victoria Capital and Square Peg Ventures. Victoria Capital is an investor in growth stage businesses with a focus on businesses in the internet, software and media industries. Square Peg Ventures invests in early stage technology business both in Australia and numerous other geographies. Paul is passionate about mentoring management teams that are focussed on building outstanding businesses.

Paul has been nominated to join the board of Wesfarmers in November 2012. He is also a Commissioner of the Australian Football League (AFL), a member of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Business and Economics at The University of Melbourne, a director of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation, a member of the Mount Scopus College Foundation and a director of the P&S Bassat Foundation. He was designated as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2009.

Paul co-founded SEEK in 1997. He was CEO from 1997-2006 and Joint CEO from 2006-2011. SEEK is the world's largest online employment business and in 13 years went from a start up to one of Australia's top 100 companies with a market capitalisation of $2.5b. SEEK has operations in numerous markets throughout Australasia, Asia and Latin and South America. SEEK has consistently been ranked as one of Australia's best employers over the past decade.

Paul started his career as a lawyer and practiced for six years working on a range of corporate transactions. He holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Melbourne.

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Steve Baxter

Steve Baxter photo Stephen Baxter's background is in starting internet-based companies and working on large-scale data networks. Prior to this, he had a nine year stint as a regular soldier in the defence force after enlisting at age 15, specialising in electronics, telecom, opto-electonics and guided weapon systems.

Whilst still serving (and unknown to his commander!) he started the ISP SE Net, which was sold to Ozemail/UUNET in two tranches by early 2000.

Steve was involved in early internet community work with committee appointments to the South Australian Internet Association, the Australian Domain Name Authority (forerunner to AuDA) and the IIA. He worked on the formation of the South Australian Internet Exchange (SAIX) and then with the Ausbone collective effort.

In 2001 Steve co-founded PIPE Networks. PIPE Networks was listed in May 2005 (ASX:PWK) with a market capitalization of less than AU$15M, with Steve acting as executive director and Chief Technical Officer. Steve left PIPE in 2008 but remained a non-executive director. In March 2010, TPG Group (ASX:TPM) acquired PIPE Networks under Scheme of Arrangement for a consideration of AU$373M.

While with PIPE Networks, Steve worked with the industry to form the AusNOG (Australian Network Operators Group) and organised the first two annual conferences of network operators in Australia.

In September 2008, Steve started working at Google Inc in California as a Technical Program Manager in the Network Deployment department, working high speed telecommunications solutions. This engagement ended in late 2009 and he returned to Australia in 2010.

Steve Baxter currently lives in Brisbane where he is a board member and advisor to several companies including ASX listed Vocus Communications (ASX:VOC). He is an Angel Flight Pilot and supports Aviation High at Hendra in Queensland. He has current investments in many start up and early stage companies such as txt4coffee, TrekTraka, goCatch, OrionVM and Atomo Diagnostics.

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Doron Ben-Meir | Chief Executive Officer, Commercialisation Australia

Doron Ben-Meir photo Doron Ben-Meir has extensive experience in the venture capital industry and commercialisation more generally. Over the past twenty years, he has been involved in numerous venture capital organisations, and has been a founder or co-founder of six start-up companies, as well as an investor, investment manager, and advisor to several other businesses. Through these activities, he has built a substantial network both domestically and internationally.

Mr Ben-Meir has wide-ranging experience in innovation, commercialisation and technology across various industry sectors. Having founded and supported startup companies, he has an intimate understanding of the practical challenges they face, as well as of what is required to make a company successful. Through his investments and advisory work, he has been involved in identifying and assisting innovative companies to commercialise their intellectual property and transition through various stages of business development.

Mr Ben-Meir is the Founder and CEO of Prescient Venture Capital, and has also held the positions of Principal, Private Equity and Venture Capital at Jagen Pty Ltd; General Manager, IT&T Investments at Escor Pty Ltd; and Investment Director at Momentum Funds Management. Mr Ben-Meir also co-founded several companies, including EneSolve Pty Ltd (energy efficiency); Centricom Pty Ltd (on-line payments); Giesecke & Devrient Australasia Pty Ltd (smart card manufacturing), and Security Magnetics Pty Ltd (identification security).

