Entrepreneurs In Residence
Chief Evangelist and Co-founder, Go1
As a co-founder and chief evangelist of Go1, Vu’s responsibilities include engaging with key industry leaders and stakeholders across all sectors to share Go1’s experience in transforming workplace learning.
This includes engagement with government sectors on working to leverage Go1’s experience, technology and course marketplace to address key social issues such as skills, employment and supporting industry and small business.
Entrepreneur, Chair, Non-Execitive Director Founder & Chair of Simpli Sourcing Chair of Bravehearts
Vanessa is a serial entrepreneur, mother to four young children and a leader in the consumer products industry.
Vanessa’s passion for business and commercialising products has seen her ranked in Australia’s Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs list 5 years running. She was named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year for Industry, Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year for Qld, and more recently, Vanessa was named in the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence.
She is currently the Founder and Chair of Simpli Sourcing, a sourcing company focusing on eco-friendly products and packaging for small businesses and corporates. Vanessa is also the Chair of Bravehearts and an Advisory Board member for Guardian Angel Security. She has founded 17 companies over the past 25+ years, 8 of which have grown to be multi-million-dollar ventures.
Products designed by her teams can be found in more than 5,000 retail stores covering more than 30 product categories. In fact, one in 2 Australians owns a product that her companies have produced.
With more than 25 years experience in building businesses across Australia, China, the UK, Europe and the US, Vanessa understands what it takes to build and grow a global business and is a passionate advocate for helping other Australian start-ups and entrepreneurs scale and grow their businesses.
Entrepreneur Senior Executive/Director, Arriba Ltd
Stefan is an experienced entrepreneur, business strategist and investor with a strong background in managing high growth ventures, early stage investment and software development. Stefan has a PhD in Computer Science (or more specifically in Artificial Intelligence) and an MBA in international business.
Stefan currently works as a General Manager for New Zealand’s innovation agency Callaghan Innovation and has previously led Creative HQ Ltd, the country’s largest provider of incubation, acceleration and innovation programs.
Prior to his role as CEO of Creative HQ, Stefan ran his own private incubator, WebFund, which launched and developed many successful ventures in New Zealand such as Appreciation Engine, BaseDiary and Bookfind, all of which are now operating successfully overseas in Australia, the US and Europe. Stefan has also been active as an investor through his angel investment company HyperStart.
In 2012, international publishing house Wiley published Stefan’s start-up and early stage venture investment experience in the book ‘Successful Online Start-ups for Dummies’. In 2010, Stefan was recognised as New Zealander of the Year by North & South Magazine for innovation in parenting education with one of his start-ups, DIYFather.com.
Leigh is serial entrepreneur, cloud computing pioneer, web technologies veteran and public company CEO and board member.
Leigh has founded 10 ventures over the last 30 years with some wins and some losses, including a number of successful exits. Over his career, he’s been involved in raising more than $100 million in funding and overseen 3 successful IPOs on ASSOB and the Australian Stock Exchange.
In addition to assisting entrepreneurs to scale up, his current focus is on improving Australia’s innovation and technology commercialisation, with his current focus on fire technologies and innovation. Leigh is an engaged mentor, advising a portfolio of early-stage ventures on their commercialisation strategies.
He has led the commercialisation of technologies in a diverse range of sectors from enterprise cloud computing, web technologies, biotechnology and media/social media, entertainment and fire technologies.
Elizabeth (Izzy) Whitelock
CEO, Houston We Have
Elizabeth is CEO and a founder of Houston We Have. A visionary executive, Elizabeth foresaw the benefits of AI and its commercial application in risk mitigation.
Skilled in managing large multi-disciplinary teams for global tech, particularly in the arena of data, analytics and business intelligence, Elizabeth has a singular focus to develop human-centred AI. This unique practice of ‘Augmented Intelligence’ embodies the very best of machine-learning and the power of technology with irreplaceable human inputs for enhanced decision making in changing and uncertain environments. Based on first-hand experience herself, Elizabeth continues to champion the role for responsible AI in improving the lives of our fellow citizens and the world we share.
Houston We Have uses its own patented human-centred AI software to capture experience, wisdom and data and applies it to multiple related scenarios allowing humans to see the consequences of actions or inactions and to stay in control. Originally designed for Australian Defence, the software uses complex mathematics to process information without bias and allows users to plan more effectively and manage events more quickly and with fewer errors. Today the company helps a wide range of organisations, both government and commercial, deal with complex situations where the ability to understand and communicate (free of emotion) the reasoning behind major decisions is critical.