News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Q&A with some of the HCF Catalyst mentors

Professor Hung Nguyen, University of Technology Sydney

Hung Nguyen is Professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Centre for Health Technologies at UTS. He has been involved with research in the areas of biomedical engineering, artificial intelligence, neurosciences and advanced control for more than 25 years. He has developed several biomedical devices and systems for diabetes, disability, cardiovascular diseases and breast cancer.

Tell us what gets you firing every morning?

I’ve been working on a number of smart medical devices, so what gets me firing is working out a way to bring these devices to the market so that as many people as possible can use them.

Who inspires you when you look around the Australian business community?

Looking around the Australian business community, I think Professor Ian Frazer inspires me for realising his vision.

What excites you about HCF Catalyst and working with founders?          

I think it’s exciting to work with HCF Catalyst and collaborate with founders in tech and healthtech areas. I like the idea of playing a small part in helping founders to shape the medical future of Australia.

What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt in building a business or your career?

In building my career I’ve learned to work well with and listen to people around me, and to have resilience to be able to adapt to new environments.

Tell us something people don’t know about you? 

Playing tennis is important to me because it keeps me grounded and a little bit competitive. I’ve been playing for 30 or 40 years.


Marissa Sandler, cofounder of Careseekers 

Marissa Sandler is the cofounder of Careseekers, along with her sister Lauren Sandler. Careseekers connects people looking for care workers with those who are qualified and ready to work.

Tell us what gets you firing every morning?
Running your own company you realise that each day will be what you make of it. It’s exciting, but you also know that there will be no one else responsible if things don’t get done. 

Who inspires you when you look around the Australian business community? 
Janine Allis, founder of Boost Juice founder, inspires me – I love her passion for her product and philosophies. I read once that Janine and her husband sold their home to set up Boost. Not enough women take risks like that.  

What excites you about HCF Catalyst and working with founders?          

We started out in the NRMA Jumpstart program run by Slingshot so I can completely empathise with the challenges. I often learn so much myself from new founder talent so that’s a bonus.

What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt in building a business or your career?
If you are a very lean team building a business, you have to get your head around so many different things really quickly. Even with a cofounder, each one of you is doing a lot of different roles. Obviously, this changes once you can start hiring staff. I often say to myself ‘it’s not rocket science unless it’s rocket science’. 

Tell us something people don’t know about you?  
A decade before setting up Careseekers my cofounder and I made a documentary on an orphanage in Cambodia. It was screened at a few international film festivals, which was pretty exciting. 


Nick Molnar, cofounder and CEO of Afterpay 

Nick Molnar is cofounder and CEO of fintech startup Afterpay, which looks to facilitate commerce between retailers and their end customers through a ‘buy now, take now, pay later’ service.

​Tell us what gets you firing every morning?

A walk along Bondi Beach to get a coffee relaxes me, and as soon as I hit the office I’m always met by my team running at an incredible pace.

Who inspires you when you look around the Australian business community?

My uncle Maurice is the president of Stryker in Australia and they just won best place in Australia to work – it is amazing learning from incredible leaders, cultures, and top performing organisations, particularly when they have fun while working!

What excites you about HCF Catalyst and working with founders?          

Many incredible people speak about their great ideas but few give it a go – this is a great program to help people give their ideas the time and support they deserve to make it successful.

What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt in building a business or your career?

Have your long-term objectives but focus on your short-term actions – it’s all about execution.

Tell us something people don’t know about you? 

I regularly sing in the car to Adele.

 

Learn more about the HCF Catalyst program here. 





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