Meet the experts




Mentors with expertise in traceability, logistics, entrepreneurship/startup, policy, technology and more. 



Petr Adamek

CEO of Canberra Innovation Network (CBRINbusiness incubation expert with international experience, ex-GM of KILN incubator, experience with incubating agtech startups from Hamilton, New Zealand (ex-business growth manager and Acting CEO of a business incubator, 2013 and 2014 MC for National Agricultural Fieldays Innovation Den and program delivery manager for the same events), worked with a number of AgTech startups as their incubation coach. Petr is lead author of several novel lean strartup tools published at




Liz Kobold

Liz has over 18 years experience in developing business, mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs and innovators through the business journey from pre-acceleration, acceleration to re-igniting and support innovation and growth in ambitious high growth SMEs. Liz's experience extends across commercial banking, cash flow finance, co-founding a start-up, business advisor for Enterprise Connect and the Innovation Network. Liz has worked with around 1000 businesses in Canberra and the region working through business fundamentals, pitching, collaborative opportunities and innovation activities.




Arthus Pappas
Arthur is a startup generalist with a passion for working with early stage companies to get them growing quickly. Every year, Arthur meets hundreds of entrepreneurs, who are just beginning their startup journey, and empowers them to find their feet and excel through: introductions to experts, coaching sessions, and pathways to funding. Arthur manages the GRIFFIN Accelerator and Innovation Connect Grant programs, both of which have provided early stage entrepreneurs with critical funding and support.




Irene Zhen
Irene is the service design expert and lean innovation and launchpad services associate of the growth programs of CBRIN will provide support and coordination of other experts and follow up with teams when necessary.  Irene has a strong experience working with technology companies as a consultant.



Zachary Sequoia
Zachary has been a part of the Melbourne and Sydney creative and startup scene working as a Creative Director and Innovation Director for a number of local ventures.  He has founded 2 successful digital agencies (Melbourne and Canberra) and has co founded 2 successful startup companies (Melbourne and Bega). He is an advisor and board member for a number of startups and has both been a speaker as well as published on the topics of innovation and leadership. Obsessed with usability and digital disruption, Zachary’s expertise is in pure creative UI design for web and mobile applications as well as incubation level UX and innovation consultancy within the tech startup space. 



Dr. Khimji Vaghjiani
Head of the Harbour City Labs in Sydney assisting and mentoring promising Australian deep-tech scale-ups to think global. Previously, a Consultant at the NSW - Data Analytics Centre, managing a range of projects looking at commercialisation of data and digital assets. He has Project, Programme & portfolio & leadership experience spanning 31 years of enabling ICT / technology / R&D / Innovation in large corporate’s, SME’s, University’s, Government and 4 start-up’s, as well as an entrepreneurial mentor, and business advisor to emerging SME’s.



Peter Carter

Peter is a partnership broker, innovator and passionate advocate for digital transformation in industry and government. He has lead CSIRO|Data61 National Digital Missions focused on supply chain integrity and food provenance, and joined GS1 Australia to direct new business and innovation activity through industry collaboration and support for the adoption of global standards.


Will Schmitt

Will Schmitt is the co-founder of Open2Innovate, an Australian boutique innovation consultancy. Will is an innovation expert (specializing in open innovation, entrepreneurial ecosystems programming and policy, social innovation, networked innovation and public-private partnerships for global development and government policy). With over a decade of experience advising governments and private sector clients on designing innovation strategies and programs and encouraging a culture of innovation and change within their organizations. 





A panel of experts will be reviewing the solutions presented on day 2. Judges will consider key criteria, including:


  • Potential for systemic impact in NSW’s food/agriculture system
  • If this solution/proposal is afforded the support it needs over time, does it stand a strong chance of adoption and impact at a scale that will make a significant impact on NSW’s food and agriculture system?
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Does the solution/proposal offer cost and time savings advantages for one or more major participants in agricultural and/or food supply chains?
  • Feasibility 
  • Does the solution/proposal offer a strong possibility of timely advancement to implementation/market?
  • Does the proposed team and approach have the requisite capabilities to develop and implement the solution?
  • Fit with DPI NSW strategic priorities and capabilities (including via the GATE incubation program)
  • Is the solution/proposal a strong fit with DPI’s priorities and capabilities as described above? (I.e. Is DPI well positioned to work in partnership with the team behind this submission to help it succeed?)




The NSW DPI team bring over 60 combined years of experience in agriculture, policy, design thinking, start up science and commercialisation.



 Do you want to be a mentor? 


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