Marita Cheng

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Marita Cheng

Born (1989-03-05) 5 March 1989 (age 32)[1]
Cairns, Queensland, Australia[2]
NationalityAustralian
OccupationEntrepreneur
Websitemaritacheng.com

Marita Cheng AM (born 5 March 1989) is the founder of Robogals. She was named the 2012 Young Australian of the Year.[3] She is the founder and current CEO of Aubot, a start-up robotics company.[4] She co-founded Aipoly, an app to assist blind people to recognise objects using their mobile phones.[5] She was named as one of the World's Top 50 women in Technology by Forbes in 2018,[6] and was recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2016.[7]

Early life[edit]

Cheng was raised by her mother, a single parent[8] who worked as a hotel room cleaner,[9] in a housing commission apartment.[8]

Career[edit]

In 2007 while at university, Cheng founded Nudge, a company which provided reminders by phone or text message to help people manage their prescription drug schedules.[9] She won a prize for the best undergraduate business at the University of Melbourne and then recruited friends to start designing workshops to teach girls about robotics.[5] This became Robogals, which was founded in 2008[10] for the purpose of encouraging young women into careers in STEM fields.[9] Cheng later graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in mechatronics and a Bachelor of Computer Science.[5]

In 2011 Cheng was awarded a Churchill Fellowship, which allowed her to visit the U.S., U.K., Germany and Jamaica to learn about international approaches to science education for young women.[11] In 2011, Cheng was also awarded the Anita Borg Institute's Change Agent ABIE Award.[12][13]

In November 2011, Cheng was named Victorian Young Australian of the Year for 2012,[14] and went on to be named as Young Australian of the Year.[3] In that same year she was also a winner in the Financial ReviewWestpac 100 Women of Influence awards' Young Leader category.[15]

Cheng visited China as part of the 40 Year Anniversary of Australia-China Diplomatic Relations, touring Guangzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing, Tianjin and Beijing in 2012.[16]

In 2013 she established a start-up robotics company.[17]

Cheng delivered the closing keynote speech at the 35th World Congress of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in Hong Kong in 2014.[18]

In 2015, Cheng attended Singularity University's flagship 10-week Graduate Studies Program, where she founded an app that uses AI to enable visually impaired people to recognize objects,[19] receiving TechCrunch coverage during her time at the program.[20] The app won a CES Best of Innovation Award in 2017.[21]

Cheng co-led an Australian delegation of 50 entrepreneurs, industry representatives and government envoys, to Israel alongside Assistant Innovation Minister Wyatt Roy in 2015.[22]

She co-founded Aipoly, which launched in January 2016. Aipoly is an app to assist blind people to recognise objects using their mobile phones.[5]

Cheng returned to her robotics company, receiving a Myer Fellowship,[23] and participated in the Advance Queensland Hot Desq program in 2017, relocating to Brisbane, Australia for 6 months,[24] and the Austrade San Francisco Landing Pad in 2018, which brought her to San Francisco.[25]

From 2012–2018, Cheng served on the board of the Foundation for Young Australians.[26] Cheng helped decide on startup investments alongside Eddie McGuire[27] as a board member of RMIT University's New Enterprise Investment Fund (2014-2017),[28] and supported the Victorian startup ecosystem as a board member of the Victorian State Innovation Expert Panel (2016-2018).[29] She was also involved with the Clinton Health Access Initiative as Technology Advisory Board Member (2016-2017).[30]

Public appearance[edit]

Cheng has given two TEDx talks,[31][32] and has been a featured speaker at MIT Technology Review Conference in Singapore,[33] IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA),[34] the World Entrepreneurship Forum in Lyon, the Global Summit of Women in Tokyo,[35] and the Girl Scout National Convention in Utah.[36]

She appeared live on TV as a panelist on ABC's Q&A, alongside Nobel laureates Brian Schmidt and Peter Doherty, Suzanne Cory and Chief Scientist of Australia Ian Chubb,[37] and in 2011, served as a judge on The New Inventors.[38] She spoke alongside Ashton Kutcher at Lenovo's #TECHmyway.[39]

Cheng has been profiled in Vogue Australia,[40] InStyle magazine,[41] and The Australian Women's Weekly for her work as a technology entrepreneur.[42]

Cheng frequently attends events via her company's Teleport robot, using the device to meet Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in 2018,[43] to appear on a panel with Israel's Chief Scientist Avi Hasson,[44][45] and to give a speech at Robogals' 10-year anniversary gala dinner.[46]

Awards and other accolades[edit]

  • 2012 – Young Australian of the Year
  • 2014 – RoboHub 25 Women in Robotics you need to know about[47]
  • 2014 – Global Engineering Deans Council Diversity Award[48][49]
  • 2016 – Forbes 30 Under 30
  • 2016 – Asia Society's Asia Game Changer Award[50]
  • 2017 – American Australian Association Next Generation Leader[51]
  • 2018 – Forbes World's Top 50 Women in Tech

References[edit]

