MAP STORY: MENTORS

Mentoring from the top minds in business

We connect you to some of the best entrepreneurial minds in Australia – and the world.

 

Our mentors are dedicated to supporting our startups throughout the program – through the first mentor mixer, assigned advisory board meetings and weekly pitch sessions.

Leni Mayo

Software Engineer & Founding Investor

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Leni Mayo

Software Engineer & Founding Investor

Leni Mayo is a software engineer and founding investor of 99designs.com, flippa.com and other web-focused companies based in Melbourne, Australia. 99designs.com is the world’s largest online graphic design marketplace and in 2011 raised $35 million in venture capital from Accel Partners. Leni graduated from the University Melbourne (BSc Hons, 1985), majoring in computer science.

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Laura McKenzie

CEO & Director of Scale Investors

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Laura McKenzie

CEO & Director of Scale Investors

Laura McKenzie is the CEO and Director of Scale Investors. Laura brings 15 years experience in corporate finance, microfinance and venture capital to Scale. She has worked with PwC, Opportunity International and Starfish Ventures across three continents. Her expertise includes identifying, valuing and managing portfolios of innovative companies. She is passionate about unlocking the potential of early stage businesses and connecting female entrepreneurs with capital. Laura is a member of the organising committee for the Nexus Australian Youth Summit, on innovative philanthropy and social entrepreneurship. She is a Williamson Fellow.

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Tony Glenning

Investment Director at Starfish Ventures

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Tony Glenning

Investment Director at Starfish Ventures

Mr Glenning is an Investment Director at Starfish Ventures, a Melbourne-based venture capital fund with around $400 million under management, focusing on information technology investments. His responsibilities include evaluating investment opportunities, performing due diligence, negotiating terms, execution of new portfolio investments and managing portfolio companies. He was founder and CEO of Tonic Systems, a company that developed software for creating and managing presentations online. Tonic Systems was acquired by Google in 2007.

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Darrell Wade

CEO and Co-Founder of Intrepid Travel

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Darrell Wade

CEO and Co-Founder of Intrepid Travel

Darrell Wade is the CEO and Co-founder of Intrepid Travel, an award-winning adventure travel company and a recognised leader in responsible business. In 2006 Darrell completed Climate Project training with the Hon Mr Al Gore and in 2002 he won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

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Sally-Ann Williams

Engineering & Outreach Programs Manager at Google

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Sally-Ann Williams

Engineering & Outreach Programs Manager at Google

Sally-Ann Williams is the Engineering and Outreach Programs Manager at Google. She is behind the StartupAus initiative, overseeing Google’s efforts in entrepreneurship and start-up engagement, CS & STEM outreach and research collaborations with computer science, engineering and related department.

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Paul Holyoake

Executive Chairman of Oakton Ltd

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Paul Holyoake

Executive Chairman of Oakton Ltd

Mr Paul Holyoake, BEng., Mech (Hons), MEngSci, Grad Dip CompSci (Melb), co-founded Oakton Ltd., in 1988 and served as its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director until July 2005. Mr Holyoake delivered the drive and business pragmatism to grow a start-up company into the profitable enterprise. Mr Holyoake has a proven ability to detect the direction of technology and to align the business focus accordingly. Mr Holyoake has been involved in the information technology sector since 1980. He has successfully recruited and retained some of the best people in the IT industry. He worked for a robotics company and CRA (now Rio Tinto). Mr Holyoake has been the Executive Chairman of Oakton Ltd. since July 1, 2005 and also its Director since July 12, 1988.

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Andrew Williams

Early Stage Advisor & VC

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Andrew Williams

Early Stage Advisor & VC

Drew is a partner at Kennedy Needham, where he is an Acquisition and Divestment Specialist in the Mid-Cap $5M–$50M class. He is also their early stage funding specialist, with heavy orientation on the clean/green and IT&C sectors. Drew has advised on projects involving such technologies as carbon fibre 3D weaving, development of functionalised graphene plants, patent pool licensing systems, block chain trust and smart contract systems, utility scale wind turbine development, cleaner coal processes, fixed, mobile & optical telecommunications and lightweight foamed concrete panels. Previously the Investment Director at Information City Australia (ICA), an early stage venture fund and incubator from 2005 to 2010, where he was responsible for all aspects of the investment lifecycle. During that period he was a direct Angel investor in a number of portfolio companies and retains a position in Imagine Intelligent Materials. Prior to that he practised for some 15 years as a corporate and tax lawyer and merchant banker, both in Melbourne and London.

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Emma Welsh

Co-founder – Emma & Tom Foods Pty Ltd

 

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Emma Welsh

Co-founder – Emma & Tom Foods Pty Ltd

 

Emma has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from Melbourne University and an MBA from INSEAD France. She is a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has been a member of EO since October 2013.

In late 2003 Emma and her childhood friend Tom Griffith, decided to start their own business – nothing really new about that.  Like many Australians starting up their own small business they wanted to own and work in something which would be done their way – not someone else’s.

