An entrepreneur, investor and self-professed business geek, Chris has built and exited 4 businesses in 4 different industries, demonstrating his ability as both a founder and investor who can start, grow, invest in, and most importantly exit businesses across multiple industries. Three of these businesses (Rental Express, First Class Accounts and Scody Performance Wear) have become some of the largest of their type in Australia.
In his last business, Rental Express, Chris grew the company to become the largest privately owned property management business in Queensland, with over $2.4 billion of property under management which he sold to BRW rich lister Paul Little in 2015. In 2016, Chris founded PieLAB Venture Partners, which invests in real estate related technology businesses and more recently PieLAB Council Capital which invests in more conventional businesses. PieLAB Council Capital assists owners of profitable, recurring revenue businesses grow their business over the long term with assistance from a panel of CEO’s who provide advice, mentoring and support.
Education and qualifications
A former senior banker with Macquarie Bank and National Australia Bank (NAB), Shaun has spent the past 15 years providing funding solutions to over 1,500 businesses ranging in size from $500,000 to $35 million in revenue.
As National Head of Real Estate Relationship Banking at Macquarie Bank, he was responsible for strategy and direction, successfully leading and driving a national sales team to year-on-year growth in balance sheet footings. Most recently, his senior banking company role saw him develop and manage a portfolio of top-end NAB business customers and referral partners.
Richard has been an entrepreneur and investor for 26 years. He worked in accounting (Grant Thornton and KPMG, Perth), finance and investment banking (Quadrex Securities, London) in Australia and the U.K. before establishing a financial consulting and investment firm, Evolve Capital (a principal funded investment firm).
He has founded and exited 3 businesses, including Jesters Jaffle Pie Co., a retail food outlet which he grew to 80 stores across Australia and New Zealand, then sold to the ASX-listed Australian Agricultural Company. He invested in Caporn Young, a single-office real estate business with 15 staff and 200 properties under management which he helped grow to 3 offices, 50 people and 700 properties under management in 3 years.
He also invested in The Healthy Food Chef, a health food café in Avalon which he rebranded to ‘Nourished – The Healthy Food Co,’ growing its annual revenue from $250,000 to $1 million before opening multiple stores and eventually exiting the business via a management buyout.
Tanya has more than 20 years in the Venture Capital Industry. Prior to joining PieLAB Venture Partners Tanya worked at one of Australia’s earliest established venture capital firms CM Capital Investments and later at Talu Ventures in office management, fund administration and investor communications roles. She brings a significant level of experience in fund compliance to PieLAB and also provides administration support to the investment team.
Rob is an experienced Executive and Board member having led both public and private organisations through fast growth and/or substantial change environments.
Rob has significant experience working in entrepreneurial environments and has been involved in the acquisition/divestment of over 25 businesses. Rob loves challenging the status quo and is passionate about identifying the growth opportunities in a business, building awesome people/teams and delivering innovative technology to achieve the best outcomes for clients.
Rob has worked across Telecommunications, Technology, Health, Property, Government and Aged / Disability services. He is currently CEO of Unified Healthcare Group, a technology and services company that connects many of Australia’s largest corporate and government organisations to a marketplace of over 50,000 specialist Doctors, GP’s, nurses, and allied healthcare professionals. UHG has been named one of BRW/AFR Australia’s 50 most innovative companies 4 years in a row and is part of the global Examworks business.
Marcus built and managed large global private equity investment programs with long histories of generating investment out-performance over the public markets. He’s recognised for developing modern investment strategies as indicated by co-authorship of “The Next Generation Private Equity Investor” paper with Prof. Josh Lerner of Harvard Business School. Acknowledged as an early leader in enabling and encouraging diversity in the private markets.
Most recently Marcus was Head of Global Private Capital at QIC: Over fifteen years he founded and built a business of $7 billion invested in private companies and funds. Underlying investments ranged from start-ups in California and China, companies that are now household names, to Australia’s largest integrated cancer care provider.
He’s an adjunct lecturer on Private Markets at Macquarie University. He’s Chairman Emeritus of the Institutional Investors Roundtable (“IIR”) a community and collaboration platform for the world’s leading long-term asset owners (mainly pension plans and sovereign wealth funds). The IIR includes over 45 members with collective assets exceeding US $13 trillion, representing over 75% of the institutional capital available for long-term investment in the world (as of October 2019).
Ben is a technology product executive and entrepreneur having founded and exited two businesses. Ben has managed small and large teams across EUR, USA, Asia and ANZ in roles as a founding startup CEO (Quotify) and as a product exec with Intuit and MYOB. Ben built and led his own angel-funded startup from inception in SF in 2010 to sale to Telstra in late 2011.
Ben recently as part of the executive leadership team at MYOB led the transition from desktop to cloud, culminating in a successful Bain Capital-led IPO exit.
Ben currently runs Propel Ventures, which incubates fintech ventures for acquisition. Propel has founded and exited three portfolio ventures in the past 18 months to large technology companies providing them with an accelerated market presence.
As a technologist, Ben holds four patents for mobile and web innovations and regularly presents on innovation and agility at industry events such as Agile Australia. Recently, he advocated for humans to harness the power of Artificial Intelligence at TEDx.
