iAccelerate Mentor


"The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves." Steven Spielberg

In the fast paced startup world, mentors represent a critical advisory relationship between those who have done it before, with those about to do it.

We believe that valuable outcomes and learnings are achieved through shared understanding of expectations.

The passing down of the "lessons learned" provides a fast track path for the new entrepreneur and assists them in avoiding many beginner mistakes.


Mentor Guidelines

We have developed bespoke Mentor Guidelines that aim to assist with the development of the network, management of expectations and improve outcomes.  This is particularly important for those who are new to the process and want to avoid the pitfalls (mentor and mentee alike).

Download a PDF Copy

If you are interested in becoming a mentor in the iAccelerate community - contact us.


Mentor Skills Matrix

We have developed a Mentor Skills Matrix that aims to advise iAccelerate residents on the key areas of expertise for each of our mentors.  

Download a PDF Copy - Knowledge, Skills and Experience 1

Download a PDF Copy - Knowledge, Skills and Experience 2

Download a PDF Copy - Industry Expertise


Entrepreneurs in Residence

iAccelerate Entrepreneurs in Residence are located on a part-time basis at the iAccelerate Centre. They are tasked with assisting iAccelerate companies to grow their business. They are experienced and successful entrepreneurs who can offer advice and assistance in every facet of the entrepreneurial journey, although may have expertise in specific areas. Entrepreneurs in Residence may join a start-up as a Founder or invest in the company. Entrpreneurs in Residence may also conduct educate learning sessions and workshops at iAccelerate.

Frank Marzano
iAccelerate Entrepreneur in Residence, Product Management and Strategy expert, specialising in B2B, B2G

Frank is the Co-Founder and Director of iTree Pty Limited, an Illawarra based software company that develops software solutions for government agencies in Australia and New Zealand, that improve productivity and efficiency in the areas of regulation, compliance and enforcement. Frank joins iAccelerate as an Entrepreneur In Residence to assist resident companies with Product Management and Strategy specialising in B2B and B2G Sales and Marketing. 
iAccelerate Educate Sessions: Lean Methodology | Optimising Your Business | Product Management   

Researchers in Residence

iAccelerate Researchers in Residence are UOW academics with extensive research background. They help to link emerging companies with researchers at UOW and entrepreneurial academics at UOW with opportunities to collaborate with iAccelerate companies.



Prof Sharon Robinson 
iAccelerate Researcher in Residence, Senior Professor, Associate Dean Graduate Research, PhD | LinkedIn

A plant ecophysiologist and climate change biologist, Sharon is well known internationally for her research on Antarctic mosses and the innovative techniques she has brought to surveying and studying these precious plants. She is highly regarded as a teacher and mentor, and is a sought after thesis supervisor. And she maintains extensive connections nationally and around the world, with other research organisations as well as industry.

Robert Gorkin.pdj.

Associate Professor Robert Gorkin III
iAccelerate Researcher in Residence, Associate Professor, PhD, MBA | LinkedIn

Robert has extensive experience at the academic-industry coalface through research and project management in Advanced Manufacturing and Biotechnology. He is an Associate Professor at UOW, leading the team behind a Gates Foundation project developing revolutionary new condoms. He also is a co-founder of the leading Australian Graphene company, Imagine Intelligent Materials, where he manages research engagement with Australian and overseas partners. His work has led to over 100 publications (1500+ citations), over $5M in grants awarded from both academic and commercial positions, and direct involvement in disruptive startups leading to investment, products, sales, and community benefits. Robert is helping iAccelerate link emerging companies with researchers and entrepreneurial academics with opportunities, as well as helping develop impact investment funds.

Global Mentors

iAccelerate Global mentors have extensive entrepreneurial experience on a global scale and may be able to provide international connections to iAccelerate residents. Global mentors could be based anywhere in the world and may assist introducing iAccelerate residents to international markets.


