Cicada Innovations CEO resigns


Tuesday, 05 February, 2019


Cicada Innovations CEO resigns

The current CEO of Cicada Innovations has announced that she will be stepping down from the role.

Petra Andrén is resigning after spending the last three years transforming the incubator from a traditional real estate play for tech businesses to a globally recognised, program-driven model for commercialising science-based innovations.

The recruitment process for Andrén’s replacement is currently ongoing. She departs on 31 March to spend several months focusing on her family overseas, before deciding on her next career move.

During her time at Cicada, Andrén was known for being an advocate for greater diversity and inclusion in tech, a supporter of multidisciplinary approaches to problem-solving, and a champion for science-based innovation. She also secured the rights to run an Australian version of the Nobel Gala awards, creating a powerful platform to showcase the importance of science-based start-ups and innovation in Australia to government, industry and the local investment community.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure spending the last seven years working at Cicada, including three-plus years as its CEO,” said Andrén.

“During this time, I’ve had the pleasure of building and working with an amazing team who’ve helped to completely transform Cicada into a global ‘best practice’ model for entrepreneurship support, as recognised by the global peak body for entrepreneurship support programs, InBIA, ahead of 2200 accelerators and incubators from around the world.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team on behalf of our clients and stakeholders. I’m convinced that with the continued close collaboration with and support from its four university shareholders, Cicada will be an increasingly strong force in the start-up and innovation space, and in particular in the commercialisation of science-based innovations.”

As CEO, Andrén successfully rebranded the incubator from ATP Innovations to Cicada Innovations. She also built a series of highly specialised commercialisation and accelerator programs that have helped transform Australia’s leading research into high-tech businesses with real impact, allowing Cicada to tap into intellectual property and world-leading scientific research that supercharged its businesses at high volume.

Under Andrén’s tenure and through its program-driven model, Cicada has more than tripled the size of its investment portfolio, and multiplied the number of innovators and businesses that it touches by more than tenfold — an incredible outcome according to the company’s chairman, Andrew Rothery.

“Petra has been a true force for change during her time as CEO of Cicada Innovations,” Rothery said.

“Heading up an incubator such as Cicada requires having a very unusual set of skills. You need to be a talented entrepreneur and leader, while having an understanding and appreciation of science and innovation.

“We’re extremely privileged to have had such a passionate pioneer of science-based innovation in Petra, leading the team here at Cicada. Replacing her will be challenging given the diverse skillset required for the job; however, Cicada is internationally recognised as a world-leading deep-tech incubator, so we are confident that we will attract significant talent for this opportunity to lead Cicada. We thank Petra for all that she has done for Cicada and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/XtravaganT

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