With a passion for engineering, science, education, entrepreneurship, innovation and commercialisation, Eddie Custovic is a highly driven engineer with the ability to deliver exceptional project outcomes. He is a cross disciplinary early career researcher and facilitator of multi stakeholder investigations. He has worked on cutting edge R&D projects securing over 1.5 million dollars of funding in a variety of sectors including; defence, communications, power, food & agriculture, automotive, health, sports technology and civil/construction. His multicultural background and multilingualism enables him to take a politically and culturally sensitive approach to life, volunteer roles and professional career.
Eddie is an academic and industry project manager in the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, La Trobe University and is a member of the Centre for Technology Infusion which focuses on strategic and translational research and innovation through integration of complementary research expertise. He is a leader and member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) where he is currently serving on several global IEEE boards.
He is heavily involved in student mentoring and thrives on further developing student and young professionals communication, leaderships and entrepreneurial attributes. He is a tireless ambassador for STEM education and Women in Engineering and this is evident through his continued work to bridge the gap between primary/secondary/university education and industry. His work with students and employability was formally recognised in 2015 when he was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s award for supporting student employability. Eddie was also the recipient of the IEEE global Young Professionals Achievement Award highlighting his competence and contributions to this 400,000 member professional organisation.
As a founder, CTO, BoD member and Advisor, Ceco has been part of many successful San Francisco Internet and mobile startups. Ceco and his teams have specialized on social networks and built web and mobile platforms for some of the world's largest brands like: U2.com, Madonna.com, NFL, NHL, NBA, Weather.com, National Geographic, Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Harley Davidson, HBO, Budget Travel, History Channel, Travel Channel, NBC Universal, Guinness World Records and numerous professional sports teams around the world. He has also build yuku.com 450K sites large white-label SaaS network.
Prior to the social network era, Ceco architected portals and collaborative environments for clients such as Yahoo, HP, ATT, Microsoft, AMD, Cisco and Intel and developed touch-screen driven automation and media systems for large vessels, including the largest sailing boat in the world at the time, Jim Clark's cyber-yacht project, the Hyperior.
During his career Ceco has lived and worked in 10 countries on 4 continents. He is also a helicopter pilot, skipper, rock-climber, skier, diver, paraglider, jiu-jitsu veteran and a father of two. He retired at the age of 35 and has since been dedicating his time to helping kick-off IOT (smart cities), Internet and mobile startups around the world
Randi Sumner has worked for a wide range of non-profits, from those with almost no budget to those with over $400 million and 1,000 employees. Throughout her career, she has successfully envisioned and initiated new and profit-driven “bootstrap startup” projects and for-profit subsidiaries within a variety of mission driven organizations. The impact of these efforts helped to transform business models as well as drive energy into stagnant organizations.
Since 2007, Sumner has led a variety of strategic programs at IEEE including oversight of several IEEE Societies as well as the IEEE Technical Activities Board Strategy and Governance teams. In 2014, she spearheaded the launch of the IEEE Entrepreneurship Initiative and brought the IEEE’s global resources to technology entrepreneurs while inspiring event innovations, virtual communities, and video content dedicated to startups.
Prior to IEEE, she served as Executive Director of the NJ Society of Association Executives. In addition to her executive skills, she has been a strategy consultant, presentation coach, and a professional speaker.