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2021 Queensland Pearcey ICT Entrepreneur Award Recognises Award-winning STEM Education Leader Michael Holmstrom

Announcement posted by Pearcey Foundation 06 Oct 2021

Brisbane, Australia – 6 October 2021 – The Pearcey Foundation today announced Michael Holmstrom, CEO and co-founder of STEM Punks as this year’s recipient of the Queensland Pearcey ICT Entrepreneur Award. STEM Punks provides immersive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) programs for students and teachers from grades one to 12. The award was presented last night in Brisbane by Andrew Spina, Deputy Director-General, Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy at an event hosted by the 2010 Pearcey Medallist John Grant.

The Queensland Pearcey Awards recognise outstanding ICT professionals who have demonstrated innovation, taken risks, made a difference and are an inspiration to others in the industry and the wider community. Nominees for the award this year alongside Michael Holmstrom were Amanda Rodgers, Gerard Palk, Hamish Finlayson, Joy Taylor, Lee Hellen, Mandy Turner, Maree Beare, Ross Lewin, Sharon Robson, and Tom Dowling

“Michael has transformed ideas into global businesses and endured the journey of the startup through great failures and awesome successes. His combined passion for education and STEM was the foundation for STEM Punks, a global leader in STEM education.” said Paul Gampe, Chair of Pearcey QLD.

Michael Holmstrom is the co-founder and CEO of STEM Punks Ventures, an award-winning STEM education business that is delivering programs to students and teachers across the world. 

Through STEM Punks, a passionate team of educators inspire a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs here in Australia and overseas. Over the past five years, Michael has contributed to the development of our future workforce by mentoring students in establishments such as the University of Queensland’s iLab incubator program and Griffith University’s entrepreneurship and innovation faculty. 

The Pearcey Foundation would like to acknowledge the support and sponsorship of ICEMEDIA and TechnologyOne, without whom the gala event would not have been able to take place.

As the Pearcey QLD Award recipient, Michael Holmstrom 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 QLD Pearcey Entrepreneur Award winners, go to https://pearcey.org.au/qld

Other State Awards

Australia Capital Territory Awards: Liquid Instruments CEO Daniel Shaddock received the 2021 ACT Chief Minister’s Pearcey Entrepreneur Award. See further https://prwire.com.au/pr/99152/liquid-instruments-ceo-daniel-shaddock-receives-2021-act-chief-ministers-pearcey-entrepreneur-award.

New South Wales Awards: there is currently a call for nominations for the NSW Pearcey Entrepreneur Award, with a virtual event scheduled for 14 October with David Thodey AO as keynote speaker. This award recognises a NSW person in mid-career, who is already a successful tech entrepreneur, and who has the potential to succeed further. The criteria are centred on taking a risk, making a difference and being an inspiration. Nominations can be completed at https://forms.gle/QQv4UUUDBZKfXsk97.

South Australia Awards: a shortlist of five candidates has been selected for the 2021 Award by this year’s judging panel – which comprises previous award recipients Geoff Rohrsheim (2018), Tony Clark (2019) and Michelle Perugini (2020) plus two experienced mentors of entrepreneurs in SA, Mark Ledson, SA Office of the Chief Entrepreneur and Mike Richards, Polaris Business and Innovation Centre, City of Salisbury. The date for the announcement and presentation of the award is still to be confirmed. Major recent news from last year’s award recipient, CEO and co-founder at Presagen, Michelle Perugini. She is relocating to the USA next month to expand her business after signing a sole global distribution agreement with FujiFILMS Irvine Scientific for Life Whisperer, the fertility arm of Presagen. See more at https://www.lifewhisperer.com/fisi-announcement.

Tasmania Awards: nominations are currently open for the TAS awards. These awards are an important way to help Tasmania entrepreneurs, organisations and businesses become nationally recognised. The nomination form and submission details can be found at https://pearcey.org.au/assets/Forms/Pearcey-State-Nomination-Form.pdf.

Victorian Awards: this year’s recipient is Bronwyn Le Grice, CEO and managing director of ANDHealth. See further https://prwire.com.au/pr/98622/digital-health-leader-bronwyn-le-grice-named-as-2021-victorian-pearcey-entrepreneur-of-the-year.

Western Australia Awards: this year’s Pearcey WA Entrepreneur of the Year is Charlie Gunningham, Managing Editor, The Property Tribune and Startup News; and Founder & Principal of Damburst. He has spent more than 20 years in the Perth technology and startup sector, firstly as a founder himself, through to exit, and more recently as a writer, advisor and investor. He now works in an advisory capacity for multiple tech and other businesses, is managing editor of Startup News and co-host of the Startup West podcast. Gunningham was presented with his award at the 30th INCITE Awards, the longest running ICT Awards program in WA.

National Pearcey Awards

The 2021 Pearcey Medal, Hall of Fame and National Entrepreneur of the Year Awards are scheduled to be held at an event in Tasmania on Friday 12 November 2021. Finalists for the National Entrepreneur of the Year Awards comprise each of the 2021 State award recipients. More details on the event are still to be confirmed. See further https://pearcey.org.au/national-awards.



About the Pearcey Foundation
The Pearcey Foundation 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.

Web: www.pearcey.org.au

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