Episode 26: NAB Ventures
On this episode we chat with Melissa Widner, general partner at NAB Ventures, the venture capital arm of National Australia Bank. Launched in 2016 with $100 million committed through to 2020, NAB Ventures has invested in over a dozen startups both in Australia and abroad so far. It invests in enterprises that “can leverage the bank’s expertise, assets and market position to drive growth in investee companies”.
We spoke to Melissa about the development of NAB Ventures and its investment themes, its relationship and how it works with the bank, and what it looks for in startups.
Episode 25: ANZ
On this episode we sat down to chat with Leigh Gibson, Tech Area Lead in the Customer Self Service tribe at ANZ. She’s had a long career in tech, having started out more than 20 years ago, but more recently she was responsible for procuring and implementing IT systems for the 2012 Olympics in London, she launched her own startup, and then joined ANZ, where she led the team who built the bank’s mobile payments platform.
We had a chat about life at ANZ, which has been undergoing a transformation in the way it works and in its approach to innovation over the last year, along with her work mentoring other women in tech through initiatives such as the SheStarts accelerator program.
Episode 24: OnTheGo Sports
On this episode, we sat down to talk with Mick Spencer, founder and CEO of OnTheGo Sports. A mass customisation platform for apparel and accessories, OnTheGo is used by everyone from local businesses through to the likes of Microsoft and professional sports teams for the design, development, and production of sports uniforms and custom clothing. The business was founded by Spencer in 2012, as he puts it, in the back of a university lecture theatre. Six years on and the startup in June brought on funding from and launched a joint venture with Wesfarmers’s Workwear Group, which owns brands including Hard Yakka and King Gee.
We spoke to Mick about the origins of the business, its approach to finding and working with customers, and how the partnership with Wesfarmers came about and what it entails.
Episode 23: Amaysim
On this episode, we chat about telcos. We sat down to talk with Peter O’Connell, cofounder and CEO of Amaysim. Peter has had a long career in telecommunications: he has held senior executive and board roles at companies including Optus, US company BellSouth, and Irish company Meteor. He was also involved in the setting up of Optus, and was previously a partner at Minter Ellison and Gilbert & Tobin. Founded in 2010, Amaysim now has over 1 million mobile customers, has been listed on the ASX for three years, and has diversified, expanding into the energy sector. We had a chat with Peter about his experience in the telco sector, and the process of setting up and launching Amaysim.
Episode 22: Square
On this episode, we talk about card payments. We sat down to talk with Ben Pfisterer, country manager for Square Australia. Ben has been with Square since its local launch, when it brought its original card reader down under in 2016. Having started out targeting the likes of market stalls, Square revealed last year that it had more than 60,000 businesses using one or more of its products. Pfisterer said earlier this year that the number of local businesses using Square has since then increased 150 percent. We had a chat with Ben about the growth of Square in Australia, how it has gone about forming its partnerships, and its place in the local fintech landscape.
Episode 21: The Iconic
On this episode, we chat about online retail. We had a chat to Anna Lee, the chief operating officer at online fashion retailer, The Iconic. The business was launched in Australia in 2011 through Rocket Internet and is now a giant locally, with CEO Patrick Schmidt saying earlier this year that the company expects to start reaching $1 billion in sales within 3 years. We spoke to Anna about the growth of the company, the importance of the customer, and how The Iconic stays agile now it’s grown to more than 500 staff.
Episode 20: Investec
On this episode, we chat about startup investment. We sit down with Hein Vogel, the managing director of the Emerging Companies division at Investec, an “entrepreneurial-focused” investment bank. The bank is global, founded and headquartered in South Africa, but its emerging companies division was founded in Australia two years ago to look at developing the Investec’s startup investment arm and strategy. We spoke to Hein about the development of the Emerging Companies division, what it’s looking for in portfolio companies and what, in turn, it can offer them, and the Australian startup landscape.
Episode 19: MYOB
On this episode, we chat about training new recruits. We sit down with Hugh Fahy, the GM of Engineering at MYOB, who works to ensure MYOB are producing the best products possible. To do so, MYOB needs to be able to recruit the top tech talent in Australia and New Zealand. The company looks to do this through the Future Makers program, a concept based on the maker philosophy with an emphasis on people who take pride in their craft and seek out mastery will be happier and more productive at work. We spoke to Hugh about the growth of MYOB, the development of the Future Makers program and its DevelopHER initiative, and the company’s culture.
Episode 18: Girl Geek Academy
On this episode, we chat about women in tech. We sit down with Sarah Moran, cofounder and CEO of Girl Geek Academy, an organisation which works to encourage girls and women into tech. The organisation runs various initiatives, from workshops to hackathons, and works with teachers, schools, corporates and startups to increase the number of women with professional technical and entrepreneurial skills. We talked about the organisation’s work and in particular its partnership with National Australia Bank, where Sarah spent a year as a Girl Geek in Residence.
