MAP Story: MAP People

The MAP Team

We live for big ideas – and those who chase them.

Rohan Workman

Director of MAP and Entrepreneurial Programs at CCI

Rohan’s passion is exploring the intersection of creativity and business to create new and sustainable ventures.

Currently he is the Director of the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) at the University of Melbourne.  MAP is a startup accelerator and entrepreneurship program that provides support to entrepreneurs at all stages of development.  In 2015 UBI Global, a Swedish research firm ranked it the 8th best program of its kind in the world.

Prior to MAP Rohan co-founded RosterCloud, which provides HR management software to events companies in Australia.  Rohan was a Director of RosterCloud until 2016 when it was acquired by Rision Limited (ASX:RNL).

Rohan began his career at a boutique corporate advisory firm where he gained experience across many sectors including communications, agriculture, transport, logistics and property.

Rohan is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, the Australian American Young Leadership Dialogue, is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and was nominated for the US Visitors Program.

Rohan has contributed guest columns to the Australian Financial Review, the Australian and can be heard on the BBC World Service, Business Matters segment.  You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Clare Harding

Deputy Director

Dr Clare Harding is MAP’s Deputy Director. Clare’s role is imperative in ensuring the MAP team and initiatives reach their full potential. Clare approaches each new MAP or Compass initiative with a focus on key outcomes, an emphasis on careful planning and a commitment to delivering a superior quality experience.

With a background in consulting, Clare drives the overall strategic direction of our programs, builds strong relationships with key partners and ensures the MAP team are well supported. Clare emphasizes the importance of communication between all parties involved, ensuring team members and stakeholders are happy, expectations are met and nothing falls through the cracks. A vocal supporter of female entrepreneurs, Clare is also a strong driver behind MAP’s female founder initiatives, including The Franklins and the Female Founders meetups, the largest networking event of its kind in Australia.

A Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, Clare gained her doctorate in English Literature, but was soon drawn away from academia towards the emerging field of social entrepreneurship. A fierce advocate for the power of entrepreneurship to transform Australia’s economy and society for the better, Clare co-founded an early Australian social enterprise (The Number 8 Group). Her abiding interest in this space led to a longstanding role as Director and Chair of Social Firms Australia. She also sits on the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee.

Prior to joining MAP in August 2015, Clare worked as a consultant at McKinsey and Company, as a director in the Victorian Government, and as principal in her own consulting practice. She has extensive experience working on and for Boards, has volunteered in many community organisations and throughout her career has established an incredibly rich understanding of the strategy and governance challenges faced by not-for-profits.

Clare has a Bachelor of Arts with majors in English and French from The University of Otago, New Zealand, as well as a Master of Studies and a Doctor of Philosophy in English Language and Literature from The University of Oxford, England.

Thas Nirmalathas

Academic Director

Professor Thas Nirmalathas is the Director for the Melbourne Networked Society Institute which is an interdisciplinary research institutes focusing on challenges and opportunities arising from society’s transition to a networked society. He also provides the academic leadership to the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) which he co-founded to support entrepreneurial activities of the University Community through business acceleration models.

Prof Nirmalathas obtained his BEng and PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Melbourne in 1993 and 1998 respectively. Between 2000 and 2004, he was the Director of Photonics Research Laboratory (Melbourne Node of Australian Photonics CRC) and also the Program Leader of Telecommunications Technologies Program. From 2004 to 2006, he was the Program Leader for the Network Technologies Research Program in NICTA. He was also the acting Lab Director of VRL in 2007. Between 2006 and 2008, He was the Research Group Manager of the Networked Systems Group of Victoria Research Laboratory (VRL) at the National ICT Australia (NICTA), a premier Australian research centre of excellence in ICT. Between 2010 and 2012, he was the Head, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Melbourne

He has serviced as chair of steering committees of Asia Pacific Microwave Photonics and IEEE Topical Meeting on Microwave Photonics Conference series in 2008/2009. He is also a member of the Steering Committee for the International Conference on Optical Internet (COIN). He was also Guest Editor for Special Issue on Opto-Electronics and Communications of the IEICE Transactions in Communications. He was the General Co-Chair of 2008 IEEE Topical Meeting on Microwave Photonics/ Asia Pacific Microwave Photonics 2008. He is currently an Associate Editor of IEEE/OSA Journal of Lightwave Technology. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, a member of Optical Society of America and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia.


Maxine Lee

Accelerator Manager

Maxine Lee oversees the Startup Accelerator. With a supportive yet firm hand, Maxine leads each cohort of startup founders through the accelerator, managing selection and program content, and facilitates both local and global investor, mentor and channel partner connections for the teams.

With years of experience guiding founders through the highs and lows of the startup journey, Maxine offers advice and insight into what it takes to create and build a company – from ideation and business planning through to a thriving organisation. She is excited by the diversity of startups in Melbourne’s entrepreneurship community and seeks to continue to drive improvements within the MAP program and in the wider startup community.

An accomplished speaker often featured on entrepreneurship panels across Melbourne, Maxine has presented at Melbourne Knowledge Week, is a co-host of the Melbourne Female Founders MeetUp – the largest of its kind in Australia – and in 2016 represented MAP at the Incubation Summit hosted by UBI Global in Stockholm, Sweden and the Global Venture Lab Summit in Trondheim, Norway.

