- About Us
This Summer - The world's largest independent startup community with 2m entrepreneurs, in 600 cities in 125 countries will host it's second APAC regional conference in Melbourne.
Now represented in over 120 cities across APAC - Join 3000 Entrepreneurs to be inspired with 80+ speaker presentations and interviews from world-leading innovators, founders, and CEO's.
This year we add a Growth Stage brought to you by Microsoft for Startups,
a Dedicated Networking Space, and a kids activity centre thanks to Xplor.
APPLY FOR STARTUP GRIND'S FIRST APAC STARTUP PROGRAM
Mada leads strategy as a co-founder of Branch, the mobile growth platform for today's top companies, powering mobile linking and growth for over 50,000 apps and 2 billion monthly users around the world. Born and raised in Romania, Mada came to the US to study Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University and then earned her Masters of Engineering and MBA from Stanford. Mada enjoys playing the latest viral mobile game, binge-watching the hottest sci-fi show, and photographing Branch events.
Holly Liu is co-founder of the mobile gaming company, Kabam, a world leader in AAA mobile games. Her work has contributed to record revenue growth for Kabam year over year from $0 to $400 million in 2014, which has led to Kabam’s valuation of $1 billion in 2014. She led the design for Kabam’s award-winning Kingdoms of Camelot franchise, which has grossed more than $250 million in less than four years. She was also the founding mobile designer for extension Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North, which was the top grossing app on iOS in 2012. Currently, Holly is Chief Development Officer leading the development of Kabam internationally through key relationships and industry presence, focusing primarily on China. In addition, she continues to develop global cultural initiatives within Kabam.
Cameron Adams is Chief Product Officer and co-founder of Canva, an online design and publishing tool which makes graphic design simple for everyone.
Since launching in 2013, Canva has grown to over 10 million users across 190 countries, with more than 400 million designs created – that’s 13 designs per second! Today Canva is growing from strength to strength, with over 250 team members working together on a mission to empower everyone to create beautiful designs.
Cameron is responsible for heading up the design and product teams, as well as playing a key role on future product directions and innovations.
Prior to joining Canva, Cameron ran his own successful design consultancy, before joining Google, where he found himself working closely with Lars and Jens Rasmussen (co-founders of Google Maps) to realise the design vision for Google Wave.
He then moved on to build email startup Fluent, before meeting Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht and deciding to bring Canva to the world.
With a strong design background, Cameron has also authored five books on web design and regularly speaks at conferences around the globe.
In his spare time, Cameron enjoys spending time with his two kids, playing music or DJing. And you’re also likely to find him relaxing with a nice cup of hot chocolate!
Co-founder of Hobo Labs, making guild-based casual mobile games.
Co-founder and former CEO of alivenotdead.com, an online community for artists and their fans. Sold to mig33 February 2014.
Executive Producer of "The Heavenly Kings", directed by Daniel Wu (Best New Director, 2007 Hong Kong Film Awards).
Co-founder and former CEO of Rotten Tomatoes (rottentomatoes.com), a leading entertainment website focused on movie reviews and news and one of the top 500 most trafficked sites in the world. Sold to IGN Entertainment June 2004.
Co-founder and former CEO of Design Reactor (designreactor.com), an internet marketing firm focused on the entertainment industry. Clients included Disney, ABC, Warner Bros., and Artisan Entertainment, among others.
Advisor to Casetify, Instaread, Frenzoo, Kiwi Campus, WePloy, Lecker Labs (Yomee), SupportBee, Privy Groupe, and LEEO. Instructor at MentorBox and MentorClass.
Current or former mentor at various SOSV Accelerators (MOX, Chinaccelerator, Leap.Axlr8r), Founder Institute, Gateway Incubator, Berkeley LAUNCH Startup Accelerator, Laudato Si', nest.vc, and CoCoon HK.
#55 on Bizzabo's list of "The 100 Most Wanted Speakers at Tech Conferences" (Mar 12, 2014):
Holds a BA in Cognitive Science from the University of California at Berkeley.
William is a Partner at SOSV and the Managing Director of MOX the Mobile-Only Accelerator in Taipei and Chinaccelerator, China’s the first startup accelerator based in Shanghai. William joined SOSV from SingTel Innov8 where he was Managing Director supporting China investment activities. While at Innov8 he led investments in Yodo1 (mobile games), Gmobi (Android platform), Lekan (childrens video platform), and Massive Impact (mobile advertising) among others. Previously William was a Partner at Softbank China & India Holdings, an early stage venture capital firm backed by Softbank of Japan and Cisco. While at SoftBank he led investments in Silk Road Telecom or SRT (mobile enterprise cloud SaaS), Playspan (payment platform acquired by Visa), Punch Entertainment (mobile game developer acquired by DeNA) and Peacesoft (Vietnam eCommerce and payment platform). William began his career as an equity research analyst most recently with Deutsche Bank where he was responsible for Internet and Telecom Equipment across Asia and China technology, media and telecom. William began his technology investment career 18 years ago as a technology analyst in Taiwan.
