Deep tech VC Main Sequence signs on Elaine Stead as principal

- March 19, 2024 2 MIN READ
elaine stead
VC investor Elaine Stead
CSIRO-backed venture capital fund Main Sequence has added another woman to its ranks with Startup Daily contributor Dr Elaine Stead joining the deep tech investor as principal.

Stead is the founder of Human VC, where she managed the South Australian Venture Capital Fund and cofounder of Brisbane fund Tribe Global Ventures. She was previously the head of VC at the former ASX-listed Blue Sky Alternative Investments.

Main Sequence has several women in senior roles at the fund, most notably Cochlear chair Alison Deans, appointed venture partner late last year, and has been on the investment  committee since the fund’s launch in 2017, alongside Sarah Pearson.

Melbourne-based Gabrielle Munzer was promoted to partner in 2022 after three years as a senior associate, while two Alejandra Romero and Danielle Haj-Moussa work as analysts and Alezia Brown is investment manager.

Stead was most recently advising government and was most recently director of new venture and entrepreneurship at Australian National Univerity, and recently stepped down from ANU’s investment committee after 12 years.

Last week, Stead launched a handbook on how to deal with sexism and harassment in the tech sector.

In 2021 she a won a defamation case against former AFR columnist Joe Aston and was awarded $280,000.

Federal Court justice Michael Lee’s judgement said Aston “did single her out for focus and engaged in a sustained campaign of offensive mockery which amounted, in my view, to a form of bullying”, adding that “the targeted campaign of offensive mockery of Dr Stead was unjustified and improper”.

In July last 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 startups, 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.