Prior to MAP, Maxine worked in brand consulting with clients in IT, supply chain and logistics across Australia. She has a background in market research and accounting, and worked to restructure a national non-for-profit organisation in 2013. Maxine first connected with MAP in 2012 while working on ‘Fabricate’, a platform to build exposure for fashion designers. Identifying a need to connect designers with funding opportunities online, Maxine took an initial meeting with MAP, and the rest, as they say, is history!

Maxine has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Management (Accounting) from the University of Melbourne.

Contact Maxine about the MAP startup accelerator


Abena Ofori

Social Impact Manager

Abena Ofori is the Social Impact Manager for MAP. Abena manages a range of initiatives aimed at equipping entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge to solve some of the great social problems of our world.

With a depth of international experience across social enterprise and not-for-profits including Aidha, Earth Hour and YGAP, Abena brings a fierce passion to her work and an unrivalled determination to challenge the status quo. Abena strongly believes that all entrepreneurs have the potential to incorporate positive social impact into their businesses. As Social Impact Manager, she shares her enthusiasm for social enterprise with others to answer the question on minds of many – how do I make a difference?

Abena is excited about the prospect of Melbourne’s social entrepreneurship scene and the dynamic growth that it is currently exhibiting. Her role at MAP is to infuse an awareness of social impact throughout our programs and to manage specialty programs to help to grow the sector more broadly in Melbourne and Australia.

Abena holds a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Social and Urban Geography and minoring in Economics), and a Post-Graduate Certificate in International Development from The University of British Columbia, Canada. She also has an Executive Master of Arts from The University of Melbourne.

Contact Abena about social impact initiatives at MAP


Sarah Gundlach

Marketing Manager

Sarah Gundlach spearheads MAP’s marketing efforts and is responsible for MAP’s media, branding, communications, digital presence and major events to grow and engage the MAP community.

Working closely with MAP’s leadership, programs and event managers, Sarah’s focus is to attract quality talent into the MAP pipeline and to help identify new opportunities, programs and events that will help them act on their entrepreneurial ambitions.

Passionate about entrepreneurship and education, MAP is an ideal place for Sarah to work. With a background in Marketing and Communications across tourism, retail and the tertiary sector, she has a focus on customer service and quality educational content that pushes MAP to continue to develop and refine its programs.

Sarah particularly enjoys meeting the people behind the businesses and ideas – whether they are aspiring entrepreneurs taking their first steps through MAP’s entry level programs, or the famous faces that come to present to and inspire the MAP community. Another avid supporter of female entrepreneurship, Sarah first encountered MAP in relation to her research in that field, and hopes to share more founder stories to demonstrate that entrepreneurship can be a viable career for all.

Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communications), Diploma of Modern Languages (Spanish), Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) and a Master of Commerce (Marketing) from the University of Melbourne. She is also a sessional lecturer and tutor in Marketing and Communications at the University of Melbourne.

Contact Sarah about marketing, media or communications at MAP


Katie Liddicoat

Events and Programs Manager

Katie Liddicoat is MAP’s Events and Programs Manager. She joined MAP in November 2015 after a number of years with the Australian American Leadership Dialogue, a diplomatic initiative designed to deepen the understanding between Australian and American leaders. Prior to her work at the Dialogue, Katie was at Ernst & Young, earning her stripes in the corporate sector, having previously completed a Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in Marketing, Business Management and HR at RMIT University.

At each stage in her career, Katie’s work has been characterized by a strong appreciation and knack for building lasting relationships, a keen eye for detail and an unrivaled ability to deliver great customer, client and event experiences.

Katie has extensive experience in event planning and management, public relations and partnerships. These skills are impeccably displayed throughout the year in relation to MAP’s suite of key events, including the startup accelerator launch and demo day, annual trade missions to Silicon Valley, and the pinnacle of the entrepreneurship calendar, the Melbourne Entrepreneurship Gala.

Katie is increasingly involved with the development of new partnerships and initiatives between MAP and the corporate, community and government sector, working directly with our formal partners to ensure both MAP and its partners are content.

Katie is passionate about strengthening the ties between the corporate, government and startup sectors, and enjoys showcasing the entrepreneurial talent that MAP and Melbourne’s startup ecosystem has to offer.

Contact Katie about events or corporate partnership opportunities


Lisian Teh

Development Manager

Lisian Teh is the Development Manager for MAP, responsible for all events and programs across the early stage pipeline, including Master Classes, the Velocity Series and Female Founder events. Lisian ensures we deliver high quality content, connect aspiring entrepreneurs with the right programs to develop their skills and help them launch their businesses.

Prior to joining MAP in September 2016, Lisian was a construction disputes and commercial litigation lawyer, and was previously an Advisor to the Office of the Premier of Victoria. Lisian was responsible for the Attorney-General, Consumer Affairs and Corrections portfolios, honing her impeccable skills in project management, team motivation and making things happen!

Lisian enjoys the challenge of scaling MAP’s programs to reach a greater number of startup founders and enthusiasts. Working closely with the Compass and Accelerator Managers, Abena and Maxine, she is relentless in her pursuit of improvement. If there is an efficiency to be found, a mentor or speaker relevant to our community, or an opportunity to be seized, Lisian has it covered.

Lisian holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws form Monash University.

Contact Lisian about development programs or opportunities


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