Judge Sessions with Wavia, SEIKK and MedTech Actuator

26 September, 2022
Judge Sessions with Wavia, SEIKK and MedTech Actuator | News | Pause Awards
George Hedon, founder and CEO, Pause Fest & Awards
George Hedon
26 September, 2022

Welcome to the Pause Awards show, where we invite past winners and future judges to talk about their journeys, inspiration and lessons learned in their professional careers and beyond.

In this episode, George Hedon, Founder of Pause Awards, speaks with Christina Gerakiteys (Co-CEO, Wavia) Rupert de Paula (Creative Director, SEIKK) and Makenzie Thomas (Program and Community Coordinator, MedTech Actuator) They discussed crucial skills needed in business, their idea of success, industry foresights and more.


For our second round of judges interviews, George kicked off by asking the trio what they considered to be some key skills for excellence in business.

For me, it’s perseverance and enthusiasm. There’s a lot of challenges you face, particularly as the leader of a business. So you need to be able to come in with both those skills.

Rupert de Paula, Creative Director, SEIKK

I’ve got four – agility, adaptability, speed, and the vision to set long term goals.

Christina Gerakiteys, Co-CEO, Wavia

It’s a balance of being visionary, and being able to have the operational braind and really get down into the details.

Makenzie Thomas, Program and Community Coordinator, MedTech Actuator 

Chatting about what success meant to the three of them, their responses were extremely interesting and varied.

Success is enabling the enablers – the founders I work with. And I always ask them to look at success from a point of ‘How many people are you impacting?’ Because you may not necessarily be a unicorn, but you could still be impacting a billion people.

Christina Gerakiteys, Co-CEO, Wavia

I’ve always been far more interested in rewarding, creatively fulfilling projects rather than those that make me heaps of money. Changing the world in a positive way is my version of success.

Rupert de Paula, Creative Director, SEIKK

My notion of success has evolved. It used to be getting through as many tasks as possible. Now, it’s about finding a balance, leaning more into personal fulfilment in my role and not trying to do everything together.

Makenzie Thomas, Program and Community Coordinator, MedTech Actuator 

We then dug into some business advice that stuck with them through their respective journeys.

A piece of advice that really stuck with me is when I was told that work isn’t a test. That working together, and being reiterative is normal. Challenging each other and making minor gains is what’s important. So don’t lose heart, just keep going.

Rupert de Paula, Creative Director, SEIKK

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received is about teams and having the really hard conversations early. You’ve got to be really honest with each other.

Makenzie Thomas, Program and Community Coordinator, MedTech Actuator 

The best piece of advice was something I was told by one of my teachers – ‘Wherever you go, whatever you do, always paddle your own canoe.’ – which was so amazing. It basically means that even if you don’t know the answers, be brave enough and follow on. And this really stuck with me.

Christina Gerakiteys, Co-CEO, Wavia

Discussing some quick foresights into the industries they work in, the judges said:

We’re at the forefront of digital integration. So in terms of creative industries, it’s web3 and how this sort of decentralised web is going to help with challenges and creative opportunities ahead.

Rupert de Paula, Creative Director, SEIKK

In healthcare, it’s going to be everything from regenerative medicine right through to new medical devices. I’m personally excited about what’s happening with fem tech. We’re seeing a lot of innovation come through in that space.

Makenzie Thomas, Program and Community Coordinator, MedTech Actuator 

I guess we are in times of great convergence. We work with startups in all different industries, so for me, it’s about bringing it all together. It’s about connecting the dots, the enablement of the enablers. There’s no such thing as a silo anymore, it’s about the age of convergence.

Christina Gerakiteys, Co-CEO, Wavia

Before we rounded the chat off with some quick fire questions, George had just one more question to ask – where are things going to be in the next 3 years in their individual industries?

We’re all going to be coexisting in this big metaverse playground that we’ve invented for ourselves. And I think that there will be siloed digital experiences for everyone.

Rupert de Paula, Creative Director, SEIKK

I think in healthtech, it’s the opposite. We’re going to see a lot of issues like employment numbers and staff shortages. So while Rupert’s thinking futuristic, healthcare is going to be catching up and coming back to normal after the past few years and hopefully see improvements in operational efficiencies.

Makenzie Thomas, Program and Community Coordinator, MedTech Actuator 

I hope that we’re able to all come together better to find balance, especially after all the disruption that’s happened over the last few years. We’ll find a balance with the convergence of technology, because we now have the ability to be hybrid.

Christina Gerakiteys, Co-CEO, Wavia

The judges also shared personal anecdotes about their past professional learnings, work-life balance, and habits that have led to a more fulfilled life.

Don’t forget to check out the entire conversation below.

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Category tracks

The Culture track seeks entries that exemplify the development of an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture, crucial for organisational success and growth. Submissions should illustrate transformative strategies implemented across core business functions, reflecting expertise, leadership, and a clear vision. These strategies should demonstrate a positive impact on the business, its employees, stakeholders, and customers, showcasing how a nurturing culture contributes to overall growth and innovation.

The Excellence track celebrates businesses that have demonstrated remarkable success and impact within their industry, regardless of their size. Entries for this category should illustrate how the business's strategic execution, guided by visionary leadership and exceptional expertise, has significantly influenced the industry. The focus will be on the tangible outcomes of these strategies, highlighting the company's ability to innovate, lead, and leave a lasting impression in its field.

