OUR MENTORS

We are supported by the Queensland Government, City of Gold Coast and over 20 corporate and community partners, sponsors and supporters committed to driving a new digital economy on the Gold Coast.

We would like to acknowledge and thank all of you for your support and generosity.

INVESTMENT & FINANCE
David Garnier
Founder of New Wave Capital

David has more than twenty years of experience in funding,  corporate advisory and innovation. He has successfully launched and transacted funding requirements for IT & Communications, Digital Media and Transport companies throughout the Asia Pacific region. In addition David has secured capital funding for expansion whilst previously serving in executive and non-executive roles with leading private and public companies in Asia Pacific. David is the founder and Chairman of New Wave Capital, a Hong Kong based Investment Bank and Corporate Advisory firm. David has Bachelor of Commerce from Canberra University and is a qualified CPA. He is a board member of a number of private and public companies. David recently took up residence at the Gold Coast after 9 years in Beijing, China.

As a transformation mentor, confidence and performance coach she assists her clients to reduce stress levels, increase self-awareness and emotional intelligence; to be a better leader by changing old patterns and unsupportive beliefs that weigh them down.

Baden U'Ren
Internationally Recognised Entrepreneurship Educator

Baden is a nationally recognised entrepreneurship educator, leading Bond University’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation disciplines for over a decade. He is the Director of Bond’s Commercialisation Centre, building entrepreneurial capability across campus through curriculum, workshops, immersions and events. Outside of the University he leads the Startup Community Leaders Missions to Silicon Valley, Boulder and Israel for Startup Catalyst and supports his wife in their veterinary business Pet Wellness Centres. His background is in commercial banking (NAB) and private equity (QIC), and he is a regular contributor to conferences, community events and the media on the topics of disruption, innovation and the entrepreneurial method.

Jason Atkins
Cake Cofounder

Jason is CEO of Cake. Cake is a SAAS Fintech that helps businesses issue and manage their capital like a pro, without being a finance wizard. Jason has founded several businesses from the Gold Coast, and has a strong understanding of many startup disciplines on the business side of things – don’t expect too much technical advice! Jason is an ex-CFO and corporate finance manager and has worked across many sectors, from starts and SME to private equity and multinationals in Europe.

MARKETING
David Nicolas
Wellness Enthusiast, Practitioner & Marketing Executer

Working Primarily With Wellness/ Sustainable/ Crypto Brands Seeking Resonant Messaging & Systems To Create Their Ideal Business & Communities For A Bigger Impact

A little more about me and my vision,

Apart from making sure I get enough exercise, good nutrition, rest and fun in my life, my days are spent working on figuring out with clients on how best to provide solutions that resonate and matter more.

Personally I’m really driven to contribute to the improvement of health span for all living things (humus) on this planet. So my passion primarily involves figuring out how to help brands related to this become more impactful.

I left private practice as an optometrist a few years ago now to focus on helping those brands create a more lasting impact on their communities using resonating communications strategies. These assets include websites, campaigns, offers, communities systems providing exquisite human experiences.

So whether it is a messaging, process, people, purpose, or profit issue affecting the business impact, my goal as a marketing systems agency is to work in collaboration with other like minded business growth experts to help you identify and address those roadblocks.

We offer a transformational and shared value model that generates sustainable revenue and profits for your business using sales and marketing principles that are resonant with the consumer.

Ryan Tuckwood
Co-Founder & CEO Swish Sales Coaching

Ryan teaches people how to sell, ethically. As a businessman, strategic advisor, investor, speaker and proud father, Ryan is considered the go-to expert for anyone looking to understand negotiation and influencing with integrity by inspiring people to take action, fast.

Hank Kingman
Advisor, Commercialist, NED

Hank has held leadership roles at the forefront of commercial development in Media in Australia and the UK.

