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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vice President – Acceleration, Network for Global Innovation (NGIN)
Kevin has more than 10 years of experience developing and supporting large cleantech accelerators for the United Nations (1,000+ start-ups supported). He has 8 years of experience running programs, competitions and training for one of the largest cleantech accelerators and venture competitions in the United States.
Kevin has helped develop regional mentor programs for a joint US Department of Energy and Small Business Administration (SBA) program. He also has more than 18 years of experience advising international incubators and agencies focused on entrepreneurship and innovation, including RootSpace (Lebanon), Cambridge University (UK), NESTA (UK) and the Technology Innovation Agency (South Africa).
He has served as a judge and mentor for numerous US and international start-ups accelerators and venture competitions. Kevin has also launched and led numerous service and product-based ventures.
Paulo de Rezende
Vice President – Investment, Network for Global Innovation (NGIN)
Paulo has extensive investing experience in venture capital and private equity. Early in his career, he was a Partner at Zone Ventures – an affiliate of the Draper Venture Network – where he co-managed investments in more than 30 technology companies across 3 early stage venture capital funds, with US$120 million under management. In this period, he secured successful exits with DivX (IPO at Nasdaq) and NevenVision (sold to Google). In 2008, he returned to his native Brazil, where he founded and raised a US$225 million growth equity fund targeted at the Brazilian energy supply chain.
Currently, he is a faculty member at the UCLA Anderson Global Access Program, where he advises teams of MBA students on developing US market entry strategies for international companies. Paulo is the founding Managing Director of CIVI-CO Ventures and is currently raising an impact fund for investments in Brazil.
President and CEO, Network for Global Innovation (NGIN)
Fred is the CEO of the Network for Global Innovation (NGIN), a non-profit dedicated to assisting sustainable technology entrepreneurs no matter where they reside in the world.
Previously, Fred was the Co-Founder and for a period of six years served as the Founding CEO of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), combining experience as an entrepreneur with his passion for clean technology. LACI helped 120+ start-ups attract $228m in funding and 40+ entrepreneurs enter new markets via its International Access Program.
Fred is a serial entrepreneur, having founded/co-founded 11 companies in the cleantech, internet, motorcycle, RV, and M&A segments. He was the interim-CEO of GeoCities, one of the first social networks and earliest unicorns.
Fred speaks often on subjects of interest to entrepreneurs and those who assist them. He has served as CEO, COO, Board Member, Mentor and EIR for numerous start-ups and is well-versed in the challenges that early-stage entrepreneurs face.
Chief Revenue Officer, Network for Global Innovation (NGIN)
Tom is an award-winning marketing strategist, industrial designer, and filmmaker. A skilled collaborator, Tom enables teams to communicate the unique value of new product and service innovations in ways that attract customers and investors.
He advises entrepreneurial innovators, creative design and advertising agencies, and corporate leaders to tell their story in a way that improves their market value, secures contracts, and achieves record growth.
Tom is a market builder whose expertise has created new programs, achieved record sales levels, improved margins, and facilitated growth for corporate, public, non-profit and entrepreneurial ventures. He has contributed to results across regional, national and global landscapes.
Advising early-stage companies, Tom created the Master the Pitch Program at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator to foster growth at scale, and teaches Business and Economics at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. As a strategic storyteller for Fortune 500 companies, Tom is recognised for his role in generating more than a $1 trillion revenue pipeline Fortune 500 clients Lockheed-Martin, Unilever, Motorola, Philips, Volvo, and others.
Founder, Coach and Mentor – Qrius Alliance
Amanda is an experienced public health administrator with more than a decade of experience navigating complex health systems and designing solutions for real world challenges. She has worked at local, state and international levels to bring change and strengthen systems across a spectrum of issues.
One part healthcare professional. One part innovator. And a dash of curiosity. Amanda’s passion is to bring people together to explore challenges and opportunities, designing and testing solutions that are both achievable and impactful.
Amanda has experience delivering innovation building capability and structures for one of the largest public health services in Queensland. In 2020, she founded Qrius Alliance, a social innovation that amalgamates her experience at solving systemic community challenges, and is currently working through validation and designing a prototype to take to market. Amanda is also tertiary qualified as a Nutritionist and Epidemiologist and loves applying her innovative mindset to everyday life.
Stephen Delo, MBE, FCPHR
Innovation Management Consultant
Awarded by Her Majesty The Queen for Leadership, Steve has more than 3 decades of people and project management skills. The last 4 years have involved direct engagement in developing innovators and innovation systems in Defence, and guiding other public bodies to establish their practices.
Steve is focused on developing innovators and leadership of small teams as a key driver in achieving success in innovation. He works one-on-one using his certified coaching and mentoring capabilities and broad unique experience in delivering innovations.
As a Fellow of the Australian Human Resource Insitute, Steve’s involvement provides a depth of proven, current and professional people development attributes in the innovation and leadership space. These are a great resource for the people in our region as we drive forward to innovate.
Dr Nagaraj Gopisetty B.Pharm, MSc (Hons), Biotechnology, PhD, MBA
Deputy CEO, Life Sciences Queensland (LSQ)
Nagaraj heads Life Sciences Queensland’s business development program – Life Sciences (LS) Catalyst. LS Catalyst a targeted program delivering bespoke mentoring, training, education and networking services to Queensland-based life science start-ups and entrepreneurs. It helps start-ups grow and is building a stronger Queensland’s life sciences industry and start-up innovation ecosystem.
Nagaraj is an innovation architect with a proven track record in technology translation and commercialisation of life sciences and healthcare innovations. Prior to joining LSQ, Nagaraj was the Business Development and Innovation Education Manager at the Translational Research Institute, Australia’s first of its kind initiative of ‘bench to bedside’ medical and translational research. It brings together research, clinical and industry interface to advance innovations from the lab to benefit patients.
He also worked as a technology transfer professional within Australian universities and medical research institutes along with short working stints within government, a biotechnology start-up, and leading multi-national pharmaceutical companies. Nagaraj is experienced in business development, research translation and commercialisation, intellectual property management, contract and licence negotiations, projects management. He is also experienced in mentoring, stakeholder engagement and alliance management by bringing together teams involving partnerships with academia, clinicians, industry, and other stakeholders.