News & Analysis

ATP Innovations appoints former director of strategy and business development Petra Andren as new CEO

- March 30, 2016 2 MIN READ

Sydney incubator ATP Innovations has announced the resignation of its CEO Hamish Hawthorn and the appointment of Petra Andren, previously its director of strategy and business development, to the position.

Hawthorn is leaving his post in order to join cyber security company UpGuard, a former ATP Innovations resident now based in Silicon Valley. Founded in 2012, UpGuard has raised almost US$10 million in funding, with a $8.73 million Series A in 2014, and counts companies including Allianz, Citrix, and Rackspace as clients.

ATP Innovations chairman Graham Cook praised Hawthorn’s nine years as CEO, saying, “Hamish has been an integral part of ATP Innovation’s success, inspiring and guiding the founders of our portfolio companies and the ATP Innovations team.”

Since Hawthorn’s appointment as CEO in 2005, the ATP Innovations team has helped over 80 startups raise more than $150 million in funding, file 250 patents and trademarks, and seen eight exit through acquisition. With a focus on ‘deep tech’ in the hardware and the life sciences spaces, client companies include drone startup Flirtey and medical research company SpeeDx.

ATP Innovations, which is owned by the University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, University of New South Wales and Australian National University, was also named Incubator of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association, the peak global body for business incubation and entrepreneurship, in 2014.

“I’m so proud of what we have achieved at ATP Innovations, and to be part of the journey of so many successful founders has truly been a privilege. Being recognised as the Incubator of the Year in 2014 by our international peers was a pleasing endorsement of the hard work the team has put in over the years, an outstanding achievement,” Hawthorn said.

Cook said that the board has “complete confidence” in Andren to take over the role.

“Petra’s four years at ATP Innovations have been marked by outstanding performance and demonstration of her extensive experience, skills and sound judgment in everything she does,” he said.

In her previous role, Andren was tasked with helping ATP Innovations’ portfolio companies grow by providing them with strategic guidance, assistance in raising funding and accessing government grants, and scaling.

Andren, who was also previously managing director of Octapharma Australia, launched a new corporate engagement initiative called the Multiplier Program earlier this year.

Signing on Cook Medical, IAG, Optus, and Woolworths, the program will look to address issues startups and researchers face when they engage with corporates and vice versa, and work to facilitate meaningful exchange and communication between both parties.

Image: Petra Andren. Source: Incubate.