Speakers and Judges


Dan’l Lewin, Corporate Vice President, Strategic and Emerging Business Development, Microsoft

  Dan'l Lewin is responsible for leading Microsoft's global engagement with startups and venture capitalists and business relationships with strategic industry partners. Lewin's teams focus on supporting the startup and entrepreneur ecosystem developing on the Microsoft platform while helping foster local software economies worldwide. Through the Microsoft BizSpark and Microsoft Innovation Center programs, the groups help accelerate startup success in more than 100 countries. Lewin also has executive and site responsibility for the company's operations in Mountain View, California, which currently employ more than 2,500 people.

Lewin has spent more than 30 years in Silicon Valley as an executive leading sales and marketing divisions for companies including Apple Computer Inc., NeXT Inc. and GO Corp. Before joining Microsoft, he was CEO of Aurigin Systems Inc., a startup that pioneered intellectual property asset management. He has also consulted for emerging companies, venture capital firms and corporate joint ventures. Lewin serves on the boards of the Churchill Club; SVForum; and the Tech Museum of Innovation, where he served as past chairman of the Tech Museum Awards program. In addition, Lewin is on the Corporate Advisory Board of the National Venture Capital Association. He holds an A.B. in politics from Princeton University.

David Rowe, Investment Director, Uniseed

  Dr David Rowe is an Investment Director with Uniseed, one of Australia’s premier venture capital seed funds. He is responsible for sourcing deals, backing investments and managing investee companies. David was previously a Regional Director for Microsoft EMEA’s Strategic and Emerging Business Team (driving strategic solution and business development opportunities with regional partners, customers and governments) and Technology Investment Manager with the Transocean Group (a boutique investment bank with venture investments in ICT, new media and biotech companies in the .com days). David holds a PhD and Bachelor of Computer Systems Engineering, a Masters of Applied Finance and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Doron Ben-Meir, CEO, Commercialisation Australia

  Mr Ben-Meir has extensive experience in the venture capital industry and commercialisation more generally. Over the past twenty years, he has been involved in numerous venture capital organisations, and has been a founder or co-founder of six start-up companies, as well as an investor, investment manager, and advisor to several other companies. Thus, he has built a substantial network both domestically and internationally. Mr Ben-Meir has wide-ranging experience in innovation, commercialisation and technology across various industry sectors. Having founded and supported start-up companies, he has an intimate understanding of the practical challenges they face, and of what is required to make a company successful.

Through his investments and advisory work, he has been involved in identifying and assisting innovative companies to commercialise their intellectual property and transition through various stages of business development. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (Hons) from Monash University, Melbourne. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the ANZA Technology Network. He is currently the inaugural CEO of Commercialisation Australia – an Australian Government program established to assist entrepreneurs, researchers and inventors to build sustainable businesses from their innovative intellectual property.

Ian Gardiner, Co-founder and CEO, Viocorp

  Ian is the co-founder and CEO of Viocorp, one of the world's leading online video companies. He co-founded the company in 2002 and has successfully grown it into an established and profitable operation. Viocorp employs over 60 staff from its headquarters in Pyrmont.

Ian has been running technology start-ups since 1997. He was the founding employee of newsbase.com, a successful news, analysis and business intelligence service from emerging markets. He also founded and ran lastorders.com, and on-line off-license in the UK.

He is passionate about helping to create a better climate for Australian technology start-ups. He is co-founder and a Director of Innovation Bay, an Angel investment group and networking group for senior executives in this sector

He is the co-founder and President of the Australian arm of the Oxford Business Alumni. He sits on the Board of Metro Screen, a not-for-profit company providing training and support for filmmakers.

In November 2009 he won the NSW Pearcey award for ICT Entrepreneur of the Year. Ian holds a Master of Engineering from the University of Oxford where he also won two rowing blues in the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race. In his spare time he is a competitive cyclist, avid computer gamer, husband and father of two boys (not in that order).

Jeffrey Paine, Founding partner, Golden Gate Ventures

  Jeffrey Paine is a founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures, an early stage technology incubator based in Singapore focused in Southeast Asia. Jeff started and manages the Founder Institute in Singapore where he helps in its expansion in the region.

