A free event for startups, scaleups and friends with a unique twist

6:00 - 9:00PM Wednesday 7 June
The Commons George Street

Ever gone numb sitting in your seat at a startup event? Or thought ‘I just wish I could pick that founder or VC’s brains a bit more?’ Or wondered, shouldn’t this be more… fun?

Startup Daily to the rescue! We’ve partnered with AWS for Startups, and supporting partner Parallo, to present our first-ever Ask Me Anything Q&A and networking event for anyone in the startup and scaleup community who wants to talk, have a drink and get a temperature check on what the best brains in tech are thinking about right now.

Is generative AI moving too fast or not fast enough? How do you make sure your scaleup’s runway won’t go off course like others have? Where’s the best tech talent hiding? 

You’ve got questions, we’ve got experts. In a dynamic ‘choose your own adventure’ format, you’ll get to visit different Q&A breakouts with access to founders, tech experts and investors. Our ringmaster is none other than Startup Daily editor and host Simon Thomsen. He’ll give you a warm welcome and then it’s breakout time. You’ll have 4 pods you can visit for 20-minute Q&As:

Generative AI: The Force Awakens

What’s working, what’s not and where will AI will take us?


Stela Solar
National AI Centre, CSIRO

Stela Solar is the Director of Australia’s National AI Centre hosted by CSIRO, with the mission to accelerate positive AI adoption and innovation that benefits business and community. She has previously held roles at Microsoft including Global Director of AI Solution Sales.


Christopher Manouvrier
Enterprise Architect

Chris is an enterprise architect with a strong background as a language-agnostic software engineer. At Dovetail he's influential in all aspects of engineering practice, from setting architectural direction to driving innovation, and experimenting with groundbreaking technologies like AI.

Scaling Everything, Everywhere All At Once

The big steps and stumbling blocks of global growth


Tom Humphrey
General Partner
Blackbird Ventures

Tom is an investor with Blackbird Ventures - a venture capital firm supercharging Australia and New Zealand's most ambitious founders. Since 2012, Blackbird has invested in over 100 companies including Canva, Zoox, SafetyCulture, and Culture Amp. 


Matt Allford
Technical Success Manager

Matt is an engineer turned customer advocate and advisor, and content creator with 15 years of experience. At Parallo, a Crayon company, Matt has helped customers with cloud platforms and is a trusted advisor for APAC SaaS companies. 

The Good, The Bad and The Runway

Making it through the storm and maintaining your runway


James Tynan
Square Peg

James joined Square Peg in 2020, and has led investments in companies like Vow, Neara, Partly and Blinq. Previously, James ran Startmate, Australia’s leading startup accelerator. Prior to that, James was based in Silicon Valley where he helped scale Khan Academy from YouTube success to the world’s largest edtech organisation. 


John Kearney
Head of Startups

John Kearney is the Head of Startups at AWS (Amazon Web Services), where his focus and passion is to enable startups to build, launch and scale their startups. John has almost 30 years of experience helping startups and technology companies to succeed including scaling Deputy through Series A to Series B rounds and launching Replicon in APJ.


Isabella Rich
Investor, OIF Ventures

Isabella is an Investor at OIF. She has eight years of principal investing, venture capital and strategy consulting experience. Throughout Isabella’s career she co-founded an angel investment syndicate and founded a not-for-profit technology business. Previously, Isabella was in strategy consulting at Boston Consulting Group, focusing on technology and private equity.

Oh Talent,
Where Art Thou?

Attracting the best and keeping the best


Dexter Cousins
Tier One People

Dexter is the guy Fintechs work with to build world-class ventures. As managing director of Tier One People, he also helps Series B+ Fintech ventures hire executive talent capable of delivering hyper-growth and scale. He also presents the Fintech Chatter podcast on YouTube.


Melanie Botha
Head of Training & Certification AWS

Melanie drives the skills agenda at AWS. She has led the development of the AWS program She Dares and sponsored the Cloud Up initiative training 1000s of women. She also initiated programs like women development curricula at Microsoft and Biz4Afrika at Microsoft to support startups.