Craig’s venture capital career began 15yrs ago at netus, a venture fund that delivered top decile returns to investors. Prior to VC, Craig founded 3 businesses, including Travelselect (exited to Lastminute.com), Beamly Australia and Founding Chairman of PetCircle.
Craig spent his early career as a civil engineer, where he learned to build things. For his sins, he also has had stints in strategy consulting and investment banking.
Craig is a Councillor on the St Andrew’s College Council, University of Sydney and a guest lecturer at AGSMs Graduate School of Business.
Craig holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Sydney, as well as an MBA from INSEAD.
With over 20 years experience in the IT industries in roles ranging from technical, operational through to financial and strategic, Neil Bourne brings a distinctive range of insights to bear on the journey from start-up through to final exit for businesses in the technology sector.
Neil has been working as a corporate advisor in the technology sector assisting with growth strategies, capital raisings, mergers and trade sales for over 10 years.
In addition, Neil draws on his experience with large organisations based on his time as a management consultant with Andersen Consulting (Accenture), assisting commercial and government clients with eCommerce strategies and IT implementations.
Neil holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and a BSc (Hons) in Electronic Engineering from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.
Dr Michael Caristo
Managing Director, HDPartners
Felix has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an Economics Degree from Universidad San Andres (Argentina).
Rob Gaunt is CEO of ACE Training, a registered training organisation that he acquired last year, marking Australia’s first-ever acquisition via a search fund. With a 20-year history and approximately 50 employees across four campuses in Victoria, ACE provides courses and licences in civil construction and heavy machinery, selling both to corporate customers and to unemployed jobseekers.
Rob started his career selling photocopiers and worked his way up to Chief Operating Officer and then Chief Executive of Marine Rescue Technologies in the UK, where he managed a team of 35 and grew EBITDA threefold before existing to a strategic buyer. He then obtained an MBA at Macquarie Graduate School of Management before launching his search for a company to acquire in partnership with SMEVentures, a platform for search funds in Australia.
Director, Paddington St Finance
Prior to his consulting experience, Matt spent almost a decade in financial services and funds management in Australia and the UK, including roles with JP Morgan, Thames River Capital and ING Australia.
Matt holds a Diploma of Financial Markets and post-graduate qualifications from the Securities Institute (FINSIA).
Private Equity Media is Australia and New Zealand’s first and leading private equity and venture capital publisher. The company is working to develop this position to serve the entire private capital investment community in the two countries.
Dr Paul Kelly
Paul is an Australian physician and serial biotechnology entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience in developing and commercialising biomedical innovations in the United States, Europe, United Kingdom and Australia. While in the UK and US he led early-stage and mid-stage companies, public and private, with a record of achievement in transforming ideas, technologies and products into sustainable successful businesses and delivering strong returns for shareholders and investors as a founder and CEO.
Paul joined the OneVentures team in 2009, as a co-founder of OneVentures’ first fund in 2010, after spending 15 years in the UK and USA (mostly in Boston, MA). Paul served as CEO of Gemini Genomics (Nasdaq:GMNI), one of the world’s first clinical genomics companies, which he co-founded in 1995 to discover and commercialise novel gene-based diagnostic and therapeutic targets. At Gemini, Paul as CEO led the company in one of the UK’s largest biotechnology IPOs of the time, completed strategic corporate acquisitions in Sweden and Canada, and negotiated collaborations with some of the world’s leading research institutions and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. In 2001, Paul led the company’s successful merger with Sequenom (Nasdaq:SQNM), valuing Gemini at over US$250M. Paul then continued in the US working with local biotech and med-tech entrepreneurs and co-founded Agamatrix, now a leading bio-sensing medical device company with operations across the US and South East Asia, and Atomera (Nasdaq ATMR). He then served as President and CEO of Orchid Cellmark (Nasdaq:ORCH) at that time the world’s leading provider of genetic testing services in both the UK and US. During his tenure he developed and implemented major operational, financial and strategic restructuring, growing revenues by over 50% in 2 years from US$40M to $60M per annum and increasing the companies’ valuation 10 fold.
While in the US Paul also served as President and CEO of Medcenter Solutions, a US based online medical education and pharmaceutical marketing company.
Before becoming a biotechnology executive, Paul had a distinguished career as a researcher and physician specialising in endocrinology at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia. While serving as a researcher at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, and in his postdoctoral work, Paul authored over 100 scientific publications, largely in genetic epidemiology of common metabolic disorders, which have been published in leading journals such as Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, British Medical Journal and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Paul has served on a number of national governmental advisory bodies, as well as on the boards of public and private companies. He served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Medicine, Law and Ethics from 2005 to 2008. Paul is a graduate of the University of New South Wales where he received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (Hons), and Doctor of Medicine degrees. He is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Physicians. He also serves on the UNSW Medicine Dean’s Advisory Group and serves on the Board of Directors of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.
Paul Kennedy joined Bain Capital Credit in 2018. He is a Managing Director in the Private Credit group based in Bain Capital Credit’s Sydney office responsible for investments in Australia and New Zealand. Previously, Paul was a Division Director in Corporate and Asset Finance at Macquarie Group and was an Associate Director at CHAMP Private Equity. Paul commenced his career in the Investment Banking Group at Credit Suisse.
He was Chief Executive Officer of Social Ventures Australia from 2014 to 2018, a Managing Director of Pacific Equity Partners from 2004 to 2014 and a Principal with Texas Pacific Group from 2002 to 2004. Rob also spent seven years with Bain & Company, advising clients on issues relating to strategy, mergers, and operating improvements in a wide range of industries.
Rob received a BEng (Hons.) in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Melbourne. Rob currently sits on the board of Hygain, Zenitas and Legend. He also serves as the Chairman of Social Ventures Australia.
A Macquarie University MBA, Paige has close to a decade in operations management.
Paige gained her initial business skills working in her family’s import and distribution business. She later ran her own small business before moving on to various operational roles in SMEs. Along the way, she gained expertise encompassing technology-led business transformations, operational efficiencies, digital marketing and finance.
Paige is currently seeking to acquire her ideal business for investment and growth through her search fund Greenstorm Capital.
During this time, Brad has partnered with some incredible businesses including investments in Flintfox, Mandoe, SILK Laser, Junior Adventures Group, Wellness & Lifestyles, Valuation Exchange, Simcro, Sigma Coachair Group, Gentrack and Neller Payroll Services just to name a few.
Brad holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance from FINSIA. He is also an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
His early career (99-07) across APAC enabled Grant to immerse himself in early stage technology businesses where he had company & deal exposure to many of today’s internet giants including Seek, Alibaba, SoftBank and Baidu.
Kraken is one of the leading global crypto exchanges with over 8.7 million clients worldwide and counting.
Managing Partner, APAC, Antler
Head of Renewable Energy, Federation Asset Management
Whilst Stephen’s recent history has been dedicated to clean energy and renewables financing, his detailed prior experience across infrastructure, resources, industrials, services and other sectors often proves useful to investee companies as they look to contract with governments and other businesses.
Stephen holds a Bachelor of Economics degree and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia.
Kieren trained with a US corporate firm in Sydney, and then worked with a magic circle firm in London, specialising in private equity. He has never been too far from the industry, taking commercial roles with portfolio companies of The Carlyle Group in London (energy infrastructure) and Advent Capital in Sydney (construction), and consulting to CHAMP Private Equity.
Jeremy is currently a Non-Executive Director of Anacacia portfolio company, Duncan Technologies. He was formerly the lead director of Anacacia’s award winning investments into Appen, Yumi’s Quality Foods, Rafferty’s Garden, Lomb Scientific and Home Appliances. He also chairs the firm’s investment committees.
For almost 15 years, Nima has been advising business owners, executives, Australian and foreign investors and sponsors, on restructures, mergers, acquisitions, and investment transactions. As both a lawyer and chartered accountant, Nima has been appointed to senior roles in professional service organisations such as PwC and Deloitte, and law firm MinterEllison. Most recently, he joined HWL Ebsworth as a partner in 2017 with a growth mandate and within 12 months scaled a nationally focused business, as well as building a team of exceptionally talented professionals. In addition to his role as a capital partner of HWL Ebsworth, Nima was appointed in 2021 as an inaugural member of the Management Advisory Committee.
Since 2017, he has been active in the Australian Search Fund ecosystem, having advised on structuring the first traditional Search Fund in Australia – leading to the establishment in 2020 of WayFinder Capital as a specialist fund manager and the first institutional fund of Search Funds and Searcher-led transactions in Australia.
Pete acted as CEO for three of those businesses, for periods ranging from six months to three years, after which he managed his own succession and remained on the boards of each as a non-executive director.
This owner/operator experience gave Pete the mix of autonomy/accountability he was seeking, opening his eyes to the world of small business and the global ‘entrepreneur through acquisition/search’ community. He is now leveraging his own search and owner/operator experience to back other aspiring entrepreneurs as search investors, playing his part in supporting the critical global transition of small business ownership from baby-boomers to the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Division Director and Head, Macquarie Mid Market
Prior to joining Macquarie, Nicholas worked as a Director in ANZ Banking Group’s Corporate Banking Division, as well as holding senior roles within Esanda FleetPartners and Campese Management Group.
Operating Partner, Potentia
Christian Westerlind Wigstrom
Co-Founder and CEO, Monoova
Born in Sweden, Christian moved to the UK to study after finishing his military service.
While completing his PhD at Oxford, he worked as an economic advisor and speech writer in the UK Parliament before spending three years as Chief of Staff and Markets at a large agricultural start-up in Zimbabwe.
He arrived in Australia in late 2016 ready to help revolutionise the payments industry locally and across the world.
Mick has 21 years’ capital markets experience in corporate lending in Australia, the UK and Europe. He was most recently Executive Director and National Head of Middle Market Leveraged Finance at CBA and has previously held senior lending roles with CIT Leveraged Finance, Barclays Leveraged Finance and Balmain NB.
Mick has a Masters Business Administration from the University of Edinburgh, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance & Investment from Financial Services Institute of Australasia, and an Honours degree Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne.