INCUBATE is creating a network of entrepreneurs from the University of Sydney and leading business minds from around Australia. The program relies on this network who volunteer their time to be involved. Our mentors come from a wide variety of backgrounds and will be brought in to advise and guide each startup team over the summer program. Below is a list of just some of the INCUBATE Mentors. If you are an alumni of the University of Sydney and you are interested in becoming a mentor, please get in touch.
Entrepreneur and CEO, freelancer.com
Matt Barrie is an award winning entrepreneur, technologist and lecturer at the University of Sydney. He is Chief Executive of Freelancer.com, the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace connecting over 4.2 million professionals from around the globe, and in the top 250 websites globally. Matt is serial entrepreneur, previously as founder and CEO of Sensory Networks Inc., a vendor of high performance network security processors. Prior to this he founded a telecommunications hardware company. Matt has raised over $40M USD in financing from venture capital, strategic investors and through government grants while running or assisting technology companies. Matt is a prolific speaker and has spoken at or featured in the Summit Series, the New York Times, Bloomberg TV, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, The Atlantic, Switzer, BRW and The Economist.
For the last ten years has been an external lecturer at the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of Sydney, teaching Network Security, and starting in 2010, Technology Venture Creation. In 2010 he was named Alumnus of the Year for the Faculty of Engineering and IT at the University of Sydney. In 2011, he was named inaugural BRW Entrepreneur of the Year, by Australia’s most prestigious business publication. In 2012 he was named in the top 100 most influential engineers by Engineers Australia, and a 2012 Man of Influence by Men’s Style Magazine.
Randel Leeb-du Toit
Head of Commercialisation, University of Sydney
Rand (Randal Leeb-du Toit) is a multifaceted serial entrepreneur and seasoned technologist with a unique blend of vision, oversight and operational experience. A consummate business artist and entrepreneur coach, he has changed thinking at some of the world’s largest publishing houses, jumpstarted over 30 businesses and raised more than half a billion dollars. He has software deployed across over 2 billion devices, filed and managed a large patent portfolio and his pan-continental canvas extends across a wide range of high tech and media arenas. He has over a decade of experience incubating technology businesses in Silicon Valley and Australia.
Rand has been instrumental in helping guide INCUBATE’s first pilot program and will also be our ‘Entrepreneur Coach’ over the summer period. He is currently the Head of Commercialisation for the University of Sydney.
Managing Director, Southern Cross Venture Partners
Bill is a founding Managing Director of Southern Cross Venture Partners who focuses on investing in software, telecommunications, and internet services companies. He has founded 3 successful start-ups. Most recently Bill was the CEO of Mantara, a company that makes high performance, content based message routing systems for global trading systems. He also was instrumental in helping start up and launch both Dilithium Networks and Sensory Networks, where he was a founding investor/Board Member of both companies. From 1997 to 2001, Bill helped build and lead the early stage investing for Macquarie Technology Ventures (“MTV”) where he led investments in several market leaders including Altium (ASX: ALU), LookSmart (NASDAQ: LOOK), Seek (ASX: SEK), Telera (acquired by Alcatel), Thrombogenix, ePredix, and onebox (NASDAQ: OPWV).
Prior to moving to Australia, Bill had 12 years of research, operational, and entrepreneurial experience in the United States.
Dr Michelle Deaker
Managing Partner, OneVentures
Michelle is the Managing Partner of OneVentures, an Australian venture capital firm recognised for its leadership and focus on business operational and entrepreneurial experience. The firm’s interest is in technology companies that serve or disrupt large high growth global markets. OneVentures current fund is a $40 million Innovation Investment Fund.
Michelle has extensive experience in the development of high growth technology companies, a strong background in Australian R&D and expertise in international business expansion. Michelle serves on the Board of NICTA, Australia’s National ICT Centre of Excellence. Along with interests in and advising several investee companies including US based Datacastle (data security), AdGent007 (new media) and Sydney-based BuzzNumbers (social media), Michelle is Chair of the Board of OneVentures Innovation Fund portfolio company Smart Sparrow (a transformational adaptive e-learning company servicing higher education), is a member of the AVCAL VC working group and the NSW Government’s Taskforce for the Digital Economy.
Michelle has over 10 years experience in research and development with leading Australian Universities and CSIRO. She holds a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) (University of Sydney), and with both Commonwealth and CSIRO Postgraduate Research Scholarships, was awarded a Masters of Science (University of Sydney) and a PhD in Applied Science (University of Canberra). While completing her PhD, Michelle was the vice-chancellor’s nominee and subsequently selected as a Queens Trust Future Perspectives national leader.
