Meet the Team: Irene

We’re highlighting our business’ strongest asset: our wonderful team!

Here at the Canberra Innovation Network, we’re passionate about innovation and are here to help you make an impact and change the world. Our team is full of clever, connected and creative people and we’re excited to introduce you to our Innovation Programs Manager, Irene Zhen.

Explain what you do at CBRIN in 25 words or less.
I help entrepreneurs, innovators and intrapreneurs take their projects to the next level, particularly through running programs and workshops.

Tell us about what you’re working on at the moment.
Currently I’m in the middle of delivering our Idea to Impact 10 Week Customer Challenge to a group of 70 entrepreneurs!

Who or what inspires you?
Definitely the entrepreneurs in our ecosystem. Going through lockdown 2.0, it’s been amazing to see the resilience, ingenuity and strength people have when trying to change the world in the middle of a pandemic.

What’s your favourite book or podcast?
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson — it’s such a powerful story of what-ifs and life in general for Japanese Americans in the US during WWII.

What are you most passionate about?
Making a impact on the world — whether that be vicariously through CBRIN entrepreneurs or through another means.

If you could dis-invent one thing, what would it be and why?
Plastic bags and packaging — they do so much damage and, in many cases, are totally unnecessary.

Drink of choice? 
Before 5 pm, a latte. After 5 pm, a mojito.

What do you work towards in your free time?
My lockdown 2.0 goal is to level up to gold in League of Legends (currently in silver!). Also, learning a bit of French and trying to maintain some sense of fitness for the upcoming frisbee season (let’s hope it’s still able to go on!).

French Irene

What’s the coolest innovation you’ve read or heard about lately?
I hear about lots so it’s really hard to pick one!

What is something that never fails to make you smile?
Anything animal related — particularly if they’re doing something silly!

What are you currently watching on Netflix?
I’m going through all the National Geographic documentaries at the moment. Loving the ones on Ancient Egypt at the moment!

Tell us something interesting about yourself that we may not know.
One of my summer jobs during uni was a door-to-door salesperson for an electricity retailer. Yep, I was THAT person.

To be fair, I only sold to people I thought could actually benefit from the service.

If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?

Thanks, Irene! You can connect with her on LinkedIn or meet her at our office in Civic.