Adam deSolaPool headshot resize

Adam de Sola Pool
Member of the Board of Commercial Advisors, INL - International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Portugal
Member of the Board of Advisors, OffGridBox (TechStars W17), Boston
Mentor and Investor | LinkedIn

Adam is an investor, mentor, and new technologies competition judge with 20 years of experience in clean energy & water and hardware companies. As an Angel Investor, Adam is a Partner in Clean Energy Venture Group, a member of Launchpad Ventures, Walnut Ventures, MIT Angels, and Sloan Angels. Adam Mentors & Judges at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Techstars, Northeastern University, CleanTech Open, & MassChallenge. Adam is on the Advisory Board of the International Nanotechnology Center accelerator in Braga Portugal and the MIT Enterprise Forum Polska accelerator in Warsaw Poland.

Matt Bullock AlumniAward1 crop

Matt Bullock
Spinify, CEO / Founder - Entrepreneur - Investor - Founder eWAY | LinkedIn

Matt is a serial entrepreneur who loves a deep dive into technology and applying it to solve business problems. Matt was previously the CEO and Founder of eWAY, an Entrepreneur revolutionising the online payments industry. With determination and entrepreneurial skill, Matt Bullock turned an idea into a thriving business at the forefront of online commerce. Matt is passionate about helping organisations solve business problems and automate as much of their work processes as possible. Matt also believes in giving back in the Start-Up sector and to local Communities through the Spinify Foundation.

Hamish Hawthorn 14

Hamish Hawthorn
Chief Operating Officer, UpGuard | LinkedIn

Hamish Hawthorn, COO of UpGuard, Inc. a leading Australian startup founded by Mike Baukes and Alan Sharpe-Paul, incubated through Startmate and now based in Silicon Valley (f.k.a. ScriptRock) and former CEO of ATP Innovations (now Cicada). 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


Aly Khalifa
Design and Engineering Innovator, Sustainability Entrepreneur | LinkedIn

Aly is a design entrepreneur specializing in invention development. He has launched products for some of the most exciting consumer brands and has garnered more than 2 dozen patents. Aly and his wife Beth have founded numerous efforts nurturing inventive culture. They created SPARKcon, which is the nation's largest open-source creative festival, attracting 75,000 attendees annually. They also founded the gourmet brand, Gamila, a collection of beautiful and sustainable single-serve coffee and tea tools, which was acquired by Seventh Generation in 2011.

Aly believes that collaborating with experts across diverse disciplines leads to revolutionary new products, technologies and methodologies. He travels extensively, innovating with factories around the world. His collaborations have been nominated for a Grammy and exhibited in the Louvre. He is an AIGA Fellow and an Eisenhower Fellow, recognized for his creative leadership and ability to drive tangible change.



William Rosenzweig
Social Entrepreneur / Impact Investor / Change Maker | LinkedIn

Dean and Executive Director of The Food Business School, William Rosenzweig has spent his career as an educator, serial entrepreneur, and venture investor. Will was founding CEO of The Republic of Tea, the company that created the premium tea category in the U.S.

His work has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Sound Money, Business Week, USA Today, and the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2010, Will was honored with the Oslo Business for Peace Award for his accomplishments in the area of ethical business.

A long-time faculty member at the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley, Will developed the country’s first MBA courses in Social Entrepreneurship and Social Venture Development. 



Prof Joe Steensma
Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, Washington University in St Louis | LinkedIn

Dr. Steensma serves as a Professor of Practice in Environmental Health and Social Entrepreneurship at the George W. Brown School as well as a Scholar at the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in Saint Louis. He is also a Sr. Scholar at the Global Good Fund in Washington, DC.& Dr. Steensma founded Industrial Solutions Group (ISG), which grew to become one of the premier occupational and environmental health companies in the United States. ISG was sold to Concentra (Humana) in 2007. He has launched several successful ventures related to public health and continues his entrepreneurial efforts to this day.

Dr. Steensma specializes in social entrepreneurism, environmental/occupational health, and biostatistics. He is passionate about sustainability and the role enterprise plays in advancing societies.


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

Jeff Bayley

Jeff Bayley
Business Mentor for Australian Food start-ups| LinkedIn

Jeff founded and ran his own company in the UK for nearly 24 years, successfully supplying national mass merchandisers as well as lively independents, and usually developing long term relationships with continental EU suppliers, working across languages and cultures. Having recognised how valuable it can be to have a mentor in the early stages, Jeff is now seeking to share experience gained in the food industry, FMCG and SME.


