Innovation

Victoria’s independent startup body announces its board, with women outnumbering men

Denham Sadler /

The board for Victoria’s independent body representing startups is the first in the Australian innovation sector to have women outnumbering men, minister for small business, innovation and trade Philip Dalidakis says.

Announced at the Above All Human conference in Melbourne on Friday, the LaunchVic board will be chaired by Australia Post managing director Ahmed Fahour and is made up of six women and five men.

The board includes a focus on big business, with representatives from Australia Post, Mirvac Group, ANZ and Cisco.

The representative body was launched last year by to oversee the state’s $60 million innovation fund.

Mirvac Group director Elana Rubin will be deputy chair, with Inspiring Rare Birds founder Jo Burston, Australia and New Zealand head of Stripe Susan Wu and Trimantium Capital managing director Phillip Kingston also sitting on the board.

“This is an amazing team to steer LaunchVic and is one that has some extraordinary success stories and a wealth of experience in this space,” Dalidakis says.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be a startup in Victoria.”

Dalidakis also says it’s important to promote gender diversity in the startup and innovation space.

“The calibre of women on this board should also, absolutely, dispel the myth that government and corporate boards cannot meet a 50-50 target,” Dalidakis says.

The board members currently won’t be paid for their time, although this is at the discretion of the chair.

The Victorian government launched the $60 million fund at the end of last year to “help accelerate startups, drive new ideas and create jobs in Victoria”.

Led by Pradeep Phillip, LaunchVic will invest in core infrastructure, facilitate access to capital for startups, advocate on federal legislation and regulations, and participate in startup events and programs.

The LaunchVic board:

–        Ahmed Fahour – chair – managing director of Australia Post

–        Elana Rubin – deputy chair – director of Mirvac Group

–        Jo Burston – managing director of Job Capital

–        Tim Fawcett – director of corporate affairs at Cisco Systems Australia

–        Dominique Fisher – managing director of CareerLounge

–        Con Frantzeskos – CEO of PENSO

–        Phillip Kingston – managing director of Trimantium Capital

–        Jane Martino – head of social segment at ANZ

–        Rachel Neumann – Australian managing director of Eventbrite

–        Kee Wong – managing director of e-Centric Innovations

–        Susan Wu – Australia and New Zealand head of Stripe

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Denham Sadler

Denham Sadler is a former editor of StartupSmart. He was previously a journalist at the publication and has worked as a freelancer for the Guardian, the Saturday Paper and the ABC. In his spare time he likes puns and jaffles.

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