The Advance 50 for the Future honours Australians building companies and giving back through mentorship, investment and advisory support. During our Summit in May 2012, we recognised 50 Australians leading the way in Silicon Valley. Read about them below, and check out what some of them had to say about their motivations and goals in our video.
Simon has served as an executive, advisor and board member of over 15 startups and growth companies in the US and Asia and is currently CEO of DreamHost. The web hosting company has more than 300,000 customers and 1.2 million domains hosted and Simon joined DreamHost in early 2011 to take the strongly growing company into the cloud storage and compute market. He recently co-founded and is Chairman of Inktank, a spinoff start-up that will provide support and services for the massively scalable open source storage software Ceph, created by Sage Weil and incubated at DreamHost. Prior to DreamHost, Simon served as Chief Marketing Officer of Pictage, where he doubled the company’s customer base and formed major partnerships with Adobe, Kodak, Canon and Blurb. Additionally, he helped raise over $8M in growth capital. Simon previously was a key executive of three early and growth-stage venture-backed companies: Affinity Internet, Authenticlick and Biggerboat. He was the US-based general partner of Allen & Buckeridge, a leading Australian venture capital firm. Simon started his professional career as a corporate and commercial attorney in Sydney.
Co-founder, 5th Finger
Steen helped build the business he co-founded in 1999 into Australia’s most innovative and awarded mobile marketing company, with over a dozen national and global awards for its products and solutions. He played a pivotal role in the 2005 acquisition of 5th Finger by ninemsn, and leveraged the subsequent global opportunities. He took the lead in raising a $7M venture capital round to establish a global business based on the same 5th Finger approach and business model. He now focuses on building their top tier brand portfolio, including pillar clients such as Microsoft, Coke and Safeway. Steen previously launched a number of start-ups, including an online multiplayer games business (Multiplay), a international fax distribution network (Faxscape) and an ISP (Realnet Access). A pioneer of online media in Australia, he continues to offer mentorship and seed financing, through Startmate, to founders of Internet and Software businesses based in Australia.
CEO and Founder, Predixion Software
A highly experienced technology entrepreneur with extensive global technology management experience in Australia, US, UK, Latin America, and Europe, Simon co-founded California based predictive analytics company Predixion Software in 2009.
In 1998 he co-founded Versifi Technologies which created the first 100% java web content management platform and went on to win accolades as the "Most Visionary" product in its space by GartnerGroup. In 2000 Simon sold Versifi to Reef Technologies, SA in Belgium, then specialised in cross-border transactions in the software industry, specialising in M&A and venture capital as an operating partner for Gramercy Venture Advisors and Triton Pacific Capital.
As a two-time Olympic pole vaulter, Commonwealth Champion and seven-time national record holder for Australia, Simon is a regular keynote speaker tying Olympic philosophy to business strategy and performance, while also working as chairman for Megan's Wings, a California charity helping the families of children diagnosed with Leukemia.
Dr Craig H Barratt
CEO/President/Director, Qualcomm Atheros
Dr Craig Barratt, a native of Sydney, Australia, joined Qualcomm in May 2011 as president of Qualcomm Atheros, Inc., Qualcomm's networking and connectivity subsidiary. He served as president and CEO of Atheros, and as a director on the company's board from 2003, leading the company through its 2004 IPO and growth to over $900M of revenue in 2010, culminating in its 2011 acquisition by Qualcomm. Craig joined Atheros in 2002 as vice president of technology, having previously served in several roles, including executive vice president and general manager of ArrayComm, Inc. He holds Ph.D. and master of science degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and bachelor of electrical engineering and bachelor of science degrees from the University of Sydney. Craig has been granted over 28 patents in wireless and related technologies and has co-authored a book, various technical publications and open source software.
After developing Silicon Beach Australia in 2008, Elias moved to San Francisco for search startup Vast.com. He then moved into venture capital, working for Charles River Ventures. In 2010 he launched StartupBus, with the vision to develop the people behind future startups. Two years since concept, he has fundraised half a million dollars and had 500 people go through the program. Elias is now developing StartupHouse, an entrepreneurial campus in the heart of San Francisco in partnership with Bardia Housman. In his spare time he likes to show Americans how to tackle in rugby.