The Good track is focused on recognising companies dedicated to their mission of creating a positive societal impact. Entries should highlight innovative solutions aimed at addressing global challenges such as environmental sustainability, social equity, and community well-being. Successful submissions will demonstrate how their initiatives contribute to significant changes, tackling issues like gender inequality, social imbalance, and injustice, thereby setting a precedent for responsible and impactful business practices.

Awarded to a single entry in a category, Grand Prix is the top accolade in that category. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in that category.

The Growth track is about showcasing how businesses have enhanced productivity and execution to make a significant impact in their market. Entries should highlight innovative strategies that have optimised the customer journey, leading to increased engagement and commercial success. This track is for those who have effectively used their understanding of the market and customer needs to scale their business and achieve notable growth.

The Operators track seeks entries that showcase leadership in fostering innovation within their ecosystems. Ideal submissions will highlight how your initiatives have catalysed the creation of new products or services, bolstered by a culture that uplifts internal teams and the wider community. This track celebrates those who drive progress by empowering voices and forging transformative connections in their industry.


  • Always Evolving New

    Acknowledges a culture of continuous learning and improvement within a company, encourages employee development, and always looks for ways to optimise and innovate operations.

  • Big & Mighty Culture New

    Recognises companies (51-1000 employees) for their exceptional efforts in cultivating a culture that champions innovation.

  • Diverse Co.

    Celebrates workplaces dedicated to fostering innovation through a vibrant tapestry of diverse talents and perspectives.

  • Small & Mighty Culture New

    Applauds small teams of fewer than 50 employees for their remarkable ability to foster innovation and set new benchmarks in their domain.

  • Work Sweet Work

    Acknowledges companies that have achieved extraordinary employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, creating an exemplary workplace culture.

  • Company of the Year

    Honours an outstanding company that not only showcases exemplary leadership and resilience but also demonstrates a clear, quantifiable impact over the past year.

  • Customer Obsessed New

    Applauds prioritisation, understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of their customers, including feedback, personalised services and ensuring high satisfaction.

  • Defiant Ones

    Recognises firms that lead technological innovation, setting new standards and defining the future of their industries.

  • Hammer

    Celebrates companies that have not only defined success on their own terms but have also concretely demonstrated their triumphs over the past year.

  • I Wish I'd Done That

    Applauds ingenious, simple solutions in niche markets that spark a universal sentiment of admiration.

  • On the Rise

    Celebrates early-stage startups, under 4 years, that have shown remarkable progress and success in their initial years.

  • Prodigy

    Recognises young visionaries under 30 with outstanding talents and achievements, setting them apart in their fields.

  • Singularity

    Highlights AI-driven companies that are pioneering new services or integrating AI to create innovative products.

  • Women in Business

    Celebrates female entrepreneurs and leaders who are forging paths for future generations by creating more equitable opportunities.

  • B-Good

    Recognises businesses that redefine commercial success by positively transforming our economic system for the benefit of all stakeholders.

  • Circular Pioneer

    Celebrates companies at the forefront of circular economy practices, making substantial and sustainable differences.

  • Ethical Leadership New

    Commends companies exemplifying leadership in environmental and social governance, setting standards in corporate responsibility and ethical practices.

  • Going Green

    Acknowledges companies leading large-scale sustainable initiatives, addressing critical areas like clean energy and environmental justice.

  • Collab New

    Honours strategic partnerships and alliances with other businesses to leverage complementary strengths, access new markets, and share resources for synergistic growth and innovation.

  • Design First

    Celebrates companies where design is the heartbeat of innovation, engaging the whole team in crafting groundbreaking products.

  • Going Global New

    Applauds companies that have expanded their reach globally, showcasing exceptional growth and international success.

  • Great Pivot

    Acknowledges companies that adeptly navigate change, leveraging insights to pivot towards delivering outstanding products.

  • Movement

    Recognises unforgettable event experiences that resonate emotionally, drive social change, or achieve viral status.

  • New Model

    Honours businesses revolutionising markets with elegant and disruptive business models.

  • Next Level New

    Applauds companies which had successful strategic acquisition and integration of another entity, staff or an asset that allowed them to further grow and scale their services.

  • Wildfire

    Celebrates companies that have rapidly and significantly impacted their marketplace, online and offline, setting new standards for success.

  • Angel

    Honours visionary angel investors who've significantly contributed to early-stage startups, guiding them toward success.

  • C-Suite

    Recognises exceptional leadership qualities in high-ranking executives, showcasing their management and interpersonal excellence.

  • Creative Maverick New

    Honours unconventional thinkers with exceptional abilities to execute typically unimaginable initiatives, expertly coordinate teams, secure funding or successfully launch multiple ventures.

  • Ecosystem Star

    Celebrates individuals who energise and nurture their communities, fostering engagement and advocacy.

  • Future Builder

    Recognises the determination and resilience of founders who've embarked on the challenging journey of starting their own ventures.

  • Quiet Achiever New

    Applauds the unsung heroes whose behind-the-scenes efforts have led to flawless project executions and exceeded expectations.

  • Splash Down Under New

    Acknowledges international companies making a noteworthy entrance into the Australian market, enriching the local business ecosystem.

  • TopCoder

    Recognises developers for their outstanding technical skills, clean code, and collaborative spirit.

  • Venture Cap

    Salutes venture capital firms with a track record of backing transformative businesses, contributing significantly to Australia's economic growth.

  • Visionary New

    Recognises effective leadership by setting a clear vision, motivating the team, and making strategic decisions that guide their business towards its goals.

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