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Andrew Rudge

Innovator, Engineer & Business Development

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Andrew Rudge

Innovator, Engineer & Business Development

Andrew leads the University of Melbourne’s technology commercialisation team focusing on Engineering, ICT and Physical Sciences. He has over 9 years of experience in commercialisation of innovative technologies and driving innovative businesses and product development teams for leading corporate investors and Universities.

Having worked at several Universities and venture capital backed technology companies, Andrew has a strong commercial and engineering background. In a previous role he was CEO of a startup company built on optical detection technology developed at the University of Canterbury, and developed a client and distribution base across the United States, Asia and Europe. Andrew is a member of the Engineering/ICT Investment Committee for UniSeed.

Andrew completed his PhD in the Bioengineering Centre at the University of Canterbury and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with first class Honours.

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Amanda Coote

Co-Founder of Forever New

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Amanda Coote

Co-Founder of Forever New

Amanda Coote is the Co­-founder and former Managing Director of Melbourne fashion retail brand Forever New, which she launched as a start­up in early 2006. Amanda built the business into a successful multi­national brand with over 260 stores across 8 countries with 2500 employees in less than 7 years. This was an extremely fast growth rate for a complex fashion retail brand.
In 2013 Amanda reduced her business commitments in order to pursue academic, philanthropic and community interests, undertaking Melbourne University’s Executive Master of Arts degree. Amanda is a passionate supporter of Social Enterprise, Impact Investment and Entrepreneurship and is working on new projects. In 2014 Amanda established a ground­breaking scholarship program with RMIT to support emerging creative talent in Victoria. The program has awarded scholarships of $20,000 each to three outstanding young Victorian women during 2014 and 2015.

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Dougal Edwards

CEO of Bright Arena

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Dougal Edwards

CEO of Bright Arena

Dougal has been described as a sense-maker with the innate ability to realise the hidden value that exists within all organisations and their networks. He has done so for global leaders across verticals; he thrives where business meets people and technology.

Bright Arena is the result of his work with over 2,000 entrepreneurs internationally, launching startups and advising businesses — leveraging the experience of creating breakthrough solutions for multinationals across media, finance and tech.

Bright Arena specialises in disruptive innovation. We work with startups and their methods to rapidly identify, prototype and scale solutions for enterprise. By putting people at the heart of the innovation process, we create powerful answers to complex problems — delivering results that improve people’s lives and drive business growth.

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Leslie Barry

Executive Consultant at Thoughtworks & Entrepreneur

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Leslie Barry

Executive Consultant at Thoughtworks & Entrepreneur

Leslie Barry has immersed himself in the world of technology startups over the last 4 years which resulted in the fully outsourced building of an online platform, GetViable, to guide entrepreneurs from idea concept to product launch based on leading thinkers. His experience here includes taking ideas from concept to launch, running online business, working with hundreds of entrepreneurs, mentoring early stage startups and working closely with VC’s. Methodologies such as the Lean Startup, Lean Canvas, Business Model Canvas, and Stanford’s Design Thinking process have become second nature.

Leslie currently works for ThoughtWorks as an Executive Consultant focusing on Digital Innovation.

Startup Tally: Sold 2 of 4 startups built (so far…) GetViable acquired by Bigcolors in Hong Kong, August 2014. Exertrack acquired by Techstars company, Gyminee in July 2008.

His prior 16 years experience includes delivering results for Enterprise IT Professional Services and Outsourced Managed Application Services clients. This included managing high-performing teams across multiple geographies with full P & L responsibility of $100 M and 500+ FTE’s.

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Marc Harrison

Founder of Listium

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Marc Harrison

Founder of Listium

Marc is founder of an early stage startup, Listium.com. He is an active adviser in Melbourne’s startup community and regularly mentors at startup events. He is also a non-executive director of MAP12 startup Venuemob.

Before becoming involved with startups Marc was an Executive Director and Partner at JBWere (now Goldman Sachs) where he held the role of Head of Equities in their Asset Management division.

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Edward Lynch Bell

Energy Storage Lead at AGL Energy

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Edward Lynch Bell

Energy Storage Lead at AGL Energy

Edward moved to Melbourne after 4 years working for Aquion Energy, a Pittsburgh, PA energy storage startup. Joining a team working out of a Carnegie Mellon University laboratory, he helped develop and pitch the business case that resulted in raising $US12m in U.S. government grants and venture capital. Edward took a lead role in developing pilot and scaled manufacturing, helping grow the company to 120 employees working across 4 sites. Edward is currently exploring new ventures in Australia including advising MAP’12 alumnus Braden Kidd as he continues to develop his groundbreaking DC microgrid technology.

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Kerri Lee Sinclair

Chief Investment Officer: Technology and Innovation
Kin Group

 

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Kerri Lee Sinclair

Chief Investment Officer: Technology and Innovation
Kin Group

 

Kerri Lee Sinclair is the Chief Investment Officer for Technology and Innovation at the Kin group. She is also a Board member of Springboard Enterprises and was formerly the CEO of QSR International.

