Australia’s Leading Centre of Innovation Expands & Appoints Executive Kate Eriksson

YBF Ventures

YBF has been Australia’s centre for tech and innovation since 2011. Over the last few years, YBF has built a formidable Executive Leadership Team that has deep experience and expertise in entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, and innovation––and has focused the company on helping startups to scale, scaleups to succeed and corporates to innovate across its unique and far-reaching ecosystem.

In its continued mission to lead innovation for Australia, and help shape the post-coronavirus economy, YBF announces the creation of a new executive role: Chief Program Officer. The role will focus on creating innovation programs that help individuals grow as leaders, as innovators and as economic catalysts for Australia’s growth.

Kate Eriksson, former PwC Partner and Head of Disruption, will join the YBF executive team from September 1, 2020. Kate has spent over twenty years in leadership roles in Europe, Australia, Asia and the United States––spanning growth, strategy, innovation, and customer experience, and building digital capability and ventures.

YBF’s CEO Farley Blackman said, “The Chief Program Officer role will be vital to our efforts in helping Australia tackle the challenges ahead and Kate provides the unique skills and experiences for this key position. We are thrilled that she has accepted our offer to join the YBF Executive Leadership Team.

“We are living through a cosmic shift in the way the world works; while some things have slowed in our society, the awareness that we need to change and be more ready for the future economy has never been more pressing nor more important.

“Our leadership team comes from executive backgrounds at some of the world’s largest and most recognisable companies such as BP, GE, Motorola, and Wesfarmers. It’s fantastic to strengthen our capability further with another talented global leader.”

Kate Eriksson said, “What YBF does is really important for Australia. We have a huge amount of talent and opportunity in Australia, and there’s never been a better time to step up and create and grow businesses that the rest of the world want to experience. As a country, I believe we’re ready to accelerate that speed and courage. I’m excited to be joining YBF’s executive team and to build out programs to ensure innovation is top of the agenda for the nation.”

Kate’s experience incorporates working for and together with some of the world’s largest brands. She co-founded Silicon Valley innovation centre, AT&T Foundry in the US and Israel, and was a founding member of PwC Digital’s leadership team. She has deep technology experience, including 14 years with telecoms giant Ericsson’s mobile ventures, building new business models and platforms used by companies like Twitter and Skype, and she has been active in banking, open banking and fintech.

Kate is a sought-after speaker, not-for-profit board member, advocate for women in technology, and venture founder. She will continue to grow her own startup venture in parallel to her role at YBF.

Blackman added, “Kate’s own startup, speaking engagements and board memberships exemplify our team’s hands-on approach to contributing broadly to Australia’s growth.”

Darcy Naunton, YBF Co-founder & Non-Executive Director said,”As a YBF co-founder, it is thrilling to see the company I started grow from its humble beginnings in 2011 to the centre for tech and innovation that it is today. Kate’s appointment is a big win for the business and continues the emphasis we started several years ago in acquiring unique top-tier talent to push the business forward.”

Mike Smith OBE, Former ANZ CEO and current YBF shareholder and adviser said,”The appointment of Kate Eriksson to YBF’s Executive Leadership Team is a testament to YBF’s mission to lead from the front, pulling in top global talent to drive the company’s focused strategy on innovation and growth for the betterment of Australia’s tech ecosystem.”


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