Our Team


Peter Devine


Peter Devine has been CEO of Uniseed since 2006. Peter has extensive experience at board and executive management levels in the commercialisation of early stage technologies, having held senior R&D, business development and commercialisation positions in a number of Australian companies and Australian universities.  Before joining Uniseed, Peter was Vice President of Business Development at Progen Industries Ltd.  He was Research, Development and Commercialisation Manager at Brisbane-based PanBio Pty Ltd from 1996 to 2000 and also worked in business development at UniQuest Pty Ltd.

Peter holds a PhD from the University of Queensland and received the Dean’s Prize for his MBA Studies at the Australian Graduate School of Management.  He received a Centenary Medal in 2003 for outstanding contribution to the business of biotechnology.  He is a Graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Markets) and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance from Kaplan Professional. In 2011 & 2012, Peter was named on the Kaplan High Achievers Honour Roll.

In 2018, Peter was named No.5 on the Global University Venturing Powerlist as one of those changing the face of university venturing.

Interview with Peter – March 2019

Laura Droessler – Dansie

Investment Manager - Technology, Sydney

Laura is Uniseed’s Tech Investment Manager based in Sydney. Laura is an experienced technology transfer professional, having worked in university commercialisation and entrepreneurship settings at UNSW in Australia and the University of Oxford in the UK, including overseas development programmes via the UK Newton Fund in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering. Most recently she acted as Senior Business Development and Commercialisation Manager at UNSW, where she led the Physical Sciences Team developing collaboration and translational activities across the Faculty of Science.

Laura holds a PhD in Materials Science from the University of Oxford.

John Kurek

Investment Director - Biotechnology, Melbourne

John is responsible for working closely with the University of Melbourne’s Research, Innovation and Commercialisation group (RIC), in identifying new investment opportunities, and also covers Uniseed’s overall biotechnology opportunities.

John brings extensive industry experience as a Biotechnology Director with a focus on the strategic design and implementation of drug development programs. John’s previous roles have included Pharmaceutical Development Manager at BioDiem Ltd, where he was responsible for managing the preclinical, clinical and regulatory aspects of BioDiem’s drug development programs, and Preclinical Development Manager at Amrad Corporation Ltd where he was responsible for the management of preclinical drug development projects. His experience extends from drug discovery, to the phase I-II clinical phases of drug development. John has a PhD in Neuroscience and a Post Graduate Diploma in Drug Evaluation and Pharmaceutical Science, both from the University of Melbourne and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Interview with John – March 2019

Liza Yeo

Investment Manager - Biotechnology, Sydney

Liza has extensive experience in clinical development. She was previously Director of Business Development at Contract Research Organisation (CRO) Parexel for over 6 years. During this time, she worked closely with Biotech clients to support them with their clinical development plans. She was also responsible for managing global clinical trials across a range of therapeutic areas, including trials involving some of the newer technologies such as cell therapies. Prior to this, Liza worked for Roche as well as CROs Quintiles and INC Research. She is a trained Pharmacist. 

Jeffrey Bourne

Investment Manager - Technology, Melbourne
Jeffrey is Uniseed’s Investment Manager, Technology based in Melbourne working closely with the University of Melbourne and Monash University. He has worked for over a decade on and with new and early stage ventures in the financial services, food and agriculture, and defence sectors. During his corporate career, he has led new product and service development and re-design projects, and business re-engineering projects for top Australian and global companies including Vanguard Investments, AXA, ANZ Bank, and Telstra. Jeffrey earned a Bachelor of Engineering from The University of Queensland, an MBA from Melbourne Business School, and a Graduate Certificate of Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship.


Rhiannon Black

Paul Butler

Investment Director - Technology, Brisbane

Paul Butler is Uniseed’s Investment Director based at UQ. Paul is an experienced General Manager who has led and developed teams in a technology domain across the communications, medical and mining industries. Prior to Uniseed Paul was CEO at Serene Medical, CEO at SmartCap Technologies, Executive General Manager Products at GroundProbe and CEO of ASX listed USCOM. Paul was previously an Investment Manager at Uniseed in Sydney and also started his own consulting business, CEO Alliance, to support technology companies as they navigate their way to commercialisation having market experience in Australia, Europe and the USA.

Paul is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and with qualifications in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor of Economics, he has been able to develop and bring new products to market. Through various roles Paul has had liaison with customers via direct and indirect sales, government health systems, contract manufacturers (domestic, Asian and USA), third party logistics providers, distribution channels and financial auditors. 

Interview with Paul – June 2020


Richard Symons

Chief Financial Officer

Richard is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years experience in public practice and commercial roles for both listed and unlisted entities. Richard has acted as either CFO or financial controller in businesses spanning a wide range of industries including funds management and investment, research and development, consulting, media, retailing, manufacturing, and agriculture.