Kerri Lee has more than fifteen years’ experience working for a range of Australian-based growth businesses including Intelematics and LookSmart. Kerri Lee also co-founded an internet technology business which was sold to Microsoft-owned FAST in 2007. Kerri Lee began her career with McKinsey & Company, and has since held senior positions with Australia’s largest telecommunications company, Telstra, and Aconex, the world’s most widely-used cloud collaboration platform for construction, infrastructure, energy and resources projects.

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Duncan Anderson

Vice President at Edrolo

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Duncan Anderson

Vice President at Edrolo

Duncan is the vice president of Edrolo, an e-learning company that creates online courses for high school students, which has raised over $1 million funding. He is a graduate of the University of Melbourne with degrees in Engineering and Commerce. Duncan’s professional experiences include Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs, Technology Analyst at Five Oceans and Strategy at Google. He is skilled in financial modelling, internal strategy and online education. He has a wealth of expertise in building great products, having launched in 3 countries from scratch. Duncan’s startup experience also includes SQL, hiring, fundraising, sales, PR, marketing, legal essentials and prototyping.

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Simon Goodrich

Managing Director & Co-Founder of Portable Studios

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Simon Goodrich

Managing Director & Co-Founder of Portable Studios

Simon Goodrich is a successful entrepreneur, angel investor, leading spokesperson and ambassador for the Australian digital sector.

Portable Studios was created in 2009. Its specialty is helping organisations use technology to solve complex problems, transforming any concept, no matter how mature, into a well executed experience. The studio has worked with 300 clients across the corporate, NGO, Not for Profit, government, arts, entertainment and fashion sectors across Australia, Europe and the United States. It was recognised by the BRW Fast 100 (24) and Smart 50 (13) in 2013. The main focus of the studio going forward is enabling disruptive technology in established sectors such as Health and Justice.

Simon is a past president of National President of AIMIA, the peak digital body in Australia. He is also a member and Australian Ambassador for the New York-based International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the team behind the Webby Awards and the premier international recognition for pioneering online initiatives. Simon additionally has sat on the Flexible Learning Advisory Group for the Australian Government, and is the Australian Representative for the United Nations World Summit Award in eContent & Creativity.

He has recently joined the Victorian Committee of the Health Informatics Society of Australia, the peak digital health body.

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David Scoullar

CEO & Managing Director of Southern Innovation

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David Scoullar

CEO & Managing Director of Southern Innovation

David joined the Southern Innovation Board of Directors in 2005 as a Non-executive Director in February 2008 David joined the Southern Innovation executive team as Managing Director.

Prior to joining Southern Innovation David was a Partner in the KordaMentha Group, an Australian accounting practice, where he was in charge of the Group’s boutique Mergers and Acquisitions practice 333Capital. He previously worked with Arthur Andersen in their audit and corporate finance practices in Melbourne and London.

David’s commercial experience spans contract negotiations, initial public offerings, venture capital, company and asset valuations as well as company sales and acquisitions. David is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia, a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association of Australia and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne.

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Mark Wickham

Partner at Philips Ormonde Fitzpatrick Intellectual Property

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Mark Wickham

Partner at Philips Ormonde Fitzpatrick Intellectual Property

Mark is a Patent and Trade Marks Attorney and Partner at Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick, a leading boutique intellectual property firm. His Australian clients include ASX listed companies, universities, government agencies, small to medium enterprises and start-ups, including those in the medical technologies, pharmaceuticals, and FMCG spaces. He assists clients in the preparation, filing and prosecution of patent and trade mark applications in Australia and abroad, and also provides advice on patentability, infringement, validity, freedom to operate and commercialisation.

Prior to joining Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick, Mark was a CJ Martin Fellow at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research following a four year stint as a post-doctoral fellow at the Michael Smith Laboratories in Vancouver, Canada, where his work focussed on host responses to infectious diseases.

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Marita Cheng

CEO & founder of 2Mar Robotics

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Marita Cheng

CEO & founder of 2Mar Robotics

Marita Cheng, 2012 Young Australian of the Year, is the Founder and CEO of 2Mar Robotics.  2Mar began by creating robotic arms for people with a disability controlled by iPhone, Android and two different head-gyroscopic interfaces.  2Mar is now working on a consumer-priced telepresence robot with robotic arm.

Before 2Mar, Marita was the Founder and Executive Director of Robogals, which aims to get girls interested in engineering and technology careers and tertiary studies.  Now having taught 35,000 girls from 9 countries our robotics workshops across 31 chapters, Robogals is internationally acclaimed.  For Robogals, Marita was named 2012 Young Australian of the Year, catapulting her into the public eye.

Since 2012, Marita has completed over 200 speaking engagements including appearing on Q&A on ABC beside two Nobel Laureates and the Chief Scientist of Australia (TV audience 600,000), and alongside Ashton Kutcher at Lenovo’s #TechMyWay.  As well, she has presented overseas in USA, Singapore, France, Dubai, Hong Kong and Japan. Marita has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics) / Computer Science graduate from the University of Melbourne, Marita serves on the boards of Robogals Global, the Foundation for Young Australians, and RMIT’s New Enterprise Investment Fund, where she helps decide on startup investments.

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Michael Vitale

Founding Partner & Director of Social Ventures Partners Melbourne Ltd

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Michael Vitale

Founding Partner & Director of Social Ventures Partners Melbourne Ltd

Four years after completing his PhD in mathematics, Michael left academia to join a startup software company. The company was soon acquired by a very large insurance company, and failed a few years later. The experience sparked Michael’s interest in entrepreneurship, which he currently teaches at Monash University and at the Melbourne Business School. Michael recently participated in the buyout of J G Goldner Pty Ltd, Australia’s leading provider of transportation for thoroughbred race horses, and joined the board of the company. He has also invested in startups in renewable energy, wine, electricity management, travel, and other areas. Michael is a founding partner and director of Social Venture Partners Melbourne Ltd, which funds and builds capacity in non-profit organisations, and is the Treasurer of Melbourne Angels, an inclusive group of Angel investors aiming to realise high returns from investing in high growth, entrepreneurial Australian businesses.

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Jeremy Kraybill

Co-founder & Vice President of Product at Dashcord

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Jeremy Kraybill

Co-founder & Vice President of Product at Dashcord

Jeremy Kraybill has spent over 20 years in high-technology startups in the US and Australia. He started his first company in 1995, and has held a variety of technology and general management positions. His former management positions include pcOrder (IPO’d), Whisperwire (acquired by Convergys), CARad (an eBay subsidiary), and Boundless Network (acquired by Zazzle). He is the co-founder of Dashcord, a Melbourne-based marketing automation and event management solution for Salesforce.com customers. Jeremy sits on the board of MAP 2013 alumnus Palette (formerly Swatchmate).

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Darcy Naunton

Co-founder of Adventure Capital & York Butter Factory

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Darcy Naunton

Co-founder of Adventure Capital & York Butter Factory

Darcy is a co-founder and Partner with the venture fund at Adventure Capital, specialising in seed to Series A early-stage investing primarily from Melbourne’s growing tech startup ecosystem. He is also Managing Director of the York Butter Factory co-working/incubator space where he works closely with young tech startups. Darcy takes on rotating roles as CFO, Board Member, advisor and mentor to a number of startup businesses and founders, as well as helping to coordinate Startup Weekend events nationally. Darcy holds a CFA, after receiving his Masters in Applied Finance at Monash University and Bachelors of Science and Commerce from the University of Western Australia.

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Dr Rikky Muller

CTO & Co-founder of Cortera Neurotechnologies

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Dr Rikky Muller

CTO & Co-founder of Cortera Neurotechnologies

Dr. Rikky Muller is currently the CTO and Co-founder of Cortera Neurotechnologies, a medical device company founded in 2013. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in Electrical Engineering where was a member of the Berkeley Wireless Research Center and the Center for Neural Engineering and Prosthesis. After her graduate studies, she was a McKenzie Fellow, a MAP Entrepreneurial Fellow and Lecturer of Electrical Engineering at the University of Melbourne. Dr. Muller received the B.Sc. and M.Eng. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She then worked as an integrated circuit designer at Analog Devices. Dr. Muller is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards. In 2015, she was named one of the top 10 innovators under 35 in Southeast Asia and Australia by the MIT Technology Review.

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Grant Downie

Founder and Principal, InnovAction

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Grant Downie

Founder and Principal, InnovAction

After a career with some of Australia’s largest corporates, Grant first set up as an independent adviser in 2007 and began staging entrepreneurial and startup events in 2010.

Through international collaboration partnerships, Grant identified and brought Launch48, a weekend business launch format, and the Startup Leadership Program, to Australia. He now complements these programs with events such as the Melbourne Startup Walkabout and the Entrepreneurial Women in Leadership panel.

Grant has an MBA from Mt Eliza/ Melbourne Business School, a B Eng from the University of Melbourne, is a graduate member at the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a professional member at the Australian Human Resources Institute.

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Ying Wang

Co-founder of Venuemob & Crowdmass

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Ying Wang

Co-founder of Venuemob & Crowdmass

Ying founded, operated and sold the online deals business, Crowdmass to Groupon in 2011. Ying subsequently headed marketing at Groupon Australia & New Zealand. Ying’s role at Venuemob is focused on attracting additional event organisers to the website and helping them find suitable function venues for their events.

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James Giang

Co-founder of Venuemob

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James Giang

Co-founder of Venuemob

James previously founded and operated his own mobile-app and web digital agency. He also was a lead team member at Telstra in their specialist mobile applications team. James also organises and is the convener of the Android Australia User Group. The idea of Venuemob was ignited by James’ constant requirement to find function rooms for the group’s events.

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David Wei

Co-founder of Venuemob & Crowdmass

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David Wei

Co-founder of Venuemob & Crowdmass

David previously founded, operated and sold the online deals business, Crowdmass to the publicly listed US company Groupon in 2011. He subsequently headed sales training at Groupon Australia & New Zealand. David’s role at Venuemob focuses on growing their network of function venues across Australia.