Chief Marketing Officer, Sensear
Currently CMO for Sensear, a global high noise communication technology company, David spent his earlier career driving marketing strategies for Fortune 1000 companies such a Cadbury Schweppes in Australia and UB Foods in the UK. David has a 25 year background in international sales, marketing and advertising and has held senior business development and marketing positions in the USA, UK and Australia. For the past decade David has been involved in assisting and advising Australia technology companies on how to gain traction in the US market through two organizations he lead - Traction USA and ANZA Technology Network.
Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar formed enterprise software company Atlassian in 2002. With over 18,000 customers around the globe, Atlassian has been named one of the "Fastest Growing Companies" by both Deloitte and BRW Magazine. Mike was awarded the Australian IT Professional in 2004, and in 2006 was the youngest person ever to be awarded the Australian Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, alongside co‐founder and co‐CEO, Scott Farquhar. Mike is an active angel investor and a non-executive director of Tyro, a technology focused Australian bank. He was honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2009 and is a Member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders.
Senior Director, Merchant Marketing & Customer Experience, PayPal
Named by FierceWireless as one of 2011’s Most Influential Women in Wireless, Laura Chambers is Senior Director, Merchant Marketing & Customer Experience at PayPal. Laura oversees all marketing initiatives related to PayPal's launch into the offline retail environment. She is also responsible for PayPal's push to lift Customer Experience globally - driving product and policy improvements, and deepening the company's analytic understanding and capabilities. Throughout her seven year career at PayPal and eBay, Chambers has held numerous strategic roles in PayPal, eBay Marketplaces, Skype and eBay Inc. Most recently Laura was the Head of Mobile at PayPal, and before that chief of staff to the CEO at eBay Inc. Prior to PayPal, Laura completed her MBA at Stanford GSB, and was a consultant with McKinsey & Company and Whitehorse Strategic Group in Australia.
CEO of 5th Finger
A progressive mobile solutions company with 10 years of experience and hundreds of campaigns under its belt with retailers, health and CPG companies, 5th Finger is a leader at using mobile to convert browsers into buyers for store-based retailers.
Under Patrick's direction, 5th Finger develops high impact and award winning solutions for premium brands such as Safeway, SanDisk, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret and the Marines. Patrick is responsible for developing 5th Finger's reputation as a leader in m-Commerce and in-store retail product development. He is a regular writer and blogger on all things retail & mobile, and is a sought after industry speaker. Prior to 5th Finger, Patrick served as the CTO of Australia's largest publisher where he led the technical development and operations of the highest-volume web properties in Australia, including Sydney Morning Herald Online, Australian Financial Review Online, My Career and Drive.
Nick is launching his current startup Sessions, a network of personal coaches empowering people to lead more active lives. He is a Fellow at Rock Health, the non-profit incubator for startups working on web- and mobile-based healthcare technologies. Prior to Sessions, Nick was a Product Manager in New York for pioneering internet-TV startup Boxee. Recognised by Smart Company magazine as one of Australia’s Top 30 entrepreneurs under 30, Nick Crocker's projects have included co-founding the popular music aggregation website WeAreHunted.com. He also co-founded digital agency Native Digital advising brands and startups on digital marketing and product development.
Co-Founder, CTO MobileNation
Since developing and selling his first commercial mobile application at the age of 15, Ben has continued over the last 17 years to develop those for the likes of DMG radio, Austrereo, the Country Fire Service, and SA lotteries. He is now the technical co-founder and Product Architect at MobileNation, which made its international debut at the DEMO start-up conference last year. The product allows users without any programming knowledge drag'n'drop tools to create a fully customised mobile apps for iOS, Android and blackberry.
Founder and CEO, Rainwater Hog
While practicing architecture in Sydney, Sally designed the multi-award-winning Nest highchair (now held in the Powerhouse Museum Permanent Collection) and Rainwater HOG modular tank. Strong interest in the HOG from North America led her to set up Rainwater HOG LLC in 2008 to guide US production and spearhead new innovative designs. Named one of the USA's Top 10 Green Building Products in 2008, HOG has won five other industry design awards and is now exported to Japan, Europe and South America. A passionate belief in the necessity for all design to be sustainable drives Sally to continuously devise simple, effective solutions that address the global need for smarter, multi-purpose products. From the Bay Area Sally also conduits via the Australian media the latest developments worldwide in sustainable, innovative design.