Nick Bolton, Jess Milne
Directors, Ten Alphas: Nick Bolton LinkedIn | Jess Milne LinkedIn

Ten Alphas are an Australian video production company with offices in Sydney, Wollongong NSW and Melbourne. They are passionate about telling stories through moving image content. Ten alphas videos aim to engage audiences through a combination of creative scripting of touching personal human stories, out-of-the-ordinary scenarios, beautiful cinematography, motion graphics and animation. 

Adam Cole iAccelerate Advisor

Adam Cole

Partner, KPMG Australia - Corporate Structuring & Governance | LinkedIn

Adam is passionate about making a difference for his clients, by helping them better understand their business and its potential, exploit opportunities and solve challenging issues. He provides a broad range of tax and business advisory services to help his clients grow and succeed.
iAccelerate Educate Sessions: Corporate Structuring | Shareholders Agreements & Term Sheets

Anthony Colfelt

Anthony Colfelt 

Owner, Handmade Web & Design | LinkedIn

Handmade Web is a boutique web and graphic design studio in Berry on the NSW South Coast. Bringing to bear his considerable experience with large-scale design projects, Anthony  provides small-medium sized businesses with great branding, design, websites, digital marketing and SEO. 
iAccelerate Educate Sessions: Introduction to Social Media | Digital Marketing Strategy
Jodie Cooper resize

Jodie Cooper

Positive Psychology Coach & Educator | LinkedIn Jodie has a degree in Commerce, a diploma in positive psychology and coaching and graduated as an Officer of the Australian Army Reserve, at Duntroon. Having grown her own coaching and presenting business over the last 12 years, Jodie has become an expert on Positive psychology and helping professionals to develop a mindset and culture that’s more positive, productive and profitable. 
iAccelerate Educate Session: Leadership and People Management 

Antonio Deliseo

Technical Specialist, Digital Strategy, allaboutXpert Australia | LinkedIn 

Antonio has extensive knowledge of sales management, business development and business management; presentation and negotiation skills to C-Level executives and government
and experience in building businesses, teams and management in the Asia Pacific Region.
Mario Fernando

Dr Mario Fernando

Professor of Management, University of Wollongong | LinkedIn 

Mario's research and teaching activities are centred on exploring how responsible executive action leads to positive individual, organisational and social outcomes. 
iAccelerate Educate Session: Ethics

Jessica Fosler

Independent Software Design Engineer | LinkedIn

Jessica is an experienced software developer who spent her first nine years in the industry writing software for Microsoft.   Now a seasoned independent app designer, she splits her time between writing educational apps and teaching kids to code. Over the past few years, she has taught thousands of students across the Illawarra the fundamentals of coding and 3d printing.  Her background in Computer and Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania gives her pragmatic experience in both hardware and software development.

NH Square

Nick Hartgerink

Owner, Hartgerink Media Services | LinkedIn

Nick Hartgerink is a media consultant with over 40 years’ experience in journalism and public relations. He spent 24 years as a journalist with Fairfax, including six years as editor of the Illawarra Mercury from 1995-2001. Since then he has run a media consultancy based in the Illawarra, with regional and national clients including the University of Wollongong, BlueScope, the Rio Tinto Indigenous Foundation, Wollongong City Council, RMB Lawyers and NSW Government agencies. He is also the author of seven books, including the best-selling biography of world champion motorcycle racer Wayne Gardner and the history of the University of Wollongong, published in 2011 to mark its 60th anniversary. 
iAccelerate Educate Session: Introduction to PR

Kristina Hermanson

Transformation Leader, Coca-Cola Amatil | LinkedIn

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 Photo crop

Nicholas Hislop

Co-Owner & Director, Capital Brewing Co | LinkedIn

Nicholas' interest and passion for business and beer was born during his role as with Natural Capitalism Solutions in the great brewery town of Boulder, Colorado, USA. Since then, he has cemented skills implementing sustainable business strategies for numerous hospitality companies, specifically in relation to increased efficiencies in supply chain, logistics, water, and electricity usage. In addition, he has developed other economic, environmental and social initiatives which have been incorporated into the ethos and culture of Capital Brewing Co with great outcomes.

