2020 Pearcey Entrepreneur Award

25 November 2020 Via Zoom

Grant PettyGrant Petty

The 2020 Pearcey National Entrepreneur Award was presented to Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design. The national award gives prominence to one of this year's State Pearcey winners for inspiring leadership, scale, impact, innovation and acclaim on the world stage.

Grant Petty

In presenting the award, Rick Harvey (Chief Judge, Pearcey Foundation) said, "Grant grew up in a small Victorian country town and from an early age he was fascinated by electronics, computers, software and audio visual. He started Blackmagic Design as a side project in 2002 which has now grown to become an international digital cinema company with more than $600m in revenues, a head office and manufacturing facilities in Melbourne and another 1000 employees worldwide. Blackmagic software and equipment is used for broadcasting, live streaming, editing, special effects and sound engineering, and BlackMagic technology has been behind many Oscar-winning movies over the years. Grant has been instrumental in putting Australian ingenuity and technology at the forefront of the international audio-visual industry."

2020 State Entrepreneur Awards



Brief Description


Shane Hill

Shane Hill+Kate Lundy fmr Senator

Founder & CEO Skoolbo.

Former teacher and passionate eLearning pioneer. In 2002 founded Scaffold Education which became 3P Learning and grew to 100 staff across four continents and famous for Mathletics, World Maths Day and Spellodrome. In 2010 Shane also founded Skoolbo which has grown to produce a suite of educational programs covering reading, writing, numeracy, language, science, art, music and brain games. Programs created by Shane have resulted in over 500 million learning hours.  As a child Shane's claim to fame was that he gained 4th place in the World Under 14 Chess Championship. Advisory Board Member of the Canberra Innovation Network.

More details - 2020 ACT Award

NSW Jamila Gordon

Jamila Gordon

Founder & CEO, Lumachain

Jamila had a tough childhood in Somalia and Kenya. At 18 she came to Australia where she learned English (TAFE) programming/IT (La Trobe Uni) then on to IBM (Europe) and to CIO of Qantas and CIMIC. In 2018 she founded Lumachain, partnered with Microsoft and raised $3.5m.  Lumachain is a technology platform that uses AI to trace global food supply chains to ensure high-quality, ethically-produced products from farm to fork.

More details - 2020 NSW Award
Qld Nick Therkelsen-Terry

Nick Therkelsen Terry 2

CEO and Co-Founder, Max Kelsen and CongnitiveCX

Nick is an AI and ML (machine learning) expert. His consultancy, Max Kelsen helps businesses with complex analysis and optimisations e.g. Domino's Pizza (cognitive rostering), Metro North Hospital and Health Service (analysing patient records) and QIMR Berghofer (analysing skin cancer pathology). Recently awarded a $2.6 million CRC-P grant for AI and Genomics to predict cancer treatement. Also involved in quantum computing.

More details - 2020 Queensland Award.

SA Dr Michelle Perugini

Dr Michelle Perugini

Co-founder and CEO of Presagen and Life Whisperer.

Michelle's early career was in medical research looking at genetic markers in predicting leukemia treatment response. She started her entrepreneurial journey as a co-founder of AI company ISD Analytics in 2007 that was acquired by E&Y in 2015. Michelle is now the Co-Founder and CEO of Presagen (founded in 2016), an AI Healthcare company focussed on building scalable AI products for women's health, which has grown to have offices in Adelaide, SFO and London. Their first product, Life Whisperer (AI Enhanced Fertility) is approved for use in 2/3rds of the global market, and is being sold in 5 countries. Presagen also has a second product related to genetic detection entering the market. In Industry, Michelle is a sought after advisor, mentor, panellist, speaker, and Committee Member on the Australian Commonwealth Research & Development Incentives Committee.

More details - 2020 SA Award.

Tas Mike Cruse

Mike Cruse

Founder and CEO, Definium Technologies

Mike grew up in Launceston and was forever immersed in electronics projects. After working as a software developer in Melbourne, Mike moved to Silicon Valley and co-founded a smart grid startup which raised US$15m in funding before ultimately being acquired by Cisco. In 2010, Mike founded Definium Technologies and came back to Tasmania to painstakingly build a state-of-the-art automated electronics manufacturing and assembly facility. Mike is strong supporter of schools and local universities.

More details - 2020 Tasmanian Award.

Vic Grant Petty

Grant Petty

Founder and CEO, Blackmagic Design

Grant grew up in Numurkah with few comforts. From an early age he was fascinated by electronics, computers, software and audio visual. Grant started Blackmagic as a side project in 2002 when he was working as a post production engineer and started to question the high price tag of the video technology. Since then he has grown Blackmagic Design to become an international digital cinema company with $600m in revenues, 350 staff in Melbourne and another 1000 worldwide. Blackmagic software and equipment is used for broadcasting, live streaming, editing, special effects, sound engineering and, in Hollywood, BlackMagic technology was behind 5 of the 8 films nominated for Oscars in 2019.

More details - 2020 Victorian Award.

WA Greg Riebe

Greg Riebe

Co-founder of Entrepreneurs in Residence Pty Ltd

Greg is VC adviser, tech entrepreneur, mentor and angel investor. He founded his company in 2000 and has helped over 400 emerging technology companies with advice, capital raising, deal structuring, business development, and exit management. He is on many Boards with several as chairman. He is co-founder/immediate Past Chairman of Perth Angels and Founder/Past Chair of eGroup WA Association. Greg has a Masters in International Business from Murdoch University and Bachelor of Information Processing from Curtin University.

More information

ACT: Shane Hill, Founder of 3P Learning and founder and CEO of Skoolbo.

NSW: Jamila Gordon, Founder and CEO of Lumachain.

QLD: Nick Therkelsen-Terry, Co-founder and CEO of Max Kelsen.

SA: Dr Michelle Perugini, Co-founder and CEO of Preagen and Life Whisperer.

TAS: Mike Cruse, Founder and CEO of Definium Technologies.

VIC: Grant Petty, Co-founder and CEO of Blackmagic Design.

WA: Greg Riebe, Co-founder of Entrepreneurs in Residence.