Chief International Officer, LifeGivingForce
In a 20 year career Bobbi has initiated and managed high-level Sustainable Development projects around the globe. She currently works as Chief International Officer for LifeGivingForce (LGF). LGF provides cost effective water solutions in the most difficult settings, leveraging the most advanced water purification technologies and expertise. Since the earthquake in, 2010, LifeGivingForce has provided clean water to hundreds of thousands of Haitians. Bobbi splits her time between the USA and Haiti and focuses on the deployment of cost effective, state-of-the-art water solutions to provide clean water to those in need in Haiti.
Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes formed enterprise software company Atlassian in 2002. With over 18,000 customers around the globe, Atlassian has been named one of the "Fastest Growing Companies" by both Deloitte and BRW Magazine. Scott was awarded the Australian IT Professional in 2004, and in 2006 was the youngest person ever to be awarded the Australian Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young alongside co‐founder and co‐CEO, Mike Cannon-Brookes. He mentors entrepreneurs through the Australian Business Women’s mentoring program, and regularly shares his knowledge and experiences with university groups.
Founding VP, Chief Products Officer, ThreatMetrix
Technology entrepreneur Alisdair Faulkner has been delivering mission critical technology to global markets over the last decade. A leading industry expert in issues relating to online fraud, device identification, cybercrime, identity theft, information security and networking technology, he is a frequent industry speaker and a past winner of the DEMOgod award for technology innovation. He founded ThreatMetrix, the Cloud-based Cybercrime Defender Platform, in 2006 and has since served as Chief Product Officer. Previously he co-founded Foursticks and NetPriva acquired by Expand Networks. Earlier in his career, he was a senior consultant at Accenture.
Ash is an entrepreneur, product designer and investor based in San Francisco. His last start-up, Topguest, was a marketing technology company in the travel industry that went from idea to exit in 18 months. Along the way he signed deals with the biggest hotel, airline and gaming companies in the world. The company raised money from Founders Fund, SV Angel and other top-tier VCs and angel investors, and sold to Switchfly in December 2011. Previously, Ash founded a number of web marketing and network consulting companies while at high school and university in Sydney.
CEO ANZA Technology Network
Viki is a respected leader with a demonstrated ability to design and build sustainable organisations from initial start-up phase to maturity. Viki has brought 20 years experience in the tech industry from both corporate and start-up perspectives to ANZA, the global business accelerator for Australian and New Zealand tech companies. Under Viki’s leadership, the organisation has grown to more than 5,000 network members. Viki has personally worked with more than 200 companies at various stages of new market exploration, entry and acceleration. Before joining ANZA, Viki was COO for the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Executives (FWE&E) where she was a key liaison with Silicon Valley venture capitalists, attorneys and entrepreneurial CEOs. Prior to FWE, she was VP Marketing for Bullant Inc. Viki launched Bullant in Australia and then helped raise $25m in funding before moving to establish the company in the US.
Professor and start up mentor, Stanford University
George is the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Management at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. He is actively involved in the business community, especially with venture-capital backed start-up companies and has served on the Board of Directors of multiple companies. He led the 2011 World Economic Forum Report on Global Entrepreneurship and the Successful Growth Strategies of Early-Stage Companies. Currently he is Chair of the World Economic Forum's 2012 Global Agenda Council on Entrepreneurship. George has worked with multiple public sector representatives and organisations on entrepreneurship and the building of high growth early-stage companies. He has directed the Executive Program for Growing Companies at Stanford University for many years as well as the Irish Government's Leadership For Growth Program and the Stanford -Endeavor Leadership Program on "Scaling Fast Growth Companies in Global Markets." He is also actively involved with sporting organisations around the globe, including directing executive programs for the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). His recent research includes global entrepreneurship, and the role of financial and other systems in the growth and valuation of companies. He also is researching globalisation challenges facing both sporting organisations and companies.
