Meet our 2020 SBE by Springboard Enterprises Life Sciences Cohort

Meet our 2020 SBE by Springboard Enterprises Life Sciences Cohort

We're so excited to announce the 2020 SBE by Springboard Enterprises Life Sciences Cohort. 

With the happenings in the world this year, we know that now is absolutely the time for incredible females to solve the complex health and science problems we face. We're so thrilled to be working with 7 females who are doing just that. 

The program will be run in a virtual format, with a bootcamp intensive element, coupled with an advisory element. The program allows for global experts and mentors to work closely with the participants at all levels. 

The participants this year not only hail from all over Australia, we also have one participant from across the ditch in New Zealand. 

Please meet the 7 incredible women. 

Susan Evans, Founder and CEO, Alyra Biotech

Dr Susan Evans is a Gynaecologist, Laparoscopic Surgeon and Pain Physician from Adelaide. She isFounder and Chair of the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia, Co-Author of the PPEP-Talk schools program, and has recently submitted her PhD investigating the mechanisms behind female pelvic pain. She is Founder and CEO of Alyra Biotech Pty Ltd. developing novel management options for the management of pelvic pain. Susan is passionate about helping girls and women with pelvic pain achieve their full potential. 

Alyra Biotech is an early stage, bio-pharma company developing a novel, first-in-class, non-opioid, neuro-immune, medicated intrauterine device to treat pain in women. Our device combines long acting contraception, with a low dose, re-purposed, neuroimmune modulating drug with known safety data in humans to de-risk investment. Our product allows women to maintain their natural hormonal cycle, and minimize the risk of adverse effects. Alyra Biotech is guided by a world class Advisory Board and our close collaboration with women affected by pain. 


Sheridan Gho, Co-Founder and Director, Cenofex Innovations

Sheridan Gho, PhD is a founder and the CEO of Cenofex Innovations, a medical device company revolutionising the management of lymphoedema. With over 10 years experience in social, health, and biomechanical research, Sheridan is the company lead in clinical research, customer relations and business management. She is responsible for the day-to-day running of Cenofex Innovations, and creatively executing the company’s larger strategic vision. In 2018 Sheridan led the company team in raising $1.5M from the NSW Medical Devices Fund. 

Cenofex Innovations is an early stage start-up company focused on the development of a wearable medical device that can effectively manage lymphedema when and where a patient needs it. This unique, innovative technology will transform lymphedema treatment and return freedom and functionality to the millions of patients living with this debilitating condition. 


Dr. Tara Karnezis, CEO and Managing Director, Gertrude Biomedical 

Dr. Karnezis has over 15 years’ experience in research leadership, heading scientific programs with commercial application at Stanford University, Peter Mac, and SVI. She is an expert in vascular biology with an internationally significant track record including publications in Nature, Cancer Cell, and Nature Neuroscience. Dr. Karnezis authored the seminal Nature paper that described Sox18 as the master-regulator of lymphatic vessel development. In addition to experience with target identification and validation, she has been involved in identifying druggable targets related to the interaction of vascular biology and oncology. Tara has a PhD from La Trobe University and is currently undertaking an MBA from the University of Melbourne. 

At Gertrude Biomedical, they are targeting blood vessel growth in developing new drugs for untreatable cancers. Gertrude Biomedical is developing innovative small molecule inhibitors that switch off the abnormal blood vessel development, which is responsible for the growth and spread of many poorly treated cancers. They will achieve this by targeting a transcription factor SOX18 –a key driver of aberrant blood vessels in rare cancers- Kaposi Sarcoma and Angiosarcoma -for which there is limited therapeutic hope. 


Dr. Louise Metcalf, Founder and CEO, Gheorg

Dr. Louise Metcalf is a psychologist of almost 30 years and a Mum, she has been an international consultant on mental health and has worked with the United Nations on connections between mental health and natural environment. Now she is a psychologist in private practice and the founder of Gheorg.

Gheorg is the little robot (app) who helps kids with anxiety. 

Claire Leach, Co-Founder and CEO, HATCH Biosystems 

Claire is one of Australia's most experienced and knowledgeable ‘insect farmers’, having trained with experts in the US. She founded HATCH to develop a way of using insects to ‘recycle’ food waste at scale. Claire’s passion for solving Australia’s food waste challenge piqued while she was Director of Development with food rescue charity FareShare. Previously Claire was a consultant with Accenture and an executive headhunter in London. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Melbourne. 

HATCH recycles food waste otherwise destined for landfill. Using Black Soldier Fly larvae, we turn food waste into protein-rich feed for livestock, and organic fertilizer – with over 70% less CO2 emissions than composting. HATCH is committed to a sustainable, zero waste food system in Australia. With our industry partners, we aim to be processing over 20,000 tonnes of food waste within the next three years. 


Veronica Stevenson, CEO and Founder, Humble Bee

Veronica is the founder and CEO of Humble Bee, she has a BSc in Reproductive Anatomy and Structural Biology and a Masters in Science Communication. Her master's thesis detailed the methods used to reduce the Research to Implementation Gap. She is skilled at pulling academic research into alignment with market needs, forming multidisciplinary teams and translating technical outcomes into business strategy. Her unique skill set has been sought out by academics, and investment committees to help shape value propositions and strategic storytelling for applied research. 

Humble Bee is building a platform process to validate high value natural biomaterials, and then designing manufacturing microbes using synthetic biology and bioengineering to reproduce these biomaterials at scale. Our case study is a bioplastic produced by an Australian solitary bee that has properties that are valuable to fabrics & finishings segments in the textiles market. 


Linda Simonsen, Founder and CEO, Kleu

Linda founded frontline employee recruitment & development consultancy FuturePeople in 2002. It grew to ~$20M annual revenue and was recognized for technology innovation and best practice on a global scale. Having observed both the business and social impact of front line employee stress, Linda invested in research to find a solution, which led to her founding Kleu in 2018 to address this growing problem. Linda is tertiary qualified in HR and Psychology. 

Kleu is a digital business that emotionally equips frontline employees to engage with customers without the stress.