Skip to content


mentor banner

Mentorship and guidance from Australia’s leading entrepreneurs and startup advisors

INCUBATE is creating a global community of entrepreneurs from the University of Sydney, around Australia and the world. 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 each cycle.

Below is a list of  some of the program mentors. If you are interested in finding more about being a mentor, please get in touch.


Matt Barrie

CEO, Freelancer

Matt Barrie is an award winning serial entrepreneur, technologist and lecturer at the University of Sydney. He is Chief Executive of, the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace connecting over 7 million professionals from around the globe, and in the top 250 websites globally. Matt was previously founder and CEO of Sensory Networks Inc. and has spoken at or featured in the Summit Series, the New York Times, Bloomberg TV, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, BRW and The Economist.

Rick Baker

Founder, Blackbird Ventures

Rick Baker is a founder of Blackbird Ventures, a new venture capital firm in Australia and sits on the board of Australia startup Shoes of Prey. Prior to Blackbird, Rick was responsible for MLC’s venture capital portfolio with investments and commitments of over half a billion dollars. Prior to MLC, Rick co-founded two successful software companies. Blackbird invests in world class Internet and software companies forming in Australia.

Bill Bartee

Founder and 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 and most recently Bill was the CEO of Mantara and  prior to moving to Australia, Bill had 12 years of research, operational, and entrepreneurial experience in the United States.

Matt Byrne

CEO and Co-founder Curicon

Matt Byrne is the CEO and Co-Founder of, a social collectables marketplace launched in 2011. Before that, he was the Founder and CEO of Masters Academy, an e-learning company. With a 10 year history in IT Management and Design, Matt has learnt some interesting and hard lessons along the way.

Nick Cerneaz

Director, The Warren Centre for Advance Engineering

Nick is the Director of the Warren Centre of Advance Engineering at the University of Sydney. He has extensive experience in projects developing new and advanced technologies over a wide spectrum from medical devices through industrial and mining technologies to entertainment and computer gaming applications.

Alfred Lo

Head, AMP New Ventures

Alfred is Head of AMP New Ventures where he leads AMP’s local and international corporate venture capital activities. Prior to his current role, Alfred co-founded and led Singtel Innov8’s investment activities (Optus-Innov8) in Australia. He brings nearly two decades of operational and strategic experience from prior consulting roles at PwC and EDS and has also worked on the entrepreneurial side in both hardware and software startups.

Adam Jacobs

Managing Director and Co-founder, The Iconic

Adam Jacobs is a co-Founder of online retailer – Australia’s fastest growing online retail company, and is responsible for the venture’s operations. Adam previously led a fruitful life in consulting at Boston Consulting Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers both in Sydney and Copenhagen, working with several major retail, media and consumer clients on their online growth strategies.  Adam studied Philosophy, Marketing and Management at the University of Sydney and Boston University.

Dr Michele Deaker

Founder and 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. Michelle also sits on the board of numerous Australian companies including NICTA, Channel Seven and Smart Sparrow.

Kim Heras

Director, FishBurners

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. Kim is currently a Director of Fishburners, Sydney’s premier co-working space. Previously Kim was the the Community Manager, Australia & New Zealand, for, the world’s largest family-based social network.

Russell Howard

Executive Chairman, NeuClone 

Russell Howard, from Melbourne, cut his teeth as a biochemist in research, studying algae, then malaria, then moved into biotechnology management. He built successful companies in California, with the challenges of NASDAQ listing, company acquisition, sale, spin-off and exploitation of platform technology across virtually all product application areas, including recent commitments in Clean Technology and generic protein drugs. He resides now in Sydney.

Paul Hunyor

Co-founder OneBigSwitch

Paul has experience working in top tier global strategy consulting and private equity firms and is the co-founder of OneBigSwitch, a next generation consumer movement, helping Australians cut the cost of their regular household bills. With a focus on the #groupswitching movement he is also a Corporate Advisor to SMEs; experienced in deal design and negotiation, capital management and strategy development.