Founder, Former President & CEO Bay Citizen
Lisa launched The Bay Citizen in 2009 as a nonprofit, member-supported news organisation dedicated to promoting innovation in journalism. She was instrumental in raising $17.5 million in funding for the organization. Under her leadership, The Bay Citizen won several journalism awards including the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and the James Madison Freedom of Information Award and became recognised nationally as a new model for journalism. Previously Lisa was a partner at McKinsey & Company advising companies across multiple media industries - including online, newspaper, television, and information companies – on issues ranging from growth strategy and operations to marketing and sales. Lisa continues to focus on innovation, she recently moved to Sydney and is now Chief Innovation Officer at CommSec, a division of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Principal Software Engineer, Mobile, Zynga
Technologist and entrepreneur, James is a co-founder of Whereoscope, a location platform for smartphones providing a collaborative tracking service between parents and kids. Prior to working on Whereoscope, James and co-founder Mick Johnson, collaborated to build GasBag, a popular application which has over half a million drivers around the world entering fuel prices and saving money. James’s background is in engineering scalable, high-performance network applications and he held a number of positions at Sensory Networks, a leader in pattern matching and acceleration software technology, over five years. James moved to the US in 2004 having previously he worked in Australia as a software engineer with Website host, Anchor Systems.
A maverick inventor, Saul’s innovations span industrial design, technology, and science education. In recognition of his creative potential, he was awarded the 2007 MacArthur Fellowship (nicknamed the Genius Grant) and described by the Foundation as a ‘prodigy of invention in service of the world community’. He has since been the co-founder of numerous companies including Howtoons, educative science comic books for kids; Instructables, an open-source Web site of do-it-yourself projects with almost 900,000 unique users; and Potenco, a startup developing ways to charge electronic devices using human power. He created WattzOn a personal calculator to track energy consumption and also started the nonprofit Thinkcycle.org, a Web community that produces socially conscious engineering solutions. His company Makani Power is developing airborne wind turbines to extract energy from powerful, consistent winds at altitude and his company Otherlab partners with dozens of companies globally to develop enabling new technologies.
A co-founder and technology developer of Switchcam, Chris has applied his skills and experience on algorithms and audio technology to the recreational video market, bringing the live event experience to Internet devices. The Switchcam service uses his custom algorithms to reconstruct events from multiple camera sources and stitch them together so that users can watch events from start to end and from multiple camera angles.
Chris has previously built software for banks, and sonar systems. He was the primary algorithmic trading developer for Macquarie's Australian agency trading business. As Software Engineer for Sonartech Atlas Pty Ltd he developed real-time, distributed software systems to process sonar data for commercial and military applications.
A partner in the Silicon Valley office of global law firm DLA Piper, Richard focuses on clean technology development and deployment projects, strategic intellectual property advice and private and venture financing and M&A transactions, representing US, Australian and offshore multinationals throughout the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
Before joining DLA Piper, he spent three years as a partner in the San Francisco office of Minter Ellison and five years in the technology and corporate group of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Prior to leaving Australia in 2000, Richard was a senior associate in the Sydney office of Mallesons Stephens Jaques and spent 12 months on secondment with Telstra Corporation.
A seasoned entrepreneur, Bardia has built and exited two successful technology companies with combined exit valuations of approximately $100 million. His latest venture, StartUpHouse, is a support hub and incubation program for Australian start-ups. The facility in San Francisco's SoMa district provides accommodation and a collaborative working environment that connects early-stage tech entrepreneurs and mentors. The project has been his focus since the acquisition by Adobe of Business Catalyst which Bardia founded in 2004 - SaaS offering with a large reseller network of web designers in more than 50 countries. The platform served tens of thousands of hosted online businesses. Before moving to the US, Bardia was the founder of Start, (start.com.au) Australia’s first free email, in 1997. The service became Australia’s most trafficked website and was acquired by Looksmart Ltd in 1999.
Partner, Sequioa Capital
Warren is a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital focusing on cloud, bioinformatics and energy investments. He works closely with the founding teams and management of SunRun, AssureRx, Alion, Gigagen and a number of stealthy investments to help build companies that will have lasting impact. Warren has an MBA from Harvard Business School, a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Queensland, and was a Fulbright Scholar at Princeton University. Sequoia Capital was an original business partner in Google, PayPal, Yahoo, YouTube, Admob, Flextronics, NVIDIA, Cisco, Oracle and Apple Computer.
A renowned technical football trainer, Gary has been a founder, promoter, coach, business owner and investor in the San Francisco Bay/Silicon Valley area for over 20 years. He has advisory roles in football organizations and technology companies through his global soccer consulting company, Ireland Group, and in 2011 launched www.pass2me.com, a social networking site with features designed specifically for the global soccer community connecting the soccer ecosystem including players and college coaches. As a player Gary first trained with FC Barcelona at 15 and Chelsea FC at 16 and played for Queensland's Men's State Team. Among his credentials in a distinguished career are roles as Academy coach at Liverpool FC and an assistant to world renowned coaching guru Wiel Coerver in Dubai before starting his own club, PSV Union FC considered one of the most successful clubs in California, well known for developing collegiate and national team talent.
