Conference 4 of Digital Utilities 2021

Future utility: imagining the digital utility of tomorrow

March 24th - 2pm AEDT

Imagining the digital utility of tomorrow will be focused on emerging technology, and potential future product and service innovations.

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Conference Program

2.00pm: Charlotte Pordage – Editor, Utility magazine

Welcome remarks

2.05pm: Shaunna Berendsen – Head of Innovation Engagement, Anglian Water (UK)

2.30pm: EnergyTech Hub powered by Startupbootcamp: The impact of startups

Hosted by Abs Bulbuliya – Energy Program Director, Startupbootcamp

Part 1: Assessing startups to create business opportunities

Trevor Townsend – CEO, Startupbootcamp, will outline some guidelines for utilities who wish to assess and work with startups. He will also talk with Jodie Hallam – GM Energy Services, Mondo, about the role startups and scaleups could play in the future to build new business opportunities. This is a conversation that will look at providing unique insights and key takeaways for attendees.

Part 2: Working with startups

Mike Harris - Head of Aviation, Defence and Key Verticals at Australian startup LexX Technologies, will share the organisation's experiences and work with various corporations, including in the wind farm space. Attendees will learn more about the challenges and opportunities that come from working with a startup from the startup founder perspective. Karen Buckman – Innovation Opportunity Specialist, EnergyAustralia, will share the energy retailer's views and experience of working with startups through accelerator and proof of concept initiatives, providing attendees with practical insights on how working with startups can benefit their businesses.

3.00pm: Igor Sadimenko – Oceania Power & Utilities Leader, EY

What are plausible visions of the future of the utility sector, including changes for incumbent utilities, new service providers, regulators, policy makers and consumers? What new business models may be developed, and what impact could these new business models have on incumbent utilities?

4.00pm: TBC

4.30pm: Close of conference

Meet The Speakers

Shaunna Berendsen - Head of Innovation Engagement, Anglian Water (UK)

Having previously worked in commercialisation, marketing and for a leading technology consultancy, Shaunna is now Head of Innovation Engagement at Anglian Water.

Her role there is to drive and influence internal innovation culture to meet pioneering business challenges.

She is also responsible for sustaining supplier engagement through platforms such as the Anglian Water Shop Window and The Water Innovation Network (WIN), enabling true supply chain collaboration and positioning Anglian Water to be one of the leading utilities of the world.


Igor SadimenkoOceania Power & Utilities Leader, EY

Igor is the EY Oceania Power and Utilities leader and works with executive teams and boards across the electricity, gas and water markets to deliver business and digital strategy.

Igor is focused on the energy transition agenda across the Asia-Pacific region, leading clients through complex transformations that are underpinned by regulatory reform, renewables and decarbonisation, digitisation of the value chain from end to end and continuously evolving customer needs.

As a senior partner and industry advisor, Igor brings together specialist teams to partner with industry, government and utilities to deliver complex transformation programs addressing strategic, operational and regulatory changes in the power and utilities industry.


Jodie Hallam- GM of Energy Services, Mondo

Jodie is the General Manager of Energy Services at Mondo – the commercial and innovation arm of AusNet Services.

She has over 15 years’ experience in the energy sector with roles spanning network operations to commercial and finance.

Her professional experience is coupled with a Senior Executive MBA from Melbourne Business School and an evergreen passion for learning and innovation.


Karen Buckman Opportunity Specialist - Innovation, Energy Australia

Karen currently works in EnergyAustralia’s innovation team scouting for innovative solutions to trial and commercialise through partnerships.

She has been involved in the accelerator program with Startupbootcamp since its inception in 2018. Previously she worked in the strategy team.

Karen’s earlier experience spans finance, economics, regulation and policy for PwC and the Federal Government, with a focus on the energy and cleantech sector. She has worked in Australia, South East Asia and North America.


Mike Harris - Head of Aviation, Defence and Key Verticals, LexX Technologies

Mike started his aviation career in 1979 when he joined the Royal Australian Air Force as an Apprentice Maintenance Fitter and continued throughout the years to learn about the new world of computerised maintenance records.

In 2006, Mike joined Jetstar Australia and moved through a series of roles involving engineering management systems and engineering management. On his retirement from Jetstar in 2020, Mike was the Manager - Engineering Technology and Innovation, having also served as Manager - Engineering Support Systems and Manager - Engineering Services.

Mike's passion is around innovation and using data to make people’s lives, jobs and safety easier and better – particularly as it relates to aviation and maintenance.


Trevor Townsend - CEO Startupbootcamp Australia

Trevor is CEO and Co-founder of Startupbootcamp Australia. He is passionate about business and technology, and as an entrepreneur loves to help bring new ideas to life.

He is interested in the big topics that shape our future, including energy, climate change and sustainability, finance and economics, and the impact of technology on the future of work. Trevor is also passionate about sport and wellbeing.

He is an experienced angel investor with a specific interest in technology investments in startups and early-stage companies. His diverse background includes industry experience in finance, telco, energy and IT professional services markets.


Abs Bulbuliya - Energy Program Director Startupbootcamp Australia

Abs is the Energy Program Director at Startupbootcamp. He is a global expert in the energy innovation sector, as well as a startup mentor and an industry and technology speaker.

Abs is leading Startupbootcamp’s first Scale program in Australia as well as the Greater Geelong Hydrogen Technology Cluster and the Virtual Trade Missions connecting India and the Victorian Smart Energy Ecosystems. He has accelerated 30 seed stage smart energy startups from 18 different countries who have raised over $90 million of investment.

Prior to Startupbootcamp, Abs worked in the energy sector for Engie both in the UK and in Australia as a Commercial Analyst and as a Renewables Manager where he provided high-quality consulting expertise and insights to help build new large-scale renewable projects in Asia, USA, Africa, Europe and India.