Nicole Cook

CEO, SBE Australia

Recently appointed as the CEO for SBE Australia, Nicole is responsible for leading SBE Australia through its next phase of growth as it continues its mission to accelerate and support women founders through programs, resources and a highly valuable network of global industry experts.

A passionate and experienced thought leader, She is committed to driving innovation through growing Australian businesses in order to transform industries, create jobs and advance the workforce of the future. Cook has held senior executive roles within startups that grew to be global powerhouses, is a trusted management consultant and has deep expertise in developing technology solutions.

Prior to Jobs for NSW being integrated into NSW Treasury, Nicole was appointed CEO of Jobs NSW in September 2018. After commissioning the monumental Jobs of the Future Report in 2015, Jobs for NSW initially focussed on backing job creation through support for startups and SMEs in both regional and metro areas. Funding also led to the establishment of the Sydney Start-up Hub, the regional innovation network and the AgTech Cluster in Armidale.

Nicole originated her involvement in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Boston, MA prior to moving to Sydney with her family over 15 years ago. After landing in Sydney, she joined Australian based startup HRX Pty Ltd in 2006 as the Head of Client Services for the technology business, becoming Managing Director, APAC in 2016 after the business was sold to global recruitment outsourcing company PeopleScout Pty Ltd in 2014. Prior to joining PeopleScout, she worked as an executive in Boston based startups, Celarix Inc and Nexus Energy Software.

Nicole also has a background in software engineering having worked as a consultant at CSC Consulting in Boston and a background in management consulting having worked for PWC in Washington DC with federal government and defence clients.

Nicole is passionate about innovation, growing businesses that can make a difference to our communities and addressing the changing nature of the workforce as job augmentation and reskilling become a reality. A graduate of the Catholic University of America, Nicole also has a senior executive MBA from Melbourne Business School where she won the 2016 scholarship for Women in Management. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute Of Company Directors, a Certified Advisory Board Chair through the Advisory Board Centre and serves as a Non-Executive Director for AMA Group Ltd where she chairs the People, Culture, Rem and Nominations (PCRN) Committee.