Sandra Arico represents the next generation of young leaders. She has been described as an enabler, a connector and a catalyst for change.
Sandra’s curiosity, drive and passion for making an impact has led her on an extraordinary journey.
Graduating from RMIT with an Entrepreneurship degree, two prestigious university awards – the RMIT Business Medal and the Patricia Guthrie Memorial Award – and a successful entrepreneurial events-based start-up, she was scouted by the CEO of Deloitte Digital to help drive digital innovation in a conservative professional services firm.
Having successfully helped Deloitte build an online education business from the ground-up, Sandra turned left and headed for the Guatemalan jungle, where she spent a year living in a remote community.
The years that followed saw Sandra bringing her vision, creativity and commercial talent to CSIRO, to start-ups and community-building initiatives, to RMIT, where she managed and grew a thriving innovation program, and to Swisse Wellness where she was Global Head of Innovation.
Sandra’s latest challenge has seen her shift gears and move north to a warmer climate, bringing her experience, passion, energy and fresh thinking to the burgeoning innovation ecosystem on the Sunshine Coast. She is currently working with aerospace tech company HeliMods and with start-ups and scale-ups through the Sunshine Coast Innovation Centre.
Skillful in harnessing the capability of others and in making a positive impact, Sandra believes strongly in empowering those she works with to turn their ideas and dreams into reality.
Howard Aron cofounded Youi Insurance and OUTsurance. Howard is a successful start-up entrepreneur with a strong background in technology and a solid track record in establishing and scaling successful global businesses . Howard started his first business at 20 years old when he saw an opportunity to start a mail order company in South Africa using his software and technology skills. At 29 he was the CEO of the largest motor warranty company in South Africa with over 1 million motor vehicles under its management, employing over 300 staff. Howard then cofounded OUTsurance which was launched in 1998 and became one of the most successful insurance companies in South Africa. As part of its growth strategy, OUTsurance established Youi Insurance in Australia in 2008 and today employs over a 1000 people right here on the Sunshine Coast.
Howard is a visionary thinker with over 30 years of entrepreneurial experience. With a strong focus on technology, he has established a venture capital fund Fintech Investments which looks at investing in startup businesses. Howard is also a Director of the Sunshine Coast Economic futures board.