Proudly hosted by the Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre (MEC) on behalf of the University of Melbourne, in partnership with major sponsor LaunchVic, the Melbourne Entrepreneurship Gala is Australia’s premier entrepreneurial event, connecting leaders from the top tiers of the startup, investor, business, government and university sectors, with the most outstanding emerging entrepreneurial talent, in a night that is all about paying it forward.
The night is about celebrating entrepreneurship and recognising the incredible community that is supporting the next wave of talent who are driving innovation in our ecosystem. It focuses on fostering a culture of community and collaboration, diversity and inclusion, and an ultimate belief that together we can make the world a better place.
We've assembled some of the most exciting emerging talent who will share their entrepreneurship journeys, with many of the founders who have taken the Gala stage going on to lead some of Australia’s most recognised startup success stories – including Nura, Brosa, Phoria, and many more.
In 2018, over 800 guests packed the Palladium representing the "who's who" of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
We’ve curated a selection of speakers from the startup community that have developed products and services that are revolutionising the health sector, both here and abroad.
Marc Stringer, Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer
Stelect is a multi-award-winning Melbourne-based innovative medical device company developing a novel coronary imaging solution to aid clinicians with the process of selecting stents for patients suffering from coronary heart blockage.
Stelect’s imaging capabilities provide an inside-out view of the artery, allowing for accurate blockage dimensioning and characterisation. By integrating with a balloon catheter, Stelect minimises the disruption to current procedural workflow and allows for greater reimbursement.
The novelty of the Stelect device lies within Stelect’s sensors themselves, the smallest commercially available sensors for intravascular imaging and our ability to integrate these sensors onto existing catheters.
Marc is a Co-founder of and the COO at Stelect, a med-tech startup spun out of the University of Melbourne's BioDesign Innovation program. Marc leads Stelect's IP strategy, business expansion and electronics development. Marc holds a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master of Electrical Engineering at The University of Melbourne.
Pathway: MedTech’s Got Talent Actuator
Dr Tia Cummins, Founder
VR CORP’s mission is to empower and save the lives of uniformed service personnel through the prevention, detection and intervention of service-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They do this by combining the best of virtual reality, biofeedback technology and neuroimaging with the brightest, most innovative minds in Australia.
PTSD is a chronic condition that can last a lifetime if not treated properly. It is associated with a number of physical and mental health disorders, including depression, substance abuse, diabetes and dementia, and has a substantial economic burden. Service-related PTSD is a highly complex disorder, and often difficult to treat, with symptoms leaving many individuals unable to return to work.
VR CORP is creating a patient-centred therapeutic tool that can be paired with traditional therapy, and tailored to each end-user’s needs, alleviating PTSD symptomology in Australian veterans and first-responders.
Dr Tia Cummins is neuroscientist specialising in the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans. Tia completed her PhD at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health, University of Melbourne, where she studied the effects of TBI and PTSD on Alzheimer’s disease in Vietnam war veterans. With a background in psychology, and having served in the British Army Reserves for three years, Tia has a keen interest in military mental health and the consequences of military service on the ageing brain.
Mladen Jovanovic, Co-founder & Chief Operations Officer
BindiMaps is an indoor navigation tool which has been optimised for people who are blind or are living with vision impairment. BindiMaps delivers real-time navigation information via a smartphone application to reduce cognitive load, whilst providing general safety information, hazard warnings and evacuation and accessibility routes.
It is currently in the process of scaling nationally to deliver vision to the millions of people around the world who are living with vision impairment. Since launching in 2017, the company has raised over $1m in seed investment.
Mladen is an innovator, entrepreneur and social justice advocate, passionate about solving some of the world's biggest problems while adding significant business value. He is experienced in sales, startup businesses, innovation, strategy, marketing, accounting, public speaking and simply getting things done.
Dr Michelle Perugini, Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer, Life Whisperer and Presagen
Presagen specializes in rapidly creating and commercialising globally scalable image-based medical diagnostics software, using its advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform and specialist multi-disciplinary team. Presagen partners with medical institutes to co-create web-based medical imaging software for specific diagnostic problems which can be delivered at scale and at low cost. This allows medical institutes to monetise their data and improve outcomes for patients globally.
Presagen’s first product is Life Whisperer. Life Whisperer uses artificial intelligence (AI) to assist clinicians identify viable embryos in IVF, and to ultimately improve outcomes for couples wanting to have children. An international clinical study involving 12 IVF centres across the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia has demonstrated that Life Whisperer’s AI performs 30% better than highly skilled embryologists when identifying viable embryos from medical images. Life Whisperer is delivered to clinics via a scalable web-based tool and can be easily accessed on-demand by any clinic globally.
Michelle has a PhD in Medicine and was a stem cell biologist for a decade. She founded her first AI business 10 years ago which was acquired by Ernst and Young in 2015. She is now co-founder and CEO of Presagen. Michelle is also a dedicated mentor and advisory board member for many startups, and an Advisory Board Member to the University of South Australia Business School.
Pathway: Springboard Enterprises
Alexander Jannink, Founder
Acusensus provides technology to encourage behavioural change to reduce the prevalence of distracted driving. Acusensus uses sophisticated camera technology aimed at reducing road trauma by detecting driers distracted by their phone.
