Expert Advisor Network
Uniseed has established a network of advisors who have expertise in different technology domains. These experts and thought leaders assist the fund in its investment selection and assist selected portfolio companies in their strategy, growth and industry connections. Experts cover agricultural biotechnology, medical devices and deep technology and ICT.
Executive Director, Grangeford
Jodie is an Executive Director for Grangeford., an innovative health consultancy where she supports clients ranging from start-ups to large organisations through change and growth agendas. Jodie was a Senior Executive for Strategy and Innovation at Medibank where she initiated many initiatives aimed at improving healthcare over 14 years. Jodie has led large scale national population health programs such as Garrison Health for Australian Defence Force, Disability Medical assessments, CareComplete chronic disease management programs and Medibank@Home virtual home healthcare business.
Jodie is a CPA with a strong commercial background and passion for innovation; having led digital health programs, run hackathons and established innovation mechanisms to accelerate enterprise progress. Jodie is an Industry Mentor at RMIT Online for Healthcare Design and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Innovation and Design Thinking.
Sam Cobb Consulting
Sam has over 20 years’ experience working in the start-up and academic tech transfer environment to a publicly listed biotech company developing a novel biologics platform.
As the founding CEO and Managing Director of AdAlta (ASX: 1AD), Sam saw AdAlta through several transitions over a 12-year period. From start-up to an ASX listing and raising >$30m in equity funding during this time. As a spin out of the Co-operative Research Centre for Diagnostics, Sam saw AdAlta develop an idea from the bench to an advanced lead candidate that is Phase I-ready and secured multiple big pharma and biotech deals with the company’s novel biologics platform.
Prior to AdAlta, Sam was the Business Development Director at the Co-operative Research Centre for Diagnostics. Sam has also worked for the biotech start-up companies Sensologix Inc developing a novel diagnostic platform and Nephrogenix Pty Ltd developing a stem cell therapy for kidney disease. Sam worked for a number of years at the University of Queensland’s technology commercialisation companies Uniquest Pty Ltd and IMBcom Pty Ltd looking at various technologies.
Prior to working in technology commercialisation, Sam worked at the lab bench at Agen Biomedical as a research scientist, developing a diagnostic test for point of care application called Simplify D-dimer. She was involved in taking this product from research through development and to production.
Sam has a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Intellectual Property Law, and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.
Director, Quantum Innovation Fund Management
Tamara Mills is Director of Quantum Innovation Fund Management, a high caliber innovation commercialization organization, supporting the growth and development of the Australasian health innovation ecosystem and facilitating strategic investments in the equity and equity-linked securities of early to mid-stage companies involved in the development of breakthrough medical and healthcare technologies.
Tamara has extensive experience in the commercialization of innovative medical technologies across the United States, Japan, Brazil, Europe and Australia, having held executive level positions within Australia and internationally at both publicly listed and private companies. Tamara has a strong track record in portfolio asset management in the medical device, diagnostics and pharmaceutical space having previously managed the pipeline product investment portfolio for Jubilant life sciences.
Prior to returning to Australia, Tamara built and led the Cardiovascular Business for Jubilant Life Sciences, where she successfully led multiple, medical device, drug/device and diagnostics products through to regulatory approval and commercialization. Tamara also founded and led Canada’s first complex Medical Technology Incubator, connecting investors with top medical innovations and has directed and coached in programs including MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship, CSIRO biomedical launchpad, McGill-X1, Hacking Health and the Australian Health Accelerator. Tamara has a strong passion and drive to accelerate market access of innovations in healthcare, which compliments her background and expertise in global regulatory affairs, health economics and product development.
Tamara has held several board positions in the health technology sector, and she is active in the field of diagnostic and therapeutic technology development, and most recently held the position of Chair of the Health Policy, Regulatory and Reimbursement committee for the North American Industry organization CORAR in addition to holding a key leadership role for the Medical Imaging Technology Alliance. Tamara has an MBA, Masters in Health Economics, a Degree in Applied Nuclear Physics and a qualification in New Ventures Leadership from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MBA, MHEcon, BSc, GAICD).
Tara Croft is a MedTech expert with 15 years’ industry experience, having worked at two of Australia’s successful MedTech companies – ResMed and Nanosonics.
Her wide ranging Med Tech experience includes research, design, development, service, customer engagement, quality, regulatory, product management, marketing, and general management. While at Nanosonics, she was an integral team member, taking the company from IPO to a high performing ASX200 company.
Tara has a genuine interest and track record of identifying opportunities to improve healthcare outcomes and building commercially-viable technology solutions. Academically, she developed and delivers the Biomedical Industry Frameworks subject at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). This comprehensive subject introduces all UTS Biomedical Engineering students to essential aspects of the BioTech industry. Tara also lectures post graduate students in Technology and Innovation Management, focusing on current innovation methodologies and their application from development to commercialisation, to deliver genuine product value.
