Sydney, November 16, 2017

Calling all Startups in Australia 

Many are familiar with the many adventurous innovations — zorbing, bungee jumping, and jet boating to name a few — that have come out of the Australian-New Zealand ecosystem. But, so did WiFi, black box flight recorders, cochlear implants, ultrasound technology, and even atom splitting. TechCrunch is headed to Australia to find the most disruptive early stage startups poised to compete on a global stage. How? We are bringing TechCrunch’s world premier competition, Startup Battlefield, to Australia this year in partnership with ELEVACAO.  

For more information about the pitch-off competition and FAQs, click here.

Agenda

Thursday, November 16

    All times AEDT
  • 9:00 am - 9:05 am

    Opening Remarks: Matthew Panzarino (TechCrunch) 

  • 9:05 am - 9:25 am

    Fireside Chat with Spencer Rascoff (Zillow)

    Zillow's CEO delves into real estate marketplaces and the leadership equation to scale growth

  • 9:25 am - 9:30 am

    How the Startup Battlefield Works with Mike Butcher (TechCrunch)

  • 9:30 am - 10:30 am

    Startup Battlefield Session 1

    Judges: Wesley Chan (Felicis Ventures), Avichal Garg (Y Combinator), Dean McEvoy (TechSydney), Elaine Stead (Blue Sky), Catriona Wallace (Flamingo)

  • 10:30 am - 10:50 am

    Fireside Chat with Aaron Patzer (Vital Software)

    Serial founder (Mint, Fountain) and machine learning expert discusses AI's role in product development and his experience on both sides of the acquisition experience

  • 10:50 am - 11:05 am

    BREAK

  • 11:05 am - 11:30 am

    Strength in Diversity: How and why to make inclusion a foundation in every startup

    In conversation with Greg Moshal (Prospa) and Catriona Wallace (Flamingo)

  • 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Startup Battlefield Session 2

    Judges: Anton Borzov (WhatsApp), James Cameron (AirTree Ventures), David Gowdey (Jungle Ventures), Samantha Wong (Blackbird Ventures), Duncan Turner (SOSV), Kavita Gupta (ConsenSys Ventures)

  • 12:30 pm - 12:50 pm

    Fireside Chat with Mike Cannon-Brookes (Atlassian)

    The Atlassian co-founder on Atlassian's growth story: what went right and what went wrong

  • 12:50 pm - 1:35 pm

    LUNCH

  • 1:35 pm - 2:35 pm

    Startup Battlefield Session 3

    Judges: Chris Boshuizen (Data Collective), Ian Gardiner (Amazon Web Services), Kara Frederick (Reinventure), Melissa Widner (NAB Ventures)

  • 2:35 pm - 3:00 pm

    ANZ Startup Ambiitons: Past, Present and Future

    In conversation with Bill Bartee (Blackbird Ventures) and Daniel Petre (AirTree Ventures)

  • 3:00 pm - 3:25 pm

    Blockchain, ICOs and The Future of Everything?

    In conversation with Simon Cant (Reinventure), Dr. Jemma Green (Power Ledger) and Kavita Gupta (ConsenSys Ventures)

  • 3:25 pm - 3:40 pm

    BREAK

  • 3:25 pm - 4:10 pm

    BREAKOUT SESSION: Going Deep on Blockchains and ICOs

    Simon Cant (Reinventure), Avichal Garg (Y Combinator and Bitwise Hold 10 Crypto Index ​Fund), Dr. Jemma Green (Power Ledger) and Kavita Gupta (ConsenSys Ventures)

  • 3:40 pm - 4:40 pm

    Startup Battlefield Finals

    Judges: Matthew Panzarino (TechCrunch), Melanie Perkins (Canva), Dean Dorrell (Carthona Capital)

  • 4:40 pm - 5:05 pm

    The Asia Opportunity: Finding cross-border growth and investment 

    In conversation with David Gowdey (Jungle Ventures) and Duncan Turner (SOSV)

  • 5:05 pm - 5:50 pm

    BREAKOUT SESSION: Cross-border funding and growth in Asia -- Sponsored by Telstra Ventures

    Marcus Bartram (Telstra Ventures), David Gowdey (Jungle Ventures) and Duncan Turner (SOSV)

