Diversity underpins the success of OneVentures, which was founded in 2010. The founding team’s various backgrounds are evidence of this. Founding Partner and Managing Director Dr Michelle Deaker has PhD in Applied Science, as well as significant experience as a technology entrepreneur and investor. Co-founder, venture partner and director Anne-Marie Birkill also has a science qualification and an MBA; and broad experience in technology commercialisation across the public and private sectors. Founding Partner Dr Paul Kelly is a physician and serial biotechnology entrepreneur with global experience experience in developing and commercialising biomedical innovations . OneVentures has benefitted from the diverse career histories of its senior leadership teams.
“I’ve always worked in the field of translation of research. Early in my career I worked for private companies in the field of plant biotechnology, developing new cultivars of food foliage and forestry crops and taking those new products into global markets. Subsequently I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs helping them translate their discoveries into products and services and, ultimately, companies that are successful in the market,” says Birkill.
One of the “OG”s of the Queensland innovation ecosystem, she has worked across the spectrum – leading commercial teams in the private sector, supporting entrepreneurs, assisting government and working to translate university research.
“I ran an incubator for five years in Brisbane then moved into the investment space about 12 years ago when we launched One Ventures’ first early stage investment fund. We now have more than $600 million in funds under management and invest invest across three pillars – technology growth, healthcare and venture credit.”
Birkill was always interested in how science could provide solutions to wicked problems, which has matured into thinking about how science can help us move away from an economy that’s reliant on finite resources to one that taps the infinite resources of our collective intellect - a knowledge economy.
“To achieve this transition it’s really important to include people with diverse backgrounds and experiences.”
Diversity has been a priority at OneVentures from the firm’s inception. “We have a fifty-fifty split between males and females in the business and there are more women than men in the investment team. There is also a mix of people of different ages, from different educational and ethnic backgrounds, in the business,” she adds.
Diversity in the investment portfolio is also a priority. “Many of our companies are led, founded or co-founded by women. That diversity is evident across their leadership teams and boards.”
OneVentures also has diversity protocols and policies across the business. “We think it's really important to the success of our business to have that diversity within our teams and to celebrate it. If we ensure equity and inclusion across all our practices, we know diversity will follow.”