Petr Adámek

Petr Adámek is a very interesting ex-pat, who currently lives in Canberra. He has spent the last 10 years in both New Zealand and Australia working in innovation. He talked with us about how he ended up in Canberra and shared his insights and experience from life down under.

Petr Adámek is no stranger to innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth. He is an expert in the field, with over 25 years of international experience in building connected innovation ecosystems that support companies to innovate and grow.

His innovation journey began in the Czech Republic, where he received his Master in Computer Science from the Czech Technical University in Prague in 1997, focusing on technical cybernetics and artificial intelligence.

In 1999 he co-founded a niche consulting company specialising in strategic planning, investment attraction, innovation and business growth. Over the next 10 years Petr established himself in the field of economic development and innovation, having started or led the delivery of several key innovation initiatives in the Czech Republic, as well as developing and managing complex projects across Europe and in Asia.

Over the last 10 years, he has brought his innovative experience to the lands of the Antipodeans – New Zealand and Australia. In 2009, Petr relocated down under to New Zealand, where he started a branch of his consulting company and kept on going down the path of innovation. He first delivered a scoping study for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise analysing the export and innovation potential of the ICT industry in the Waikato region. In 2010 he joined the team at SODA Inc., a business incubator in Hamilton, where he was responsible for the design and management of delivery of business growth programs for the incubator client start up and scale up companies.

It was Petr’s strategy as acting CEO in 2014 that helped the incubator raise $1.5 million in funding from Callaghan Innovation. Petr also co-founded an annual business startup competition that became the largest privately funded innovation competition in New Zealand and is now delivered under the brand of NZ Startup Bootcamp by SODA Inc.

In 2014, Petr left New Zealand, having left a lasting mark on the innovation scene, and moved to Australia with his family, settling in the nation’s capital. There he joined the team at the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN), starting out as the Director of Programs and General Manager of the KILN incubator. Over the years he worked on a number of interesting initiatives, including the Wednesday Connect innovation community meetup, and has developed workshops for start up entrepreneurs, which helped over 3 thousand participants between 2015 and 2020. In 2019 – 20 Petr also chaired the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agritech – a collaboration between ANU and CSIRO.

Over the years the CBRIN flourished into an expansive ecosystem of entrepreneurs, startups, innovators, investors and researchers. The network became the lifeblood of the ACT innovation scene.

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