Cochlear chair Alison Deans joins CSIRO VC Main Sequence as venture partner

- November 9, 2023 2 MIN READ
Alison Deans
Alison Deans has been part of Main Sequence for six years.
CSIRO venture capital fund Main Sequence Ventures has bolstered its leadership team with Cochlear chair Alison Deans signing on as a venture partner.

Deans, who is also on the boards of Ramsay Health Care, staffing management scaleup Deputy and ASX-listed envirotech scaleup Calix (ASX: CXL), and is a former Westpac and IAG director, previously ran two technology funds, publicly-listed Ecorp and then Netus, founded Daniel Petre, who launched AirTree after Netus was acquired by Fairfax Media (now Nine) in 2013.

She graduated from Cambridge with a science degree and went on to get her MBA at Stanford before joining management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. Her career also includes stints running eBay Australia and Hoyts cinemas.

She’s been a member of the Main Sequence Investment Committee since the fund’s launch in 2017 and will continue in that role.

MSV partner Mike Zimmerman said Deans was part of the fund’s DNA.

“Alison has been a part of the Main Sequence journey since our earliest days, providing input on investments through her role on the IC and informal guidance and coaching to our founders as they transitioned from concept to commercial reality, we’re excited to have her deepen her involvement, becoming an even more integral part of Australia’s burgeoning deep tech community,” he said.

Zimmerman said many of the companies from fund 1 in 2018 are now at a stage where they are contemplating the next phase of their evolution, and exploring exit possibilities.

“Alison’s experience in building game-changing companies positions her to help take these businesses to the next level,” he said.

“As someone who uniquely understands the Australian business and startup ecosystem, Alison will play a critical role in building deep tech founders of tomorrow, and helping Main Sequence as it continues its mission of solving the world’s biggest challenges by bridging the gap between research and commercialisation.”

In July this year, Main Sequence raised $450 million for its third fund. The deep tech VC now has more than $1 billion in funds under management and has backed more than 50 companies, including including carbon capture agtech Regrow AG, AI-based inertial navigation scaleup Advanced Navigation, and quantum computing pioneer Q-CTRL.

The third fund is expected to make around 25 pre-seed and Series B investments, north of  $100,000 each.

Deans was also a judge in the recent Startup Daily Best in Tech Awards, where MSV portfolio company Q-CTRL was named Most Innovative Startup.