Engineering the Future of Australian Entrepreneurial Innovation

Join Engineers Australia in welcoming a world renowned, global and Australian expert panel as they explore the topic “Distortions & Delusions: Lessons from the Silicon Valley Grand Illusion”.
Engineering the Future of Australian Entrepreneurial Innovation


Australia’s innovation to commercialisation ecosystem, whether in government, academia or industr,y continues to follow the present-day flawed Silicon Valley model, which over the past twenty years has resulted in a 90%+ company failure rate in commercialisation. Successes in Australia tend to go offshore to the benefit of economies in other jurisdictions.

The panel discussion will begin with an examination and a recognition of the failures of innovation to commercialisation systems over the past twenty years throughout the US, Australia and Silicon Valley: a model that has resulted in a 90% company failure rate and zero to negative returns for a majority of venture funds. Recognizing that the best lessons come from failure, they will examine how the learnings provide a roadmap for the development of effective and sustainable entrepreneurial innovation systems. The panel will finish with a look at a new comprehensive model for entrepreneurial innovation, built from 50 years of experience and a program that has produced a 80%+ success rate.

The fundamental impact of this program is reducing the time to develop successful and sustainable entrepreneurial innovative ecosystems in Australia by a decade or more, saving hundreds of millions of dollars along the way, and producing companies and investment opportunities with significantly enhanced probabilities of success.

Consideration of Transforming Australian Innovation Commercialisation ecosystem to drive 21st Economic Development, Job Creation, and Wealth Generation is critical. Engineers are a pivotal link in this whole process

The Panel

International Speakers

Steve Hutchinson – one of the architects of Silicon Valley, lead in what is considered the largest venture capital investment operations in the US during the 1970’s through the mid-1980’s. During that period was one of the founding limited partners for many well-known venture capital and private equity firms including: Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers; Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts; TA Associates; and Brentwood Associates. Mr. Hutchinson is currently a founding General Partner and a Managing Director of Concerto Advisors, a diversified, early stage focused advisory and venture firm and a Director of the Venture Capital Institute

Faz Bashi MD – one of the leading early - medical investors in the US; He is a member of the Berkeley Angel Network, and a founding member of HealthTech Capital Lead Venture and an Investor with Portfolia Fund, a fund focused on ‘femtech’ investments. He is an adjunct Professor in the Integrative Health Studies program at California Institute of Integral Studies, and an active advisor to the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. He is passionate about novel technologies that improve the coordination and delivery of patient care.  He is a Faculty member of the Venture Capital Institute.

Clare Fairfield – one of the top technology commercialisation executives in the US, and the Chair of the oldest venture capital training organisation (Venture Capital Institute) in the world and a pioneer in entrepreneurial education. He has over 30 years of entrepreneurial experience, including developing and operating venture funds, founding and operating companies, angel investing, developing nationally recognized research university entrepreneurial programs, and driving innovation ecosystem development programs in the US and globally.  Since 1983, Mr. Fairfield has been involved with the start-up, acquisition and/or development of companies in the education, communications, satellite, information technology, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, digital health, medical device, software, construction and real estate industries.


Australian Speakers

Dr. Bronwyn Evans – Present CEO of Engineers Australia, an experienced and respected CEO brings a wealth of leadership, commercial and policy expertise gained across a career spanning corporate and not-for-profit roles. Formerly, CEO of Standards Australia, has been recognised as one of Australia's most influential engineers and included in the Westpac/Financial Review 100 Women of Influence.

Chairs the Growth Centre for Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals, is a member of the Australia-Japan Foundation, and is the VP (Finance) of the International Standards Organisation, ISO. An Honorary Fellow of The Institution of Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, an Honorary Fellow of University of Wollongong and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2014 was awarded the Engineers Australia President's Award.

Merrill Gray - Experienced non-Exec/ Exec Director with ASX listed public, private company Boards and Government experience. Including an extensive experience base as a Chief Executive Officer as well as Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary. Expertise in risk and governance (ASX & ASIC based) regulatory compliance. Inclusive of 15 years of Project and Innovative Business Development experience is built off a further 15 yearss experience with large Net Asset based companies. An experience entrepreneur who has created – developed numerous innovative companies over her career.

Felicity Furey - An entrepreneur and engineer. One of the Financial Review BOSS Magazine’s Young Executives of the Year in 2016 and named as one of Australia’s ‘100 Women of Influence’ at just 26 years old. Socially focused entrepreneurship resulted in Co-founding not-for-profit Power of Engineering organisation reaching over 8,000 students across Australia, and Machinam which engages and motivates students in maths. Fully recognises the need to create the innovative engineers of the future.

11 / 11 / 2019 - 05:30 pm to 07:30 pm
Registration Closes
11 / 11 / 2019 04:30 pm
Engineers Australia
Level 31, 600 Bourke Street
  • EA Member: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
  • Student Member Rate: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
  • Non-Member Rate: $30.00 ($27.27 excl. GST)
Key Speaker(s)
Dean Moss, PhD, Steve Hutchinson, Faz Bashi, MD, Clare Fairfield, Bronwyn Evans, PhD, Merrill Gray, Felicity Furey
Engineers Australia - Victoria
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