Presents

Women in VC Forum

23 FEB, 2017

Presents

Women in VC Forum

23 FEB, 2017

Presents

Women in VC Forum

23 FEB, 2017

Connecting Women to Capital.

There are few opportunities for women entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to network, access funding or offer seed capital and 2nd and third stage funding for new companies.  The Women in VC Forum 2017 is a unique opportunity for the private equity and venture capital sector to listen to leading women’s perspectives on risk management, funding trends, successful business models and what to watch out for in 2017.

Event snapshot

InnovationAus.com is bringing together the nation’s leading female venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to examine the important barriers that still need to be overcome; successful strategies for fundraising, deal sourcing, and portfolio management, and will delve into some of the most successful best practices. 

Join 200+ senior executives to hear first-hand how the venture capital space has evolved from a female perspective and what mechanisms the sector can put in place to encourage more women to join and stay actively engaged.

Only 3 percent of all tech firms are started by women, although venture-backed companies led by women perform equally well if not better. With this data on the table, the real discussion begins.  Everyone in the industry agrees there is a pervasive bias – but not everyone agrees on what to do about it.  Eight international and local keynotes and two in-depth panel discussions aim to expand on the discussion of diversity in the VC industry.

Who will be there

  • Institutional investors
  • Buyout specialists
  • Venture capitalists
  • Tech entrepreneurs
  • Corporate venturing professionals
  • Government policy advisers
  • Leaders in professional services who advise the industry

Benefits of attending

  • Gain perspective on how leading women institutional investors view investment alternatives
  • Hear from industry experts about the opportunities and investment sectors to watch in 2017
  • Take away insights on successful strategies for fundraising, deal sourcing, portfolio management, firm management, exits, and more
  • Participate in forward-thinking discussions focused on issues of intellectual business interest
  • Get access to hard-to-get information and unparalleled networking opportunities to advance your firm’s growth

InnovationAus.com would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Advisory Panel of Women in VC Forum 2017, who have been instrumental in guiding the forum’s direction.

  • Laura McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Scale Investors
  • Elaine Stead, Director, Blue Sky Venture Capital investment
  • Marty Gauvin, Chair, Innovation Investment Committee, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and Chief Executive Officer, Virtual Ark
  • Corrie McLeod, Managing Director, Espresso Communications
  • Topaz Conway, Chair, Springboard Enterprises Australia

Agenda

7.30am

Registration and welcome breakfast

7.55am

Opening remarks from the host

Corrie McLeod, Chief Executive Officer, Hello Espresso and Publisher, InnovationAus.com

8.00am

Ministerial Address

Senator the Hon. Arthur Sinodinos AO, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Australian Government

8.10am

International keynote: Leading the way for women in business

Kay Koplovitz, Managing Director, Springboard Growth Capital (USA)

8.25am

The vital role of women in our future innovation system

Marty Gauvin, Chair, Innovation Investment Committee, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and Chief Executive Officer, Virtual Ark

8.35am

The rise of female-focussed funds

Laura McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Scale Investors

8.45am

Panel Discussion: No fear - how to think big about starting and growing large-scale businesses

MODERATOR

Beverley HeadFreelance Writer and Consultant

PANELLISTS

Kay Koplovitz, Managing Director, Springboard Growth Capital (USA)

Dr Charles Day, Chief Executive Officer, Office of Innovation and Science Australia (OISA)

Laura McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Scale Investors

Anne-Marie Birkill, General Partner and Executive Director, OneVentures

Cath Rogers, Non Executive Director, Heads Over Heels

9.30am

Morning tea

10.00am

Opportunities for female founders in the tech/entrepreneurial community

Elaine Stead, Founder, Blue Sky Funds

10.15am

There is a lot of money to be made taking women entrepreneurs seriously

Jo Burston, Chief Executive Officer, Rare Birds

 

10.25am

Thinking big for VCs and being comfortable with the misunderstood

Samantha Wong, Vice President, Blackbird Ventures

10.35am

You’re in the Wrong Room

Topaz Conway, Chair, Springboard Enterprises Australia

Catriona Wallace, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Flamingo Customer Experience Inc.

10.45am

Panel Discussion: Evolving the ecosystem - what mechanisms should the VC sector put in place to encourage more women to join and stay actively engaged?

MODERATOR

Beverley Head, Freelance Writer and Consultant

PANELLISTS

Elaine Stead, Founder, Blue Sky Funds             

Topaz Conway, Chair, Springboard Enterprises Australia

Jo Burston, Chief Executive Officer, Rare Birds

Kounny Rattley, Corporate Partner, Clayton Utz

Sandy Plunkett, Founder, Innovation Clearinghouse

 

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE!