Richard Horton 14

Richard Horton

Partner, Squire Patton Boggs | LinkedIn

Richard is an experienced, dual-qualified US and Australian corporate and technology lawyer, actively advising clients in both the USA and Australia. He has deep experience helping Australian venture funds and technology companies doing business in the United States and globally, and represents all the major venture funds in Australia, as well as many of Australia’s leading startups and incubators.
LI Square

Leanne Isabella

Human Resources Manager - Australia, Commscope | LinkedIn

Leanne is an expert in Human Resources and is currently HR Manager of CommScope Australia. She was previously the HR Manager throughout the growth phase of one of Australia's largest start-up successes, Info Comp. Leanne has been a key supporter of the iAccelerate initiative from its inception, presenting Educate sessions and providing HR advice to iAccelerate residents. 
iAccelerate Educate Session: Human Resources

Joanna Kubota
Founding Mentor

Director, Global Solution Strategies - Sales & Marketing expert | LinkedIn

Since establishing GSS in Australia, Joanna and Takahiro have worked to bring their global expertise to the Illawarra and South Cost, assisting a huge variety of companies covering a wide array of industries, from startups to well-established firms, and ranging in size from micro businesses up to companies and government departments with hundreds of employees. Joanna has been involved in the iAccelerate initiative since its inception in 2011. 
iAccelerate Educate Session: Sales and Marketing 

Taka  Kubota15

Takahiro Kubota
Founding Mentor

Director, Global Solution Strategies - Sales & Marketing expert 

Since establishing GSS in Australia, Joanna and Takahiro have worked to bring their global expertise to the Illawarra and South Cost, assisting a huge variety of companies covering a wide array of industries, from startups to well-established firms, and ranging in size from micro businesses up to companies and government departments with hundreds of employees. Takahiro has been involved in the iAccelerate initiative since its inception in 2011. 
iAccelerate Educate Session: Sales and Marketing 


Rebecca Lyon

Principal - Tribe Legal | Linkedin

Advocate for older Australians. Innovator for social change. Experienced General Counsel and Aged CareLawyer. Passionate. Community focused. Collaborative.;
Anthony Macar image resize

Anthony Marcar

Entrepreneur/Software Engineer | LinkedIn 

Anthony is a tech entrepreneur with experience founding companies, building resilient tech systems, and mentoring startups. In Wollongong in 2010, Anthony co-founded Grabble, a digital receipt startup which sold to Walmart Labs in under a year. He worked there for 5 years integrating Grabble's technology throughout their 4800 US stores. He also rewrote Walmart's transaction backend (10 billion transactions a year), and then hired a team to manage it. Anthony is also a mentor in the Startmate accelerator where he has twice been voted most valuable mentor.

Dave Peters image crop

David Peters

Executive Head, Mahindra Comviva; Director, Social Impact Systems | LinkedIn

David was founder and CEO of Emagine International, a company he founded in 1998, which was acquired in 2017. Emagine is an Australian based software company providing enterprise marketing solutions to telecommunications operators globally.  David led the growth of Emagine’s business globally by focusing first and foremost on delivering outstanding results for clients, using a combination of the very best people, the best tools, and a strong collaborative relationship with clients.

​Formerly of Bouygues Telecom France, Optus and Telstra in Australia, David has over 25 years experience of data analytics, marketing and general management in marketing and in the mobile telecoms sector globally.

Garry Pinch iAccelerate Advisor

Garry Pinch

Director, Accounting Professionals | LinkedIn 

Garry has developed an extensive business improvement plan that he implements with clients to achieve their goals regarding profits, cash flow, growth & lifestyle. The plan includes a focus on business profit drivers, tax strategies, marketing strategy plan & budget, business model review, team recruitment and management and measure, monitor & manage process to keep the business on track in the long term. 
iAccelerate Educate Session: Introduction to Finance, Tax & Accounting 
Lothar Wilkens resize

Lothar Wilkens 

Founding Principal, Wilbartec Consulting Engineers | LinkedIn

Lothar is the founding principal of Wilbartec Consulting Engineers which for the past 26 years has serviced clients in a wide range of industries by developing creative improvement solutions to equipment and processes. He also applied his mechanical engineering skills towards designing manufacturing/processing equipment and products. Problem solving, critical technical analysis and practical engineering skills are part of the experience Lothar offers to the iAccelerate community.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor in the iAccelerate community - contact us.