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Elena Kelareva

Software Product Manager

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Elena Kelareva

Software Product Manager

Elena is the former Product Manager for the Google Maps Web APIs. She has a PhD in Computer Science from the Australian National University and has over 10 years experience in software product development.

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Djordje Dikic

Co-founder of SwatchMate

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Djordje Dikic

Co-founder of SwatchMate

Djordje was once a Creative, then he became an Engineer. He’s now very happy to combine the two after co-founding SwatchMate, focused on designing technology that enhances creativity. He has been awarded several design awards for his efforts, and is often found wondering why more people don’t use his preferred inter-human salute: the classic High-Five.

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Paul Peng

Co-founder of Swatchmate

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Paul Peng

Co-founder of Swatchmate

Paul is a constantly troubled renovator and improver of things. Paul spent several years working in the finance industry after university but before that spent too much time dreaming up solutions to world problems, most of which were outrageous. The idea for SwatchMate spawned from one of his more sensible solutions. Paul believes in the efficient execution of tasks. Outside of work he has been a long serving member of the State Emergency Service and enjoys hiking, tennis, and the odd tinkling of the ivory.

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Rocky Liang

Co-founder of SwatchMate

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Rocky Liang

Co-founder of SwatchMate

Rocky is an electronics enthusiast and is constantly looking for improvements upon existing solutions. SwatchMate is aimed to make colour identifying devices more affordable to customers. Rocky spent the next two years in research study after completing his engineering degree. His academic research explores methods to improve the efficiency in wireless networks. Outside if work, he enjoys play table tennis, skiing, volunteering at St John and supporting interesting ideas on KickStarter.

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Joseph Valente

CEO of Ebla

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Joseph Valente

CEO of Ebla

Joe enjoys thinking about how technology can be used to solve the big problems in publishing, government and higher education. His latest venture, Ebla (named after the world’s oldest law library) brings together these strands to help people understand the law by allowing lawyers and experts to leave commentary about the latest legal updates.

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Fiona Wynn

Head of Innovation and Intrapreneurship at Australia Post

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Fiona Wynn

Head of Innovation and Intrapreneurship at Australia Post

Fiona is driving the development of a creative and customer-focused culture at Australia Post. Her team has built an internal incubator program for internal entrepreneurs to rapidly accelerate new product and business development in diverse, cross-functional teams.

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Graeme Port

Co-Founder of ManageSoft Corporation

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Graeme Port

Co-Founder of ManageSoft Corporation

Graeme was a co-founder of ManageSoft Corporation, a Melbourne-based enterprise software company. Graeme led the software development team that created three major internationally successful products over a 12-year period. Self-funded for the first 10 years, ManageSoft grew to a 120+ person company operating in Australia, US, UK and Germany, with over 250 corporate customers worldwide and a global network of partners. ManageSoft was acquired by Flexera Software in 2010.

Graeme is passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and the connections between university and industry. He has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Melbourne and has maintained strong ties with the department. He has been on Industry Advisory Board at both Melbourne and Monash universities and is currently Chair of Industry Advisory Group for Department of Computing and Information Systems at University of Melbourne.

Graeme is currently CEO of his own startup called Infinuendo, working in the area of data modeling in Big Data environments.

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Robert Wickham

Regional Vice President of Salesforce

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Robert Wickham

Regional Vice President of Salesforce

Robert Wickham leads Salesforce’s efforts to help companies experiment and validate new business ideas in partnership with some of the local incubators. Robert previously ran Salesforce’s specialized sales team across Asia Pacific.

Prior to joining Salesforce, Robert led the Engineered Systems business at Oracle across Australia & New Zealand. He joined Oracle through acquisition in 2008 and initially ran Oracle’s System Management business in North America.

Prior to his tenure at Oracle, Robert held multiple marketing, product management and sales leadership positions at Empirix Web Test Division (which Oracle acquired in 2008). Prior to Empirix, Robert was a cofounder of Go Fly Limited (a low cost European airline that was eventually sold to easyJet) and a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group.

He holds a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Robert was a member of the MIT Board of Trustees from 1996-2001 and the MIT Alumni Board from 2002-2004. He is a recipient of the MIT Bronze Beaver for distinguished service. He is an avid squash player, golfer and cricket fan. Fun Fact: Robert played for the Trinidad & Tobago under-19 cricket team captained by his classmate Brian Lara.

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Neil Detering

Co-founder of IRESS Ltd

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Neil Detering

Co-founder of IRESS Ltd

Neil is a co-founder of ASX listed trading & market data provider IRESS Ltd and was Chief Operating Officer of IRESS as it grew from a 3 man startup to employing over 200 staff and a market capitalization of $450m at the time of his departure.  Neil has been involved in a number of other businesses as founder, investor or mentor including a hedge fund, enterprise asset management software, an online rostering systems provider and is currently an advisor to a financial technology start up.