  • 5:05 pm - 5:30 pm

    The Funding Scene in Silicon Valley

    In conversation with Chris Boshuizen (Data Collective) and Wesley Chan (Felicis Ventures)

  • 5:30 pm - 5:55 pm

    Building and Scaling Mobile Products: Learn from two top practitioners

    In conversation with Anton Borzov (WhatsApp) and Avichal Garg (Y Combinator, former Facebook product director)

  • 5:55 pm - 6:05 pm

    Startup Battlefield Australia Winners Announced

  • 6:05 pm - 7:00 pm

    RECEPTION

Speakers / Judges

  • Bill Bartee

    Bill Bartee

    Bill Bartee is a co-founder and Managing Director of Blackbird Ventures and of Southern Cross Venture Partners. He has co-founded several successful companies. At Southern Cross Bill focuses on early-stage software, security, and internet companies. From 1997 to 2001, he helped build and lead the early stage investing for Macquarie Technology Ventures (MTV), a balanced venture fund focused on software, telecommunications, internet and life sciences. At MTV, Bill led investments in several market leaders including Altium (ASX: ALU), LookSmart (NASDAQ: LOOK), Seek (ASX: SEK), Telera (acquired by Alcatel), and onebox (NASDAQ: OPWV). At Southern Cross Bill has led investments and is a Board Member or Observer in Mocana, Bislr, Mantara, Liaise, and Shoes of Prey. Before co-founding Southern Cross, Bill was the start-up CEO of Mantara, a company that makes high performance, content-based message routing systems. Prior to moving to Australia, Bill had 12 years of research, operational, and entrepreneurial experience in the United States. Bill earned a Bachelor of Science, MBA and Juris Doctorate degree (University of Richmond).

    See Bill Bartee's Crunchbase profile
  • Marcus Bartram

    Marcus Bartram

    Investment Manager at Telstra Ventures (AVG).

    See Marcus Bartram's Crunchbase profile
  • Chris Boshuizen

    Chris Boshuizen

    Chris is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Data Collective VC, a boutique investment firm specialising in hard, data-driven science and engineering companies. He is also a member of the Advance Board of Directors.
    Chris is the co-founder of Planet Labs, a company providing unprecedented daily, global mapping of our changing planet from space. As the company’s CTO for five years he took the company from the drawing board to having launched more satellites into space than any other company in history, completely transforming the space industry along the way. Fundamental to Chris’s approach is a dedicated investment in people, especially youth and recent graduates, to create a powerful, connected global workforce capable of achieving anything.

    Chris was previously a Space Mission Architect at NASA Ames Research Center. After working on a number of traditional spacecraft programs at NASA, Chris co-created Phonesat, a spacecraft built solely out of a regular smart phone. The cost was so low, and the concept so simple, that space exploration is now within grasp of the everyday person, and many other groups around the world are pursuing their own low-cost space programs as a consequence.

    Whilst also at NASA, he established Singularity University, a school for studying the consequences of accelerating technological development. Initially fulfilling the role of Interim Director, Chris helped raise over $2.5 million to establish the university, assembling the faculty and serving as co-chair for the University’s Department of Space and Sciences.

    Chris received his Ph.D. in Physics and BSc. with honours from the University of Sydney. In 2014 Chris was recognized as the "Advance Global Australian of the Year".

    See Chris Boshuizen's Crunchbase profile
  • James Cameron

    James Cameron

    James recently relocated from London to join AirTree Ventures as a Partner, focusing on growth stage venture investments in Australia and New Zealand, particularly in enterprise software/SaaS, security, infrastructure/core tech and fintech. James is currently managing AirTree’s investments in Prospa, 90Seconds and Paxata.

    Prior to AirTree, James was the Vice President of Accel Partners, investing in early stage and growth stage companies. James held board member or board observer for Accel’s investments in Weaveworks, Simplivity, Skipjaq, E8 Storage and Semmle.

    James also co-founded a SaaS investment research software platform aimed at investment management funds in San Francisco in 2011.

    James holds an MBA from Stanford, and a Bachelors of Computer Science & Law from University of New South Wales.