CEO and Co-founder Aconex
Leigh established Aconex in 2000 as a provider of online collaboration solutions to construction and engineering. The company has since become a global market leader, with 400 staff in 43 offices worldwide servicing $260 billion worth of projects. The company has won more than 20 awards for growth and business excellence and counts AECOM, The Panama Canal Authority, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Las Vegas Sands, IKEA and McDonald’s among its clients. The Americas is a strategic growth market and home to a number of investors in Aconex. Leigh relocated to the SF Bay Area in 2011 to provide additional management focus on the region. Previously, Leigh was with McKinsey & Company, advising clients in the media, financial services and building materials industries on strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and business growth issues. Leigh was named as National Finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for 2006.
Product Manager, Mobile, Facebook
A longtime mobile entrepreneur, Mick is a co-founder of Whereoscope, a location platform for smartphones providing a collaborative tracking service between parents and kids. Mick, together with James Gregory, also co-founded jamcode LLC, which they drove to cash-flow positive within one month. Their popular application GasBag has over half a million drivers around the world entering fuel prices and saving money. Mick has spoken at numerous conferences and his applications have been featured widely in the press including the NYTimes, The Australian, and many other publications. After graduating from the University of Sydney, Mick spent two years teaching English in Japan in both private schools and Junior High Schools.
Ryan is a serial entrepreneur, start-up advisor, investor and technophile. He’s currently CEO and founder of fashion technology start-up, Inporia, and mentor at 500 Startups and StartMate. His previous start-up, Omnisio, developed innovative ways to edit and enhance online videos and was acquired by Google in 2008. Ryan was responsible for developing the initial product, driving the company’s strategic direction, and ultimately negotiating the sale to Google. Ryan joined YouTube as a Product Manager as part of the Google acquisition. At YouTube he lead the development of many consumer facing features including video player redesign, video quality improvements, video annotations, YouTube RealTime and YouTube Rentals. Prior to Omnisio, Ryan was Director of Strategic Partnerships for Sensory Network, which produced chips for networking equipment. As the first employee he helped guide the company through its first four years of growth.
President and Founder, Sungevity
Long-time social entrepreneur, Danny has achieved global recognition as an environmental activist, spokesperson, and opinion leader. The residential solar power company, Sungevity, Inc. which he co-founded in 2007, has been an integral part of his life’s mission to promote the use of clean energy and eliminate the world’s dependence on fossil fuel. The company uses an internet based approach to build and design residential solar arrays. His accomplishments have earned him numerous awards, including “2011 Innovator of the Year,” from PBS program, Planet Forward, for pioneering an easy-to-access and affordable residential solar solution. Danny previously served as a campaign manager for Greenpeace Australia Pacific and directed Project Underground, an organisation committed to the human rights of people struggling with mining and oil operations.
Mobile gaming entrepreneur, general manager and strategy consultant, Andrew was the COO and Co-founder of Tapulous, a Palo Alto-based start-up company acquired by Disney Interactive Media Group (DIMG) in July 2010. As COO, Andrew managed all business operations and drove the strategic vision and execution behind product development and monetisation of social games and apps for the iPhone, most notably Tap Tap Revenge, the #1 iPhone game, accounting for over a billion games played to-date and turning Tapulous into a highly profitable company. Prior to Tapulous, Andrew worked for five years in Australia, Asia and Europe for McKinsey & Company, where he built internet business for large corporations and advised both telecommunication and media companies on digital distribution and content.
Venture Partner, Southern Cross, & Director, Amalfi Capital
A specialist in the technology and clean energy sectors, Venture capitalist Tristen co-founded Amalfi Capital and serves as a Venture Partner for Southern Cross where she focuses on investment opportunities in the technology and energy sectors in North America, China and Australia. Previously, Tristen led Business Development and Marketing Manager at Skype Technologies for North America. She has also held positions with Samsung in the USA and with RenRen China. From 2002 to 2005, she was an Analyst with the top-tier US venture capital firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) where she led the firm's investment in Skype and worked closely with Xfire. She joined DFJ from the Australian technology venture capital firm, Allen & Buckeridge (A&B) where she was a Senior Associate. She attended Stanford GSB, the Fraunhofer Institute and UNSW where she was awarded the University Medal.