Align your brand with InnovationAus.com and network with key business, government and policy leaders. Contact us on 02 8016 2200 or patricia@innovationaus.com to explore the different options that are right for you.

Speakers

Event Partners

Official Event Host
Hon. Arthur Sinodinos

Hon. Arthur Sinodinos

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science

Arthur Sinodinos first entered the Australian Senate in October 2011 and was appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition in September 2012, a position he held until the election of the Abbott Government. He served as Assistant Treasurer from September 2013 to December 2014.

From September 2015 to January 2016, Minister Sinodinos served as Cabinet Secretary in the Turnbull Government. In this role, Minister Sinodinos was a Cabinet-level minister assisting the Prime Minister in ensuring the proper process and functioning of the Government. On 24 January 2017, Minister Sinodinos was sworn in as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. The Minister comes to the portfolio with the goal of developing an innovation ecosystem that drives productivity and creates the jobs of the future.

One of the Minister’s key focuses in this space is to encourage a culture of collaboration – between industry, researchers and academia – in order to develop brilliant Australian ideas into commercial realities.

Kay Koplovitz

Kay Koplovitz

Managing Director, Springboard Growth Capital (USA)

As Co-Founder and Managing Director of Springboard Enterprises, the nation’s premier platform for connecting women with venture capital, Koplovitz spends much of her time and energy helping women find venture capital to fund their companies by partnering with Angel Funds, VCs and corporations.

Koplovitz has served on corporate boards for over 25 years, gaining experience in how companies govern and is dedicated to promoting more women for board membership to ensure our companies are competitive in the diverse global economy.

Dr Charles Day

Dr Charles Day

Chief Executive Officer, Office of Innovation and Science Australia (OISA)

Dr Day is CEO of the Office of Innovation and Science Australia (OISA). He brings to the role a broad range of experience gained through a long career in innovation, business development, technology commercialisation, venture capital and start-up creation. Prior to his current role he was the Program Director for the Carlton Connect Initiative, an ambitious project to create Australia's premier STEM innovation precinct anchored by the University of Melbourne.

As CEO, Dr Day leads the Office of Innovation and Science Australia to support the Innovation and Science Australia (ISA) board’s development and implementation of long-term initiatives to boost innovation and science.

ISA provides strategic, whole-of-government advice on all science, research and innovation matters. ISA’s current activities include the development of a strategic plan for the national innovation, science and research system to 2030.

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Laura McKenzie

Laura McKenzie

Chief Executive Officer, Scale Investors

Laura McKenzie is the Chief Executive Officer at Scale Investors, which is a female focused angel investor network founded in Melbourne in March 2013 inspired by the US based organisation Golden Seeds.

Scales vision is to equip women to become successful investors whose wealth is enhanced through connection with, investment in, and support of women entrepreneurs in early stage businesses.

To date, a community of over 100 Scale Angels have invested more than $5m in 10 companies including Cadenza Innovation, Cloudpeeps, Cognition Therapeutics, DayOne Response, First Step, Paloma Mobile, Scrunch, ShowGizmo, Switch Automation and Trademark Vision.

Topaz Conway

Topaz Conway

Chair, Springboard Enterprises Australia

An entrepreneur, angel investor, Director, and an advocate to the creation of a stronger Australian innovation culture, Conway works with early stage companies on commercialisation strategies and investment. This passion was built on top of my international experience traversing a number of industries including biotech, hi-tech, ecommerce and services. She has been Chair Springboard Enterprises, a highly-vetted expert network of innovators, investors and influencers who are dedicated to building high-growth technology-oriented companies led by women.

Rick Baker

Rick Baker

Co-Founder, Blackbird Ventures

Rick Baker is the Co-Founder at Blackbird Ventures, a new venture capital firm in Australia. Blackbird invests in Internet and software companies forming in Australia. It has been built around a group of Australia's most successful tech founders, combined with close ties to Silicon Valley.

Prior to Blackbird, Baker was responsible for MLC’s venture capital portfolio with investments of over half a billion dollars. Prior to MLC, he co-founded two successful software companies: IDC Global and Right Party Connect

Elaine Stead

Elaine Stead

Managing Director, Blue Sky Funds

Elaine is the Managing Director of Venture Capital and is responsible for the management of the Blue Sky venture capital fund and portfolio. Established in 2012, the venture capital division has expanded to bear its second fund, VC2014, and over $100 million in assets under management across a broad range of industry sectors.

