Nine Australians to attend President Obama’s 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley

Media Release – June 20, 2016


The U.S. Embassy in Canberra is “chuffed” to announce that nine Australians will attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which will take place June 22-24, 2016 in Palo Alto, California. They will be joining more than 700 entrepreneurs from around the world along with investors, speakers, and leaders in the entrepreneurship space.

Giovanni Basso 

Giovanni wrote and directed the Australian short film drama ‘The Swimmer” in 2013.

Holly Cardew (@hollyccc)

Holly is founder and CEO of Pixc, an on-demand digital image optimization service with offices in Sydney and San Francisco and customers in more than 14 countries. In 2014 and 2015, Holly was been named one of Australia’s top 50 entrepreneurs under 40.

Thomas Dittmar (@bookmemate)

Thomas is founder and director of Bookmemate, a Melbourne-based online business management system or small & medium sized businesses.

Laura Egan (@laurajegan)

Laura is the founder and managing director of Enterprise Learning Projects, a social enterprise that supports remote Aboriginal people who want to explore, develop, and grow their business ideas. In 2010, Laura was named Melbourne’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year. She now lives and works in Katherine, Northern Territory.

Hamish Finlayson (@SuperSnoopyBros, @TripleTASD)

Eleven-year-old Hamish, of Townsville, has developed four mobile apps, including one designed to help both those with autism, like himself, and the general public learn about autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Lino Fusco

A civil engineer by trade, Lino is the CEO of Lifebelt, an Adelaide-based company seeking to bring to the market an innovative seat belt design that reduces chest and abdominal injuries caused by seat belts in motor vehicle accidents.

Shelley Reys AO (@Shelley_Reys)

Shelley is principal and managing director of Arrilla – Indigenous Consultants and Services, which works throughout Australia in collaboration with the government, private and community sectors to enable mutual change and sound partnerships. The Australian Financial Review named Shelley as one of their “100 Women of Influence.”

Christopher Shackleton (@The_Chris_Shack)

Chris is the founder and co-CEO of Canberra-based Rollercoaster Digital, a company dedicated to applying existing everyday technology in new and innovative applications that provide real-world business solutions. Its products include Hive, Jaja, EventStak, and

Igor Stjepanovic (@igor_au)

Igor is the managing director of GIS People, based in Brisbane. One of Australia’s fastest growing geospatial companies, its flagship products are Discover Spatial, an e-learning marketplace, and Gruntify, used for mobile data collection and management.


These innovative entrepreneurs will be joined by high-level U.S. Government officials, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Administrator of the Small Business Administration Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of USAID Gayle Smith, Ambassador at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell, and Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel.

This Summit will be the 7th installment in a series previously hosted by the United States and the governments of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Morocco, and Kenya. In bringing the Summit back to the United States, President Obama highlights his commitment to building bridges that help us tackle global challenges together.

Learn more about the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Join the online conversation using #GES2016, and follow us on Twitter at @ges2016 and Instagram at ges2016.