Mr Ben-Meir was appointed CEO of Commercialisation Australia in April 2010. Commercialisation Australia has funding of $278 million through to 2014 ($82million per year thereafter) which provides Australian businesses with access to a range of measures tailored to help them bring their intellectual property to market (

Mr Ben-Meir's qualifications include a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (Hons) from Monash University, Melbourne. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the ANZA Technology Network.

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Mike Cannon-Brookes | Co-founder, Atlassian

Mike Cannon-Brookes photo Mike Cannon-Brookes is a busy chap despite the fact he never wears a tie. He co-founded Atlassian - the sliced bread of Australian startups. It helps every company in the world be more awesome by making better software. He also spends his time helping to overturn our luddite banking industry at Tyro, mass-customising women's heels at Shoes of Prey and mentoring the next generation of Aussie greatness at Startmate. He's been undeservedly showered by awards with incredulously long names like Australian Entrepreneur of the Year, Australian IT Professional of the Year and Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. In his spare time he runs on the beach without shoes, experiments with making artisanal cheese and spends time with his ridiculously awesome wife and son.

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Nigel Dalton | Chief Information Officer, REA Group

Nigel Dalton photo Nigel Dalton is the Chief Information Officer of REA Group - owner of Australia's number 1 online realestate website. He also recently co-founded Luna Tractor, a business consultancy company taking Agile and lean thinking beyond software development to all areas of business and organisations. Prior to joining REA Group, he spent several years as the CIO of Lonely Planet.

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Dr Michelle Deaker | Managing Partner, OneVentures

Dr Michelle Deaker photo Michelle Deaker established OneVentures in 2006, coming into the venture capital industry as a successful IT industry business owner and entrepreneur. OneVentures current fund is a $40 million Innovation Investment Fund backing innovative companies with global relevance in CleanTech, IT&T /New Media and Life Sciences. Michelle founded E Com Industries which became the leader in prepaid card and electronic voucher technologies in Australia and was acquired by a UK publicly listed company returning $30m cash and an excellent return to investors. For three years prior to establishing E Com, Michelle was the Managing Director of Sydney-based computer and web design firm, Networks Beyond 2000.

Through her interest in high growth companies, Michelle has provided advice for, invested in and raised capital for emerging technology companies. She has extensive experience in the development of early stage companies, a strong background in Australian R&D and expertise in international business expansion. Michelle serves on the Board of NICTA, Australia's National ICT centre of excellence. She also has a number of active board and advisory positions with OneVentures investee companies including Datacastle (Seattle) and AdGent 007 (San Francisco) and an interest in Sydney-based BuzzNumbers. Michelle has over 10 years experience in research and development with leading Australian Universities and CSIRO. She holds a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours), and with both a Commonwealth and the CSIRO Postgraduate Research Scholarships, was awarded a Masters of Science and a PHD in Applied Science.

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Clem Doherty

Clem Doherty photo Clem Doherty is a former Director of NBN Co and is Chairman of Like Minded Individuals, an early stage technology investor. He retired as a Director of McKinsey & Company in 1996, where he led the Asia-Pacific telecommunications, electronics, media & multimedia sector and was jointly responsible for the global telecommunications sector. Clem was interim CIO of ResMed during 2006. He is an Advisory Board member of the Centre for Policy Development, the Australian Innovation Research Centre and Network Insight Group. He is also a Member of the Australian Statistical Advisory Council.

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Hugh Durrant-Whyte | CEO, NICTA

Hugh Durrant-Whyte photo Hugh Durrant-Whyte received the B.Sc. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of London, U.K., in 1983, and the M.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees, both in Systems Engineering, from the University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., in 1985 and 1986, respectively. From 1987 to 1995, he was a University Lecturer in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of Oriel College Oxford. From 1995-2010 he was Professor of Mechatronic Engineering at University of Sydney where he led the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems (CAS). In December 2010 Hugh took up the role of CEO of NICTA (National Information and Communications Technology Australia).

Hugh has been awarded two Australian Research Council (ARC) Federation Fellowships; in 2002 and in 2007. His research work focuses on robotics and distributed sensor networks and he has published over 350 papers. His work with industry includes major robotics and automation projects in cargo handling, surface and underground mining, defence, unmanned flight vehicles and autonomous sub-sea vehicles. He has also co-founded three successful start-up companies.

Hugh has won numerous awards and prizes for his work including the ATSE Clunies Ross Award, IFR/IEEE Invention and Entrepreneurship Award, the NSW Pearcey Award, and four IEEE Best Paper prizes. He was named Professional Engineer of the year (2008) by the Institute of Engineers Australia Sydney Division and NSW Scientist of the Year (2010). He is an IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Distinguished Lecturer (2006-10). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE), a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (FIEEE), a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA), and a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).