    See James Cameron's Crunchbase profile
  • Mike Cannon-Brookes

    Mike Cannon-Brookes

    Mike Cannon-Brookes is the Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Atlassian, an award-winning enterprise software company that helps teams collaborate, build software and serve their customers better. More than 43,000 large and small organizations – including some of the biggest names in media, manufacturing and technology such as Citigroup, eBay, Coca-Cola, Gilt Group, Proctor & Gamble, BMW and NASA – use Atlassian’s tracking, collaboration, communication, service management and development products to work smarter and deliver quality results on time.

    Mike has received international recognition for his work, including the ‘Australian IT Professional of the Year’ award in 2004, and ‘Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year’ in 2006. Mike is also been honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2009, and is currently a member of The Forum of Young Global Leaders.

    Outside Atlassian, Mike is an active Angel Investor and a Non-Executive Director of Tyro, a technology-focused Australian bank.

    See Mike Cannon-Brookes's Crunchbase profile
  • Simon Cant

    Simon Cant

    Simon Cant is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Reinventure. Founded in 2013, Reinventure is a corporate venture fund with $100m under management bringing together the best of independent venture capital and corporate venturing with Westpac as the primary investor. To date, the portfolio has 16 ventures which are focused on Fintech and adjacent areas.

    Simon is also the founding President of FinTech Australia, the industry’s peak representative body, and a member of the Australian Treasurer’s FinTech Advisory Group.

    Simon has built his career in venture and innovation including advising leadership and innovation teams at Westpac, NAB, Suncorp, Fairfax, News, APN and Tennis Australia as well as being a founding team member at Social Ventures Australia, Tinshed Angel Group, ninemsn and Austlii, where he was involved in pioneering legal expert systems. Prior to joining Austii, Simon was a solicitor with Allens.

    See Simon Cant's Crunchbase profile
  • Wesley Chan

    Wesley Chan

    Wesley Chan is a Managing Director at Felicis Ventures. He has led investment rounds and holds board or observer seats in Canva, CultureAmp and Dialpad.

    Wesley was previously a General Partner at Google Ventures, where he led investment rounds and held board or observer seats in Angelist, Crittericism, iPerian (exited to Bristol Myers-Squibb), Cool Planet Energy Systems, and Switch Communications. Wesley also led investments in Optimizely, Vungle, DataPad (exited to Cloudera), Freshplum (exited to TellApart), Namo Media (exited to Twitter), and Parse (exited to Facebook).

    As an early employee at Google, he founded and launched Google Analytics and Google Voice, which reach tens of millions of users worldwide. Wesley is a recipient of Google’s Founders Award–the company’s most prestigious recognition–for leading the development of Google’s early client efforts, which led to the development of Google Chrome. Wesley is an inventor with 16 US Patents, many from his work on building Google’s early advertising products.

    Additionally, Wesley has held technical positions both at HP Labs and Microsoft. He holds both Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT where he completed his graduate research at the Media Laboratory.

    He was selected as a “Top 35 Under 35” innovator by Technology Review magazine in 2010. He has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and his story as an early product innovator at Google is covered by Steven Levy’s Google Book, “In The Plex.”

    See Wesley Chan's Crunchbase profile
  • Dean Dorrell

    Dean Dorrell

    Dean Dorrell has a B.A. (Hons.) in Economics and had a successful initial career as a bond trader, arbitrageur and proprietary trader. He was a coder from very early days and used those skills whilst trading to formulate some of the earliest proprietary models, quant trading systems and statistical arbitrage methods in the 1990’s that led to him becoming Head of Bond Trading at Paribas in London and later joining Greenwich Capital and Greenwich Natwest.

    Dean made his first angel investment in 1998 and during the mid-2000’s transitioned into a VC/private equity/operating executive role with Redbus Group in London which had successful exits such as RFD to Lionsgate and Lovefilm (which was the merged entity that the Redbus founded Video Island became part of) to Amazon and was named winner of the Richard Branson sponsored Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100.

    Dean moved to Australia in 2010 and became the Managing Director and an Investment Committee Member of M.H. Carnegie & Co. in 2011, primarily leading the deal team in early stage venture investments and private equity deals (largely focused on distressed real assets such as marinas and pubs).

    Dean co-founded Carthona Capital in 2014 which has become one of Australia’s leading early stage venture capital companies with over $200m of FUM.