Liz Atkinson, Founder, The League of Extraordinary Women

  Liz Atkinson is one of Australia’s leading female social entrepreneurs. From moving to Australia as a backpacker in 2001, Liz has gone on to launch Zest Possibilities which houses a group of million dollar companies on an international stage. Combining her business acumen with social ventures, Liz and her team have raised millions of dollars for Australian & International charities.

Within a year of opening the doors in Melbourne in 2006, Liz had expanded to Sydney and by 2010 was an international operation with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland and Wellington. Today Zest Possibilities has more than 80 people across the two continents and is a market leader in outsourced promotions, sales and marketing campaigns.

With a need to empower women to follow their passion, Liz started ' 'The League of Extraordinary Women' with 3 other Melbourne based female entrepreneurs. The movement was launched in August 2011, and on its first event they set a record for Australia's First & Largest group of Young Female Entrepreneurs in the same room at the same time.

Liz is an energetic and enthusiastic public speaker. Her story and focus on Leadership has lead to invitations to speak to a range of audiences including Microsoft, RMIT and The largest Young Entrepreneurs Conference. Liz will soon be releasing 'Street Smart' a book which aims to inspire entrepreneurship throughout Australia.

Dr Michelle Deaker, Managing Partner and Executive Director, OneVentures

  Michelle Deaker established OneVentures in October 2006. OneVentures manages the OneVentures Innovation Fund, which has raised $40 million to invest in seed, start up and early expansion stage technology companies in the TIME (Telecommunications, IT&T, new media/entertainment) Biotech and Cleantech sectors.

Michelle came into the venture capital industry as a successful entrepreneur. Her company, E Com Industries became the leader in prepaid card and electronic voucher technologies in Australia and was acquired by a UK publicly listed company returning $30 million cash to investors.

Through her interest in high growth companies, Michelle has provided advice for, invested in and raised capital for emerging technology companies. She has extensive experience in the development of early stage companies, a strong background in Australian R&D and expertise in international business expansion.

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons First Class) Degree (University of Sydney) and, as a recipient of both Commonwealth and CSIRO Postgraduate Research Awards completed a Master of Science Degree (University of Sydney) and was awarded her PhD in Applied Science (University of Canberra).

Richard Kerris, VP, Global Head of Developer Relations, Nokia

  Richard joined Nokia in October 2011 to lead global developer relation teams, working within Nokia’s Developer Experience & Marketplace (DXM) organization, based in Sunnyvale, California.

WWith more than 25 years’ experience in the technology sector, Richard’s role has him directing global teams charged with evangelizing and engaging developers to create great, locally relevant apps on the Nokia platform, which create a positive ROI for the developer and support Nokia’s mission to provide consumers with differentiated mobile products which enrich their lives.

Prior to Nokia, Richard was VP of Worldwide Developer Relations at HP, where he managed the teams responsible for outreach, marketing and support for webOS products across the global HP Product line. His brief time with webOS followed a three-year tenure with Lucasfilm, where he was Chief Technology Officer, on the executive leadership team. In the position, Richard oversaw the company’s technical operations, and was responsible for development and execution of the technology strategy for Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound and LucasArts, amongst other high profile businesses within the Lucasfilm groups.

Between 2001 and 2007, Richard was with Apple, where he directed the company’s product marketing strategies for professional applications. Prior to that, he was Senior Director of Developer Technologies for Apple’s worldwide developer group during a critical transition in Apple’s history; managing teams supporting Unix, Java and Cocoa developers, who were working to bring their applications from OS 9 to Mac OS X. During his years at Apple, he presented in 8 keynotes with Steve Jobs, showcasing Apples technology advancements in 3D animation, games and visual effects.

Kerris has a reputation in the industry for managing development teams and leading marketing organizations to evangelize new technologies that drive innovation. In 2009, Variety magazine called him one of the ‘top 10 innovators to watch’ in technology field. Throughout his career he has given speeches around the world on the importance of developer ecosystems, the emergence of new trends from desktop to mobile and how interactive graphics will play a role in almost everything we do. He has also worked in the professional music field as a technology advisor to some of the biggest bands in the world and can also be seen drumming in a few local bands in the bay area and New York City.

Richard holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications degree from Fitchburg State Collage, Mass, and is an active member of the Visual Effects Society, where he held a Bay Area Board seat until recently. /td>