Women in VC 2018
27 February 2018
1 Bligh Street, Sydney
Women in VC 2018
27 February 2018
1 Bligh Street, Sydney
Women in VC 2018
27 February 2018
1 Bligh Street, Sydney
Breaking Barriers for Women Entrepreneurs and Women VC’s
The Women in VC forum is back this February showcasing Australia’s leading women in the venture capital ecosystem!
In 2017, InnovationAus.com brokered the conversation on the obstacles that women face in the VC world. Women in VC 2018 will again tackle these in an open conversation, but also focus on the many opportunities that abound, and empower more women to enter the industry.
There has never been a better time for women to be in the VC space…
According to KPMG’s most recent VC trends report, Australian venture capital invested in Australia has hit a near-record $230 million, with Q2 2017 seeing Australian startups close a number of Series A, B and C rounds with significant deals.
However, due to the unconscious bias that exists in the global investment industry, women-led ventures are highly underfunded. The lack of women investors in the space also is a major factor in the investment decisions VCs make and projects they take on. Despite these challenges, there are remarkable women who have carved a niche for themselves in this traditionally male-dominated industry, igniting a definite shift towards greater gender diversity in the Aussie VC landscape.
Join 100+ founders, investors and angels to hear TED-style talks and fireside chats (with some great debates) on:
- Women are taking risks and starting businesses – does the Australian venture capital ecosystem have the depth and breadth of knowledge and understanding necessary to support them?
- Women that want to become investors - where do they begin?
- How to scale that next mountain? Taking a company from idea phase to build-out phase to scaling globally
- Bridging the disconnect between expectations of investors and expectations of founders
- Women investors - what are they looking for in VC-grade ideas and what are they investing in this coming year?
- Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are democratising the VC landscape – where are the opportunities?
- What does the future landscape look like? Will the rise of corporations, corporate ventures, boutique VCs and crowdfunding platforms making equity investments in start-ups translate into more dollars for women-led ventures?
The Women in VC forum has a limited amount of tickets for purchase. To secure yours, please access the Purchase Tickets link to register.
Official Event Host
The Hon. Victor Dominello
Minister for Finance, Services and Property, NSW Government
Victor was pre-selected by the Liberal Party in September 2008 as its candidate for the State by-election in the seat of Ryde. Victor was elected to the NSW Parliament at the Ryde By-Election held on 18 October 2008 with a swing of 23.1 per cent, one of the largest in the State’s history.
At the 2011 election, Victor was re-elected as Member for Ryde with an extra 12.6 per cent of the vote. This completed a 35.7 per cent swing from the 2007 election.
Victor was sworn in as Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister for Citizenship and Communities. His responsibilities included veterans’ affairs, volunteering, youth and multicultural affairs.
Following Mike Baird appointment as NSW Premier in April 2014, Victor became Assistant Minister for Education and while retaining his previous portfolio responsibilities, Veterans’ Affairs was added to his official title.
Following the Baird Government’s re-election in March 2015, Victor was sworn in as the state’s first Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation.
In January 2017 Victor was appointed Minister for Finance, Services and Property.
Immediate Past President, Chief Executive Women
Diane Smith-Gander is non-Executive director AGL Energy, Wesfarmers Limited, Chair of Safe Work Australia, Asbestos Safety & Eradication Council, a board member of Keystart Loans, CEDA, member of the NRFA Partnership Council and immediate past President of Chief Executive Women, Australia’s pre-eminent women’s advocacy group.
Diane has held a wide range of non-executive roles in the past including Chairman of Broadspectrum, Deputy Chairperson of NBNCo, non-executive director of the CBH Group, commissioner of Tourism WA and board member of the Committee for Perth.
Diane’s last executive role was Group Executive at Westpac; a member of the leadership team of the corporation, responsible for all Information Technology, back office operations, global vendor management and property. Diane was a General Manager at Westpac for 10 years in the 1990s responsible for back office functions, retail networks and support functions.
Prior to re-joining Westpac Diane was a partner at McKinsey & Company in Washington and New Jersey serving clients in diverse industries globally. Diane became a senior advisor to McKinsey in Australia in 2016.
