Founder and Managing Director of Twoeyes, Conor McKenna is a strategic advisor who helps business owners, boards and CEOs to develop, grow & improve performance, while providing wealth creation opportunities for equity investors.
He is a venture-backed entrepreneur, business owner, venture developer, equity investor & company director. During his 20 year career, he has resided in 6 countries & worked in 13 industries. Within these, he has developed start-ups, spin-outs, family businesses, SMEs, not-for-profits & Government bodies.
Founder & driving force of multiple ventures, he has broad operating experience: from the first in a start-up to a key role with the Australian subsidiary of a US multinational, responsible for $50M budget & reported on 1B units ‘Just in Time’ supply.
A multi-award winning entrepreneur, in 1999 Conor invented ZORK, a patented wine packaging technology that is the basis of a successful global product innovation. The same year he created the ZORK trade mark. He founded the ZORK company in 2002.
ZORK has since gone on to commercialise the core technology, raise multimillion dollar venture funding & secure strategic partners in key global markets. Large-scale manufacturing capacity has been developed on 3 continents. The company's second product, ZORK for sparkling wines, was launched in mid 2009.
Conor is recognised as having pioneered South Australia's Venture Community: In 2001, he established the South Australian operation of First Tuesday, the global entrepreneural and investor networking phonomena, which connected Adelaide to 117 cities across the globe.
The same year, he created and hosted the highly acclaimed iBall the innovators and investors networking dinner and developed and delivered the Innovator of the Year award program.
In 2002, he brought AVCAL, the Australian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, to South Australia, and was the founding SA State Convenor of AVCAL for its first 2 years. During this 2 year period, he also established and co-ordinated South Australia's participation in the Australian Innovation Festival.
In total, over a 36-month period, Conor organised and facilitated 35 networking events that brought together over 5,000 entrepreneurs, investors and service providers. He successfully attracted many venture capital investors from interstate and overseas to Adelaide and stimulated a number of successful investment opportunities and strategic partnerships.
A Member of the SA Business Development Council since 2006, Conor advises the Minister for Small Business on behalf of SA business community. He is Chairman of the Council's Sub-committee for Innovation & Entrepreneurship & is a Member of the Sub-committees for Business Funding & Family Business.
Conor was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2009 by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. As part of his Fellowship, Conor is travelling across the USA to make a study of "How a regional economy like South Australia can create a sustainable culture of Entrepreneurship and Venture Investing".
He is a Member of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) & the Australian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (AVCAL).
In November 2009, Conor will be attending the Private Equity and Venture Capital program at Harvard School of Business in Boston.
He is also a Graduate of both the 34th Venture Capital Institute in Atlanta and the AVCAL Foundation Course in Venture Capital. He has also completed the AICD Company Directors Course.
Conor holds an Advanced Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of Adelaide, where he specialised in Strategic Operational Planning. He has a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the University of South Australia and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Italian & English Literature from the University of Galway, in Ireland.
A father of three and a keen enthusiast of sky diving and abseiling, Conor is an active member of the South Australian Crippled Crows Golden Oldies Rugby team. He is also an elected Member of the Rugby Club's Management Committee.