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Tom Griffith

Director and Co-Founder of Emma & Tom’s

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Tom Griffith

Director and Co-Founder of Emma & Tom’s

Tom Griffith is the Director and Co-Founder of Emma & Tom’s. He is also a partner and board member of The Unite Project, which is a collaboration between Emma & Tom’s, Cotton On Group and other major partners to fight against youth homelessness in Austalia. Prior to Emma & Tom’s, Tom was a CFO and corporate advisor. In 2015, he was a finalist of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

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Simone Carroll

Executive of Vicinity Centres

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Simone Carroll

Executive of Vicinity Centres

Simone Carroll has close to 20 years’ experience in business transformation, with a strong commercial background that spans across human resources, marketing and commercial strategy. Simone specialises in leading businesses through all stages of the business lifecycle, from start-up through to market shaping leadership and became chief of Digital, Marketing, People and Culture of Vicinity Centres in November 2015, a retail property trust that owns and manages over 100 shopping malls across Australia with over 500 million customers every year.

Simone has held executive leadership positions and advisor roles for numerous online domestic and international businesses. Most recently Simone was Executive General Manager People and Brand Director at REA Group, which has operations that include Australia’s leading residential and commercial property sites, realestate.com.au and realcommercial.com.au, where her responsibilities included all marketing and human resource functions across its international businesses.

Simone has a proven track record in establishing cultures which produce innovation and product and service delivery methods such as Agile and Lean Systems thinking. In 2013, Simone was recognised as Australian HR Director of the Year, she has ‘start up’ nature with ‘sustainability’ skills and expertise in navigating the volatility of a disrupted marketplace for both private and public companies.  Simone  has led the companies she’s has worked for to recognition as great places to work.  She believes that people are the brand and puts a company’s purpose at the centre of all commercial guidance and decision making, ensuring ‘best in breed’ customer and consumer experiences.

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Andy Sheats

Founder and CEO of health.com.au

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Andy Sheats

Founder and CEO of health.com.au

Andy was Founder and CEO of health.com.au — Australia’s first new health insurance company since 1977. He raised $100m funding package for the company ($34m equity plus debt facilities), and led the company to $110m revenue in under 3 years.  They won the Telstra Business Award for best new business.

Before starting health.com.au, Andy was a senior exec at the REA Group (aka realestate.com.au) for 6 years. During this time REA grew revenue from $30m to >$250m, and increased shareholder value from $150m to greater than $5 billion. Andy reported to the CEO(s) with responsibility for Strategy, M&A and Corp Development, with more than 20 transactions completed.

Andy is an acknowledged leader in using Agile and Lean approaches to build teams and capability through periods of change and growth. He is an expert in digital marketing strategy, online classifieds, commercialisation of start-up businesses and the consumer Internet; and a regular contributor to BRW on these topics. Andy regularly lectures on mergers and acquisitions at the Melbourne Business School. He was a management consultant at Booz Allen. Andy was recognised as the Australian Growth Company CEO of the year in 2014/15.

 

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Dan Fergusson

Sales Director of  Vision Critical

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Dan Fergusson

Sales Director of  Vision Critical

Dan Fergusson has been in the enterprise technology industry for over 5 years, driving business development for various applications in business intelligence, engagement and research. Originally from Canada, but he has trained and led sales hubs in Toronto, New York, Sydney and most recently he has opened a new office in Melbourne. With experience launching many new solutions, he is skilled at finding product/market fit with larger brands, understanding buyer journey frameworks, developing strategic sales methodologies and scaling across departmental, industry and international boundaries. Dan has an Honors Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University, a Professional Certificate in Strategic Marketing Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University and is currently pursuing his Certified Market Research Professional Designation from the University of Georgia (MRIA).

 

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Filip Eldic

Co-Founder & Executive Director of Bluedot Innovation

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Filip Eldic

Co-Founder & Executive Director of Bluedot Innovation

Filip Eldic is a Co-founder and Executive Director with Bluedot Innovation, a global leader in advanced location services for mobile applications with offices across Australia and the USA. Filip also works with a variety of Startup accelerators and Startups

 

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Ben Hensman

Investor at Square Peg Capital

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Ben Hensman

Investor at Square Peg Capital

Ben joined Square Peg’s Melbourne office in early 2016. He is deeply passionate about software platforms and technology.

Prior to joining Square Peg, Ben was an Investment Analyst at Fidelity International in Sydney, covering investments in the telecommunications, media, software & technology sectors across A&NZ. Prior to that, he was an Analyst in Deloitte Brisbane’s Corporate Finance team.

Ben holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the University of Queensland, and has completed the CFA Level 1.

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Rosemary Cummins

Biotech/Medtech Consultant

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Rosemary Cummins

Biotech/Medtech Consultant

Rosemary Cummins brings over 15 years experience in the financial markets. As an equity analyst at UBS and Citigroup she was responsible for determining the investment potential of a portfolio of ASX listed companies. The role required multi-dimensional analysis, examining the broader economic overlay in addition to industry and company specific variables such as corporate strategy, competitor profile, financial performance. Her particular interest in the biotech/medtech sector drew on her background in health sciences and saw the development of valuation techniques to reflect the earlier commercial stage of many of the companies in this sector. In more recent roles as a consultant to a number of Australian biotech/medtech companies, Rosemary has worked with company management to develop investor strategies.