Diane has been active in sports administration and is a past Chairman of both Basketball Australia Limited, the sport’s peak body, and the Australian Sports Drug Agency, the government agency responsible for deterring the use of performance enhancing drugs.
Diane holds an MBA from the University of Sydney and a BEc from the University of Western Australia (UWA). In 2015 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Economics from UWA. She is a Fellow of the AICD and Governance Institute of Australia and an adjunct professor of corporate governance at UWA where she serves on the advisory board of the Business School.
Diane is a keen down hill skier and operates a vineyard in Margaret River.
Managing Partner, OneVentures
Michelle is a Managing Partner of OneVentures and has been primarily responsible for the foundation of OneVentures firm and capital raisings of OneVentures Funds. The firm now has $320M in funds under management. Michelle serves on the investment committee of OneVentures three main Funds, leads the technology practice within the firm and is responsible for investor relations managing the supervisory boards of OneVentures funds.
Michelle has over 20 years experience in the development of high growth technology companies in Australia and the US, has served on the boards of large and small listed and unlisted companies and has a strong background in Australian R&D and expertise in global business expansion. She has negotiated technology transfer contracts with research institutions; established financing syndicates with Australian, Asian and US investors; chaired the boards of several high growth companies; supported early breakthrough commercial contracts; leveraged her extensive networks for the benefit of OneVentures companies; and negotiated both financing and exit transactions.
Michelle established OneVentures in late 2006, coming into the venture capital industry as a successful IT industry business owner, entrepreneur and subsequently angel investor. The Company she founded in 1999, E Com Industries (www.giftvouchers.com), became the leading prepaid card and electronic voucher provider in Australia, servicing over 100 major retail brands including Coles Myer and Woolworths, managing $700m in Australian retail liability and eventually expanding operations into the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand. E Com was acquired by UK publicly listed company, Retail Decisions, in 2005, in a transaction returning to investors 4.6xcapital and an average IRR of 70%. Notably, E Com industries was one of only a handful of Australian companies that successfully migrated the dotcom boom and crash through to a successful outcome for investors. Prior to E Com Industries, Michelle established IT enterprise business, Networks Beyond 2000.
Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours 1st class), Master of Science and a PhD (Applied Science). She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Chief Executive Women (CEW).
Global Portfolio Manager, iAngels, Israel
Agada Nameri, Global Portfolio Manager, leads iAngels’ portfolio management globally, drawing on more than a decade of executive experience in corporate M&A, fund raising, innovation and law.
Prior to joining iAngels, Agada served as Chief of Staff to the President and CEO of Frutarom, a multi billion-dollar global flavor and ingredients company. In this role, Agada oversaw all day-to-day operations for the company, taking a central role in the execution of over fifteen corporate acquisitions, for a total of over $500 million.
Before Frutarom, Agada served as the Portfolio and Business Development Manager for the Profiscope Group, an innovation house for startups in the medical device and lifestyle fields. Agada established the organisational and tax structure of the group, led fund raising and business development efforts for the group’s portfolio companies, oversaw scouting and due diligence for investment opportunities and managed all investor relations. While at Profiscope, Agada also headed all local operations in the Israeli market for Powermat Technologies Ltd, a Profiscope company.
As a lawyer, Agada served as General Counsel for the Tshuva Group, negotiating over $1b of credit facilities for one of Israel’s largest holding companies, and as an Associate in the corporate and securities group at Goldfarb, Seligman Law Offices, Israel’s largest law firm.
Agada holds an LLM and LLB (Magna Cum Laude) from Tel Aviv University, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, the Cameri Theater and the Lessin Theater.
Chief Executive Officer, Slingshot
Karen Lawson is a senior executive and leader in the digital industry. She has held executive positions within both global companies, as well as joint ventures. With experience leading teams through change; motivating, developing cross functional teams to peak performance, Karen is extremely passionate about delivering great results and helping others achieve their true potential.