Additionally, Tara advises early-stage MedTech businesses across design, development, regulatory affairs, quality management and commercialisation strategy. She has a Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Medical Science from UTS, as well as an MBA (Executive) from UNSW.
Director, SGA Solutions
During a 23 year career with Monsanto, David was actively involved in the development and adoption of conservation tillage by Australian farmers and the introduction of Australia’s first agbiotech crops, Ingard® Cotton and Roundup Ready® canola. In 1992, David was the first Australian to be awarded Monsanto’s global Distinguished Development Award for his work in developing the conservation tillage market in Australia.
Since establishing his consulting firm, SGA Solutions in 2006 David has provided independent consulting services to Australian and international clients in the development and implementation of pathway to market strategies for innovative technologies applicable to the grains, horticulture, livestock, forage, forestry and seafood industries.
Between 2008 and 2012, as interim part-time CEO of Farmacule Bioindustries, an agbiotech company focused on plant based proteins and biofuel production, David was responsible for listing the company Leaf Energy (formerly Farmacule Bioindustries. ASX:LER) on the Australian Stock Exchange. More recently he has been working part-time as the R & D Lead for GO Resources which holds the license for commercialising super high oleic safflower which produces a bio-based oleic oil for the global industrial lubricant market.
David provides advice to a number of domestic and international investors who are seeking to invest in agtech opportunities in Australia and New Zealand.
David has been a member of AusBiotech for 15 years, including a six year term as chair of the AgBiotech committee. David is also member of the Australian Seed Federation and Grain Trade Australia. David has been co-opted to participate in the NZ governments Return on Science program and has contributed as a panel member for the Australian Research Council.
David is passionate about the contribution and future of agtech in Australian and New Zealand agriculture and is keen to facilitate these opportunities for Australian SME’s and research institutions within the domestic and international agriculture sector.
Director, Junta Pty Ltd
Peter is a software engineering professional who focuses on delivery of projects to a high level of quality in an effective, efficient manner. He has been in the software industry for 20 years, the last 15 of which have been focused on Enterprise Java solutions using Oracle’s WebLogic family of products. This expertise has led to a continuing role as Senior Principal Consultant at Oracle. Peter has been a Director and Mentor of numerous early stage Software companies over the last 20 years. He has also worked for BEA systems as a Senior Technical Consultant, Sing Technologies as a Technical Lead, Microgenix as the Technical Director and a Developer at Information Dynamics.
Peter is currently the director of Junta Pty Ltd, a 15-year-old boutique consulting company that specialises in applying software engineering and innovation to business opportunities. Junta has worked with Suncorp, Energex, Telstra, NAB and others. The primary role for Junta has been as a software development leader or architect. In addition to running Junta, Peter plays a key role in Queensland’s startup scene.
He is entrepreneur in residence at ilab UQ, River City Labs (RCL), QUT Collider accelerator and Technical Lead for Startup Catalyst which regularly takes groups of entrepreneurs to innovation hubs around the world (i.e. San Francisco, Israel, London). Peter is also mentor in residence at RCL and provides formal mentoring, coaching and training roles at several other accelerators and co-working spaces. Peter is also a sessional lecturer at UQ on innovation.
Director, Nexgen Plants Pty Ltd
Bruce has over 30 years of experience working in agriculture. His career has spanned leadership roles in research & development, alliances and business development in both the private and public sectors.
Previously, from 2013 to 2018 he was CEO of Genective based in Paris, France. Genective is a joint venture undertaking trait research, development and marketing of biotech traits for corn. Prior to that from 2004 to 2013 he was a Director of the Food Futures Flagship at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation [CSIRO] where he directed a group of themes undertaking research programs in the areas of Future Grains and Plant Oil Production, Breed Engineering (beef and aquaculture), Designed Food and Ingredients and Quality biosensors. During his tenure at CSIRO he also had responsibility for major agri-food alliances.
Before joining CSIRO Bruce from 1989 to 2004 held various roles with the seeds businesses of Syngenta, Novartis and Ciba-Geigy based in Basel, Switzerland.
Bruce has a degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Sydney (majoring in agricultural chemistry) and a doctorate in plant nutrition from the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany. He undertook post-doctoral studies at Rothamsted Experimental Station in the United Kingdom.
Managing Director, Colere Group
Paul Meibusch is a creative and focussed business manager with a broad science background. Paul is currently the Managing Director of the Colere Group which offers expert consulting and project management services to a range of organisations in the food, fibre and biotechnology sectors.
Prior to the Colere Group, Paul worked as a Manager of Commercial Technologies at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) for nearly 10 years. At GRDC Paul was responsible for all GRDC investments post-farm gate and in the quality breeding/pre-breeding area for all 25 crops.
