Entrepreneurial experts and innovation leaders announced as judges for the Australian Innovation Competition

SYDNEY, Aug. 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Alex Blood, Les Delaforce, Anne-Marie Elias, Arron Wood, Catherine Thompson and Fiona Holmstrom have today been announced as judges for the Australian Innovation Competition. The competition aims to support local innovators across all sectors who are creating new ideas and solutions, big and small, to solve society’s biggest challenges.

These judges bring valuable expertise to the competition, assessing entries based on market fit, customer support, and potential impact. They will select five winners representing the best of Australian innovation to win a share in the total prize pool of $150,000.

Head Judge for the Australian Innovation Competition, Alex Blood, is a passionate innovator and collaborator, and a globally experienced public and private sector executive.

“I am delighted to be appointed Head Judge for the Australian Innovation Competition! The strong judging panel, announced today, bring a breadth and depth of experience across so many aspects of the innovation ecosystem, as well as demonstrated success in commercialising ideas,” said Alex Blood.

Les Delaforce is the Head of First Nations Entrepreneurship at the Minderoo Foundation and board director of Startup WA. Anne-Marie Elias is a leader in the innovation, entrepreneur, start-up and tech ecosystem and a two-time TedX speaker. Arron Wood AM is an expert in sustainability, previously serving as the former Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne. Catherine Thompson advises state and federal governments on the opportunities and challenges of digital and emerging technologies.  Fiona Holmstrom, Co-Founder and Director of STEM Punks, believes helping children develop skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will prepare them for a future where they can make a real difference.

“Alex, Les, Anne-Marie, Arron, Catherine and Fiona are leaders in innovation, sustainability and digital disruption. It’s fantastic to have their support to showcase ideas that have the potential to shape the future of Australia and contribute greatly to our society,” said Kylah Morrison, General Manager – Skills and Innovation for Industry Growth Centre METS Ignited who is leading the competition.

“The quality of entries submitted to the Australian Innovation Competition so far has been outstanding and we are particularly thrilled to see interest in the competition from regional areas and typically underrepresented groups,” she said.

Individuals of any age residing in Australia and businesses at all levels of maturity registered in Australia are eligible to enter the Australian Innovation Competition. Entries close on Monday, 31 August 2023.


The Australian Innovation Competition is a one-off celebration of Australian ingenuity that will be open from 29 June to 31 August 2023. The competition is promoted by Industry Growth Centre METS Ignited. Entry is free and open to entrants of all ages, from anywhere in Australia. All entries will be judged individually on their merits, and five winners will be selected by an independent judging panel of Australian Innovation experts, to receive a share in $150,000. Find out more here: https://innovationcompetition.com.au/