The former CareerOne CEO took the reins of corporate start-up accelerator Slingshot last year, declaring she’s ready to help Australia’s businesses stay ahead of the innovation curve and that she’ll lead Slingshot through its next stage of growth. Lawson takes on the top job after five months working as Slingshot’s head of innovation for its corporate Scaleup program.
Slingshot has worked with a number of corporates about start-up and disruption best practice including NRMA, ING Direct and health fund HFC, and over 50 start-ups have participated in its programs.
Founding Partner, Airtree Ventures
Daniel have been involved in technology and investment for more than 30 years, spending time as a VP with Microsoft in Seattle and going on to found two of Australia’s most successful venture capital companies – Ecorp and Netus.
Daniel loves the way that technology transforms peoples lives and allows for, especially now, great ideas to flourish, regardless of where they came from. Investing in outstanding teams and great ideas, and then helping these wonderful people turn ideas into reality is both an enormous responsibility and a great joy.
Daniel's hope is that his past experience, gaining both a BSc in Computer Science and an MBA, his early career at Microsoft and helping grow more than 40 companies over the last 15 years helps him to be a true value add to the teams he supports at AirTree.
Managing Partner, Reinventure
As a founder, adviser, and now an investor, Kara looks forward to working alongside Australia’s fintech entrepreneurs, who are among some of the best in the world.
Kara has spent her career at the intersection of financial services and technology, both in the US and Australia. Growing up in Silicon Valley, her career started in a culture of innovation and rapid change. Kara's first internship was at Sun Microsystems which left an early impression. Sun, once a tech darling, was acquired by rival Oracle with Facebook assuming its headquarters all in less than ten years.
Kara is also a founder. She started and grew a successful financial services business for tech companies in Australia. The genesis of my business is my passion for helping Australian tech founders by applying my analytical background and international reach.
Fintech may be a buzzword, but investing in technology has been core to the most successful financial services firms for decades. As such, we are fortunate to have Westpac – one of the world’s largest and strongest banks – behind us and the founders we back.
Kara is excited to join Danny and Simon in building Reinventure and believed that their founder-led approach is a point of difference. Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Ben Horowitz is right in saying business success not only relies on intellect but also on “working hard, being reliable, and being an excellent member of the team.” Reinventure embodies this.
General Partner, NAB Ventures
Melissa Widner is a General Partner at NAB Ventures. Through direct experience, she has a deep understanding of both the entrepreneur’s journey and the role of a Venture Capitalist. As CEO she led two companies to successful acquisitions that provided over a 10X return to investors. She co-founded and was the CEO of Silicon Valley based enterprise software company, 7Software (acquired by Concur Technologies NASDAQ: CNQR, acquired by SAP). Melissa was a general partner at SeaPoint ventures, a US based venture capital firm focused on mobile technologies and SaaS enterprise software solutions. She has served as a director on several US and Australian based venture-backed technology companies.
In 2009, Melissa relocated to Sydney with her Australian husband. She co-founded Heads Over Heels, an organisation that works with female entrepreneurs leading companies with high growth potential. She served on the Federal Government’s Venture Capital Committee and currently serves on the VCC of AVCAL, the Australian Venture Capital Association.
Melissa holds a BA from the University of Washington and an MA from Stanford University. She is the proud mother of four boys.
Associate Director – Innovation Fund, Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Katerina has worked extensively in renewable energy economics, most recently assisting with the development of state government renewable energy policy in Australia. During this time she took part in the Centre for Sustainability Leadership fellowship program in Sydney, Australia, now acting as international ambassador for the organisation.
In 2012 she was awarded the prestigious Chevening Scholarship from the British Council of Australia to attend the London School of Economics, where she graduated with a Masters of Environmental Economics and Climate Change. Her thesis investigating the value of distributing renewable energy solutions to urban slums in Bangalore, India, inspired the founding of Pollinate Energy. As a true Aussie, Katerina enjoys long-distance ocean swimming and hopes to one day début as an all-singing, all-dancing extra in a Bollywood film.