Founder and CEO, Emotiv Lifesciences
Technology entrepreneur Tan is founder and CEO of Emotiv Lifesciences, a bioinformatics company focused on identifying biomarkers in the brain for mental and other neurological conditions using electroencephalography (EEG). She is pursuing the dream of performing inexpensive and widespread brain function screening to catch early signs of autism, epilepsy, learning disabilities, ADHD, and other conditions. She has received many awards and appeared in innumerable ‘Who’s Who in Australia’ lists; she was named among Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology in 2010 and Forbes‘ 50 Names You Need to Know in 2011. In 2009, she was honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. Before founding Emotiv Lifesciences, Tan Le co-founded and led Emotiv, a pioneer in brain computer interface technology which now has a footprint in over 90 countries worldwide.
Peter Le Lievre
Founder and CEO of Chromasun
A global leader in high technology commercialisation, Peter is the founder and current CEO of Chromasun and is a director of both SunWater Solar and Aurora Algae. A developer of next generation hybrid solar technologies, Chromasun constructed California’s largest high temperature rooftop project at the Benson Center at Santa Clara University in 2011. Previously, Peter was the founding CEO of Ausra, where he led the development and construction of several of the world’s largest solar thermal plants. Ausra was purchased in 2010 for $275 million by French multinational industrial conglomerate, Areva (Euronext CEI). Prior to Ausra, Peter spent 10 years as a venture capital investor. Peter is an accomplished industrial designer, is widely published and is named in 21 patents.
Chief Executive Officer, 99designs
Patrick is CEO of 99designs, the largest online marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design services. Since its launch in 2008, 99designs has hosted more than 130,000 graphic design contests and paid out more than $30 million to designers across 192 countries. The company currently employs more than fifty employees in San Francisco (where Patrick is based), Melbourne and London. Prior to joining 99designs in 2009, he worked in corporate advisory for tech and media clients with Nextec Strategic Capital in Australia.
Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners
#60 on the Forbes Midas List 2011 Top Tech Investors, Jeremy invests primarily in the Internet and mobile sectors, with a particular interest in social media, commerce, gaming, financial services and methods for increasing monetisation. He joined leading global venture capital firm, Lightspeed in early 2006. Previously, Jeremy was with AOL, first as SVP of Corporate Development and Chief of Staff to the CEO, and then as General Manager of Netscape. Jeremy joined AOL from InterActiveCorp (originally USA Networks), where he was VP of Strategic Planning. He started working in the consumer Internet industry as an early employee of CitySearch in 1996, and was also a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.
Co-founder and CEO, Bitplay Inc.
A serial entrepreneur with start-ups ranging from automotive engineering, music recording to share trading and consumer web, Denis co-founded Bitplay with Arend Naylor in 2010. The company’s Meetings.io product enables real time face to face meetings within a web browser without requiring software downloads or signups. The two founders are Y Combinator alumni and previously developed Embedster which facilitates monetising of online media. Denis’ first web startup 3jive was an online media platform designed as a social portal for publishers and consumers of movies, music, podcasts and other media. Denis began his career as a lecturer and tutor in Machine Design and Gas Turbine Jet Propulsion for Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering students at the University of Sydney and went on to work in the automotive industry as Chief Engineer with Australian Formula 3 racing before venturing into his own start-ups and achieving a number of successful exits.
Dr Larry Marshall
Managing Director, Southern Cross Venture Partners
An original Australian pioneer to Silicon Valley, Larry first arrived in 1987 with the goal of commercialising communications hardware developed at Macquarie University. He went on to found or co-found six successful companies in the laser/optical, semiconductor, and medical sectors, all of which have created exit events for investors, including two IPOs. Since 2007 he has been based in the Palo Alto office of Southern Cross Venture Partners as their Managing Director. They assist early stage technology companies that demonstrate potential for exceptional growth and market leadership. Previously he was co-Chairman of Arasor, a developer and manufacturer of integrated optical and wireless solutions. Larry holds 20 patents protecting numerous commercial products. He received a prestigious Federation Fellowship, chaired Advanced Solid State Photonics, and has over 100 publications and presentations.