    See Dean Dorrell's Crunchbase profile
  • Nisha Dua

    Nisha Dua

    Nisha has spent the last 10 years working in media, tech, strategy and law. In addition to her work at BBG Ventures, she founded the #BUILTBYGIRLS movement which challenges young women to be part of the tech-enabled economy through a series of offline and online programs to teach girls the fundamentals of venture capital.

    Nisha was previously the General Manager of AOL’s millennial site, Cambio and Chief of Staff for the AOL Brand Group, working on strategy, operations and special projects. Prior to that, she was a management consultant for Bain & Company advising companies across Tech & Telco, Financial Services, and CPG. She cut her teeth as an M&A and securities lawyer at the Australian law firm, Blake Dawson. Nisha also consulted for edtech start-up, Learn with Homer.

    As a black belt in karate, singer, fashion blogger, Yankees fan, aunt to five nieces, and all-round geek, Nisha believes in the power of the multi-faceted millennial woman who is the inspiration for the #BUILTBYGIRLS movement.

    See Nisha Dua's Crunchbase profile
  • Kara Frederick
  • Ian Gardiner

    Ian Gardiner

    Ian is a technology entrepreneur working to grow the technology startup ecosystem in Australia and New Zealand as part of Amazon Web Services. He also co-founded and helps to run Innovation Bay, a networking and angel investment group for technology startups. Previously Ian was the CEO and founder of Viocorp, a software company supplying a video publishing platform for corporates and government. In 2009 Ian won the NSW Pearcey award for Technology Entrepreneur of the Year. Ian has an Engineering degree from the University of Oxford where he also won two rowing blues in the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race. When he has time he is also a competitive cyclist, an avid computer gamer, husband and father of two boys (not in that order).

    See Ian Gardiner's Crunchbase profile
  • Avichal Garg

    Avichal Garg

    Currently a part-time partner at YCombinator helping early stage companies with product strategy, scaling, and fundraising. An investor in Boom Supersonic, Optimizely, Cruise, Starsky Robotics, Instawork, Color Genomics, CaseText, WayUp and many other companies.

    Previously Avichal was the Director of Product Management at Facebook for Local, which included products such as Location Infra, Entities, Events, Local Search, and Pages (business identity).

    Avichal as had a number of successful exits. As the CEO and Cofounder of Spool, a mobile caching service, was acquired by Facebook in 2012. In 2011 the Daily Mail Group (LON: DMGT) acquired by PrepMe, a machine learning based education company, Avichal was the CTO and Cofounder.

    Previously a product manager in Search Quality and Ads Quality at Google with a B.S. and M.S. from Stanford.

    See Avichal Garg's Crunchbase profile
  • David Gowdey

    David Gowdey

    Mr. Gowdey is currently a Managing Partner at Jungle Ventures, a Singapore based venture capital firm focused on internet and technology investments in South Asia. Prior to Jungle, David spent 3.5 years at TPG Capital where he led internet investments outside of the US within the TPG Growth fund. Prior to TPG, David spent 12 years at Yahoo! Inc where he was the Head of International M&A on the Corporate Development team. In this role, he was responsible for driving all transaction activity and the investment strategy for Yahoo! outside of North America, including their expansion in to new markets, such as Russia, Turkey, Middle East, Africa and SE Asia. In 2011, David was also the Managing Partner at Xplorer Capital, a growth equity venture capital firm which spun out from Yahoo! to focus on internet and digital media opportunities in the emerging markets. David continues to be an Advisor to TPG Capital and represents them as a non-executive director on the board of Propertyguru, the largest online real estate platform in SE Asia. David holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Radford University and a Master’s Degree from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Sydney. He has lived and worked for over 20 years across Asia, but currently lives in Singapore with his wife and three children.

    See David Gowdey's Crunchbase profile
  • Kavita Gupta

    Kavita Gupta

    Kavita is a recipient of UN social finance innovator award in 2015 for being an integral part of the founding green bond team at The World Bank. At ConsenSys, Kavita heads the unique VC-hedge fund, investing in next-generation blockchain technologies revolutionizing our current systems. Previously she has been running over $250M fund aligned with UN SDGs infusing capital in technologies providing first time or low-cost access around the world. She has set up innovative investment funds across East Africa, Middle East, South Asia and recently in the US for past 16 years through World Bank, IFC, McKinsey and The Schmidt Family office. She founded and headed World Bank's first innovation fund in 2010. She is on the board and advisor of various accelerators and foundations across the world like google accelerator social track, MIT Solve (Sr. Advisor), Vatican's Right Now foundation for impact investments, Mandela foundation etc. She is an MIT and Media lab alum.