With a foundation in business development, advertising solutions, marketing, consumer research and analysis he has worked with start up national broadcasters in free to air and Pay TV, in direct marketing, news publishing, search marketing and began Fairfax Media’s early transition to a digital enterprise. Hank has contributed to the transformation of major media businesses in to multi platform digital concerns, run cinema JVs internationally, advised on the start up of a premium member car club, an investment business tailored to women and been the co founder of Australian beverages brand – Nudie. drinks.

COMMERCIALISATION
Dennis Silvers
Non-Executive Director | Business Consultant

Dennis is an experienced senior executive who worked across several industries during
his career in both the private and government sectors. His previous roles have seen him
develop and implement programs to encourage innovation and facilitate R&D at many
different levels. Beyond his thorough understanding of R&D and its relevant
applications, Dennis also has a strong skill set in the business development field, having
successfully developed and implemented a number of strategies and frameworks that
have enabled businesses to move into new fields. Dennis has demonstrable success as
an innovative and forward-thinking executive.

Tristan Senycia
Business Model Optimisation - Startup & Small Business Strategy

Tristan is a highly resourceful and purpose-driven General Business Advisor & Product Strategist, having worked in Large Corporate, Not-for-Profit, Small Business & Startup Organisations.

This gives him the perfect background to help deliver the Commonwealth Government’s Digital Solutions program as a General Business Advisor, Business Developer & Strategic Stakeholder Liaison.

Tristan has worked within the following industries:
– Business Strategy/Advisory
– Information Technology
– Commercial Construction
– Building Engineering

Tristan has recently returned to Australia after several years working internationally in Europe & United Kingdom within the tech startup & scale-up sector. This experience has cultivated his strategic planning abilities, tenacity and social & emotional intelligence.

Tristan helps Startups, Scale-ups and Small Businesses by performing 360 Diagnostic Reviews & Health Checks to identify factors that are inhibiting growth / performance.

The output of these reviews is a detailed action plan/playbook for the business owners to undertake to improve their operational performance, marketing performance & financial performance.

Sam Coen
Co-Founder at Playrpath & Business and Projects Development Manager at RDK Sports International

Experienced in developing people strategies for high performing people and teams. Achieved through a holistic approach to Leadership, culture, values and personal development. Proven record of establishing key stakeholder relationships and with Corporate, Government and Community bodies, and align activities to stakeholder engagement strategies, professional development and customer relations.

TECH
Adam Leeflang
Building scale into Operations

I help organisations operationalise ideas ready for scale.

Accomplished and pragmatic business and operations leader focused on building resilient teams, scalable operations and creating a global business capacity.

Over the last 20+ years, I have led numerous transformational business changes. Some highlights include:

  • member of the Executive team for Opmantek, leading the growth strategy and scaling Opmantek Marketing to a global audience with full pipeline management
  • scaling IPSTAR operational aspect to support the network deployment of 5,000 VSAT to over 100,000 VSAT to benefit remote and rural Australians and developing the strategy to promote and execute on the nbn Skymuster Plus Platform,
  • improving visibility in various complex technical operations to see SLA performance and operational understanding of deliverables for major contract telecommunications outsourcing.

Experience working on various industry panels determining wider industry improvements for the Telecommunications Industry, playing supporter and devil’s advocate as required. Key speaker for various audiences including ACCC, ACMA, Australian Government and community groups such as ACCAN and Broadband in the Bush. I have written papers that promoted sensible points of view that became legislation for instance changing the Points of Interconnect strategy for nbn’s Skymuster.

Technology is undoubtedly a major business enabler and I strongly believe we should continue evolving it with the aim to improve the lives of individuals and society, not just their organizations.

Chris Gray
Managing Director, Agnes

Chris is an Australian business advisor, company director and investor. Chris has more than 20 years’
experience in technology, private equity and investment in Australia and the UK.

Chris established Agnes to enable a community of entrepreneurs to work on care models and
technology solutions that improve the health & wellbeing of the elderly and most vulnerable in our
community.