Ben has a unique capability to identify market opportunities, define product-market fit then scale people, product and technology to capture the market opportunity.
Mark Kentwell is a
founder, advisor and entrepreneur specialising in the real estate services,
property development, business systems and property technology sectors.
Mark has started or
helped build more than 8 companies and trusts with the majority reaching sector
leading positions and growth figures of several times industry benchmarks.
Mark is a
co-founder of PRD Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Central Coast Group, a
collection of multiple time Real Estate Business Australia Top 10 real estate
offices run by a tech enabled services business built from the ground up.
Mark was named
Australian Principal of the Year for the 3rd time, as well as a finalist in
Industry Thought Leader of the Year for the 3rd time in 2020.
Mark has served a
valued role on the PieLAB Real Estate Industry Venture Capital fund Advisory Committee
since its inception in 2017 and is a significant investor in both PieLAB REIVC16
fund and PieLAB Council Capital Fund.
Bradley Beer joined BMT Tax Depreciation in 1998 as the first employee, becoming a director/shareholder in 2002 with the founders of the business. As CEO he has built BMT to become Australia’s largest quantity surveying firm (approximately 50% market share) employing over 200 people.
Bradley is a sought-after keynote speaker in the real estate investment and tax industries having spoken at hundreds of events around Australia, and regularly appears on Sky News Business as an expert commentator.
He is an has an extensive property portfolio, having purchased his first investment property in 2001. As an experienced property investor, he provides invaluable insights to new investors as they enter the market.
Anthony is a highly successful entrepreneur who has founded and developed several businesses, primarily in the food and hospitality sector. Most recently Anthony is the Co-Founder of infant food company Bubs Australia Limited. Founded in Sydney in 2006, Bubs Australia produces Australian-made premium infant nutrition and dairy products. Bubs products are sold throughout Australia in Coles, Woolworths, Chemist Warehouse, Costco and Big W, and are exported to China, South East Asia, and the Middle East.
Anthony was instrumental in developing Bubs from start-up, to public company (ASX: BUB) with a market capitalization of $700 million. Anthony oversaw the company’s acquisition strategy that grew BUBS to be Australia’s leading producer of goat dairy products and the country’s only vertically integrated producer of goat milk infant formula. He also oversaw the product development that earned Bubs the coveted Food Challenge Award for ‘Best of the Best’, an award traditionally won by multi-national companies.
Prior to starting Bubs, Anthony was the founder and CEO of Shakespeares Pies which he grew into a chain of more than 20 stores throughout Australia and Canada with annual turnover in excess of over $50 million.
Anthony has over 35 years experience building businesses and developing world class teams.
Alan has been in the information technology and communications industry for more than 35 years. He co-founded Haliplex an Optical Transmission start up based in Melbourne and is the founder of Laminar Communications a national company providing services in wifi, networking and cyber security for educational institutions and government. Prior to this Alan has worked for Data General, Motorola, and Dimension Data in a range of senior roles.
Alan also oversees a family office investment group called Bataan Investments which he operates with his wife Melanie. Alan’s particular investment interest is in information technology, telecommunications, energy, property, aerospace and sustainability.
Ross is a Senior Partner – Corporate Finance in Findex South Queensland team. Findex recently bought Crowe Horwath, where Ross over the last 30 years held various executive positions. He led the business through a volatile period of transition from ASX listed company to private equity backed company, restructuring the operating platform and initiating and integrating several acquisitions.
Ross is a proven performer as a director, leader and executive. Ross has initiated and implemented change resulting in sustainable growth; has guided early stage businesses into new market opportunities; implemented turnaround strategies, and managed conflict and complex stakeholder issues to win-win outcomes.
Ross is a seasoned professional and financial services leader who has diverse management experience, planning and execution skills, and operational expertise.
Twenty five years ago and fresh out of University, Karen found herself in Western Queensland with the scope to establish one of the Outbacks largest tourism project’s….. it was a challenge but it was achieved and whilst this first project is somewhat a dim memory, the challenge of what seemed impossible is what encouraged Karen’s business spirit.
Following Karen’s initial outback stint, she progressed on to managing major capital and minor works programs through-out the sport and recreation sector for the Queensland Government and Department of Public Works. Renowned for her ability to problem solve, develop process and analyse data, she was approached to participate within the selection of the Queensland Government’s shared services platform and ultimately managed the pilot program for the development and establishment of the Governments Document and Records Program.
Following this project, it was at this time that Karen decided to invest her diverse skill set within her own Real Estate business and fifteen years on, she remains as CEO of one of Brisbane’s most successful real estate agencies.
An entrepreneur at heart, Karen’s philosophy is to guide and coach others to tackle everyday processes and transform this into efficient and profitable outcomes. With qualifications in Business, Marketing and Financial Planning, Karen’s expertise spans across all facets of the Real Estate Sector. A three times REIQ finalist and recipient of Place’s Innovation and Dedication award, Karen prides herself on continuously querying her competitive advantage and focusing on innovative practices for the purposes of business Improvement.