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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
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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.

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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



Creating a safe and open space in which everyone thrives and the collaboration flows through all levels and titles with the power of the one team. The entries should demonstrate how the transformation has been achieved across core business functions, that have delivered a positive impact and growth for business, staff, stakeholders and customers. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Celebrating commercial effectiveness through success in the marketplace by leaving a dent in the universe, no matter what the size of the company. The entries should demonstrate the highest levels of expertise, leadership and vision in the application of their business strategies. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Standing up for your purpose and going beyond together as a team aligned on the single mission to positively impact the environment, people and community. The entries should demonstrate ideas intended to change the world; work which sets out to positively impact ingrained gender inequality, social imbalance or injustice. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Only awarded to a single entry in each category track, Grand Prix is the highest accolade in Pause Awards. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in class.

​​Focusing on the productivity and elegance of execution to deliver impactful ideas to a market (or many) with the power to cut through the noise. Entries should demonstrate how the innovation and optimisation of the customer journey led to scaled consumer engagement and commercial success. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Elevating every voice in the ecosystem is not just important for its collective success, industry development but also for the future growth. The entries should demonstrate ingenuity which leads to the creation of new products and services, through leadership, by elevating the internal culture and communities they serve. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.


Categories


  • Diverse Co.

    For nurturing an inclusive environment. This award recognises a workplace that has successfully and intentionally encouraged innovation among diverse employees.


  • Large team culture

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with over 1000+ employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation.


  • Medium team culture

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with 21-999 employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation.


  • Small team culture

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with less than 20 employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation


  • Work sweet work

    For a great workplace culture. This award recognises a company that has managed to improve or attain outstanding levels of employee engagement, retention and satisfaction.


  • Company of the Year

    For the best company. This award recognises a company leadership, success, ambition to excel against all odds with the solid future development plans.


  • Defiant ones

    For new tech breakthroughs. This award recognises a company that defines the future of the industry they play in.


  • Hall of fame

    For a lifetime achievement. This award recognises a game-changer who paved the way by breaking new grounds and inventing new categories.


  • Hammer

    For nailing it. This award recognises a company's success – on their own terms – in the market.


  • I wish I'd done that

    For sheer brilliance. This award recognises a company's simple and clever idea in a niche market.


  • Indi

    For new and First Peoples. This award recognises a successful company with its founders from indigenous or ethnic heritage that gained success in the market.


  • On the rise

    For early stage mavericks. This award recognises an early stage startup that has done well in its first three years.


  • Prodigy

    For being exceptional. This award recognises a young person with exceptional qualities or abilities.


  • Women in business

    For breaking the mould. This award recognises a successful female leader and entrepreneur who is paving the way forward for the future generations.


  • B-Good

    For a good business. This award recognises a company that has done well to change our economic system to positively impact all stakeholders through their commercial practice.


  • Circular Pioneer

    For making a difference. This award category recognises a company that is pioneering their circular efforts.


  • Going green

    For delivering impact at scale. This award recognises a company that is actively leading and delivering impact and scale through sustainable efforts in clean energy, climate change, healthy environment, social and economic justice etc.


  • You've got ethics

    For the leadership in environmental social governance. This award category recognises a company that is promoting accountability, good governance, leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility and solving societal problems.


  • Design first

    For design lead products. This award recognises a company that is using design to drive product innovation with the entire company onboard.


  • Inception

    For visionary thinkers. This award recognises a person that came up with the transformative idea that can change the world for better.


  • Out of the garage

    For scaling globally. This award recognises a company's global growth, expansion, and success.


  • Unexpected twist

    For a great pivot. This award recognises a company that has taken an unexpected pivot in their business or career.


  • Wildfire

    For conquering a marketplace. This award recognises a company that has made a significant impact on the marketplace in the shortest amount of time.


  • Backbone

    For backing the future idea. This award recognises a VC firm with a portfolio of companies that have made a significant contribution to the growth and success of the AU economy.


  • Brave Angel

    For early stage support. This award recognises an angel investor that has garnered a portfolio of companies and has a good track record of helping founders succeed.


  • C-Suite

    For the best leadership. This award recognises the highest-ranking executive that has impeccable leadership, management and interpersonal skills.


  • Do you know who I am

    For the silent achiever. This award recognises a person that has been responsible for the success of their company from the backstage.


  • Future builder

    For grit to start a new venture. This award recognises a founder at any level and life stage who has decided to start jumping the hoops of their own business.


  • Hottest hub

    For the best community. This award recognises a co-working space that provides boutique experience, world class facilities with community management.


  • Launch pad

    For activating the support systems. This award recognises an accelerator that has a good reputation in providing the best startup program with industry connections.


  • Super connector

    For being the community champ. This award recognises a person for a significant contribution to the success of their clients or the community.

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