Prior to this, Chris’ co-founded iCareHealth, the leading clinical care and medication management
software for aged care providers in Australia and the UK. iCareHealth Australia was successfully
exited to Telstra Health in 2014. The UK operations of iCareHealth were acquired by the Access
Group in 2018.

In 2001, Chris was part of the management buyout of D&B Australia and New Zealand. D&B was
successfully exited to Carnegie Wylie in 2007.

Chris is also a co-founder of 5point Foundation, a private ancillary fund that supports not-for-profit
organisations who solve issues affecting children and families.

Brett McCallum
CEO Virtech

Leader in Digital Workplace Thinking – Driving behaviour change and changing people’s way of working by introducing and managing cloud productivity tools. Providing options and choice to be connected and motivating business and IT to enable the ability to work anywhere, anyplace, anytime.

Programme / Project Management professional with 20 years’ experience leading teams for multi- national companies across diverse industries including Corporate, Banking, Energy, Government, Sport, Health and IT.

Law
Clayton Glenister
Managing Partner of MBA Lawyers and Company Director

Managing Partner MBA Lawyers, Director Southport Sharks Australian Rules Football Club Ltd, Chairman Intelligent Infrastructure Solutions Pty Ltd, Chairman SafeCam Technologies Pty Ltd,

Tessa Calver-James
Senior Associate at MBA Lawyers

Tess is an experienced Associate Lawyer of MBA Lawyers who practices in Corporate and Commercial Law. She has assisted many businesses and organisations in structuring, governance, compliance and commercial matters and have a strong passion for startups and seeing them succeed. The world needs more innovation to keep progressing forward and startups are key to this.

Geoff Smith
Chairman at Sports Gold Coast

Geoff has practiced as a lawyer in the city of Gold Coast for over 40 years, as partner, an in-house corporate lawyer and now a consultant. He has acquired a wealth of experience ranging from major commercial litigation; working on significant resource projects and now more recently innovation companies.
As a corporate lawyer Geoff was involved in the negotiation and completion of a billion dollar iron ore project in Western Australia; the acquisition of a major nickel refinery and purchase of an international Hotel resort.
Geoff is engaged as a Consultant by McLaughlins Lawyers which has been serving the Gold Coast community for 60 years.

HR & Recruitment
Sheb Giner
Occupational Health and Wellness Specialist

Sheb Giner, an inspiring, high energy Motivational Speaker, Therapist who shares powerful coping strategies from her 15+ years in Clinical practice and her on-going commitment towards personal growth. Her mission is to help evolve people on how to break free from pain and suffering using a Cup of Calm to boost resilience, happiness and clarity.

As an accredited Exercise Sport Scientist, Nationally Recognised Accredited Clinical Hypnotherapist and Strategic Psychotherapist, Sheb is hugely involved in advocating for holistic health and mental wellness. Sheb is part of Gold Coast City Councils Active and Healthy program teaching the community meditation and mindfulness practice. Sheb worked hands on as a clinician for 10 years in her own private practice and 5 years in corporate in Occupational Wellness.

Today, Sheb runs a successful clinic at Chevron Island helping people suffering anxiety and stress by transforming their life and experience break throughs by helping them become better versions of themselves. Sheb is the founder of MindHealth Services where she works with high performance individuals and teams to prevent burnout and stress through a proven holistic education and transformation system, evoking a daily Cup of Calm that creates permanent change.

Sally Murphy
Founding Director Purple Playground HR & Recruitment

Sally Murphy is a HR professional with a tonne of experience in a variety of HR disciplines, obtained from a HR career spanning over 17 years.

As one of the founding Directors of Purple Playground Outsourced HR & Recruitment Solutions, Sally now focuses her energy on helping start-ups, scale-ups and organisations doing business for good such as NFPs and Social enterprises.

Sally believes that the culture of an organisation is a key driver of business results and it all starts with a robust HR Strategy. Afterall, what’s the point of having great tech if you don’t have a team to develop it, sell it, or lead the way.

Sally will help you to structure your team to be investment ready and get you that competitive edge.

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