CEO & FOUNDER
Jonathan Barouch is an established entrepreneur, founding one of Australia's first online businesses, Fast Flowers in 1999. In 2010, Jonathan successfully exited Fast Flowers when it was acquired by Jack Singleton's 1300 Flowers. Jonathan founded Roamz in January 2011 and raised funding for the venture shortly thereafter from ASX listed media company Salmat and the NSW Mobile Concierge Grant.
His current venture is Local Measure, which is built on the social intelligence offered by Roamz and provides businesses with real-time insight, demographics and analytics about their customers on a store-by-store basis.
Jonathan was a finalist for BRW Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012 and was called out as one of the top 20 people to watch in the IT industry by The Australian. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours and a Masters of Political Science from University of NSW and a Masters of Commerce from Sydney University.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Yasser commenced as Chief Executive of AVCAL in November 2013. He is responsible for leading the strategic direction of the organisation’s work in representing the private equity and venture capital industry in Australia. Yasser's responsibilities include working closely with members, as well as key stakeholders such as the broader financial services sector and the federal government and its regulatory agencies, to ensure the industry continues to make a significant positive contribution to the long-term prosperity of the Australian economy.
Prior to joining AVCAL, Yasser was the General Manager of Policy and Advocacy for the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia. He has over 20 years experience as a business adviser and public policy expert, through his previous roles with PwC, Rio Tinto, Australand Property Group, as well as the Department of Treasury in Canberra.Yasser is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Australian National University and a Master of Taxation Law from the University of New South Wales.
HEAD OF DATA GOVERNANCE AND BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE
Kate Carruthers is a technologist, marketer, entrepreneur, and educator who blogs at katecarruthers.com and can be found on Twitter @kcarruthers. She has extensive experience in senior executive roles for diverse organisations such as General Electric, AMP, Westfield, and NSW Treasury. Currently Kate is head of business analytics and data governance for UNSW Australia, and is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science & Engineering at UNSW Australia. Kate is a member of the Telstra Industry Advisory Board and the NSW Government’s Data Analytics Centre Advisory Board.
She is also co-founder of several startups, including Social Innovation Sydney, and MooresCloud, and currently advises a number of startups. Over the past few years Kate has been working with companies to build innovation and disruption capability from within organisations. During 2015 Kate co-chaired the Design for Disaster Response Conference at the UNSW Michael Crouch Innovation Centre.
James Riley is Editorial Director of InnovationAus.com and joins the Hello Espresso Group following a 25 year career in journalism, government relations and marketing communications.
James began his career as a reporter in trade publishing, in an age when the market still supported a weekly newspaper devoted to the information industry, Computing Australia. He has written and interviewed some of the world’s most influential technology executives and companies for a range of media outlets in Australia and Asia, including the South China Morning Post, PC Week, InformationWeek, ITNews, Business Spectator, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, BRW and The Hong Kong Standard. He also spent seven years at The Australian, primarily reporting on news in enterprise and government technology, and telecommunications.
Prior to launching InnovationAus.com, James was Director of Government Relations and Protocol for the global trade fair group, Deutsche Messe’s subsidiary in Australia.
Corrie McLeod founded Espresso Communications in 2004 and over the past decade has built the business into a thriving, internationally-recognised communications consulting company. Her expertise in guiding some of the world’s top brands and new market entrants alike in their cross-discipline communications initiatives is widely respected in the Australian market.
In recognition of the challenges modern businesses face in communicating effectively with public and private stakeholders, Corrie spearheaded the creation of two additional business units under the Hello Espresso brand in 2015. InnovationAus.com and One Part Idea sit under the Hello Espresso umbrella to provide high quality publishing, public advocacy and creative services.
Peter Cooper is the Founder of The Start Society and has been an advocate for the Australian tech startup ecosystem since 1999. He has been working in major roles in blue chip banking, trading and financial markets real-time technology globally for over 25 years including major exchanges, banks and investors. Pete is also a proud graduate of UTS where he worked and also studied Computer Science with a Business sub-major, his major project was on the introduction of technological change in organisations. He has also studied at Oxford Templeton (UK) and Harvard (Australia). Pete is a serial entrepreneur, speaker, volunteer, mentor, investor, lecturer, consultant and amateur father of two, he lives in Sydney Australia.
Pete has a personal interest in creating disruptive innovation through technology entrepreneurship as a future scenario for the Australian economy.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The Start Society
Leigh Dayton is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, specialising in the impact of science, technology, environment and medicine on news and current events. She is also a PhD Candidate at Macquarie University’s Research Centre for Agency, Values & Ethics where she is exploring the pathways to science and biomedical innovation.
Until September 2012 Leigh was the Science Writer for The Australian newspaper, as well as the editor of the paper’s Weekend Health section. She now works on a freelance basis for scientific and media organisations and contributes regularly to ABC radio.