Daniel Petre (AO)

Co-founder and Chairman Netus

Daniel has been a leading player in Australia’s technology industry for more than 20 years, and has held leadership positions in technology-based businesses in Australia and the United States, including Microsoft, eBay Australia and Ninemsn. Daniel’s experience includes nine years with Microsoft, where as Vice President of the Workgroup Division, he worked closely with Bill Gates and was responsible for developing products and strategies for the workgroup computing market, including Microsoft Exchange and Outlook.

Ryan Junee

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 in New York and his previous startup, Omnisio, developed innovative ways to edit and enhance online videos and was acquired by Google in 2008.

Professor Tony Weiss

Professor and Founder, Elastagen

Tony Weiss is the founder of bio-technology company, Elastagen, Professor at The University of Sydney and serial inventor. He leads the world in making elastic tissue components that repair the human body. National appointments include the Australian Biotechnology Advisory Council, National Enabling Technology Strategy Advisory Council, and Biological Sciences and Biotechnology. Tony is a serial inventor with twenty-one awarded international patents.

Advisors and experts

Petra Andren

Director, Australian Technology Park Innovations

Petra is an experienced strategist and business developer with a strong passion and a natural flair for spotting and acting on business opportunities. She has a long and proven track record in successfully positioning/repositioning companies to achieve success in domestic and overseas markets.

Hilary Cinis

Hilary is INCUBATE’s designer mentor, and an internet industry veteran with over 20 years of experience working in UX and UI disciplines across the commercial web, multiple platform and software development. Hiliary is NICTA’s Senior User Experience and User Interface Designer and previously worked for ABC TV Online and Yahoo.


David Kenney

Partner Hall Chadwick 

David is currently a partner at Hall Chadwick with 25 years experience advising clients on business growth and guiding entrepreneurs, international businesses, public and private businesses, and Directors to make better commercial and financial decisions. David specialises in corporate finance, tax, government grants and doing business in Australia and China.

Rob McInnes

Partner, DibbsBarker 

Rob advises established businesses, start-ups, research organisations, and investors in matters relating to the commercialisation of novel technologies, and in the intellectual property- related aspects of major projects and transactions. He is a specialist in the structuring and negotiation of patent licences, collaborative research agreements, and other contracts for the development and commercialisation of innovations. Rob is ranked by Intellectual Asset Management magazine as one of the top 1,000 patent lawyers worldwide, and since 2010 has been IAM’s most highly recommended technology licensing lawyer in Australia. He is one of only six private practice lawyers in Australia to have met the requirements for the US-based Certified Licensing Professional qualification.

Johanna Scott

Community Engagement and Social Media

Johanna Scott is a content marketing and social media professional with startup, boutique agency and big name brand experience. She recently returned from working for NYC growth stage startup, Betterment. Johanna drove Betterment’s content creation and promotion, community engagement, and PR outreach to generate groundswell and media attention, drive site traffic, user acquisition, and shape the voice of the Betterment brand. Johanna specialises in driving rapid growth for mission driven tech companies. She is also a Sydney University alumni.

Thor Slater

The University of Sydney, Commercial Theme Leader for Engineering & IT

Thor has 18 years experience working at the interface of research, innovation and commercialisation. He is a chartered mechanical and optical engineer with a PhD in underwater laser propagation. Thor is experienced in multiple IP exploitation methodologies and has trained university academics as well as being a mentor on MBA technology commercialisation programmes. Thor’s clients included ResMed, Cochlear, Jaguar, Land Rover, The Smith Family, Job Futures and University of Technology Sydney.

Brendan Yell

Manager, SoftLayer Startup Program/Founder,

After working at the world’s first commercial online service, CompuServe, Brendan founded in 1999 which grew to over 1 million members. Currently Brendan runs the startup program for SoftLayer and travels extensively in South East Asia speaking on all things startup.

%d bloggers like this: