CMO / XERO: Andrew Lark is a multi-award winning marketer, online leader and chief marketing officer. His 25 years experience across business-to-business and consumer sectors spans building successful businesses and leading award-winning marketing programs and teams for Fortune and Times 100 companies, global technology brands, start-ups and the world’s hottest advertising and communications agencies. Andrew, also known as Andy, has been hailed as a marketing visionary; formerly CMO at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and now Founder of Group Lark. Andy serves across multiple boards globally and Rare Birds are honoured to have him on our own advisory board.




Engineering Community and Outreach Program Manager / Google, Australia: After finishing from the Graduate School of Government at the University of Sydney, Sally-Ann Williams shot through to Google. Currently, Sally is a Senior Program Manager, overseeing the strategy & execution of programs across a broad portfolio. Sally is also directly responsible for the start-up engagement in AU & NZ, University Research Relations for AU & NZ, and STEM & CS initiatives across AU & NZ. Sally is passionate for the start-up scene.



Managing Director / BlueChip Communications: Carden Calder’s current company, BlueChip Communications was named as one of Australia’s Top 25 fastest growing PR firms by the PR Report. Carden found a niche in the market, and began BlueChip Communications. Carden’s company is Australia’s leading financial services communication firm. BlueChip Communication positions itself to advise entrepreneurs, CEO’s and boards on efficient methods to communicate financial services using social media, PR and content marketing.

Prior to BlueChip Communication, Carden has had ten years of experience in numerous roles within the financial services area.



Managing Director / Pulse Marketing: Lauren Fried graduated with a BA in Communications from University of Technology, Sydney, and was quickly snapped up by McDonald’s. She was the Retail Marketing Manager at McDonald’s Head Office for four years before founding Pulse Marketing in 2003.

Pulse Marketing is a full service marketing and advertising agency that brings a brand to life by creating ideas that people engage with and feel compelled to share. Lauren’s expertise covers everything from strategy, branding, design and direct marketing to experiential, TV, media buying, social media, and campaign management services. She was recognized in the 2011 BRW Magazine Top Emerging Marketing Agency, including the 2012 Australian Marketing Institute’s Marketing Excellence Awards.



CTO / Australia & New Zealand: Michael Darchy is the Chief Technology Officer of telecommunications company, Avaya, the multinational corporation privately held (TPG Capital and Silver Lake Partners), which engineers, designs, manufactures, and sells as a global provider of business communications and collaboration systems.

Michael is an experienced presenter of innovation, with a strong understanding of system architecture and leads the technology vision, implementation and adoption of innovation to create a competitive advantage.

Prior to Avaya, Michael was the Global Account Director at Nortel, a multinational telecommunications and data networking equipment manufacturer for seven years

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Founder / MooreThought: Joanna has more than 15 years experience in professional services, including both domestic and global roles. Previously, Joanna was the Head of Markets for the Private Client business at PwC Australia, where she was responsible for the Markets and Strategy elements of that business.

Her expertise includes marketing, communications, business and cultural strategy.



President / CEO / Stacey Fornara is the creator and Investor/Co-Owner of, the #1 Bible resource on the Web – a global online community, encompassing various translations, languages, scriptures, studies, and dynamic Biblically-based content since 2005 when the company first launched.

Previously, Stacy was the President of Western Promotions Inc. for eleven years where she built the company from start-up to a market-leader, specialising in building promotional partnerships for Fortune 500 companies. The firm created marketing opportunities for hundreds of companies, from added value discount offers to advertising and barter opportunities.



Chairman / Biothoughts and PAFtec Pty Ltd: Topaz Conway is an entrepreneur, angel investor, director, and an advocate to the creation of a stronger Australian innovation culture. Topaz works with early-stage companies on commercialisation strategies and investment. Her passion grew with her international experience, traversing a number of industries including biotech, hi-tech, e-commerce and services. Topaz’s current company PAFtec Pty Ltd is a company specialising in respirator design and manufacture.

Topaz’s specialties are commercial strategies, innovation, entrepreneurship growth, business partnerships, and market positioning.




philip weinman

Philip Weinman

Philip Weinman is a self-made businessman with an incredible track record in starting companies and scaling businesses to their true potential. In 2012, Philip invested in Locomote and became its CEO to help lead its disruptive innovation to take on the billions of dollars of inefficiency in company travel, and change the industry forever.

Philip is a serial entrepreneur with decades of experience driving companies to achieve the next level of development and success, and become leading businesses in their fields. He has repeatedly built companies rapidly and profitably, and has taken many of these to an IPO or trade sale resulting in significant returns for all shareholders. Philip founded Deasil Management Group in 2006 to invest and help grow promising startups across a variety of sectors. It runs seven companies in travel management, advertising, FMCG, property management, and recruitment services.


Dr. Richard Seymour

Dr. Richard Seymour joined the University of Sydney in 2006, where he currently resides as the Programme Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Richard is responsible for the enterprise courses and units of study within the Business School. All teaching programmes focus on Problem-Based Learning utilising ‘real’ and current business engagements. He is also Co-Director of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Research Group, and leads major projects such as Remote & Rural Enterprise (RARE), Developing Entrepreneurial Women in Asia, and Genesis. Further to this, he is a founding member of EDNA (Entrepreneurship Development Network Asia).

Prior to these academic endeavours, Richard worked in the corporate, NGO and consulting sectors. As well as having run his own business, he has over 5 years experience advising small and medium-sized enterprises on corporate divestments, capital raisings and cross-border transactions. He also has over 10 years experience with a number of European, Asian and Australian organizations in the financial, property, and environmental sectors.



Stefanee Lovett

Stefanee Lovett Managing Director / CapitalHill Advisory: Stefanee Lovett is a corporate advisory and government relations specialist, having served at the highest levels in the federal government. With more than 15 years’ experience in politics and the public service, Stefanee now assists businesses to work with government to achieve policy outcomes and navigate this often challenging process.

CapitalHill is a bipartisan firm based in Canberra and provides a range of services to support clients to achieve their business objectives, including corporate and business advisory; government relations and public policy; strategy development and planning; strategic council; public affairs; and market access.