Elaine has worked for a number of years as a venture capitalist and management consultant to the venture and industry across Australia and the United States. Elaine has also worked in strategic management consulting, with both NASDAQ and ASX listed and private companies based in Australia and the US. Originally trained as a stem cell biologist, Elaine has since spent the last decade within the innovation and investment spectrum, initially in technology commercialisation assisting public institutions and founders translate and commercialise their technology across a broad range of industry sectors including agriculture, healthcare and IT.

 

Anne-Marie Birkill

Anne-Marie Birkill

General Partner and Executive Director, OneVentures Innovation Funds

Anne-Marie Birkill is a Partner in OneVentures, a venture capital firm that invests in technology companies that serve or disrupt large, high growth global markets. The firm has $330M in funds under management including the recently launched $170M Healthcare Fund III that is focused on growth and expansion stage technology companies in the healthcare sector. She is a Chair of the Board for portfolio companies Charm Health and Find-me technologies.

Her previous roles include CEO of i.lab Incubator, various senior management appointments at UniQuest and Director of public (ASX listed) energy storage company RedFlow Limited, plus 15 years in leadership roles in agri-business companies developing and commercialising new cultivars of ornamental, aquatic, food and forestry plants.

An active member of the innovation community, she is an Industry Fellow with The UQ Business School, a member of the Investment Committee for the $40M Queensland Government Business Development Fund, and a Director for Creative Enterprise Australia and AVCAL. A strong advocate for improving the participation of women in technology and entrepreneurial careers, she has been a Director for Women in Technology and Springboard Australia, and continues to be involved in mentoring and education programs for these organisations. 

 

Cath Rogers

Cath Rogers

Non Executive Director, Heads Over Heels

Cath is a Non Executive Director, Heads Over Heels, having just moved on from her role as Investment Director at AirTree Ventures.

Cath is also co-founder of a technology venture, the Digital Receipt Exchange (the second start-up she's worked in) and serves on the boards of McGrath Estate Agents, the Heart Research Institute and Heads Over Heels. Cath's prior experience includes a number of local and international roles in venture capital, private equity, investment banking and strategy consulting with Credit Suisse, International Finance Corporation, Mubadala, Anchorage Capital Partners and Accenture.

Jo Burston

Jo Burston

Chief Executive Officer, Rare Birds

Jo Burston is the founder and CEO of Job Capital a company she grew from nothing to $40M in less than 5 years with a team of 12, co-founder and director of Phronesis.Academy and founder of the entrepreneurial movement Inspiring Rare Birds.

Rare Birds works to promote opportunity for women in entrepreneurship and has a global vision to have one million women in its community by 2020. The business is partnered with Phronesis.Academy to provide a blended learning environment to teach the skills and mindset of entrepreneurship to children and adults.

Jo collaborated with Phronesis.Academy co-founder Dr Richard Seymour, from the University of Sydney Business School, to develop its first program startup.business. The program is being taught in selected secondary schools and is on track to be rolled out nationally.

Jo has been recognised as one of Australia’s top entrepreneurs for the past six years and is a leading authority on global women’s entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship as a whole, and SMB markets. She was recently invited by Microsoft to address 45,000 delegates at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto and has also delivered a summer course on entrepreneurship at Oxford University, in the United Kingdom.

 

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Dr. Catriona Wallace

Dr. Catriona Wallace

Chief Executive Officer, Flamingo Ventures

Dr Catriona Wallace is an Entrepreneur, Customer Experience Futurist and Chief Executive of three Sydney-based businesses, Fifth Quadrant, Australia's largest independent Customer Experience Strategy, Design & Research firm; ACA Research, a market research company; and Flamingo Ventures, a celebrated tech tart-up, one of the world's first Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) companies.

Dr Wallace has a PhD in Leadership & Organisational Behaviour from the Australian Graduate School of Management and is a well published author and internationally renowned public speaker.

Catriona is also the Founder of philanthropic organisations: Indigo Express Fund - Indigenous literacy programs; Kids in Philanthropy - developing a social conscience and practice of giving in kids for kids ; and Out and Up - an employment program for women prisoners and Asylum Seekers.

Catriona also partnered with Anne Summers to create the celebrated Anne Summers Conversation Event and television programs.

Catriona is recognised as a leading media and industry commentator on Customer Experience, Entrepreneurialism, Women in Leadership and Philanthropy.

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Kounny Rattley

Kounny Rattley

Corporate Partner, Clayton Utz

Kounny is a Corporate Partner at law firm Clayton Utz who has built a reputation among her clients for practical, solutions-focused advice on M&A and Private Equity transactions.  Kounny acts for clients in a range of industry sectors, most notably health, financial services and consumer goods, and on all aspects of M&A, including management and leveraged buy-outs, capital raisings, restructures and joint ventures.  Kounny's clients praise her ability to listen to their needs and work with them to achieve commercial outcomes. 

Kounny is also Co-Chair of the Clayton Utz Momentum Committee, the firm's national women's network, which is focussed on embedding gender diversity and inclusion within the firm culture. 

Kounny was recognised in 2015, 2016 and 2017 with rankings in Chambers Asia Pacific and is a member of AVCAL (Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association).

Kounny is a Corporate Partner at law firm Clayton Utz who has built a reputation among her clients for practical, solutions-focused advice on M&A and Private Equity transactions.  Kounny acts for clients in a range of industry sectors, most notably health, financial services and consumer goods, and on all aspects of M&A, including management and leveraged buy-outs, capital raisings, restructures and joint ventures.  Kounny's clients praise her ability to listen to their needs and work with them to achieve commercial outcomes.

Kounny is also Co-Chair of the Clayton Utz Momentum Committee, the firm's national women's network, which is focussed on embedding gender diversity and inclusion within the firm culture. 

Kounny was recognised in 2015, 2016 and 2017 with rankings in Chambers Asia Pacific and is a member of AVCAL (Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association).

Corrie McLeod

Corrie McLeod

Chief Executive Officer, Hello Espresso and Publisher InnovationAus.com

Corrie McLeod founded Espresso Communications in 2004 and over the past decade has built the business into a thriving, internationally-recognised communications consulting company. Her expertise in guiding some of the world’s top brands and new market entrants alike in their cross-discipline communications initiatives is widely respected in the Australian market.

In recognition of the challenges modern businesses face in communicating effectively with public and private stakeholders, Corrie spearheaded the creation of two additional business units under the Hello Espresso brand in 2015. InnovationAus.com and One Part Idea sit under the Hello Espresso umbrella to provide public advocacy and creative services respectively to Australian and international businesses.

Sandy Plunkett

Sandy Plunkett

Founder, Innovation Clearinghouse

Sandy has more than 20 years experience in the Australian and international technology sectors as a commentator, in venture capital and as a start-up company professional and industry advisor. Sandy has a keen interest in comparative international entrepreneurship ecosystems and policies. She has written extensively on technology entrepreneurship issues and ecosystems for media and has been a contributing author to entrepreneurship papers for the World Economic Forum, Stanford University and some governments. Sandy was a key contributing author to Professor George Foster of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business landmark study: Global Entrepreneurship and the Successful Growth Strategies of Early Stage Companies which was presented at Davos in 2011.

Sandy began her career as an Associate Editor of Business Review Weekly magazine, specialising in the ICT industries. Her regular access to the CEOs, policy and thought leaders of the global technology and communications companies earned her a reputation as the leading commentator on the sector. In the mid-1990’s, Sandy joined the early-stage venture capital firm, Allen & Buckeridge, Inc. as an Associate Partner and relocated to Silicon Valley where she managed the firm’s San Francisco office. Sandy later joined a Silicon Valley start-up, InterTrust Technologies, Inc, which went public (Nasdaq) and was later sold to a Sony/Philips consortium.

Marty Gauvin

Marty Gauvin

Chair, Innovation Investment Committee, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and Chief Executive Officer, Virtual Ark

Marty Gauvin is Chair of the Innovation Investment Committee of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. He is a serial entrepreneur in IT Services businesses which have progressively spread from his home in Adelaide, Australia to have global impact. He has founded six businesses to date with the most recent being Virtual Ark, a cloud computing integrator, consultant and managed services provider and Tier 5, a developer, owner and manager of modular data centres in secondary cities across Australia. Outside of this his interests in business and philanthropy are broad

Beverley Head

Beverley Head

Freelance Writer and Consultant

Beverley Head has been a business journalist since the 1980s, initially in London, then Sydney. For a decade she was the information technology editor of the Financial Review before becoming the newspaper’s features editor. She focusses on way technology affects and shapes business, education, industry and society. Now a freelance writer Beverley has written for a wide range of publications including The AFR, The Age, BRW, Banking Day, Campus Review, Education Review, In The Black, ITnews, Government Technology Review, and The Sydney Morning Herald. In 2004 she was awarded the Kester Cranswick lifetime achievement award for her work as a journalist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Metallurgy and the Science of Materials from Oxford University.

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