Advance Awards 2021: Introducing the Technology & Entrepreneurship Award Finalists

Patrick Grove

Patrick Grove is known as a guru technology entrepreneur. As Co-Founder and Group CEO of Catcha Group, Mr Grove was responsible for Malaysia’s first tech unicorn. He spent his early years in Singapore and Indonesia before moving to Sydney, where attended high school and went on to study at the University of Sydney. Mr Grove caught the entrepreneurial bug early, starting two companies whilst still at university, and moving back to Southeast Asia to build with a university colleague. Over the last thirteen years Mr Grove has founded and progressed five companies from start-up to IPO, selling one of those companies, iProperty Group to REA Group in one of the largest Internet exits in ASEAN history. Mr Grove was also Co-Founder and Chairman of Catcha Group’s iflix business, the world’s leading Subscription Video on Demand service, sold to Tencent for $50 million last year. In addition, Mr Grove is the Co-Founder and Director of iCar Asia, operating auto-sales portals in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. And Co-Founder of Frontier Digital Ventures, a leading operator of online classified businesses in frontier markets.

Today, Mr Grove is passionate about leveraging Catcha’s entrepreneurial and capital markets expertise to help great tech entrepreneurs scale and take their companies from the private to public markets. He speaks generously about fear, failure, passion and being hungry for success so that other entrepreneurs will be encouraged to dream large. He has been independently and widely recognised by a number of international awards, including: Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum; New Asian Leader by the World Economic Forum; Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Singapore; and Asia’s Best Young Entrepreneur by Bloomberg Business.

“Working with amazing people to solve big problems gets me out of bed everyday!”

Damien Mahoney

Damien Mahoney is a digital media innovator and social content mastermind. As Founder and CEO of Stackla Mr Mahoney has flipped brand marketing on its head. The AI powered platform puts customer stories at the heart of content automation, using predictive intelligence to identify authentic, compelling content to strengthen consumer trust and deliver personalised experiences at scale. Stackla is leading a revolution in brand marketing that emphasises trusted, authentic and dynamic content, powered by customers and advocates, not brands. As a result of Stackla’s market-leading approach, it has attracted some of the world’s largest software companies as partners including Oracle, IBM and Sitecor. The company was named the first Australian Twitter Technology Partner.

In 2018 Mr Mahoney launched Stackla’s non-profit initative ‘Stackla for Good’, helping social impact organisations reach and inspire supporters with leading AI-powered user-generated content. By making their platform more accessible to non-profits, like ACLU, No Kid Hungry, ONE and WWF, Mr.Mahoney and the team help important causes launch movements and promote action. Stackla For Good, has since been named the 8th Most Innovative Not-For-Profit Company by Fast Company. Stackla was recently sold to Finnish technology company, Nosto Solutions, marking a successful exit for the founders and investors. Stackla’s roster of customers includes – Apple, Sinclair Broadcasting, HelloFresh, Spotify, Chevron, International Olympic Committee, Brand USA and Kia. As a result of his contributions to nonprofits, Mr Mahoney was invited to visit the White House in November 2015. He met with Michelle Obama, and contributed technical expertise to her ‘Better Make Room’ campaign, part of the Reach Higher Initiative, which aimed to improve higher education in the USA. In his past life, Mr Mahoney was a sports broadcaster, calling AFL matches for Triple M and the ABC, and held senior digital positions and consulting roles with the National Rugby League, Australian Football League, ninemsn and Macquarie Radio Network.

“All people have an inherent desire to evolve and thrive. I became an entrepreneur because I have, for better or worse, always felt a drive and desire to keep changing, to keep creating. When we think about technology accessibility right now, the rate at which we can turn an idea into a business is incredibly fast. I want to be in that race; it satisfies a basic need in my character. I have already witnessed how a simple idea, executed via scalable technology, can change an entire industry. And that is exciting as the possibilities are almost infinite. But what’s next? What can we do better? What is the next problem to solve? That’s what keeps me motivated and energized. We live in a unique time, and thus we are presented with unique opportunities to better serve our customers, teams, families and broader society.”

Dr Arjun Goyal

Dr Arjun Goyal is a venture capitalist in personalised medicine, motivated to create and invest in companies that translate groundbreaking science into innovative medicines across oncology and genetic diseases to impact patients globally. As Co-Founder and Managing Director of Vida Ventures, Dr Goyal leads the US-based life sciences venture capital firm with over $1.7 billion. Coming from a family of doctors, Australian-born Dr Goyal anticipated a life in clinical medicine. But when his education took him to the University of Oxford to participate in malaria vaccine development for the Wellcome Trust Centre for HumanGenetics, a light went off in his mind. He says the exposure to research fascinated him, understanding the power of holding in a test tube a new cure or the next new therapy for controlling a disease. Dr Goyal realised that a career in biotech venture capital and company creation would ultimately allow him to have a broader impact on patients. He insists that for him it is ‘still about the medicine’, and as a physician, scientist and entrepreneur, continues to provide invaluable counsel to portfolio companies shepherding early science from bench to bedside.

Dr Goyal has coupled a keen eye for spotting promising innovation with commercial success, joining industry pioneer Arie Belldegrun, and fellow Harvard Business School alum Stefan Vitorovic, to co-found and launch Vida Ventures in 2017. Vida Ventures recently secured $825 million for its third and largest life sciences fund. The company has selectively made 31 investments globally in companies translating groundbreaking science into medicines that have the potential to impact countless patients with limited or no treatment options. Dr Goyal is personally invested in developing the next generation of life science leaders both in the US and in Australia. He developed Vida’s fellowship program and was invited to join Harvard Business School’s Venture Capital Partner Program, a program that brings together prominent managers to mentor students interested in pursuing a career in venture capital. Dr Goyal is also very active in the Australian biotech community and has helped facilitate US biotech companies to run their clinical trials there. Most recently, Dr. Goyal’s counsel to the Government of Victoria has supported efforts for mRNA Victoria. His experience, track record and network provide incredible opportunities for learning, education and exposure to biomedical innovation around the globe.

“I am motivated to create and invest in companies that translate groundbreaking science into innovative medicines in the fields of oncology and genetic diseases which can impact patients globally. I strive for these companies to be the leaders in their fields globally. We are living through a golden age in medicine where we can now develop treatments to previously intractable diseases with both increasing precision and intent to cure and I motivated to drive this as the biotech industry comes of age.”

Sarah Lux-Lee

Sarah Lux-Lee is a thought leader and strategist building more inclusive workplaces. She is the Founder and CEO of Mindr, a workforce development organisation that promotes belonging at work through impactful employee communities, a culture of mentorship and meaningful virtual connections. With a specific focus on women and parents, Ms Lux-Lee led the company to work with organisations such as Google, Facebook, Citibank, NASA, the United Nations and many others to elevate underrepresented voices and harness the power of employees bringing their whole self to work.

Ms Lux-Lee has spoken on the topic of workplace belonging at the United Nations, TEDx, the World Economic Forum, NASA, SHE Summit, the Global Innovation Coalition for Change and various Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies. She is also an experienced moderator, and has facilitated discussions with thought leaders across sectors and industries, including Nobel Laureates, United Nations leaders, astronauts, global business leaders and others. Ms Lux-Lee holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University, and was named on the list of Next Generation Women Leaders by McKinsey & Company, and is one of 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review.

“Mindr builds belonging in the world’s leading workplaces. We spend so much time at work, and give so much of ourselves to our organizations and teams, that there is nothing more motivating than ensuring that every individual has the resources, support and network they need to thrive, and that companies are able to recognize and harness the power of a diverse and inclusive workforce.”