Paul was also a founding manager of the Executive team for Seed Solutions – a technology business focussed on the development of innovative seed treatments and costing for the global seed industry. Paul has also been a Product Manager at Lefroy Valley – Crop protection, a territory sales manager at Lefroy Valley Seeds and Agronomist at Growforce in previous roles. These roles have provided Paul over 20 years of experience in leadership, strategy, marketing, product development, business development, research management, commercial operations, technology development and organizational development.
Paul also holds a BRuSci and GradDipEcon (UNE) and MBA (ANU), and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. This formal training, in conjunction with Paul’s previous roles, has led to a deep technical experience across biotechnology, genomics, plant and animal breeding, soils, plant and animal nutrition, pesticides, biochemistry, agricultural engineering, cropping systems, agribusiness, food technology and processing, supply chains, and RD&E strategy.
This unique combination of commercial experience and deep technical knowledge allows enables Paul to bridge the gap between industry, government and research to negotiate projects and commercial deals. Paul has excellent communication and interpersonal skills; including the ability to understand new complex concepts and technologies quickly and present to both specialist and lay audiences. Paul also has extensive experience managing complex and difficult stakeholder relationships; including companies, shareholders, governments, universities, Co-operative Research Centres and industry.
Program Manager, ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems
Michael is the Program Manager of the Translational Research Laboratory at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems. In this role he provides mentoring to researchers who want to become founders, education to centre members on commercialisation opportunities, and constructs opportunities to encourage and facilitate commercialisation of quantum technologies.
Michael has over 15 years’ experience starting and running deep tech startups in Australia and Silicon Valley. He has founded two materials science businesses: XeroCoat in the photovoltaics and solar energy sector, and Brisbane Materials Technology which delivered high performance materials to the LED lighting industry. Both startups were based on commercialising fundamental research from Australian universities and industrial research of their own. Michael’s time with XeroCoat and Brisbane Materials saw them raise >$40M in equity and commercial grant funds, multiple commercial sales, and engage in strategic agreements totalling >$3M. He was also responsible for IP strategy and patent prosecutions, managing prosecution of >30 national phase patents, various trademarks, and other IP assets.
Michael has recruited and managed R&D teams (>20 people each) across multiple sites globally. These teams integrated scientists, technicians, and engineers to translate research into technologies, and technologies into products. He has built five research laboratories, including cleanroom facilities, in Queensland and Silicon Valley and worked closely in multi-year projects with commercial R&D partners in the UK, Europe, China, Japan, and the USA.
Michael studied physics and law, and holds a PhD in optics and materials science. He is the inventor on multiple patents in the fields of optical devices, coating technology, materials science, chemical synthesis, and interference coatings. He has appeared as an expert in optics and materials science at hearings of the European Patent Office, and has acted as an expert witness/consultant on optics, materials testing and analysis for product liability, contract, and patent infringement actions brought at the Queensland Supreme Court and the Australian Federal Court.
Director of Marketing, Medtronic ANZ
James is an experienced Medical Technology executive having held several leadership roles across sales, marketing and business development. James has led the successful operationalisation and commercialisation of new businesses and medical technology including active implantables, software/informatics, capital and consumables across multiple disease states, areas of care and markets.
James is currently Director of Marketing in the Minimally Invasive Therapies Group of Medtronic ANZ. James leads the strategic and operational initiatives of four business units with a combined annual operating plan of $US60M across Respiratory & Patient Monitoring, Gastrointestinal & Hepatology, Renal Care and Retail/Pharmacy. James is the commercial lead for business development opportunities within the Minimally Invasive Therapies Group (ANZ), working with internal stakeholders and founders to identify inorganic growth opportunities. With cross functional colleagues, James led Medtronic’s response in ANZ for ventilators and associated technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included engagement with industry, government and various consortia looking to partner to increase the supply of essential technology. James has previously held positions in sales and account management for Medtronic’s Neuromodulation business, working closely with customers and institutional partners.
James is a mentor to research and higher degree students and also to founders of novel technologies seeking experience and guidance in strategy and commercialisation. James holds a PhD in Medicine from the University of Queensland.
Senior Consultant, Emergo
Mike Skalsky has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and MBA exec from UNSW with a track record in technology and product development for the global markets, with particular expertise in medical technologies and early stage ventures, where he held senior executive and board positions. Several medical device patents were developed into clinically used devices.
He was instrumental in the establishment of the CRC for Cardiac Technology where he was the Deputy Director and Commercial Manager. He co-founded Elastomedic Pty Ltd, which commercialised a CRC-developed medical material for the world market and was subsequently sold to AIM/LSE listed AorTech International.
Mike subsequently founded Sci2Rx Pty Ltd, a product development and commercialisation consultancy to early stage companies and acted as the founding CEO for several of them.
Mike also served as the Managing Director and is currently a Senior Consultant of Emergo, a global regulatory and quality systems consultancy, a subsidiary of the global UL Group.