SCIENCE WRITER AND BROADCASTER
SENIOR TECHNOLOGY JOURNALIST
Beverley Head has been a business journalist since the 1980s, initially in London, then Sydney. For a decade she was the information technology editor of the Financial Review before becoming the newspaper’s features editor. She focusses on way technology affects and shapes business, education, industry and society.
Now a freelance writer Beverley has written for a wide range of publications including The AFR, The Age, BRW, Banking Day, Campus Review, Education Review, In The Black, ITnews, Government Technology Review, and The Sydney Morning Herald. In 2004 she was awarded the Kester Cranswick lifetime achievement award for her work as a journalist.
Beverley will be attending the Budget Lockup at Parliament House in Canberra with fellow InnovationAus.com writer Stuart Kennedy, spending the day pouting over the Budget documents and pulling out details of innovation initiatives. Beverley will provide a report via a live video stream to the Budget Insider 2016 event immediately following the Treasurer’s address.
NSW Office of the Small Business Commissioner
Suzie Matthews is the Director of Small Business Engagement at the Office of the Small Business Commissioner. She brings over 20 years experience in government, small business and the not for profit sectors.
Suzie is a Churchill Fellow and is known internationally for her work on the night time economy. She is committed to putting entrepreneurs and small business at the centre of government
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Jemma is the CEO and cofounder of Tripalocal, an online travel platform focussed on bringing authentic local experiences through customised itineraries to Chinese outbound travellers.
Jemma is also an angel investor and adviser to a number cross border startups with a focus on China, a market in which she sees enormous opportunities. She sits on the Advisory Board of the Asian Innovation Hub in Sydney, the first co-working space in Australia for startups focussed on growth in Asia.
In April 2016, Jemma was invited to launch the Australia startup landing pad in Shanghai with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, followed by Tech Talks where the Prime Minister interviewed Jemma on Tripalocal and opportunities in the broader Australia - China innovation space.
Prior to her startup life, Jemma worked in investment banking at Macquarie Group, primarily focusing on M&A and capital raising opportunities in the natural resources sector. Jemma was also a National Executive for the Australia China Young Professionals Initiative.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Laura is the inaugural CEO, and a Director of Scale Investors, a female focused angel investor network. She has 17 years experience in corporate finance, micro-finance and venture capital across three continents at PwC, Opportunity International and Starfish Ventures.
Her expertise includes identifying, valuing and managing portfolios of innovative companies. She is passionate about unlocking the potential of early stage businesses and connecting female entrepreneurs with capital.
Laura has been a judge for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Southern Region since 2014, a member of the Advisory Council for DFAT’s Pacific Humanitarian Innovation Challenge and a mentor/selection committee member for Springboard and the Melbourne Accelerator Program. She was on the Founding Committee for the Australian Nexus Youth Innovation Summit is a Williamson Fellow.
Alex is the founding CEO of Stone & Chalk which is Australia's leading Fintech Innovation Hub. Located in Sydney the hub houses over 230 full time residents in over 60 fintech ventures as well as two dedicated fintech VC funds.
Prior to Stone & Chalk, Alex co-founded and was Head of the Barclays Accelerator program powered by Techstars in London and New York. He also launched two startup hubs in London and Manchester and was also lead in a major Open Innovation program, which saw hundreds of start-ups win commercial projects with large organisations.
In his current role as CEO, one of his key focus areas is to establish a leading fintech ecosystem in Asia by creating a fintech "super-highway" connecting investors, fintech startups and corporates across Sydney, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Stone & Chalk
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA)
Rob Fitzpatrick has an extensive background in business and technology in the ICT sector globally, as a management consultant, corporate executive and entrepreneur. Mr. Fitzpatrick was most recently Director, Infrastructure, Transport & Logistics, National ICT Australia’s (NICTA), now known as Data61, with responsibility for leading the commercialisation of information and communications technology research for some of Australia’s most important industries.
Prior to this, his previous roles included being part of the leadership team of ShopFast.com.au and eight years with global strategic consultancy, McKinsey & Company. He holds non-executive director roles with Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet), is a Member of the Council of Charles Sturt University, and until recently was a Director of Intelligent Transport Systems, Australia.
He is currently Chief Executive Officer at AIIA, the peak representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem.
HEAD OF INNOVATION
Karen Lawson is a senior executive and leader in the digital industry. She has held executive positions within both global companies, as well as joint ventures. With experience leading teams through change; motivating, developing cross functional teams to peak performance, Karen is extremely passionate about delivering great results and helping others achieve their true potential.
In early 2013, Karen was appointed CEO of CareerOne, a joint venture between News Limited and Monster Worldwide. In 2015 CareerOne was sold. Having forged a new digital direction, taken the company into new markets and created significant shareholder value, Karen stepped down as CEO.
Since then Karen has continued her passion for driving innovation with her consulting business and embarked on her board career. Clients include Laureate International (the largest private educator in the world), Harris Farms, National Breast Cancer Foundation and is currently working at Slingshot, the Corporate Start Up Accelerator driving their ‘Scale Up’ programme connecting startups and corporates to develop competitive advantage.