Entrepreneur Geoff is the founder and CEO of AffinityLive, an online platform for managing all of the client work in a business, from prospect to payment, and everything in between, in one place. Geoff moved to the US in 2011 to raise capital and take AffinityLive to the world market. Since its commercial launch in November 2011, AffinityLive has seen growth in paying clients of more than 20% a month and has been covered by the likes of TechCrunch. AffinityLive is positioning itself to be the next SalesForce, making previously unaffordable and complex technology - business management (ERP) software for professional businesses - available in a way that is affordable, configurable and easy to use. Originally from Wollongong, Geoff received his MBA from the Sydney Business School, is an Honorary fellow from the University of Wollongong and a strong supporter of the Australian start-up scene (recognised in the Pearcey Awards, 2010).
Co-founder and CTO, Bitplay Inc.
Arend cofounded Bitplay with Denis Mars in 2010. The company's first product, Meetings.io, enables real time video conferencing without the need for software downloads and installation. The two Y Combinator alumni previously launched Embedster, a video monetisation startup in 2009.
Before moving to the United States, Arend started his career as a entrepreneur founding two successful internet technology businesses. He has also worked in both technical and product roles for a number of large Australian companies including Telstra, WebCentral, Melbourne IT and RPData. During this time, he designed, built and launched six successful internet products. Arend’s most recent role in Australia was Chief Solution Architect at RPData where he designed and managed the company’s Enterprise Architecture renewal project.
John is founder of SnappyLabs, a startup innovating in the mobile app space. SnappyCam, on iPhone, is the world’s fastest smart-phone camera that captures super high-resolution “living photos” so you'll never miss the perfect moment. John earned his Ph.D from the University of Melbourne (2006) and is a celebrated Australian researcher. He received the Chancellor’s Prize for his dissertation on making DSL broadband networks faster, in 2007 was featured in The Age Melbourne Magazine’s Top 100, awarded Victorian Fellow in 2005 and the RMIT University medal in 2002. He is co-inventor of four patents, recently acquired by Ericsson AB.
Founder/ CEO of SearchForecast.com and SKUmatic.com
A serial entrepreneur, Marc is the founder/CEO of SearchForecast.com and SKUmatic.com - providers of publishing software and services to hundreds of websites and Facebook pages globally. Marc’s previous online research company, APT Strategies, was founded in 1993 and sold to Jupiter Research Inc. (NASDAQ: JUPM) in 1999. He also co-founded Australia’s largest affiliate network, Commission Monster, acquired by IPMG in 2007. Marc was a founding shareholder of Silicon Valley-based GlanceGuide Inc, an online video metrics firm acquired by The Nielsen Company (NYSE: NLSN) and Localyte.com, an online travel community acquired by NileGuide Inc. in 2010. Marc holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne, is a partner in Arafura Ventures Inc. and has lived and worked in Palo Alto for the past 10 years.
Co-Founder & Partner at Play Bigger
Selected as one of TIME Magazine's 50 most influential people in the digital economy, Al has been active as a founder, CEO, senior executive, investor, board member, and advisor for more than 20 years. Al is a co-founder at Play Bigger Advisors, Silicon Valley's premier marketing strategy outfit. Play Bigger partners with CEOs, executive teams, and VCs to build great categories and companies. He was co-founder and CEO at Quokka Sports, one of the first Australian technology companies to go public on the NASDAQ, was Senior Vice President & GM at Adobe Systems and Executive Vice President & CMO at Macromedia. In his earlier years, he was CTO for an America's Cup campaign and a scientist at BHP Steel.
Founder and CEO, Ehpox
Andrew has been an entrepreneur for 15 years and on three continents. He helped start Webz, a web development company, and Home Computing Connections, a computer services provider targeted at consumers. After establishing Ephox’s Australian-based engineering team and leading the development of EditLive!, Andrew moved to Silicon Valley to establish Ephox’s headquarters. A leading provider of software for optimizing web content production Ephox is one of the fastest growing companies in Silicon Valley. As CEO Andrew has led Ephox to profitability, more than tripled sales and developed key strategic alliances with IBM, EMC, Vignette and others.
Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Echo
Over 14 years Chris has founded over seven workgroups, non-profits and start-ups. He launched Echo in 2009 which provides a real-time platform enabling the rapid implementation and scale of applications for social TV, social commerce, real-time commenting and social content aggregation. Brands leverage the Echo platform to transform their static websites into real-time experiences and Echo currently serves over one billion streams per month for Discovery Channel, ESPN, Showtime, Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, Universal Music Group, USA Networks and World Wrestling Entertainment. Most recently, Chris co-founded the Data Portability project. He also co-founded the APML (Attention Profiling Markup Langauge) Workgroup, the Media 2.0 Workgroup, Faraday Media, RedShift and Radioactive, where he set strategic direction and championed the advancement of the real-time social web.
