Annie came to Australia in 2013 to launch muru-D, Telstra’s digital startup accelerator programme. muru-D invests in and nurtures early stage startups with the objective of fostering a vibrant and healthy digital economy in Australia. In April 2015, muru-D also launched its 2nd accelerator programme in Singapore in order to tap into the phenomenal growth of the digital economy across South East Asia and to help connect the dots across the region for Australian and South East Asian entrepreneurs.
muru-D invests $40k for a 6% equity stake in the startup and provides a tailored acceleration program providing entrepreneurs with advice to help scale their idea into global markets. Essential introductions are made to mentors, advisors and industry experts. The program's concludes with Demo Night, a unique opportunity for each of the startups to share their progress with an audience of potential investors comprised of Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors and high net worth individuals.
Before coming to Australia, Annie ran operations across Europe for Telefonica’s accelerator programme – Wayra. Through both these programmes, Annie has experienced thousands of pitches first hand, has overseen investments in hundreds of startups globally and is a regular keynote speaker on all things entrepreneurship at conferences.
Prior to working with startups Annie had various positions across the digital, telco & new business launch space. Most notably, she ran the Consumer Customer base for O2 UK - O2’s largest single P&L at over $1billion. During this time she was responsible for all areas of customer retention, base marketing and O2’s loyalty programme.
Whilst in this role she completely reshaped their customer retention strategy, a 3 year programme which resulted in O2 having the lowest levels of customer churn ever seen anywhere in the world, and a loyalty programme that was viewed internationally as best in its field.
Annie is also on the International Reference Group for InnovationXchange – a programme set up in May 2015 by the Hon Julie Bishop MP to catalyse and support innovation across the Australian aid program. Annie’s role on in this reference group is to provides strategic guidance on investments into innovation ideas that have the power to empower women, improve humanitarian responses and entrepreneurialism across the region.
In parallel to supporting anything that grows the startup scene across Australia and the Asia Pacific region, Annie is also the Chairman of the non profit organisation Code Club Australia.
She firmly believes coding is an essential skill for Australia to continue to be successful on a global stage. In a world where almost everything has a digital component or is somehow digitally mediated, being able to understand the basics of how this all works is more important than ever - this is the new literacy.
Code Club Australia helps drive this by teaching primary school kids how to code through volunteer led after school clubs.
After securing over $500k in funding from the Telstra Foundation, Code Club Australia now has over 110 clubs all across the country and has an aim to train 500 primary school teachers by the end of 2015. It’s also through Code Club Australia that Annie is working with other organisations to see coding skills become part of the national curriculum in Australia.
Check out Annie on the panel "The Next Big Wave: Directions for Australian Innovation" at the 2015 Advance Global Australian Summit.