Every year, Anthill selects its Cool Company Award judges from a variety of fields, from venture capital to intellectual property. They are chosen for the diverse range of experiences and the different interpretations they bring to the concept of ‘cool’.
Malcolm Thornton, Starfish Ventures
Malcolm Thornton is Investment Director for Starfish Ventures, a Melbourne-based venture capital firm.
Malcolm joined the firm (starfishvc.com) in January 2003 and focuses on investments in IT and medical devices. He is responsible for all aspects of the investment lifecycle from deal sourcing and execution through portfolio management and exit creation. Prior to Starfish Ventures, Malcolm worked in venture capital for several years as Investment Manager with JAFCO Investment (Asia Pacific). He has lived and worked in the US with start-up company Platypus Technology Inc, a JAFCO portfolio company and spent many years travelling to and living in Japan.
Malcolm holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Master of Applied Science (Medical Physics) from Queensland University of Technology and a MBA from Melbourne Business School. Malcolm was also a Monbusho scholar in Japan, researching technology commercialisation.
Malcolm is Starfish representative Director for 5th Finger, Aruspex, ICIX, Impedance Cardiology Systems and QS Semiconductor. He is also a Director of the Australian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, AVCAL.
Yvonne Adele, Ideas Culture
As the founder of Ideas Culture, Yvonne teaches the skills that enable anyone to unlock their thinking potential. Yvonne believes you need better ideas and more ideas than your competition. From everyone, at every level. Product ideas, service ideas plus ideas that permeate the entire business. Staff need confidence to start quickly activating them in order to stay ahead of the pack.
Taking a dose of her own medicine, Yvonne used her brainstorming techniques to invent the world first Ideas While You Sleep – an overnight globally crowdsourced brainstorming service, giving customers around 100 ideas to solve any business challenge.
A Microsoft graduate with a couple of decades of corporate experience, Yvonne created the Ms Megabyte brand/persona in the mid 90′s. This led to a national media profile and best-selling book. Since then Yvonne has been refining her creative thinking techniques and now teaches them to teams and conference audiences… and has yet to find someone who cannot use said techniques to consistently generate, select and then implement sophisticated ideas to solve any business challenge.
Yvonne is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) with the National Speakers Association. Her business was a finalist in the 2009 Cool Company Awards.
Marion Di Benedetto, GreenTimes
She is the owner of Sierra Marketing, a marketing company that focusses on customer acquisition, retention, leads generation, customer service and promotional activities, servicing clients such as M2 telecom, Select TV and Todae.
She is also Co-Founder of GreenTimes, a news website and business directory for the eco-savvy.
She is a French expatriate, living in Australia, as one of many Australian entrepreneurs with beginnings abroard.
Also, like many young Australian entrepreneurs, she uses her ‘day job’ (Sierra) as the foundation to launch new ventures that are likely to ‘give something back’ (GreenTimes and Breast Cancer Support).
Jack Delosa, The Entourage
In 2009, Jack was named in the top 30 entrepreneurs under 30, in Anthill’s 30under30 Awards. His business at the time MBE Education, with revenues north of $1m, was also named in the fastest growing start-ups in Australia, in the SmartCompany Fast 50.
Today, Jack heads up The Entourage, a movement which encourages and facilitates entrepreneurship in the 18-35 demographic.
Jack writes for business publications internationally and is sought after by the media in issues relating to Gen Y.
He recently returned from the Branson School of Entrepreneurship in South Africa, where he assisted in designing the curriculum for the school.
Devita Pathi is an intellectual property lawyer and trade mark attorney. She has over 6 years experience and has previously worked at leading national top tier law firms and specialist intellectual property firms. Her clients have included international and national companies in industries ranging from fashion and apparel to food and confectionery to mining and building.
Devita has been awarded numerous scholarship and prizes in the field of intellectual property and technology law and in 2009 was awarded the intellectual property society prize for Australia and New Zealand for her article on copyright and design laws and their application in the fashion industry. She is also the author of numerous articles on intellectual property law issues published in leading intellectual property law journals and industry magazines including Fast Thinking magazine.
Devita has a particular interest in assisting small and start-up businesses to identify, protect and commercialise their intellectual property.
Justin Absalom, Ambient Lounges
A serial entrepreneur, Justin is founder of the Eventix system, a $12million turnover enterprise.
More recently, he has turned his attention to the bean-bag business, creating Ambient Lounge and a patent protected bean-bag filling device called Funnel Web, which was named a finalist in Anthill’s SMART 100.
Jacinta Coyne, MitchelLake
Jacinta is a Sydney based Senior Consultant with MitchelLake (www.mitchelLake.com). MitchelLake is a progressive, passionate and experienced provider of Executive Search, Specialist Recruitment, Jobs and Managed Services for businesses and individuals that are leading the convergence of media, marketing and technology.
Trevor Young, Edelman PR
Trevor is director of strategy and innovation at Edelman, the world’s largest independent PR firm, with 3,100 people in 51 offices globally.
He is a popular blogger (www.prwarrior.com), speaker and commentator on matters public relations, brand reputation and the new media landscape.