Adelaide’s medical, education, green-tech and transport industries are bursting with talent with InDaily’s 40 Under 40 winners, Lauren Giorgio, Louka Parry, Marion Vigot and Matthew Draper.
Lauren Giorgio is a scientist, company executive and entrepreneur who’s on a mission to help commercialise innovative new technologies to improve the health of the community.
The COO of GPN Vaccines said she had built her career on identifying opportunities from academic research and assembling teams and strategies to drive commercialisation across the pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic and digital health sectors.
Prior to her role with GPN Vaccines, Giorgio spent four years in Melbourne where she worked on projects for The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Centre for Eye Research Australia. During this time, she assisted with a landmark anti-cancer treatment Venetoclax deal, worth more than AUD$400 million.
She also co-founded the Women in Leadership Development Program.
The initiative scored a $176,000 Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship grant from the Federal Government to help provide young female leaders in STEM with board training, mentorship and executive leadership skills.
In 2019 Giorgio joined GPN Vaccines.
Working closely with The University of Adelaide, the company is developing a new, broad-spectrum pneumococcal vaccine with the potential to save millions of lives each year.
Giorgio said she planned to take on more board positions to help guide start-up companies through the early stages of their development.
Former South Australian school teacher and principal Louka Parry is making a global impact with his education consultancy company The Learning Future, helping organisations and schools across the world transform their learning experience.
Parry, who speaks five languages and has worked on every continent, founded The Learning Future in 2019 to design education for companies, upskill teachers and student leaders, and offer advice to government.
He is also the Executive Founder of Karanga Global; an education management company focused on promoting equitable social-emotional learning and life skills.
Parry became one of South Australia’s youngest school principals at the age of 27, leading a school in the small Aboriginal community of Mimili in the APY Lands.
His life in education has seen him work with the OECD, the EU, the World Bank and UNESCO.
Despite his wealth of global experience, Parry says his “heart is in SA” and he enjoys mentoring student leaders across South Australia through the annual National Student Leadership Summit.
He was recently appointed to the board of Green Adelaide to help the city become more sustainable and climate resilient.
French entrepreneur and community leader Marion Vigot is helping South Australia transition away from single-use plastics with her innovative startup Mister Rye.
Her company, which manufactures recyclable straws from agricultural by-product, has the ambitious goal of replacing the 10 million plastic straws Australia uses each day with a local, traceable alternative.
The startup currently sources its rye from grain farmers in South Australia’s Riverland, providing an additional source of income for farming families doing it tough.
Mister Rye is also the first company to manufacture straws from 100 per cent local sources, with the rest of Australia’s straw imports coming from Asia.
Vigot said she co-founded the green-tech startup in 2019, after seeing huge amounts of plastic littered across Australia’s tourist hotspots.
With South Australia becoming the first state to introduce a single-use plastics ban, Vigot’s business idea comes at an opportune time as local retailers begin their transition to recyclable alternatives.
Vigot emigrated to Australia in 2018 after selling her Vietnam-based startup Ma Belle Box, a first of its kind beauty box subscription company.
She also sits on the board of Startup Adelaide and is the coordinator of La French Tech Australia, bringing together key figures in the South Australian startup ecosystem.
Matthew Draper founded logistics company Deliver It when he was 19 years old. He said wanted to provide a friendly professional flower distribution network throughout Adelaide.
What began as one lone truck has expanded into one of South Australia’s largest specialised transport companies, with a fleet of 27 vehicles and 35 employees.
In the 18 years since starting the company, Draper said the business had experienced year on year growth, which was hindered only by expanding too quickly.
Three years ago, Draper said he restructured the business to help it grow into a large commercial enterprise with a goal to maximise profits.
He said the company’s fast expansion allowed Deliver It to take out 15th place in the BDO 2019 Fast Movers Awards and the top spot for the highest employment growth in SA in the same year.
2020 has been a challenging year for Deliver It. Draper said the company had lost all of its business on Kangaroo Island as a result of the bushfires.
Shortly after, Draper said he was once again forced to restructure the business in a bid to keep staff employed and maintain assets in the wake of the coronavirus.
Despite the challenges, Draper said he was committed to growing the opportunities for South Australia and helping the hospitality industry grow stronger than ever before.
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