Chair, Scale Investor
Susan is an experienced chairman and company director serving on the boards of major Australian listed companies. Her current appointments are Director of CNPR, Independent member of the Investment Committee for IFM investors, and on the board of the Melbourne Theatre Company. She is an entrepreneur and co-investor in two software systems. Susan has extensive experience in technology commercialisation, policy development and strategy consulting. She has contributed significantly to the innovation, IT and arts policy agendas in Australia and was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001 for service to Australian society in Business.
Chief Executive Officer, Data61
Adrian is the CEO of Data61, a CSIRO entity that is the largest data innovation group in Australia. He is a successful and influential Australian technology entrepreneur who has spent 18 years in Silicon Valley. He is also co-chair of the Australia Cyber Security Growth Network (ACSGN) and a member of the Board of Directors for the Australian eHealth Research Centre (AeHRC). Most recently he was Managing Director and Co-Founder of Borondi Group. Prior to this, Adrian was co-founder and CEO of smart phone and Internet of Things security company Mocana Corporation, had profit and loss responsibility for Philips Electronics connected devices infrastructure, and was Chairman of the Board for Australia’s expat network, Advance.org. Adrian was also author of the eBook BlueSky Mining, Building Australia’s Next Billion Dollar Industries.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Timelio
Charlotte founded Timelio, an online marketplace for invoice and supply chain finance, after experiencing first-hand how difficult it was for businesses to raise finance. A Chartered Accountant and corporate financier with 20 years of experience advising and helping businesses access capital, she understands the constraints many people face trying to grow a business without access to finance. Having lived and worked in NZ, UK, Singapore and Australia, working in some of the world’s largest banks, she sees Timelio as an opportunity to “do it different” in the world of finance.
Charlotte is actively involved in shaping Australia’s Fintech Industry. She was a founding board member of FinTech Australia and is a member of the Australian Federal Government’s FinTech Advisory Group.
Corporate Partner, Clayton Utz
Jonathan is a corporate partner at Clayton Utz. Jonathan has over 20 years' experience advising on mergers and acquisitions, foreign investment and capital raisings, including on some of Australia's most significant listed and unlisted corporate transactions across a range of sectors. He also has has a deep understanding of cross border transactions having worked throughout Asia and in London.
Jonathan has always had a passion for the technology sector. He has helped many Australian growth and tech companies start-up, achieve scale (including through pre-IPO and IPO raisings) and successfully execute on their strategies to become market leaders in their fields. Jonathan is a proud advocate for many growth and entrepreneurial clients internationally and for all things technology in Australia.
Senior Lecturer and Course Director, Diploma of Innovation, UTS Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation
Dr Martin Bliemel is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Diploma in Innovation at UTS:Transdisciplinary Innovation. Prior to this, Martin was Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at UNSW from 2010-2012, and completely revised and relaunched UNSW’s Diploma in Innovation Management in 2011. He is a member of the advisory committee for the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (ACERE) and for the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report.
Martin’s research interests include entrepreneurial networks, acceleration, education, and research commercialization. His research has been published in several prestigious journals including Nature Nanotechnology, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Education+Training, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, and the Entrepreneurship Research Journal. Martin is a recipient of the nationally competitive Office of Learning and Teaching Citation for his excellence and leadership in teaching. The award is supported by multiple publications and presentations about his curriculum design, and by the positive feedback from students and industry.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BlueChilli
Under Eckersley-Maslin’s leadership, BlueChilli was named BRW’s 3rd most innovative company of 2012 and 7th fastest growing tech company in Asia Pacific by Deloitte.
Eckersley-Maslin was awarded top post-graduate researcher at UNSW for a technology that lands unmanned aircraft on warships. He commenced his engineering career as a weapons engineer with the Royal Australian Navy where he was deployed to Iraq.
Eckersley-Maslin has been recognised as Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is three-time “30-under-30” winner. He is a board member of the Sydney chapter of the Awesome Foundation, and represents the Australian tech startup industry in lobbying at State and Federal government levels.
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.
Journalist and Author
Journalist and author Catherine Fox is one of Australia's leading commentators on women and the workforce. She is the former Corporate Woman columnist for the Financial Review, where she had a long career as a reporter and editor, including several years as deputy editor of Boss magazine. She now works as a freelance writer and speaks regularly at forums around the country