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Martin Duursma | Vice President Citrix Labs & CTO Office Chair, Citrix Systems

Martin Duursma photo As Chair of the Citrix CTO Office Martin Duursma guides the company's technology strategy, and is responsible for evangelising technology directions, trends and standards within Citrix. As VP Citrix Labs, he is chartered with conceiving and producing creative products, components and technologies. He is responsible for external innovation through the Citrix Startup Accelerator program. Martin holds bachelors degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and is a member of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

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Patrick Eltridge | Chief Information Officer, Telstra

Patrick Eltridge photo Patrick Eltridge joined Telstra as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Executive Director IT in 2010. Patrick has responsibility for the end-to-end design and delivery of IT infrastructure and applications as well as Telstra's data centres and managed information services. Prior to Telstra, Patrick had been engaged in banking and IT for over 20 years with experience in financial services, technology start-ups, management consulting and related commercial activities including M&A, strategic sourcing, expense management, strategy and product development. Patrick's focus has been on embedding and aligning IT delivery more closely with business teams, fast growth, and rapid time to value.

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Trevor Folsom | Managing Director, Elevation Capital

Trevor Folsom photo Trevor Folsom is the Managing Director of Elevation Capital and also a Board Advisor to Bluesky Venture Capital. Some of the companies that Trevor has invested in and actively works with are:, Performance Education,, Bubblegum Interactive (Little Space Heroes), Pollenizer,,,,,,

A creative entrepreneur, Trevor co-founded one of Australia's most successful and innovative data, sales and distribution businesses with only $10K (on two credit cards) in capital; and grew and sold the business for $107 million in just 12 years. He identified early in his business career, long before his financial success, the personal satisfaction and inspiration of contributing to society, through giving time and resources to community services such as Red Cross, Drought Relief, School of St Jude (Africa), Starlight Foundation, and numerous local initiatives.

Trevor's current community roles include volunteer Chairman of Salvation Army's Red Shield Appeal, OASIS Youth Services and supporting his beloved Drummoyne Water Polo Club in its growth and cultural sustainability. No matter the economic constraints, Trevor believes giving your time and support is the most defensible currency of an entrepreneur.

Trevor feels he has finally reached a pinnacle of what he deems to be success, where he can now assist others through similar pathways to his own, providing genuine confidence and support from somebody who has been there, every step of the way.

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Anthony Glenning | Investment Director, Starfish Ventures

Anthony Glenning photo Anthony Glenning joined Starfish Ventures in January 2010, focusing on information technology investments. His responsibilities include evaluating investment opportunities, performing due diligence, negotiating terms, execution of new portfolio investments and managing portfolio companies.

From 1999 to 2009, Anthony was an entrepreneur involved in a number of companies. Anthony was founder and CEO of Tonic Systems, a company that developed software for creating and managing presentations online. Tonic Systems was acquired by Google in 2007, where Anthony worked for the next two years within the Google Docs team. Anthony was also a founding, non-executive director of Cameron Systems, a company providing FIX protocol, software solutions to financial businesses, until it was acquired by Orc Software in 2006.

Prior to 1999, Anthony worked at Strategic Decisions Group as a management consultant specialising in high-risk, high reward decision analysis. Before that, Anthony was a staff engineer at Sun Microsystems, working on a range of projects including Energy Star power management compliance and the Java workstation. Overall, Anthony has spent a total of 14 years living in Silicon Valley.

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Mitchell Harper | Co-Founder & Co-CEO, BigCommerce

Mitchell Harper photo Mitchell Harper is the co-founder & co-CEO of Bigcommerce, the leading e-commerce platform for small businesses looking to grow their revenues faster. Starting with $20,000 in credit card debt and from a rented office above a mate's phone shop in Sydney's inner-west suburb of Rozelle, the company has grown over 100% year-over-year since inception and has raised a total of $35M from US based General Catalyst and FLOODGATE. Mitchell has been featured in the SMH, New York Times, TechCrunch, Wall Street Journal and Mashable. He is a thought leader and regular speaker and panelist on topics including e-commerce, small business growth and building extraordinary companies.