Episode 17: REA Group
On this episode, we chat about the business of real estate listings. We have a chat REA Group’s chief inventor Nigel Dalton about the lessons he learned about disruption while working at Lonely Planet, where he said the company ignored the rise of the internet and “convinced ourselves out of jobs”, what innovation looks like at a 23 year old startup that’s now an ASX-listed giant worth billions, and why REA Group can’t just rely on the clicks coming to realestate.com.au and needs to keep reinventing itself.
Episode 16: TwoSpace
On this episode of Startup meet Corporate, we explore innovation in office space. We sit down for a chat with with Tashi Dorjee, the cofounder and chief space officer at TwoSpace, a startup that transforms restaurants closed during the day into a network of coworking spaces, about how it went about getting partners on board and why hotels are interested in working with the business.
Episode 15: Groupon
On this episode of Startup meet Corporate, we talk online marketplace, chatting with Steve Traplin, the head of Groupon in APAC, about the company’s growth in Australia over the years and how it has evolved its approach as it looks to become a daily habit for consumers.
Episode 14: inkl
On this episode of Startup meet Corporate, we explore innovation in the news media industry, chatting with Gautam Mishra, CEO of Australian platform inkl, a digital news marketplace that unlocks the world’s best news publishers, a bit like a Spotify or Netflix for news.
Episode 13: Credit Union Australia
On this episode of Startup meet Corporate, we explore innovation in the financial services space, sitting down for a chat with Melissa Witheriff, head of digital innovation at Credit Union Australia.
Episode 12: Deputy
On this episode of Startup meet Corporate, we explore innovation in the workforce planning and management space, sitting down for a chat with Steven Power, Global President of employee management company Deputy.
Episode 11: Interactive
On this episode of Startup meet Corporate, we explore innovation in the IT industry. We learn about a new partnership between French startup Open Classrooms and IT service company Cap Gemini, and hear about Toyota’s newest self-driving vehicle.
Gina then sits down with Rachel Armstrong, software program manager at Interactive, to learn how the business transitioned from selling hardware in the dial-up era to launching its new software-as-a-service marketplace, Alliance.
Episode 10: HMB Global
On this episode of Startup meet Corporate, we explore innovation with the smartphone industry. Mat sits down with HMB Global CEO, Florian Seiche, as he prepares to launch the new range of Nokia smartphones into the Australian market.
Gina tells us about a new partnership between Mertion and Deliveroo, and we try to answer the question – is an Inmoji just a modern-day hieroglyph?
Episode 9: NORA Network
In this episode of Startup meet Corporate we explore innovation in the retail sector. We learn about a new partnership between Coles and Deliveroo, and we head over to the Perth fintech space and learn about Welfies.
Gina finds finds out what innovation means for retail businesses both online and off when she sits down with Paul Greenberg, founder of NORA Network, and he shares why he’s teamed up with Slingshot to launch an accelerator program.
Episode 8: Digivizer
In this episode of Startup meet Corporate we explore the world of social data and analytics and the way in which companies are leveraging this to grow their business.
We look at a new platform leveraging influencers in the gaming industry, and Mat sits down with the founder of Digivizer, Emma Lo Russo to find out how their technology is helping corporates to be more innovative based on data from their social media accounts.
Episode 7: TAL
In this episode of Startup Meet Corporate we explore innovation in the life insurance sector. We learn about a new partnership between ASX-listed digital technology and entertainment company MSM Corporation International and Usher, and Gina talks with Dan Taylor, general manager of innovation at TAL, about what innovation means in the life insurance sector and how the company is working to engage its customers over the life of their policy.
Episode 6: JLL
In this episode we explore innovation in the real estate industry. We learn about a new partnership between audiobook company and Audible and the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre aimed at enhancing the mind’s performance, and Gina talks with Andrew Clowes, head of Information Technology at JLL, about what innovation means in the real estate and investment management space and the company’s so-called digital ambition.
Episode 5: Lendlease
In this episode we explore innovation in the property development industry. We explore a variety of collaborative opportunities for startups in the HR and Communications sector and Mathew sits down with Chief People Officer at Lendlease Michael Vavakis who talks about the importance of innovation at the company.
Episode 4: Cotton Australia
In this episode we explore innovation in the Cotton Industry and learn about the diverse career opportunities that it creates from farming to fashion design. We look at a new partnership between Australian art platform Bluethumb and interior design platform Houzz and Mat talks with Cotton Australia board member Fleur Anderson about the types of startups and innovations that the peak industry body would be keen to explore collaborating with.
Episode 3: Spotless Group
On this episode we hear how a suburban dry cleaner turned into a $3 billion public company. We take a look at a strategic partnership that will change the face of energy in South Australia forever, and we speak to Julian Fogarty from Spotless Group about how the company is driving a culture of innovation in the face of disruption.
Episode 2: Westpac
In this episode we explore innovation within the Australian banking and financial services industry. Gina sits down with Cathy Kovacs from the Westpac Group to look at what the bank is doing to innovate and grow in such a highly disruptive industry.
Episode 1: Teys
In our premiere episode we talk innovation in the meat and livestock sector with the CFO of Teys Australia – Bronwyn Mitchell. We take a look at startups and corporates around the country that have formed some interesting strategic partnerships with one another as well as some new technology companies cropping up in regional Australia.