Finding the right mentor

The startup world is fast-paced, complex and constantly evolving. Finding the right mentor – someone who has been where you are now, understands the journey you’re on and has valuable learnings to share – can make all the difference.

A good mentor isn’t about having you emulate exactly what they’ve done; it’s about giving you the confidence and guidance to navigate the rookie pitfalls and shape your own fast-tracked path to success.

“Accessing this breadth of perspectives is a unique opportunity… it’s a rapid gain in knowledge instead of a drawn out process of self­guided research or hard lessons.”

Pia Winberg, Founder and CEO, PhycoHealth

Entrepreneurs in Residence

Our Entrepreneurs in Residence are experienced and successful entrepreneurs located on a part-time basis at the iAccelerate Centre.

They’re ready to assist resident companies to grow their business and may even join a start-up as a founder or invest in the company. They may also be involved in running learning sessions and workshops as part of iAccelerate Educate.

Frank Marzano

Frank Marzano

Product Management and Strategy Expert

Frank is the Co-Founder and Director of iTree Pty Limited, which develops software solutions for government agencies in Australia and New Zealand. B2B and B2G sales and marketing specialist.

Jason Graham-Nye

Jason Graham-Nye

Social Entrepreneur in Residence

After 10 years of running his own social impact company, gDiapers in the US, UK and Europe with his wife Kim, they have returned home to Sydney to raise their sons as Aussies. They continue to run the business and are finding ways to share all the things they have learned launching and running a triple-bottom line business that creates meaning and money.

Aly Khalifa

Aly Khalifa

Design & Engineering Innovator

Aly is a design and sustainability entrepreneur specializing in invention development. He has launched products for some of the most exciting consumer brands and has garnered more than two dozen patents.

Researchers in Residence

Our iAccelerate Researchers in Residence are exceptional UOW academics with extensive research backgrounds. They can link emerging entrepreneurs and established researchers with valuable opportunities to collaborate and change the world.

Prof Sharon Robinson

Prof Sharon Robinson

Senior Professor, Associate Dean Graduate Research, PhD

A plant ecophysiologist and climate change biologist, Sharon is well known internationally for her research on Antarctic mosses and her  innovative surveying techniques. A highly regarded teacher, mentor and thesis supervisor.

Associate Professor Robert Gorkin III

Associate Professor Robert Gorkin III

Associate Professor, PhD, MBA

Extensive experience at the academic-industry coalface in Advanced Manufacturing and Biotechnology. Co-founder of Imagine Intelligent Materials. 1500+ citations of his work and over $5m in grants. Links emerging companies with researchers.

Global mentors

Our iAccelerate Global mentors bring a wealth of entrepreneurial talent to help you scale your idea and your business globally. They can be based anywhere in the world, offering unique insights and connections to international markets.

Adam de Sola Pool

Adam de Sola Pool

International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory

Adam is an investor, mentor, board member, and new technologies competition judge with 20 years of experience in clean energy, water and hardware companies.

Matt Bullock

Matt Bullock

eWay Founder, Spinify Founder

Matt is a serial entrepreneur and investor who loves a deep dive into technology and applying it to solve business problems. He is passionate about helping organisations solve business problems and automate as much of their work processes as possible.
Hamish Hawthorn

Hamish Hawthorn

Chief Operating Officer, UpGuard

Hamish has been involved in the commercialisation of new technologies for over 20 years, and his experience spans the software, biotechnology and advanced manufacturing sectors

William Rosenzweig

William Rosenzweig

Social Entrepreneur / Investor / Change Maker

Dean and Executive Director of The Food Business School, Will is also the founding CEO of The Republic of Tea, winner of the Oslo Business for Peace Award and developed the country’s first MBAs in Social Entrepreneurship and Venture Development.

Prof Joe Steensma

Prof Joe Steensma

Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, Washington University

Also Scholar at Institute for Public Health and Sr. Scholr of the Global Good Fund. Founder of industrial Solutions Group, one of the premier occupational and environmental health companies in the US, and other ventures in the same field

Mentors

iAccelerate mentors are available for one-on-one mentoring in their specific area of expertise and may be able to offer local connections to residents. Many also conduct iAccelerate Educate learning sessions and workshops.

Jeff Bayley

Jeff Bayley

Business Mentor for Australian Food Start-ups

Founded and ran UK company supplying national mass merchandisers and independents for nearly 24 years, developing long term relationships with continental EU suppliers, working across languages and cultures. 

Adam Cole

Adam Cole

Partner, KPMG Australia - Corporate Structuring & Governance

Passionate about making a difference by helping clients better understand their business and its potential, exploit opportunities and solve challenges. He provides a range of tax and business advisory services to help clients grow and succeed.

Anthony Colfelt

Anthony Colfelt

Creative & Technical Director, Owner, Handmade Web & Design

Boutique design studio in Berry, working with small and medium sized businesses across the Shoalhaven, Illawarra and Sydney regions on large and small scale projects, including branding, user experience, websites, digital marketing and SEO. 

Topaz Conway

Topaz Conway

Director, Investor, Advisor

An entrepreneur, angel investor, Director, and an advocate to the creation of a stronger Australian innovation culture, I work with early stage companies on commercialisation strategies and investment. This passion was built on top of my international experience traversing a number of industries including biotech, hi-tech, ecommerce and services.
Specialties: Commercial strategies, innovation, entrepreneurship, growth, business partnerships, market positioning.