    See Kavita Gupta's Crunchbase profile
  • Dean McEvoy

    Dean McEvoy

    Dean is a startup founder, advisor, and investor. A serial entrepreneur, he co-founded Australia’s first group buying platform, Spreets, in 2010 (it was later acquired by Yahoo!7 for $40M, one of the biggest sales in Australian tech startup history at the time) and recently launched his fourth startup, IconPark.
    Dean is evangelical about his hometown being the best place in the world to live – and committed to making Sydney the most desirable place on Earth to found and scale a high-growth tech company.

    See Dean McEvoy's Crunchbase profile
  • Greg Moshal
  • Aaron Patzer

    Aaron Patzer

    In January, I started another company, Vital Software, with Dr. Justin Schrager of Emory University. Vital makes software for hospital emergency rooms. This includes a mobile patient check-in for patients, and the fastest, most usable electronic medical records you've seen for doctors and nurses. We use extensive machine learning and natural language processing to determine patient severity and anticipated actions. Our longer term goal is to cut ER wait times in half, as they are often 4-5 hours long. You might not know it, but there are 140M ER visits in the US alone each year.

    Medical / sales are in the US, while development is all in Auckland New Zealand. My long-time partner Rebecca, an architect, is a Kiwi and I am now a resident of New Zealand as well.

    See Aaron Patzer's Crunchbase profile
  • Melanie Perkins

    Melanie Perkins

    Melanie Joy Perkins co-founded Canva, Inc. in 2012 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Melanie Perkins serves as an Executive Director at Canva, Inc.

    See Melanie Perkins's Crunchbase profile
  • Daniel Petre

    Daniel Petre

    Daniel has been a leading player in Australia's software industry for more than 30 years, both as a founder of three successful venture firms and as a senior executive in operational roles in Australia and the U.S.

    Daniel's roles have included Chairman of Netus, Founding Chairman of Ecorp (a venture capital fund), Director on the PBL Board and time with Microsoft Corporation, where he served as Vice President of the Workgroup Division, Director of Advanced Technology and Director of the Asia Pacific Region.

    Daniel is on the Board of OneView Limited (Advisory Board), Sydney Theatre Company, Innovation Science Australia, UNSW Business School (Advisory Board) and the UNSW Centre for Social Impact Sydney Advisory Council. He is also an Adjunct Professor of the University of NSW and University of Sydney.

    Daniel has a Doctorate in Business (Honoris Causa), a Bachelor of Science from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Sydney. He also holds a Graduate Diploma in Counselling, and is a published author. He was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO), for distinguished service to Australia and is an author of four books.

    See Daniel Petre's Crunchbase profile
  • Spencer Rascoff

    Spencer Rascoff

    As chief executive officer of Zillow Group, Spencer oversees the company’s portfolio of real estate and home-related brands, including consumer brands Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy, HotPads and Naked Apartments. Spencer helped start Zillow in 2005, and served various roles including chief operating officer, until his appointment to CEO in 2010. Since becoming CEO, Spencer has led Zillow through its 2011 IPO and 14 acquisitions. In 2015, Spencer co-wrote and published his first book, the New York Times’ Best Seller “Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate.” Spencer is also the host of “Office Hours,” a monthly podcast featuring candid conversations between prominent executives on leadership and management topics.

    Fortune and Forbes both listed Spencer as one of America’s most powerful CEOs under 40 and he is a recipient of Ernst and Young’s National Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 2017, Spencer was named Swanepoel’s most powerful person in real estate. Spencer was also awarded Glassdoor’s Highest Rated CEO recognition for 2016. Before joining Zillow, Spencer was vice president of lodging for Expedia. In 1999, at the age of 24, Spencer co-founded Hotwire.com, a leading Internet travel company, which a few years later he sold to InterActiveCorp (the parent company of Expedia). Before his consumer web career, Spencer was in investment banking and private equity. He worked in the mergers and acquisitions group at Goldman Sachs and as an associate at TPG Capital. Spencer graduated cum laude from Harvard University.