Elicia has been part of the investment team at AirTree since 2016. Prior to AirTree, Elicia worked in Enterprise Sales at LinkedIn and a B2B SaaS start-up in Sydney. She also worked in Investment Banking as part of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications M&A team at Credit Suisse. Elicia has a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the University of Sydney.
Niki is a co-founder of Blackbird Ventures, a venture capital firm with the mission to be a partner to the greatest business stories born from Australia. Prior to Blackbird Ventures, he founded Startmate, an accelerator that helps people with ideas become great CEOs and build global startups. Earlier, he founded Homethinking and worked at Jupiter Research in New York.
Blackbird Ventures is an Australian venture capital firm that exists to supercharge its most ambitious founders. The company partners with founders at the very beginning and surrounds them with a community of other founders who have built successful technology companies before. The firm was founded in 2012 and currently manages half a billion dollars.
Prior to Baidu Ventures Fang worked at Comet Labs, an early stage AI & robotics fund, as an Operations Director. Before Comet, she did business strategy & operations for two “unicorn” startups. Early in her career, Fang was a consultant at Oliver Wyman Financial Services consulting, focusing on general management, operational and IT improvements for major corporations globally (US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, etc.).
Tony and Maureen Wheeler’s six-month trip along the ‘Hippie Trail’ in 1972 led to Across Asia on the Cheap, the very first Lonely Planet guidebook. The company grew to become the world’s largest independent guidebook publisher and today has close to 150 million books in print in English as well as digital versions and a busy website. Despite the completion of the sale of the company in 2011 Tony still contributes to their publications, most recently Epic Drives and the new edition of The Cities Book. The Planet Wheeler Foundation, with more than 50 health and education projects in the developing world, the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing & Ideas in Melbourne, Australia, the recent launch of the Wheeler Institute of Business & Development at the London Business School and his position on the board of the California-based archaeological organization Global Heritage Fund also keep him busy. Recent travels have included visits to the rising-sea-level-threatened Pacific nation of Kiribati, Reactor 4 at Chernobyl 30 years after its meltdown and a reprise of his Hippie Trail adventures along the Silk Road, now part of China’s major One Belt One Road development.
Starting in startups, Emily co-founded Jemsoft, a machine learning and computer vision company whose proprietary software adapted artificial intelligence frameworks into many different industries as diverse as health, IoT, ad-tech, ag-tech and animal conservation. Jemsoft was acquired in 2017 by a publicly listed IoT company, from there Emily took her passion for startups and pursued investment opportunities with a focus on early stage tech. Emily went on to co-found M8 Ventures, a venture capital fund, in 2017 whose concentration is working alongside founders to build out robust commercialization and sustained growth strategies. Emily has joined Microsoft as Managing Director of Startups for ANZ where she is committed to building out startup initiatives for this region for both startups and scaleups.
Sam Yam is the Co-Founder and CTO of Patreon, a membership platform that makes it easy for creators to earn salaries directly from their biggest fans. Prior to Patreon, Sam co-founded AdWhirl, which was acquired by AdMob. Sam is also a YCE at YCombinator and has worked at Google, Yahoo, and Stanford's StartX. Sam graduated with a BS in CS from Stanford and is currently on leave from Stanford's Master's program in CS.
Anastasia is an aeronautical engineer with a PhD in autonomous drone navigation. She has experience ranging from projects with the NASA robots onboard International Space Station to managing 370 person team for UEFA. Anastasia is a 2017 Amelia Earhart Fellow recognised for her commitment to advancing the application of aerospace engineering. Her passion for the real-world application has found expression in an agtech startup, FluroSat, which is closing the gap between the application of remote sensing technology in precision agriculture and the insights available in the field. FluroSat in less than two years has conducted four commercial monitoring seasons and is actively expanding across Australia and into the US commodity crop market. In 2018 recently Anastasia was named Women Creating Change by NSW/ACT (Australian Capital Territory and NSW) Young Achiever Award, which her colleagues promptly nicknamed “Chief Disrupter”. In July 2019 Anastasia led FluroSat to raise an investment round from well-recognised investors including Microsoft, with the company becoming Microsofts first-ever AgTech investment globally.