A serial entrepreneur, Michael was still in his teens when he developed two businesses: a tradesman directory and ordering system for the mining industry. Meanwhile he was also helping his brother Chris market his holiday accommodation start up Stayz. The portfolio of boutique and regional website sold to Fairfax Digital in 2006. He and his brother went on to found Sharkey Media, a web development agency designed to help other businesses develop a successful online presence and work on their existing online businesses. In late 2010 Michael co-founded Bislr.com, which provides a free way for business owners to create a professional website and market their business online, with applications to help blog, create forms, manage contacts, engage on social media and send email marketing.
Service Innovation Fellow at Stanford GSB, Recovery Record Co-Founder
Jenna's passion for human-centered innovation has been honed in her role as Design for Service Innovation Teaching Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Jenna has mentored and taught Stanford venture teams, from formation to industry. Part way through a PhD in Clinical Psychology, she is fascinated by what motivates human behavior, specifically: why people do what they do, and what it takes to change behavior. Jenna discovered her ‘calling’ at the Stanford Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship, where she uncovered a groundbreaking opportunity to re-invent therapy practice. This process rocket-launched her startup Recovery Record, which replaces punishing pen and paper therapy homework for eating disorders with an engaging mobile app. In four months, Recovery Record is in the hands of over 9000 users and 200 Clinicians.
Founder and CEO, Mocana
Adrian launched the Mocana Corporation in 2004. Over 180 companies now leverage Mocana's Smart Device Security solutions including Cisco, Honeywell, Dell, General Electric, General Dynamics, Avaya and Harris, among others. Mocana won Frost & Sullivan's Technology Innovation of the Year award for 2008 for Device Security, and in 2009 was named to the Red Herring Global 100 as one of the "top 100 privately - held technology companies in the world". Prior to founding Mocana, Adrian Turner was responsible for West Coast Business Development and Alliances for Kenamea, an enterprise communication firm specialising in reliable, secure communications. He also had P&L responsibility for developing infrastructure to support Philips Electronics’ (NYSE:PHG) connected consumer and business devices. Adrian was President and Chair of the Board of Directors for Advance from 2005 until 2011.
Founder and CEO, mPPApps
Over the past 22 years, Joe has provided leadership to some of the world’s most successful cloud service, SaaS, ISP and web development companies - each one originally a start up. In 2011 he founded mppAPPs, a groundbreaking information platform designed to dramatically accelerate Big Data in the cloud. As Co-founder, CEO and President of uCIRRUS Corporation (2007 - 2011), Joe built a successful US corporation with world-class management, investors (Intel Capital, South Korean Telecoms, ATA Ventures) and customers (MySpace, Microsoft, Fox News) and Management. Before co-founding uCIRRUS, Joecofounded some of Australia’s leading technology companies including Workstar, a provider of HR SaaS Solutions in the Asia-Pacific region, Marketboomer and Axis Media.
Software Engineer Brett co-founded Switchcam with Chris Hartley in 2011. The new platform allows users to experience and curate live events through various synchronised and crowdsourced camera angles. Through Brett’s marketing acumen Switchcam has built partnerships with music brands such as Lollapalooza, Live Nation and hollywood mega-agency CAA. Brett built his first start-up, the integrated online business system, GoodBarry into a company powering thousands of online businesses around the world. The winner of the Transaction 2.0 "Best Aussie Business Startup" in 2008, GoodBarry was acquired by Adobe in 2009.
Founder, Playcraft Labs
Martin oversees product strategy and management at mig33. Prior to mig33 Martin was the Founder and CEO of Tangler, a developer of web 2.0 chat and forum tools. He's driven the product and technology for Intercom, one of Australia's first ISP's and led as CTO at Dot Communications. Prior to this, he managed mobile game start up Tasman Studios. As an expert programmer in information technology, Martin specialises in scalable systems development and has also published an award winning book 'J2ME Game Programming' in 2004. Martin is an active blogger in technology circles, and has organised industry events including founding 'Dinner 2.0' and STIRR in Sydney, Australia.