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Rod Lyle

Senior Corporate Adviser at Clayton Utz

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Rod Lyle

Senior Corporate Adviser at Clayton Utz

Rod is by training a lawyer, and is the Senior Corporate Adviser in the Melbourne office of Clayton Utz .  He has been a trusted adviser on many significant mergers, acquisitions and equity capital markets transactions throughout Australia, and internationally, for more than three decades.  Rod is highly regarded for his tactical and strategic advice and has a depth of legal knowledge and business acumen, together with extensive governance experience from other directorships, which include ASX listed Pro Medicus Limited.  He has a long track record of helping to develop and nurture growth companies from start up to maturity and all the phases in between.

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Matt Galt

Head of Corporate Strategy at Australia Post

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Matt Galt

Head of Corporate Strategy at Australia Post

Mathew is passionate about how strategy can help great ideas create economic value and positive societal impact.

 

He has worked in strategy and new business development for over 7 years, across a wide range of sectors and business problems, from rapid growth early stage ventures to Australian and international Corporates, Government and Not for Profits.

 

Mathew’s current role as Head of Corporate Strategy at Australia Post is focused on the ongoing transformation to create adaptive and innovative businesses within an environment of technological disruption. He also serves in an advisory role to the CEO at Zero-Latency – the World leader in Free-Roam Virtual Reality experiences, as well as other selected early stage ventures.

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James Cattermole

CEO & founder of Hexigo

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James Cattermole

CEO & founder of Hexigo

James started in IT in the mid 90’s working for Aspect Computing, a large systems integrator (now part of Fujitsu) before moving to the UK. In the UK he worked for several years for a systems integration company specialising in mobile communication and telemetry.

Returning to Melbourne in 2004, he started his first company, specialising in DVD rental software. After selling to customers around the world it was sold to Blockbuster in 2007. In 2007 he acquired Acumentum and founded JadeLynx Pty Ltd, specialising in software development and UX design, before selling it in 2013.

He then founded Hexigo Inc and moved to Silicon Valley, pivoting in 2015 to an entirely new model. Hexigo is on-going with operations in Melbourne and Palo Alto.

James specialises in enterprise B2B technology and his primary strengths are in enterprise sales and relationships, corporate structuring and deal making.

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Dave Slutzkin

GM and CTO – Versent

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Dave Slutzkin

GM and CTO – Versent

Dave is an entrepreneurial manager with experience running successful web startups, building products and running agile dev teams. His specialities include product strategy, team development, and the lean methodology.

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Dave Scheine

International Strategy Advisor at GoFundMe

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Dave Scheine

International Strategy Advisor at GoFundMe

Dave currently serves as an international strategy adviser at GoFundMe where he also develops and executes marketing and PR strategy for Australia.  Dave has over 13 years of experience in sales, marketing and project management working for companies including Deloitte, Amazon, Google and Yelp across North America, Asia, Europe and Australia. With a strong passion for startups, Dave offers a strong skillset with a focus on online marketing and digital strategy.

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Trent Clews de Castella

Co-Founder at Phoria

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Trent Clews de Castella

Co-Founder at Phoria

Trent began his entrepreneurial journey in 2012 when he founded 3D Melbourne, a 3D tech consultancy which aimed to promote the adoption of 3D printing, scanning and modelling throughout Australia. After two years of research and development he founded Scann3d, a 3D visualisation company that aims to empower anyone with the ability to experience a physical place in a digital space. Creating VR experiences, interactive mobile applications and innovative software to engage home buyers online.

In conjunction with Scann3d, Trent has been deeply involved in Melbourne’s growing 3D community. From running Melbourne’s first 3D printing events through to presenting at Australia’s first international 3D printing conference. With a strong enthusiasm for all things three dimensional, Trent is committed to applying his skills and expertise to our cultural heritage, working with not-for-profits such as the Australian National Trust to digitally archive, promote and share some of Australia’s most treasured and historical sites for future generations to come.

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Steven Kounnas

Co-Founder at Phoria

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Steven Kounnas

Co-Founder at Phoria

Steven began working in corporate recovery before realising he wanted to build companies up not tear them down. His time working with insolvent companies equipped me with the knowledge of how to run a company with minimal funds. He co-founded Scann3d in 2014 with a bunch of amazing individuals. They have since been on an amazing rollercoaster journey that has involved working with some of the biggest companies in Australia.

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Stephen Neville

Founder of Pixy Printing

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Stephen Neville

Founder of Pixy Printing

I have 15 years experience spanning technology, marketing, advertising & media including a decade in leadership roles. I have worked with clients in the consumer space as well as B2B touching a broad range of industries.

I have founded business, some more successful than others, and understand the immense set of challenges founders encounter.

My primary areas of expertise are:

– Insights: Better understand customer need/motivations
– Growth: Creative Ideas & strategies to improve customer acquisition, conversion & retention
– Analytics: Compile the data required to inform decision-making
– Teams: Set up the teams, tools and process to execute these strategies

Sometimes I also make things out of wood.