After studying journalism Ruud Hendriks (1959) started his career as a DJ on board legendary pirate station Radio Caroline. At the age of 20 he got his first opportunity as a TV-reporter and with public broadcaster Veronica. During a 9-year period Ruud anchored many Dutch TV programs mainly on news, current-affairs and sports.
He initiated the first non-stop Newsradio format in the Netherlands and several innovative TV formats.
In the late eighties Ruud became a co-founder of Sky Radio and Radio 10. In 1989 he wrote the business plans for TV stations RTL4 and RTL5 and became their first program director. Under his tenure RTL became the market leading TV broadcaster in the Netherlands.
In 1992 Ruud became President of NBC Europe in Londen and transformed Superchannel into NBC Superchannel and finally into CNBC Europe.
Back in the Netherlands where he became an executive member of TV-production company Endemol Entertainment. When Ruud joined in 1994 the company operated in 3 countries, when he left in 2001 Endemol had subsidiaries in 21 countries. Market value grew from 135 million Euros’ to 5.3 Billion.
During his stint at Endemol he was responsible for all its online activities, international expansion and distribution. Amongst others he developed the online business model for “Big Brother” making Endemol the most profitable online company of the Netherlands in the late nineties. He played a key role in Endemol’s I.P.O, the start of failed sports channel Sport 7, and the 2000 take over of the company by Telefonica from Spain.
After Endemol Ruud accepted several supervisory board positions at Eyeworks TV, Dutch bank Theodoor Gilissen and a member of the advisory boards of BSUR (ad agency), MAS Services, AIMgen (neuromarketing) and Mobitto (mobile sales).
Ruud is a regular speaker about innovation and media at seminars and host of two weekly current-affairs programs at BNR Newsradio.
Ruud is a co-founder of Startupbootcamp Amsterdam and Startupbootcamp Global.
Warrick Cramer former CEO of Vodafone’s Global innovation centre ‘Tomorrow Street’ headquartered in Luxembourg. After receiving a Bachelor of Commerce and Masters of Marketing in his home country of Australia, Warrick built numerous businesses from the ground-up in the automotive, mobile payment, and advertising industries.
Warrick’s passion for and experience in innovation and business development, ultimately brought him to Vodafone, where he devoted his talent and entrepreneurial mind-set to revamp innovation at the heart of Vodafone. His vision was to create a global technology centre to bridge the gap between mature startups and corporates, unlocking a new way of working and helping Vodafone on the digital transformation journey. He has been seen as a pioneer and thought leader in corporate innovation and has won numerous global awards for his efforts.
Warrick strives to give back to the community as a mentor to up-and-coming start-ups and is driven by creating meaningful technology that helps to enhance humanity. He is keen to remind startups and organisations to start with empathy in technology design. Warrick believes we should all be responsible about creating a better world.
Jane Martino is renowned for developing thriving businesses, having founded and built one of Melbourne’s best known communications agencies, Undertow Media, subsequently acquired by the Bastion Group of companies. She was recognised as a finalist in the Telstra Young Business Women’s Awards in 2005.
While managing her business and raising three children, she became a published author, selling 72,000 copies of her series of Thank You books. She also founded the fundraising platform ‘Shout for Good’ that was acquired by ANZ Bank in 2015. She is currently the Executive Director of Ventures at Light Warrior, on the Board of Melbourne Football Club and Launch Vic and is Advisor to tech start up TRIBE.
Through her work and co-founding Smiling Mind, Jane has been able to combine her love of young people and meditation to create a modern approach to mindfulness that young people will more easily adapt into their hi-tech, busy lifestyles. The aim of Smiling Mind is to assist young people to cope better with some of the stresses they experience today, and help them embrace virtues that she believes are important in life: resilience, gratitude, happiness and giving back to the community.
Paul is a co-founder of Square Peg Capital.
Prior to founding Square Peg, Paul co-founded SEEK in 1997 and served as Joint CEO from 1997-2011. SEEK is the world’s largest online employment business and in 14 years went from a start up to one of Australia’s top 100 companies. SEEK has market leading businesses in numerous markets throughout Australasia, Asia and Latin and South America.
Paul is a director of Wesfarmers Ltd and a Commissioner of the Australian Football League (AFL). He is also on the board of Innovation Australia, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation, the Mount Scopus College Foundation, AFL SportsReady and the P&S Bassat Foundation. Paul was designated as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2009.
Paul started his career as a lawyer and practiced for 6 years.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Melbourne.