Jodie Cooper

Jodie Cooper

Positive Psychology Coach & Educator

With a degree in Commerce and diploma in Positive Psychology, Jodie has grown her coaching business over 12 years and become an expert on positive psychology and helping professionals develop a mindset and culture that’s more positive, productive and profitable. 

Dr Mario Fernando

Dr Mario Fernando

Professor of Management, University of Wollongong

Mario’s research and teaching activities are centred on exploring how responsible executive action leads to positive individual, organisational and social outcomes.

Jessica Fosler

Jessica Fosler

Independent Software Design Engineer

After 9 years writing software for Microsoft and a background in Computer and Telecommunications Engineering, Jodie is now a seasoned app designer splitting her time between writing educational apps and teaching kids the fundamentals of coding and 3D printing.
Nick Hartgerink

Nick Hartgerink

Owner, Hartgerink Media Services

Media consultant with over 40 years’ experience in journalism and public relations, including 24 years with Fairfax and 6 years editing the Illawarra Mercury. His Illawarra-based media consultancy serves regional and national clients, and he is the author of 7 books.

Kristina Hermanson

Kristina Hermanson

Transformation Leader, Coca-Cola Amatil

Kristina has extensive international business experience, in power generation, agriculture and food sectors. She delivers on multi-stakeholder solutions in complex, dynamic global business environments.

Nicholas Hislop

Nicholas Hislop

Co-owner & Director, Capital Brewing Co

Nicholas’ passion for business and beer was born at Natural Capitalism Solutions in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Since then, he has implemented sustainable business strategies for hospitality companies, increasing efficiencies in supply chain, logistics, water and electricity.

Richard Horton

Richard Horton

Partner, Squire Patton Boggs

An experienced, dual-qualified US/Australian corporate and technology lawyer, advising clients in the US and Australia. Helps Australian venture funds and technology companies doing business overseas, and represents the major venture funds in Australia.

Leanne Isabella

Leanne Isabella

HR Manager, Commscope Australia

Human Resources expert and previously HR Manager during the growth phase of one of Australia’s largest start-up successes, Info Comp. A key supporter of iAccelerate, presenting Educate sessions and providing HR advice to residents.
Joanna Kubota

Joanna Kubota

Founding Mentor; Director, Global Solution Strategies

Sales and marketing expert bringing global expertise to a huge variety of companies from startups to well-established firms and government departments. Joanna has been involved in the iAccelerate initiative since its inception in 2011. 

Takahiro Kubota

Takahiro Kubota

Founding Mentor; Director, Global Solution Strategies

Sales and marketing expert bringing global expertise to a huge variety of companies from startups to well-established firms and government departments. Joanna has been involved in the iAccelerate initiative since its inception in 2011.

Rebecca Lyon

Rebecca Lyon

Principal - Tribe Legal

Advocate for older Australians. Innovator for social change. Experienced General Counsel and Aged Care Lawyer. Passionate. Community focused. Collaborative.

Anthony Marcar

Anthony Marcar

Entrepreneur/ Mentor

A tech entrepreneur with experience founding companies, building resilient tech systems and mentoring startups. Co-founder of digital receipt startup Grabble, which sold to Walmart Labs in under a year.

Maureen Murphy

Maureen Murphy

Technology Commercialisation and Strategy Execution

Maureen has been engaged in the commercialisation of innovative new technologies for more than three decades. She has held CEO roles in global businesses including digital media, telecommunications, and satellite communications, and has managed several ventures from early stage through to successful exit.

David Peters

David Peters

Executive Head, Mahindra Comviva; Director, Social Impact Systems

Founder/CEO of Emagine, a software company founded in 1998 and acquired in 2017, providing enterprise marketing solutions to telecoms operators globally. Formerly of Bouygues Telecom France, Optus and Telstra, David has 25+ years experience in the mobile telecoms/marketing sectors.

Garry Pinch

Garry Pinch

Director, Accounting Professionals

Has developed an extensive business improvement plan that he implements with clients to achieve their business and lifestyle goals, including a focus on profit drivers, tax strategies, marketing strategy, business model, teams and monitoring/measurement. 

Dr. Laurence Wakelin

Dr. Laurence Wakelin

Honorary Associate Professor, School of Chemistry, UNSW Sydney

A medicinal chemist and pharmacologist with research experience in drug discovery and development in academia in the UK, Australia, and Ireland. Last 20 years teaching pharmacology to medical students, pharmacologists, and medicinal chemists at UNSW. Experienced in supervision and mentoring of research students and post-doctoral scientists in cancer drug discovery. 

Lothar Wilkens

Lothar Wilkens

Founding Principal, Wilbartec Consulting Engineers

For the past 26 years Wilbartec has serviced clients in a wide range of industries by developing creative improvement solutions to equipment and processes. Problem solving, critical technical analysis and practical engineering skills are Lothar’s key skills.

Becoming a mentor

Interested in volunteering as a mentor? We are always on the lookout for dedicated mentors to connect with the iAccelerate residents and join our mentor network. We are looking for mentors to advise residents on the key areas of creating high-growth businesses.

Find out more

If you’ve got the right skills and experience and want to give an emerging entrepreneur a great start, contact us today to find out how you can volunteer as an iAccelerate mentor.

Get in contact

Get in touch with us and discover how we can transform your business together.

X