  1. ^ "myRobogals - Profile - Marita Cheng". my.robogals.org.
  2. ^ Packham, Laura (26 January 2012). "Young Australian of the Year honour for Cairns girl Marita Cheng". The Cairns Post. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Young Australian of the Year 2012". National Australia Day Council. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Aubot - About". 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Blackwell, Geoff; Hobday, Ruth (2017). 200 women: who will change the way you see the world. Richmond, Victoria: Echo in association with Blackwell&Ruth. p. 367. ISBN 9781760408183.
  6. ^ "The World's Top 50 Women in Tech". Forbes. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  7. ^ Howard, Caroline. "30 Under 30 Discovering Brave New Worlds in Science And Healthcare". Forbes. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  8. ^ a b Katherine Firkin (15 September 2010). "Mum's little helper - Extraordinary citizens recognized for bravery". Herald Sun. p. 010.
  9. ^ a b c Robyn Rankin (29 December 2010). "Marita Cheng". The Cairns Eye. p. 12.
  10. ^ Bridie Smith (15 November 2011). "Rush in leading role among society's mentors". The Age. p. 5. The Victorian young Australian of the year was 22-year-old engineering student Marita Cheng, who founded Robogals Global in 2008 to encourage women to consider a career in the sciences
  11. ^ "Quite a Fellow". The Cairns Sun. 13 July 2011. p. 1.
  12. ^ "Abie Awards - AnitaB.org". Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Marita Cheng - AnitaB.org". 1 October 2011.
  14. ^ "Victorian Australian of the Year award recipients 2012 announced". Australianoftheyear.org. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  15. ^ Upton, Louise (8 July 2013). "How Marita Cheng engineered success". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  16. ^ admin (16 January 2013). "Message from the Australian Ambassador to China: Celebrating 40 years". Australia China Connections. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  17. ^ Pennington, Sylvia (19 September 2013). "What Marita Cheng did next". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  18. ^ "WAGGGS 35th World Congress program". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  19. ^ "Marita Cheng: The Australian robotist helping blind people see with the click of a button". Advance. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Aipoly Puts Machine Vision in the Hands of the Visually Impaired". TechCrunch. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  21. ^ "Aipoly Vision Wins the Best of Innovation Award at CES2017". COOL BLIND TECH. 6 January 2017. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  22. ^ Mao, Frances (25 October 2015). "Wyatt Roy headed to start-up nation Israel". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  23. ^ "2016 Myer Innovation Fellows Announced". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  24. ^ Queensland, Advance (13 October 2017). "Robot Queen returns to Queensland". Medium. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  25. ^ "Aubot- Australian Landing Pad Participant San Francisco - Australia Unlimited". www.australiaunlimited.com. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  26. ^ "Young Australians Appointed to FYA Board | PBA". Pro Bono Australia. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  27. ^ "RMIT invests $100,000 in four student start-ups - RMIT University". www.rmit.edu.au. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  28. ^ "Entrepreneurs 'Start Up Nation' Innovation Delegation to Israel". www.spacecubed.com. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  29. ^ "Victorian Innovation Takes An Expert Lead". Premier of Victoria. 12 February 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  30. ^ "Announcing Marita Cheng as ASCILITE keynote – ASCILITE 2017". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  31. ^ TEDx Talks (14 May 2013), We Need to Teach Our Kids to be Makers: Marita Cheng at TEDxSydney, retrieved 19 March 2019
  32. ^ TEDx Talks (22 August 2016), If the blind could see | Alberto Rizzoli and Marita Cheng | TEDxMelbourne, retrieved 19 March 2019
  33. ^ "EmTech Singapore lifts the curtain on future technologies". Digital News Asia. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  34. ^ "ICRA-X". IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation 2018. 11 January 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  35. ^ "2017 Summit Archive – Global Summit of Women". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  36. ^ "World Conference – 2014". Girl Guides Australia. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  37. ^ Science: Precious Petals to Passionate Teachers, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 15 September 2014, retrieved 20 March 2019
  38. ^ "YOUNG ACHIEVERS AWARDS - 2013/2014". old.rotaryclubofmelbourne.org.au. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  39. ^ Lenovo Australia and New Zealand (12 February 2015), 2015 #TECHmyway livestream live in Sydney Australia, retrieved 20 March 2019
  40. ^ Clark, Lucie (31 May 2018). "Five lessons in tech success from entrepreneur Marita Cheng". Vogue.com.au. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  41. ^ Cincotta, Katie (17 May 2015). "Win helps inventor Marita Cheng develop Teleroo robot". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  42. ^ "Meet The Weekly's Women of the Future winners". Now To Love. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  43. ^ "Young Victorians impress royal visitors". Special Broadcasting Service. 18 October 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  44. ^ "Israel's chief scientist to come face to face with Aussie robot". Australian Financial Review. 20 November 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  45. ^ "Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce". www.aicc.org.au. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  46. ^ "Robogals 10th Anniversary Celebration – Robogals". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  47. ^ "25 women in robotics you need to know about (2014) | Robohub". Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  48. ^ "'Robogal' Marita does it again". www.couriermail.com.au. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  49. ^ "Australian engineer wins global diversity award". Australian Aviation. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  50. ^ "Asia Society Honors I.M. Pei, Other 'Asia Game Changers' at United Nations". Asia Society. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  51. ^ "American Australian Association". www.americanaustralian.org. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
Awards
Preceded by
Jessica Watson
Young Australian of the Year
2012
Succeeded by
Akram Azimi

External links[edit]