    Spencer is on the board of directors of TripAdvisor. He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization.

    See Spencer Rascoff's Crunchbase profile
  • Elaine Stead

    Elaine Stead

    Elaine is the Managing Director of Venture Capital and is responsible for the management of the Blue Sky venture capital fund and portfolio. Established in 2012, the venture capital division has expanded to bear its second fund, VC2014, and over $100 million in assets under management across a broad range of industry sectors.

    Elaine has worked for a number of years as a venture capitalist and management consultant to the venture and industry across Australia and the United States. Elaine has also worked in strategic management consulting, with both NASDAQ and ASX listed and private companies based in Australia and the US. Originally trained as a stem cell biologist, Elaine has since spent the last decade within the innovation and investment spectrum, initially in technology commercialisation assisting public institutions and founders translate and commercialise their technology across a broad range of industry sectors including agriculture, healthcare and IT.

    Elaine has a strong academic foundation holding a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Adelaide. She is actively involved in Australia’s professional venture capital community, as a member of AVCALs venture capital stakeholder committee and as a member of the investment committee of ANUConnect Venture Capital, the Australian National University’s venture capital fund.

    See Elaine Stead's Crunchbase profile
  • Duncan Turner

    Duncan Turner

    I have a diverse background in human factors research, industrial design, product development, manufacturing and business start up. I have taken numerous products from first concepts through research, funding, design, development, manufacturing and assembly to final sales of the product. I joined IDEO in October 2011 after spending a number of years back and forth between the UK and China working closely with manufacturers to launch the designs and products that I created under a start-up brand. In October 2014 i took over the responsibility of running HAX (www.haxlr8r.com), a program that i have been a mentor at since it began.
    Prior to co-founding my own business, I worked for two years as a Human Factors Research Associate at the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre, part of the Royal College of Art (RCA) in the UK. One of my projects at the RCA, “grab it”, which looked at the everyday act of cooking and handling hot objects in the kitchen through a new and human-centred approach, was exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York in 2005. The product has since become part of the museum’s permanent collection before being taken into production under another start up brand I founded.

    See Duncan Turner's Crunchbase profile
  • Catriona Wallace

    Catriona Wallace

    Dr Wallace is the Founder and CEO of high-profile Artificial Intelligence FinTech and ASX Listed company (Cre8tek:CR8) Flamingo, which provides a Cognitive Virtual Assistant called ROSIE that helps Financial Services companies improve online sales conversion rates. Flamingo is the second only woman led (CEO & Chair) business to list on the ASX.

    Based in NYC and Sydney, Dr Catriona Wallace is one of the world’s most cited experts on the Future of Customer Experience, Artificial Intelligence and Bot Strategy.

    Catriona has a PhD in Organizational Behavior: Human Technology Interaction and is a well published author and Analyst and is recognized as one of Top 4 Most Respected People globally in the Customer Experience sector.

    Catriona is a highly awarded business person having been inducted into the Australian Business Woman’s Hall of Fame, being recognized as one of Advance Australia’s Top 3 Innovators working abroad, winning Telstra Business Awards, is Alumni in the Springboard Enterprises Women Entrepreneur’s and EY Entrepreneur of the Year programs. Recently Catriona was awarded a Pearcey Foundation award for tech entrepreneurs and was recognized as Top 4 Most Respected People globally in the Customer Experience sector.

    Catriona is also a high profile philanthropist, human rights activist and mother of five.

    See Catriona Wallace's Crunchbase profile
  • Melissa Widner

    Melissa Widner

    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.

    See Melissa Widner's Crunchbase profile
  • Samantha Wong

    Samantha Wong

    Sam is a Partner at Blackbird Ventures, a technology venture capital fund with $230 million funds under management. She is also a Partner at Startmate, Australia’s pre-eminent early-stage technology accelerator. Prior to joining Blackbird, Sam co-founded a Startmate Company, CapacityHQ, a professional services marketplace. Sam started her career as a corporate lawyer at Minter Ellison before career-pivotting to lead Product teams at SurfStitch.com, a multi-national e-commerce startup.

    See Samantha Wong's Crunchbase profile

Event Coverage

More Coverage

Location

Australian Technology Park
Bay 4, 2 Locomotive Street
Everleigh, NSW, 2015

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