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Ben Williamson

Finance Professional

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Ben Williamson

Finance Professional

Ben is an experienced finance professional who has had a range of experience from Big 4 through to start-up. With a basis in accounting & analytics followed by real world strategy and operations growth roles, he is an active mentor/investor.

He has been an instrumental C-level executive and shareholder in companies that have grown from new/low base to large turnovers ($200m+) with multiple exits. With a strong history of buy/sell side M&A across a wide range of price points (<$1m, $1-10m, $10-25m, $100m+) he has experienced needs/wants of vendors and investors across these levels and has shown an ability to put together a deal that suits both parties.

Ben has a passion for disruptive technologies, with a focus on financial, education and energy sectors – but loves learning about new industries.

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Guy Givoni

Advisory Board Member of Mobilicom

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Guy Givoni

Advisory Board Member of Mobilicom

In the last 14 year Mr. Givoni helped the organisation in IT&T to develop their regional business from scratch to multi-million annual revenues by forming the business strategy, go-to-market plans and relentless execution while building the required business infrastructure.

Working for the last 19 years with Israeli start-ups, Mr. Givoni’s background includes a variety of management positions in sales, business development, product management and R&D specialising in Cyber Security, Telecom, Software and semiconductors.

In his current role Mr. Givoni is the APAC Managing Director for AlgoSec – a startup he joined 7.5 years ago to bootstrap APAC and now serves 300 customers in the region, among them 7 of the 10 largest Australian enterprises.

Recently Mr. Givoni was appointed as Advisory Board Member of Mobilicom – a mission-critical mobile communication startup that was listed on the ASX. In addition, he volunteers in several startup accelerator programs combining his business-building acumen and passions around science, technology and helping entrepreneurs.

Mr. Givoni has a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MBA in Finance from the Inter-Disciplinary Centre in Israel – a joint program with the Wharton Business School, PENN.

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Debra Allanson

Digital strategy, entrepreneur, director

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Debra Allanson

Digital strategy, entrepreneur, director

Debra Allanson is an online media entrepreneur and producer with a history of leading industry innovation and growth initiatives in the film, media and digital economy. Debra is a Director of Film Victoria, founder of pioneering digital studios Ish Media and a former CEO of ScreenWest. She is currently leading the team behind Scape, an online platform, and showcase for the screen industry.

Her expertise includes new venture design and planning, digital media trends, disruptions and strategies, screen business strategy, and government and corporate partnerships.

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Sam Pratt

Strategy & Development Director at Unlockd

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Sam Pratt

Strategy & Development Director at Unlockd

Sam is a new market strategy and digital product leader with significant business transformation and strategy consulting experience across a variety of banking, finance and early-stage organisations.

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Campbell Walshe

Innovation | Strategy | Marketing

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Campbell Walshe

Innovation | Strategy | Marketing

Campbell Walshe has spent a decade in startup technology in Australia and the US. He is a Cofounder of CNSDose, a decision support tool using DNA to predict which antidepressants are likely to be effective for depression which is currently operating in the US.

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Kjetil Hansen

Founder and CEO at Deliciou

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Kjetil Hansen

Founder and CEO at Deliciou

Deliciou believes everyone deserves to have fun cooking. We make exciting all-purpose seasonings that are easy to use and empower people to have fun creating tasty meals.

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Mary Bahrami

Business Services Manager (CA) – Passionate about helping Startups

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Mary Bahrami

Business Services Manager (CA) – Passionate about helping Startups

Mary is a Chartered Accountant passionate about Startups. She believes energies are contagious and by working with Startups wants to create a positive and infectious culture. Her public practice career spans a decade across KPMG Melbourne and more recently Anderson Partners Chartered Accountants, having worked with clients across different industries spanning retail, food and restaurant, manufacturing, medical, architecture, finance, law, mining, construction, property development as well as Startups. She is also part of the examination marking panel at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. Mary currently advises a number of Startups affiliated to the Melbourne Accelerator Program on all things tax and accounting and is well-connected across Melbourne’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

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Kate Dinon

Founder and Managing Director Character

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Kate Dinon

Founder and Managing Director Character

As the Founder and Managing Director of Australian communications firm Character, Kate Dinon is a communications and public relations strategist with over 17 years of global experience working with the startup, technology, government, resources, design and cultural sectors. Prior to founding her own firm, Kate was the Head of Corporate Communications for a listed industrial company based in Zurich.

 

Kate is also the founder of Commissioned Editions, a premium design brand that releases two limited edition furniture pieces each year and a co-founder of FK/KD, a venture that produces public events on an annual basis as part of Vivid Ideas.

 

Kate has completed executive programs in international communications strategy at Columbia University in New York and an advanced management program for high potential leaders at INSEAD in France.

 

Kate’s extensive experience in brand strategy, communications, and public relations make her a trusted voice in her field. She has been published in the Australian Financial Review and Smart Company, while her speaking experience includes brand strategy, communications, and media strategy, strategic partnerships, corporate strategy, consumer trends, brand, and marketing innovation.

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