Blackbird Ventures co-founder Niki Scevak will be among the speakers at this year’s Australian Investment Council (AIC) annual venture event in Sydney on 30 May.

Previously known as the Venture Capital Industry Forum, the event has been retitled by the private capital industry association as AIC Venture Summit.

Scevak will share insights from his experiences in building Blackbird into one of Australia’s leading venture fund managers. He will also take part in a panel discussion with Alium Capital managing partner Rajeev Gupta that will look at liquidity event strategies.

A novel feature of the event will be a discussion on private capital investment opportunities in the defence sector. In this session, Director of Economic Security at the United States Studies Centre, Hayley Channer, will talk with chief executive of Praetorian Aeronautics, Brett Hill; head of the Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator, Professor Emily Hilder; and Main Sequence Ventures partner, Martin Duursma.

Adelaide-based Praetorian Aeronautics has developed a shield system to protect military assets and critical infrastructure from the threat of low altitude drone attacks.

Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) will be the topic of a discussion between Blackbird Ventures partner Tom Humphrey; Square Peg Capital investment principal Lucy Tan; and chief executive and co-founder of Avarni, Misha Cajic.

Head of private markets at LGT Crestone Martin Randall and Lucinda Hankin, head of venture at Grok Ventures, will examine family office sector investment in venture capital.

Chris Gillings of Five V Capital and Cut Through Ventures and Karen Chan of Perennial Private Investments will discuss the future of the Australian start-up sector.

Nick Gainsley from OneVentures will speak on the role of venture debt in driving growth for late-stage venture-backed companies.

AIC chief executive Navleen Prasad will be joined by head of impact at AirTree Ventures, Harriet Dwyer; chief executive of Pathzero, Carl Prins; and chief executive and founder of Sustainability 360 to share insights from the AIC’s ESG Benchmarking Report and examine the current ESG situation in the Australian venture sector.

The major event partner and host of Australian Venture Summit is PwC.

For more details about Australian Venture Summit visit:

Image: Brett Hill, chief executive of drone defence company Praetorian Aeronautics.