Co-founder and CEO, Inporia
Ryan Junee is a serial entrepreneur, start-up advisor, investor and technophile. He is currently CEO and Co-Founder of Inporia, a fashion startup based our to New York. His previous startup, Omnisio, developed innovative ways to edit and enhance online videos and was acquired by Google in 2008. Ryan joined YouTube as a Product Manager as part of the Google acquisition. At YouTube he lead the development of many consumer facing features including a video player redesign, video quality improvements, video annotations, YouTube RealTime and YouTube Rentals. As CEO and Co-Founder of Omnisio (a Y Combinator funded company), Ryan was responsible for developing the initial product, driving the company’s strategic direction and ultimately negotiating the sale to Google.
Ryan dropped out of the PhD program in Electrical Engineering at Stanford to pursue his passion for high technology startups. He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford, as well as Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Engineering, Finance and Commercial Law from the University of Sydney.
Founder, Blackbird Ventures
Rick Baker is a founder of Blackbird Ventures, a new venture capital firm in Australia. Blackbird invests in world class Internet and software companies forming in Australia. It has been built around a group of Australia’s most successful tech founders, combined with close ties to Silicon Valley.
Prior to Blackbird, Rick was responsible for MLC’s venture capital portfolio with investments and commitments of over half a billion dollars. At MLC, Rick built a portfolio of venture fund investments alongside a group of the most successful venture capital funds in Silicon Valley and globally. Rick also invested directly into tech companies, both from Australia and the US.
Prior to MLC, Rick co-founded two successful software companies. The first, IDC Global, is a leading provider of software for the real estate industry. The second, Right Party Connect, produces notification systems for financial institutions. Right Party Connect was sold to UK based company Adeptra in 2007 and is now Adeptra Australia.
Rick is a passionate supporter of Australian technology companies. He is on the board of Shoes of Prey, an advisor to Posse, Canva and Wooboard, investor in Bugglegum Interactive and Pygg, and on the Advisory Council of Pollenizer.
Director, The Warren Centre for Advance Engineering
Nick is the Director of the Warren Centre of Advance Engineering at the University of Sydney and has extensive executive experience, successfully managing teams and projects developing new and advanced technologies. The products he has helped developed cover a wide spectrum from medical devices through industrial and mining technologies to entertainment and computer gaming applications.
Nick is keenly interested in working with diverse and talented teams to develop new technologies that address real industrial, commercial and social needs.
Partner, DLA Piper
Richard focuses on strategic intellectual property advice, venture financings, strategic investments and M&A transactions for tech and cleantech startups and later stage companies with a strong emphasis on bringing foreign businesses to Silicon Valley and representing US and offshore multinationals doing business in Australia. He is admitted to practice in both California and Australia and actively advises clients under both US and Australian law.
Richard began his legal career in Australia, coming to the United States in January 2000. Before joining DLA Piper, he spent 3 years as a partner in the San Francisco office of Minter Ellison and 5 years in the technology and corporate group of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Richard speaks regularly to incubators, research institutes, universities, industry bodies and government groups on US and Australian Venture Financing, IP Strategy and Licensing, Renewable Energy and general corporate and commercial law topics.
Kim is one of the co-founders of PushStart, a startup accelerator program in Sydney, and has worked in the Australian tech startup community for over 10 years, first as an entrepreneur and more recently as the former editor of The Next Web, Australia. Kim is also the founder of Open Coffee Sydney – Sydney’s longest running and largest tech startup meetup with over 2200 members. Previously Kim was the the Community Manager, Australia & New Zealand, for MyHeritage.com, the world’s largest family-based social network with over 70 Million members and 1 Billion profiles in family trees and also worked as the Commercial Manager at Ensyst, a Sydney-based IT services and solutions provider.
Kim is currently a Director of Fishburners, Sydney’s premier co-working space, and graduated with Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Sydney in 2005.
CEO and Co-founder, Curicon.com
Matt Byrne is the CEO and Co-Founder of Curicon.com, a social collectables marketplace launched in 2011. Before that, he was the Founder and CEO of Masters Academy, an e-learning company that was crushed by the GFC. With a 10 year history in IT Management and Design, Matt has learnt some interesting and hard lessons along the way.