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2020 Tasmanian Pearcey Entrepreneur of the Year Awarded to IoT Developer and Engineer Mike Cruse

Announcement posted by Pearcey Foundation 06 Nov 2020

The Pearcey Foundation today announced technology entrepreneur, software developer and electrical engineer Mike Cruse as the 2020 Tasmanian Pearcey Entrepreneur of the Year. Mike is the founder and CEO of Definium Technologies, a company based in Launceston that designs and manufactures IoT devices and electronic products for national and international clients, as well as owning and operating a state-wide LoRaWAN network in Tasmania to support IoT deployments. The award was presented by Hon Michael Ferguson MP, Minister for State Growth, Minister for Science and Technology, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Minister for Finance at an event held last night at Macquarie House, Launceston.

Definium currently employs 15 people and operates a sophisticated pick and place assembly line which enables the Definium team to take projects from concept to fully functioning prototype in 30 days, with all design, manufacturing and software development taking place in-house. Recent successes include designing and manufacturing the control system for Gekko Medical’s ‘GeVentor’ ventilator, an Australian-designed device that could save the lives of COVID-19 patients around the world.

“The Pearcey Entrepreneurship Award recognises individuals who have taken risks, made a difference and inspired others.  Even as Definium has grown, Mike has always made sure to try to open the same doors for others as were opened for him in his youth. Mike strongly believes that Tasmania, and in particular Launceston, can be a place where advanced technology companies can thrive and is intent on proving that to be true. In his career so far, Mike has certainly exemplified these values.  In particular, it is well-known in Tasmania that Definium frequently makes time available to support visiting school groups, providing opportunities for local university students to work with them on projects and access their facilities and seeking opportunities to bring young people into the team,” said James Riggall, Chair of Pearcey Tasmania.

Mike started exploring technology when he was still at school, where he had an opportunity to spend his weekends working in a garage in the Launceston suburb of Invermay. In that garage, Mike and his friends took on any project that was offered to them, ranging from building a new scoreboard for a local basketball court to fixing a fish egg sorter for a local business.  Every project that came through the doors was a new challenge and a new learning experience. After working as a software developer in Melbourne, Mike moved to Silicon Valley and co-founded a smart grid startup which raised US$15m in funding before ultimately being acquired by Cisco.

Definium Technologies was started by Mike while he was still in the US. Definium would take on “projects in crisis” and help clients salvage failed prototypes, resolve reliability issues, and protect their investment in innovative products.  After bringing the company back to Tasmania with him, Definium Technologies has grown rapidly and has established a state-of-the-art automated electronics manufacturing and assembly facility in Invermay, back to where it all started for Mike. 

As the Pearcey Tasmania Award recipient, Mike Cruse will represent the state in the National Entrepreneur Awards as a key part of Pearcey’s Annual National Medal and Hall of Fame presentations (see below for details).

For more information about previous Tasmanian Pearcey Entrepreneur Award winners, go to https://pearcey.org.au/tas.

 

Other State Awards

ACT: presented to Shane Hill, founder of Skoolbo (https://prwire.com.au/pr/92049/e-learning-pioneer-shane-hill-receives-2020-act-chief-ministers-pearcey-entrepreneur-award). 

NSW: awarded to Jamila Gordon, CEO and founder of Lumachain (https://prwire.com.au/pr/92487/jamila-gordon-awarded-the-2020-nsw-pearcey-entrepreneur-of-the-year)

QLD: the recipient of the 2020 Queensland Pearcey ICT Entrepreneur Award was Nicholas Therkelsen-Terry, CEO and co-founder of Max Kelsen (https://prwire.com.au/pr/92334/2020-queensland-pearcey-ict-entrepreneur-award-recognises-ai-and-quantum-computing-industry-leader-nicholas-therkelsen-terry). 

SA: a ‘virtual’ awards event will be held during November. See further https://pearcey.org.au/sa

VIC: the 2020 Victorian Pearcey Entrepreneur Award was presented to CEO of Blackmagic Design Grant Petty (https://prwire.com.au/pr/91649/world-leading-innovator-of-creative-technologies-receives-the-2020-victorian-pearcey-entrepreneur-award

WA: to be presented as part of the 2020 Lateral INCITE Honorary Awards in November 2020. The INCITE Awards are Western Australia's premier awards event in the ICT industry. The awards, aiming to showcase ICT brilliance are powered by the Western Australian Information Technology and Telecommunications Alliance (WAITTA). For more information on the WA Pearcey Awards, see https://pearcey.org.au/wa.

National Pearcey Awards

The 2020 Pearcey Medal, Hall of Fame and National Entrepreneur of the Year Awards will be presented virtually on Wednesday 25 November 2020 from 4:00pm - 5:45pm AEDT as part of a Pearcey Conversations seminar featuring a panel comprising Jamila Gordon, CEO and Founder of Lumachain; Ian Oppermann, President of the ACS; and Jon Whittle, Director of CSIRO's Data61; moderated by Simon Foster, Treasurer of the Pearcey Foundation. More details on the event, including registration can be found at https://na.eventscloud.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=546577&. For more information on the Pearcey Foundation’s national awards, see further https://pearcey.org.au/national-awards.

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About the Pearcey Foundation
The Pearcey Foundation Inc. is a non-profit organisation established in 1998 to raise the profile of the Australian Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry and profession. It was created in the memory of one of the greatest pioneers of the Australian ICT industry, Dr Trevor Pearcey. By celebrating the heroes in our industry, past present and future, the Foundation is looking to attract and encourage young Australians into this most exciting of global high technology sectors of our nation.


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