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Sally Hogan | Principal, Newtown North Public School

Sally Hogan photo Sally Hogan is currently Principal of Newtown North Public School and an Honorary Associate Lecturer, University of Sydney. Sally has a Master of Educational Studies, Graduate Certificate in Creative Arts Education and a Diploma of Teaching. She has enjoyed a diverse career path with leadership roles at school, regional and state levels. She has undertaken many different consultancy roles including the State Gifted and Talented Curriculum Adviser K-12; Teaching and Learning Consultant K-12 for Northern Sydney Region; Cross Curriculum Consultant K-6 Northern Sydney Region and Creative Arts Consultant K-12 for Bankstown/Fairfield Districts. Sally was Deputy Principal of North Sydney Demonstration School, Northern Sydney Region and received a Minister's Award for Excellence in Teaching recognising her contribution to Creative Arts and inclusive education. Sally has a long standing interest in the arts and values based education.

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Maha Krishnapillai | General Manager, Telecommunications Products and Services, Australia Post

Maha Krishnapillai photo Maha Krishnapillai has a strong background in the telecommunications industry, where he has been instrumental in driving a number of reforms in the sector since deregulation. In January 2012, Maha joined Australia Post to lead Telco Products & Services.

For the previous four years Maha was the Director of Government and Corporate Affairs and Director of Victoria for Optus. A member of Optus' Executive Leadership Team, he had national portfolio responsibility for Government & Corporate Affairs, NBN & Regulatory Affairs, Community Relation, as well as executive level responsibility for Optus' 2500 person-strong business in Victoria.

Prior to joining Optus, Maha was Macquarie Telecom's Group Executive, Carrier and Strategy. Maha also worked with AUSTEL (the Government's Telco regulator until 1997) for seven years where he held a wide range of management positions.

In 2010, Maha was invited to Israel by the Australia-Israel Leadership Forum as the Telco industry's representative, joining the Australian parliamentary delegation (led by Kevin Rudd).

Maha was a founder and the elected President (2005) of the "Asia-Pacific Carriers Coalition" (APCC); the Singapore based association seeking to maximise pro-competitive policy and the benefits of competition in the Asia-Pacific Region. In 2005, Maha was presented with the SPAN/CommsDay "Telecommunications Ambassador" Award.

Maha holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, post graduate qualifications in management and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He enjoys spending time with his family, travelling, reading, rugby and basketball.

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Mick Liubinskas | Cofounder, Pollenizer

Mick Liubinskas photo Hi, I'm Mick. I co-founded Pollenizer with Phil, and head up the business and marketing team. I work with startup web businesses, bringing together customers, technology and business to make internet and mobile products.

I'm absolutely obsessed with focus. Lack of focus is the number one cause of failed businesses. You need to keep products really simple and nail that first target segment of customers, then you can think about growth. Keep it lean and focused and you can evolve fast enough to beat the big guys. It's also crucial to think about business model right from Day One, to be sure you're creating outstanding value that will bring profits.

I've been building web and mobile products for 15 years with more than fifty companies like IBM, Virgin, Kazaa and my own startups. I work with development teams, designers, CEOs, sales people and investors from Europe, Asia and the USA, and get a kick out of seeing a product being used by real customers.

I've also run my own startups raised investment and worked in Europe, North America and Asia with Zapr & Tangler as CMO. With Pollenizer, I have worked with a number of outstanding management teams from around the globe including 3eep, Lingopal, GetPrice, Xumii, Photo Art,Perkler, Blurb, Live In Australia, Spreets and helped start MoGeneration.

When I'm not online, I'm surfing, playing football (soccer that is) or basketball, or maybe reading Neal Stephenson. I also love cooking and rocking out although maybe that's just a vague memory of my youth... I live in Sydney with my wife, son and cats Leo and Polly, who is quite the acrobat.

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Matthew Macfarlane | Co-Founder, Yuuwa Capital

Matthew Macfarlane photo Matthew Macfarlane has been both an investor and an entrepreneur in early stage ICT startups.

Matt spent 11 years in Europe working on large-scale international mergers and acquisitions ultimately negotiating deals in over 25 countries. Matt led international business development at Swisscom and Deutsche Telekom before joining Equant prior to his return to Australia. His largest transactions include Swisscom's US$300M investment into Malaysian-based during the mid-90's and Equant NV's sale of a controlling stake to France Telecom in a US$8BN subscription and merger transaction in 2001. Matt subsequently led negotiations with airlines services entity SITA to replace Equant's network Joint Venture with what became the (then) largest outsourcing contract in the world (worth over $2BN per annum).

