Pitching Competition Judges 

Biography: David Burt is an experienced commercial advisor and the current Director of Entrepreneurship at UNSW. In this role David leads the team that helps UNSW students, academics and alumni turn their ideas and science into new companies.

Outside of his role at UNSW David is a Non-Executive Director at RapidAIM, a signal processing startup that is building a global real time dataset of pest insects. David is also a commercial advisor to Silentium Defence, a global leader in the design and deployment of passive surveillance systems. David also currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the board of Australia’s leading environmental non-profit, the Planet Ark Environmental Foundation, and Australia’s leading startup incubator Cicada Innovations.

David has previously led research commercialisation at the CSIRO where he founded and built the “ON Program” technology accelerator to national scale and helped Australian scientists attract over $100M to commercialise their research. Prior to this David has also worked in strategy for CSIRO, in financial services at KPMG and lectured in strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Sydney.

Biography:  Clarence Tan founded Origgin, a deep tech venture creator for IHLs and RIs.  It was established in 2017 to fund and aid in venture creation in the region. Clarence helps startups from China, Japan and S’pore to innovate and transform, or even accelerate their business expansion plans into SE Asia.

Since 2016, Clarence has been a director of STT Connect, a private cloud provider and a JV between STT GDC. (wholly-owned by S’pore Technologies Telemedia) and Origgin. He has also been a director of ICMG Singapore Pte Ltd and a management consultancy company offering M&A services to Asian and Japanese enterprises.  Prior to this, he is the founder of GlobalRoam Group Ltd, a company that provides Infocomm Tech to the Telcos in SE Asia between 2001 till 2016.

Clarence is a serial entrepreneur who started several tech start-ups since 1993. He was the Founder and CEO of Pinnz from 1994 to 2000, a company which specialized in VoIP and the first in the region during 90’s.  The company had over 230 employees globally. Pinnz was valued at S$450m in year 2000 which was considered the “unicorn” during that time.

Biography:  Dr. Maren Schweizer serving as CEO, is leading SCHWEIZER’s international growth capital arm which is building a portfolio of businesses in South East Asia in the domains of Electronics, Advanced Manufacturing, Mobility, Clean Energy and Digital Ecosystems.  She has more than 20 years of professional experience in the Electronics, Automotive, Investment Management, Insurance, and Aviation industry.  Experience of more than 15 years as a board member of public listed companies in Germany and Japan.  

A qualified engineer with a master of science in production technology and a doctorate in economics.  Vast knowledge within technical fields such as power electronics, chip-embedding, advanced manufacturing, predictive data analytics and cybersecurity.

Ten years of experience in Asian countries and regions such as Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, China and Indonesia and 10+ years of experience in Europe.

Biography: Dr Negar Ghourchian, VP R&D and AI director, received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from McGill University, and her field of study was Machine Learning Applications in Modeling Human Activities and Behavior. She is inventor of several patent families and scientific publications in AI/ML/Signal processing/Human-Computer Interactions/Context-aware computing fields.

Negar is responsible for the development of innovative research and AI strategies at Aerial. She has more than 10 years’ experience as a senior researcher and machine learning scientist. Empowered by her academic knowledge and close relationships with top-tier universities and researchers in the field, she has been able to ensure successful technology transfer from R&D into the company’s product.

Biography: Dr Ladan Golshanara is a co-founder and the tech lead of TONZ, a startup that has developed technology to do real time audio processing using deep learning. She is a machine learning and data researcher with a PhD in computer science from SUNY Buffalo.  Since arriving in Montreal she has been on winning teams of two AI hackathons held at Concordia University and MILA. 

She has also been training her personal organic neural networks on fascinating and useful problems such as communicating in the French language and discovering optimal vertical ascent paths on various climbing walls located throughout the city.