2011 SA Award
The 2011 SA Pearcey Entrepreneur Award was presented to Matthew Michalewicz at a reception held at InnovateSA Board Room (19 Greenfell Street Adelaide) on Thursday evening, 17 November 2011.
Matthew, Founder and CEO of SolveIT, has pioneered the development of cutting-edge technology to solve complex business problems. He is a person who has demonstrated that he is not only capable of taking risks in starting up and running innovative software companies which have made a significant difference to business but also serves as an inspiration to others to achieve great outcomes. As well Henry Detmold & Mark Fortunatow were recipients of Highly Commended certificates in a tight contest.
Former Ernst & Young management consultant and serial entrepreneur, Matthew Michalewicz has 15 years of hands-on experience in technology commercialisation and supply chain management. He is the co-author of several books and publications, including Adaptive Business Intelligence and Puzzle-Based Learning, which has been adapted into a problem-solving course for universities and corporations across the world.
Matthew is the co-founder of SolveIT Software Pty Ltd, an Australian company specialising in enterprise software solutions for advanced planning & scheduling, supply chain network optimisation, demand optimisation, and predictive modelling.
Prior to co-founding SolveIT Software Pty Ltd with several research organisations and computer scientists, Matthew served as the Chief Executive of a high-tech company in the United States from 1999 - 2003. By raising US$15 million in venture capital and completing 4 multi-million dollar acquisitions, he grew the company to more than 150 employees in 6 international offices.
Matthew’s business and academic achievements have been recognised by numerous publications, including Time Magazine, New York Times, Forbes, Wired Magazine, Business Journal, Associated Press, Ziff Davis, Information Week, NewsWeek, and many others.
Matthew is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Adelaide where he lectures on the subject of commercialisation, a Business Ambassador for the state of South Australia, and a national judge for the Secrets of Australian IT Innovation contest. He serves on several Board of Directors, including the South Australia Tourism Commission and the Independent Panel of Experts for the Intelligent Island Project.
Matthew Michalewicz is a regular keynote speaker on the subjects of personal motivation/success, entrepreneurship, commercialisation, and supply chain management, using personal examples from his diverse client base, including : Rio Tinto, BHP Iron Ore, BMA, Xstrata Copper, ABB Grain (now Viterra), Visy Industries, Incitec Pivot, Foster's Group, PFD Food Services, Ergon Energy, ElectraNet, Amcor, Godfrey Hirst, Pernod Ricard Pacific, ETSA Utilities, Dentsu Corporation, and the Australian Defense Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)
In 2005 – 2011, he spoke at numerous events, conferences, and functions, organised by a wide range of organisations, including: Australian Computer Society (ACS), Adelaide Research and Innovation (ARI), Australian Direct Property Investment Association (ADPIA), Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), American Chamber of Commerce, Australian Interactive Media Industry Association, Colonial First State, Commonwealth Bank, Secrets of Australian IT Innovation, Solution City IT Expo, University of South Australia, University of Adelaide, VC Connect, Venture Capital Board of South Australia, Wine Engineering Association (WEA) and Innovate SA.
Matthew Michalewicz currently serves (or has recently served) on the following boards, panels, and committees:
- Board of Directors of Alcidion Corporation Pty Ltd
- Council of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce
- Board of Directors of the Australian Dance Theatre Ltd
- Judging Panel of the CITCSA Chamber of the Year Awards
- Board of Directors of FinHeuristics Pty Ltd
- Panel of Experts of the Intelligent Island Project
- Board of Advisors of Polish-Japanese Institute of Information Technology
- Judging Panel of the Premier’s Science Excellence Awards
- Judging Panel of the Secrets of Australian IT Innovation Contest
- Board of Directors of SolveIT Software Pty Ltd
- Board of Directors of the South Australian Tourism Commission
- Board of Advisors of UNC-Charlotte Belk College of Business
- Chair Selection Panel for the University of Adelaide
Among his many innovations and activities, Matthew created Technology Mentor to address the educational and mentoring needs of early-stage entrepreneurs. Besides investor contacts and introductions, Technology Mentor provides entrepreneurs with advice, guidance, and motivation during the start-up and fundraising phases of their venture. Technology Mentor participants are placed into groups that are carefully assembled to make sure there are no conflicts of interest. Each group meets once a month, where the participants work together to solve their current issues and challenges.