After decades of improvements in road safety, the past five years have seen increases in the number of people killed and injured on many developed world roads. In the corresponding period there has been a vast expansion in the number of drivers interacting with a phone while behind the wheel. At any given time, 3% of drivers are manipulating a phone, at any point on the road network. Alexander was affected personally by the devastation of senseless road death caused by one of these drivers.
The team joined the Melbourne Accelerator Program in 2018, and have achieved outstanding results since, having been awarded the New South Wales contract to supply distracted driving enforcement camera systems, a world first deployment of this new technology.
Acusensus has raised a seed stage investment of $600k, and the team has grown to almost 20 people across casual and full time staff, as well as receiving both local and global recognition of their world first technology across some of the world’s largest media networks.
Alexander had spent a decade working in the road safety space developing intelligent transportation systems and safety camera systems before starting Acusensus. With the realisation that distracted driving was a leading and unaddressed cause of road trauma, Alex sought to provide a technological solution to reduce the prevalence and tragedy of this problem.
Dr Evelyn Chan, Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer
Smileyscope is a digital therapeutics company using virtual reality to reduce pain, anxiety and restraints during medical procedures. Founded by Evelyn Chan and Paul Leong, Smileyscope’s first product helps keep children calm and still for needles and blood tests, making it safer and easier for clinicians to perform these feared procedures.
The team entered the Melbourne Accelerator Program in 2017, with a vision to make healthcare a better place and a mission to transform the experience of paediatric needles, a $3 billion market per annum in Australia and the US alone.
Since then the company has either won or been shortlisted for over 20 awards in healthcare, design, technology, social enterprise, and transformed the patient experience for over 5,000 paediatric needle procedures. Smileyscope is one of the global leaders in the emerging field of digital therapeutics, developing evidence-based software interventions to prevent, manage, or treat medical conditions. Smileyscope is rapidly expanding into developing digital therapeutics for other paediatric and adult medical procedures.
Dr Evelyn Chan is a medical doctor, BCG consultant and Rhodes Scholar. She has over a decade of healthcare experience spanning bedside medicine, global health, research and policy. She developed Smileyscope because she’s passionate about transforming paediatrics, and developing innovative solutions to enable healthcare to be patient-centred, sustainable and equitable.
The Crown Entertainment Complex is located on the southern fringe of Melbourne’s CBD, and is easily accessible by public transport. We recommend making your way to the Palladium by entering the complex through the Crown Towers entrance.
From Flinders Street Station, Crown Towers is a 10-minute walk (approximately).
The 58 Tram to Toorak stops directly outside the Crown Towers entrance (Stop 115: Casino East/Queens Bridge Street)
There are two parking locations at Crown:
- The multi-level car park is located at 33 Haig Street, Southbank. Parking is available from $6.00 (0-5 hours)
- The basement car park is located at 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank. Parking is available from ($35.00) (0-6 hours)
The Melbourne Entrepreneurship Gala is brought to you by the Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre at the University of Melbourne, and LaunchVic.
LaunchVic is Victoria's startup agency. We were established by the Victorian Government in March 2016 as an independent agency responsible for developing Victoria's startup ecosystem.
LaunchVic is leading the development of a globally-connected startup ecosystem. With the help of startup founders, entrepreneurs and investors, corporates and universities, we aim to build a startup ecosystem that can strengthen the economy, encourage more people to work with and for startups, and represent all Victorians.
Our focus lies in the areas of funding, community building and global recognition for the Victorian startup ecosystem.
Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre (MEC)
The Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre (MEC) oversees the University of Melbourne’s entrepreneurial initiatives, including the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP), Translating Research at Melbourne (TRAM), and the Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship, and will be moving to the new Melbourne Connect precinct in late 2020.
Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP)
The Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) was launched in 2012 as the first University-aligned accelerator in Australia, and was ranked the 8th best University-aligned accelerator in the world in 2016. MAP has since supported over 100 startups, who have raised over $70 million in funding, generated over $100 million in revenue, and created over 1,000 jobs.
MAP offers its flagship 5-month accelerator starting in June each year in addition to its early stage founder Velocity Program, Female Founder program, the Franklins, and popular public Masterclass series.
Translating Research at Melbourne (TRAM)
TRAM is Australia’s premier university-based research impact accelerator. We equip researchers with the skills and mindset to become entrepreneurs, transforming research and inventions into products and services that have real-world impact.
Established in 2016, TRAM was created to provide the University’s research community with experiential training in building a value proposition from high quality research outputs that can help create commercially viable products or services, and has trained over 200 researchers to date.
TRAM educates and supports researchers to maximise the commercial impact of their work. We’re developing an entrepreneurial research culture around the University and the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct that enables the research community to better engage with industry, enhancing Melbourne’s reputation as a world leader in research entrepreneurship.
Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneur and Ormond College alumnus, Peter Wade, started the Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship based at Ormond College, with a gift in 2015.
Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship is a leading hub for entrepreneurial training delivering a range of programs to help you learn, create and connect. With over 250 alumni, we are a place to go further faster by learning from experts and entrepreneurs.
The Institute is the home of the University of Melbourne’s Master of Entrepreneurship as well as programs, events and custom masterclasses.
The Melbourne Entrepreneurial Gala is an incredible evening, but the experience doesn’t end there. Whether you’re interested in sponsoring Melbourne research, accessing research materials, or exploring licensing opportunities, we are here to help.