Upon returning to Australia he co-founded the Web 2.0 start-up Vibe Capital that launched the website raising over $2.7m in funding.

Matt is a Co-Founder and Investment Director of Perth-based Yuuwa Capital and has a particular interest in technology investments including software, web based businesses and mobile communications. Matt received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia, is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He currently holds eight directorships including with Yuuwa investee companies: iCetana (video analytics), Agworld (Cloud SaaS for farm management), Filter Squad (iOS apps) and Dealised (loyalty solutions).

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Christopher Mapp | Managing Director, Omnilab Media

Christopher Mapp photo Christopher Mapp is Managing Director of Omnilab Media - a leading Australian media, content and technology company. Through its broad range of 14 businesses Omnilab Media provides extensive media and technology solutions for a diverse range of clients in the film, television, advertising and corporate sectors. Omnilab Media was awarded Encore Magazine's Production Company of the Year in 2011. Christopher Mapp was awarded the 2010 Independent Producer of the Year Award by the Screen Producers Association of Australia and is an Ambassador for Screen Singapore.

Christopher has executive produced mainstream feature films for Omnilab Media including: The Killer Elite; Tomorrow When The War Began; The Loved Ones; and Dying Breed. He has also served as executive producer and co-funded a number of high-profile international feature films including Dylan Dog: Dead of Night; The Messenger; Bran Nu Dae; the controversial "W" directed by Oliver Stone; and The Bank Job.

Christopher Mapp started his career in production and digital and post production services in the late 1990's. He was instrumental in building Omnilab Media into one of the largest suppliers of comprehensive services to the broadcast, screen production and advertising industries in Australia.

In 2002, Omnilab Media won the contract for production services and playout for the Movie Network Channels and built the independent playout and production services business, The Playroom. In 2003 Christopher bought Singtel Optus's Video Operations Centre and won the outsourced services of MTV, Ovation, Odyssey, ACC and Sky News. The Playroom manages the playout and distribution of the Movie Network Channels, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Adventure channels in Australia and New Zealand. The entire National Geographic team has moved into level 3 of our Yurong Street premises in the Omnilab Media building. The Playroom continually delivers National Geographic Channels as both an SD and HD experience uninterrupted, 24 hours a day across 3 dedicated channels on-air for Foxtel and Austar.

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Larry Marshall | Managing Director, Southern Cross Venture Partners

Larry Marshall photo Larry Marshall is Managing Director of Southern Cross Venture Partners. Previously he has founded 5 successful companies in the communications, laser/optical, semiconductor, and medical sectors, with solid exits for investors, including two IPOs generating over $1B in value. Larry began his career as an engineer with a PhD in Physics and over 100 publications and presentations. He became an inventor with 20 patents protecting numerous commercial products generating over $200M in revenue; then became an entrepreneur, raising over $100M and now an investor with two $200M VC funds.

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David Spence | Chairman, Vocus

David Spence photo David Spence is well known in the internet and communications industry both in Australia and New Zealand. He has been involved in over 20 Internet businesses, as Chairman, CEO, director, shareholder or advisor.

Until February 2010, David held the role of CEO at Unwired Ltd. Since joining Unwired in January of 2004, he grew the company from a handful of employees to one of the world's largest portable wireless broadband carriers, servicing in excess of 70,000 customers in the greater Sydney and Melbourne areas.

In late 2008 the company was sold to Seven Network Limited. From 1995 until 2000, David held various positions with OzEmail, including Managing Director and CEO. Mr Spence grew the business to become Australia's second largest ISP. He is a past Chairman of the board of the Internet Industry Association. David has a Commerce degree and is a chartered accountant graduating from Natal and Cape Town Universities of South Africa.

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Julian Tol | Founder & CEO, BRANDSCREEN

Julian Tol photo Julian Tol is the Founder and CEO of BRANDCREEN, which in October 2012 completed a US$12mm Series B round led by Macquarie Capital, SingTel Innov8 and SXVP to drive growth of the company across APAC.

Julian Tol is an energetic, visionary entrepreneur who developed his career in major media and advertising agencies Omnicom, Interpublic, and WPP. He founded one of Europe's first digital agencies 'Campaign Centre' and successfully exited to Publicis in 1999. As CEO of Publicis Mundocom, Julian led the transformation from a mid-sized multi-country print group into a profitable, digital agency group. He also founded one of Europe's first LASIK clinics, FreeVision, which exited to Optical Express.