Technology Mentor is sponsored by BDO Kendalls, The University of Adelaide, InVenture Partners, Madderns Patent & Trademark Attorneys, Minter Ellison Lawyers, Playford Capital, and Venture Capital SA. In addition to these mentoring sessions, the participants also attend exclusive meetings each month to meet venture capitalists and angel investors, interview successful entrepreneurs, practice their sales and investor presentations, and discuss topic-specific issues with domain experts.
"It is essential that the State’s growing and emerging companies are able to source the necessary capital to move to the next stage of their growth. Technology Mentor provides a natural extension of Venture Capital SA’s Equity Ready Program, which assists companies achieve that goal." - Mr Mike Richards: Manager, Venture Capital SA
Unafraid of sharing his experiences and expertise, Matthew has co-written several books that he often gives away to IT and business professionals:
- Adaptive Business Intelligence (the foundation of the software platform used in his ground-breaking SolveIT Software suite of products);
- Puzzle-Based Learning: An introduction to critical thinking, mathematics, and problem solving: The approach taken in this book seeks to address this deficiency by teaching us how to frame and solve “unstructured” problems. Based on a variety of puzzles that are inherently unstructured, this book increases our mathematical awareness and ability to solve difficult problems. Puzzle-based Learning is based on the earlier ideas of Gyorgy Polya and Martin Gardner (among many others), and introduces elements of mathematics, science, and critical thinking. Matthew and his father offer workshops using these principles to help organisations improve their team members’ critical thinking and problem solving capabilities, essential foundations to improving technology take-up as well as breaking old habit patterns and ingrained paradigms that can inhibit technology implementations.
- Winning Credibility: A guide for building a business from rags to riches. Whether you’re an IT entrepreneur, or an employee seeking to improve your effectiveness within your organisation, this guide presents Matthew’s core philosophy and approach to leading a world-class IT organisation.
Matthew also provides a variety of keynote speeches, seminars and workshops on personal motivation/success, entrepreneurship, strategy, commercialisation, and supply chain management for a wide range of IT, academic and other business professionals. Speaking topics include:
- 5 Steps to Success
- Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success
- Unlocking Enterprise Value through Supply Chain Optimisation
- Using Technology to Increase Profits
- Bridging the Gap between Academia and Industry
- Innovation and Commercialisation
The 2011 South Australian Pearcey Award winner was selected from the following outstanding candidates:
- Dr Henry Detmold – currently Research Leader at Univ of Adelaide’s Centre for Visual Technologies and Founder and CTO of Snap Network Surveillance Pty Ltd
- Stephen Dunn – invented and patented a prize winning web based check-in system for hotels and allied applications. Currently commercialising concept after winning a Commercialisation Australia grant
- Mark Fortunatow – co-founder and CEO of publically listed (ASX) MGM Wireless Pty Ltd, a leading provider of school attendance management and social messaging software
- Matthew Michalewicz – serial entrepreneur and co-founder of SolveIT Software specialising in advanced planning & scheduling, supply chain network optimisation, demand optimisation and predictive modelling application software
- Tod Pedlar – serial start up entrepreneur focussed on content management and mobile technologies with latest being Mobile Nation – a mobile publishing platform
- Clint Walker – serial entrepreneur, built visual effects company in Adelaide and sold it in Hollywood (USA) and is now rolling the dice again in Silicon Valley with Run with Robots, a software development platform for on-line games running across the web and mobile devices - all developed in Adelaide
- South Australian Branch of the Australian Computer Society.
- Dr Simon Ronald
- Dr Ross Williams