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
Michael Murtagh
Director at Wavebreak International

Michael V. Murtagh MBA, B. Bus., Com. Dec, Michael has over 25 years experience with technology start up companies and has been involved in investing and growing a diverse portfolio of companies. After graduating with an MBA from London City University, Michael worked in Europe for over a decade with a privately operated seed capital investment firm and technology incubator. After returning to Australia, Michael co-founded the Angel group ‘Founders Forum’ and later ‘Gold Coast Angels’ which operate today investing in and assisting early stage technology companies. For ten years he served as a Comet Business Advisor – delivering the Commonwealth Government’s Commercialising Emerging Technologies Scheme and assisting young high growth companies develop and execute their commercialisation plans.

Rick McElhinney
Chairman of Founders Forum

Rick McElhinney, BE, MIEAust, CPEng. Rick has invested in and provided advisory services to a number of manufacturing, energy and service corporations.

He is chairman of Founders Forum, is a fellow of the Australian Association of Angel Investors and a founding member of Golds Coast Angels.

Other early stage investments included Autodesk, Plastics Unlimited, Eduss Broadcast & Media, Eco-kinetics, Seasafe., GrassAds, Endnight Games, MyWorkPapers, MCE Energy, Ubaryon and JESI Management Solutions.

Kenneth Kramme
Scrum Master

Kenneth has assisted companies in Brisbane and in the Gold Coast in dramatically improving their Agile/Scrum practices for substantially improved business results.

One company was Allianz Worldwide Partners where he provided leadership in the development of an web portal/shopping cart for International Students coming to Australia (i.e. market of over 350,000 students). The other company is the Gold Coast-based Travelsim Pty Ltd where his consultation and leadership in maturing their agile/scrum practices resulted in the CEO stating “Our change in business management is monumental” and “Our future is stronger”. Kenneth has two certifications as a Scrum Master, and two certifications as a Project & Portfolio Management Professional. He also has extensive overseas experience in Tokyo and in Singapore (i.e. as a Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Management Consulting Services), and helped grow the offices there in Tokyo from 50 to 650 consultants over 6 years and from 30-350 consultants in Singapore over 3 years.

MARKETING
Anastasha Renaud
CEO and Co-founder of Tech Startup at Edit on the Spot

Anastasha Grace is a Confidence and Performance Coach, Emotional Wellbeing Practitioner and Behavioural Specialist. An entrepreneur and business owner for over 15 years, Anastasha holds multiple degrees in business, communication, financial management from Universities in the United States, Australia, and Russia. Establishing her first business at 26 she quickly expanded it a multi-million dollar business, later moving to Australia and launching multiple businesses in wholesale, hospitality and e-commerce.

Jacob Banks
Founder of Service.com.au

Jacob is the Founder of Service.com.au, After working for 5 years in a direct sales role and a short stint at Yellow Pages, Jacob decided to get together with 2 friends and start Service.com.au, a platform that connects Australians to local service providers.

Since its inception, Service.com.au has helped over 500,000 Australians to get various jobs done and prides itself on helping over tens of thousands of service providers find steady and consistent work.

He is well versed when it comes to Sales, Marketing, Start-ups and Marketplaces

Dan Kerr
CEO at Service.com.au

Dan Kerr, an engineer by qualification
– 10+ years involved with sales and marketing (50% of that time in the Building/Trade Industry)
– 6 years as a small business co-founder
– I’m passionate about changes in consumer behaviours in an increasingly digital world
– Have a broad understanding around marketplace dynamics

COMMERCIALISATION
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.

Brian Hall
Co-Founder of Bartercard

Co-Founder of Bartercard, former CEO of Bartercard Group and former director of ASX listed company BPS Technology.
Brian is Canadian born, has lived on the Gold Coast for over 26 years and co-founded Bartercard in 1991. Since this time Brian has helped develop and lead the company to its peak of 72 offices in 8 countries, employing over 800 staff, 35,000 business memberships, and over 50,000 card holders transacting in excess of $1billion a year.

TECH
Danny Maher
Managing Director FirstWave Cloud Technology

Board Member and chairman of multiple organisations (public and private companies)
Professional commercialiser of innovation (intrepreneur/entrepreneur)
Tech Investor
Extensive high growth technology startup and scaleup experience
25 years in the IT industry, 2 years government, 2 years enterprise/banking, 9 years IT software/services companies, 12 years entrepreneurial high growth companies
APAC and Global Executive level management
Extensive Asia business experience
Led the building of innovative companies in Australia, Asia, USA and UK.

Robert Feldman
Director, Gadens Brisbane

Robert specialises in advising on complex information technology (IT) projects – from project procurement inception through to contract award; project delivery through to the operate and maintain phase. Overall, Robert has over 20 years of IT, corporate/commercial, and construction and IT experience gained in private practice, in-house roles and directly within the IT industry.

He has extensive experience in the IT industry, having worked for twelve years with Cubic Transportation Systems, initially in the role of Contracts Manager and then in general operations management on the delivery and ongoing maintenance of a critical IT project and related services to State government. Robert also has advised on general corporate and commercial matters for major law firms in London and Sydney.

Sam Kennedy
Certified Chair of Advisory Board Centre

Dynamic leader of Pivotel Australia, NZ & Asia Pacific. 17 year old Pivotel is a leading Australian owned & operated mobile network operator specialising in satellite technology to help people and organisations in critical, remote & maritime environments. With 26 years of industry experience across Telecommunications, Technology, Human Resources, Law and the Public Sector, I have unique expertise in business strategy, customer experience, innovation, sales, marketing, regulatory governance, compliance and reform, workplace relations, organizational change and digital revolution.

Chair of Redland’s City Council Economic Development Advisory Board and 5 other Advisory Boards as Expert in Residence for the Gold Coast Innovation Hub. Queensland’s Minister for ICT’s Advisory Board member.

Law
HR & Recruitment
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