Jilian Tol has deep agency leadership and ad tech credentials. He invented Nike OrderPoint, and Airline World Mapping System. He understands the opportunity to automate media trading, and identified RTB as the system to invest behind.

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Melissa Widner | General Partner, SeaPoint Ventures

Melissa Widner photo Melissa Widner is a General Partner at SeaPoint Ventures, a US based venture capital firm focused on early stage technology investments. She is the cofounder of 7Software, an enterprise software company providing web based applications for corporate e-procurement. As CEO, Melissa managed the company from inception to a successful acquisition by Concur Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNQR), resulting in a 10X return to investors. Previously, Melissa was the CEO of Northwest Supply, an industrial products manufacturer and distributor, where she managed the company to an acquisition, resulting in a 15X return to investors.

She was the founder and President of the Northwest Chapter of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and a member of the board of the Alliance of Angels. Melissa served as a lecturer at the University of Washington's Graduate School of Business where she taught courses on venture capital and entrepreneurship. Melissa is a founding member of the Sydney Angels, a group focused on investments in early stage companies.

She is an active angel investor, who has structured and led financing rounds for technology and consumer goods focused companies. Melissa served as a board director on several US based venture backed technology companies as well as a director on the University of Washington, Bothell's Business School Advisory Board. Melissa holds a Masters degree from Stanford University and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Washington. Melissa relocated to Sydney in 2009.

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alumni trailblazers

Simon Burke | CEO, IPscape Pty Ltd

Simon Burke photo Simon Burke has over 15 years expertise in global customer service strategy and technology innovation.

Simon is currently the CEO of IPscape Pty Ltd, an Australian cloud software company he co-founded in 2005. With operations in Australia, Asia and Europe, IPscape uses innovative cloud technology to deliver an agile, smart, mobile customer experience which redefines the way businesses communicate with customers. IPscape clients include AAPT, ACCA, Lend Lease, New Zealand Post and some of Australia's largest financial services companies.

Simon has always enjoyed being at the cutting edge of market development and in the early 1990's he led the development of the Deloitte business in Romania. In his next role as Director CRM for BT Asia Pacific he was responsible for designing and executing BT's first Asian CRM solutions portfolio. Simon's current business IPscape is the only provider of public cloud customer service solutions in Australia, and one of only five globally.

Simon is a graduate of the London Business School MBA programme and an Australian qualified Chartered Accountant.

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Rebekah Campbell | CEO, Posse

Rebekah Campbell photo Rebekah Campbell is an ex band manager turned tech entrepreneur. Her first venture was in Wellington's Civic Square. Aged nineteen, she organised a music festival to raise awareness of New Zealand's youth suicide epidemic.

Rebekah moved to Sydney the following year and within three months signed the band George for management. Two years later, George hit #1 on the ARIA Album chart and sold over 200,000 copies of their debut album Polyserena.

She opened her own management company 'Scorpio Music' in 2002, which grew to become one of Australia's largest and most successful management companies and represented artists such as Evermore, Lisa Mitchell, Operator Please, Alex Lloyd, Matt Corby and several others.

In 2009, Rebekah came up with the idea for while promoting a tour for Evermore. She raised money from investors and the site launched in August 2010. Rebekah has spent the past two years trialing various models and techniques to engage users at Posse. Then she had a brainwave. What if she applied the same techniques used to break artists to develop a tech product?

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Gour Lentell | Director, biNu

Gour Lentell photo Gour Lentell has over 20 years experience in the IT, internet and digital media industries. His professional career commenced with IT consulting roles at Price Waterhouse and Oracle, based in London and Sydney, before moving in 1996 to work full time in the emerging internet industry with OzEmail, Australia's largest ISP at the time. Since then his entrepreneurial career has included co-founding and growing two successful digital media technology companies, Sabela Media and Decide Interactive, both of which were acquired by NASDAQ-listed online media company, 24/7 Real Media, which itself was subsequently acquired by leading marketing communication services group WPP Plc in 2007.

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Matt Milosavljevic | Co-Founder & Creative Director, Bugherd

Matt Milosavljevic photo Matt Milosavljevic is a web designer and front-end developer from Melbourne, Australia. He is fascinated by how people interact with software and applies that to creating compelling and intuitive user experiences.


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