Learn more about Victoria’s $23.6 billion startup ecosystem.
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LaunchVic’s investments are set to unlock up to $280 million for the Victorian early-stage capital market by 2024. Learn more about our work growing Victoria’s investor community.
Chair | Entrepreneur, Investor & CEO, Saniel Ventures
Mr Leigh Jasper is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Saniel Ventures, Chair of Second Quarter Ventures and a non-executive director of SEEK Ltd, Salta Properties, Buildxact and the Burnet Institute. He was the co-founder and CEO of Aconex between May 2000 and August 2019. Aconex is the world’s largest provider of online collaboration solutions to the construction and engineering industries. As Aconex CEO, Mr Jasper led global growth for Aconex, expanding the business into Asia, North America, South America, the Middle East and Europe.
In September 2008, Aconex secured a A$109.5 million funding deal and one of the largest private capital raisings by an Australian technology company. In 2014 the company listed on the ASX. In 2018 Oracle acquired Aconex for $1.6 billion in Australia’s largest technology M&A transaction.Leigh joined the LaunchVic Board on 1 July 2020.
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Managing Director, Government Australia & New Zealand, Aurecon
Aneetha de Silva (MAICD)
Ms Aneetha de Silva is a senior infrastructure executive with over 25 years’ experience across the government and private sectors in Australia, South Africa and the Asia Pacific. She has particular expertise as an advisor, developer and manager of large infrastructure assets and services, especially in transport, telecommunications and property.
Aneetha is currently Managing Director Government ANZ for Aurecon Group and a member of Aurecon’s global board. She is also Vice President and board member of Roads Australia.
Aneetha has extensive experience in complex commercial and stakeholder environments and is skilled at aligning government and private sector interests to drive industry, customer and community outcomes.
An active angel investor, she is passionate about innovation, particularly the potential for new technologies to meet emerging customer needs and transform access to community services.
Aneetha holds a Bachelor of Laws and Masters of Law from the University of Melbourne, has completed executive education at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Aneetha joined the LaunchVic Board on 1 July 2020. She is Chair of the Audit, Finance & Risk Committee.
Executive Manager, Qantas Freight
Ms Catriona Larritt is currently the Qantas Freight Executive Manager and previously was Jetstar’s Chief Customer Officer, the champion for customers, digitisation and change in airlines across Asia Pacific.
Before joining the Qantas Group in 2015, Catriona was a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group for 13 years, specialising in consumer goods, retail and aviation, and has also been a senior executive with Spotless and Australia Post where she focused on digital disruption and growth.
Catriona holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Melbourne and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
Catriona joined the LaunchVic Board on 8 December 2016. She is the Chair of the Board’s Grants & Funding Committee.
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Managing Director, PENSO & Managing Director, AJF Partnership
Mr Con Frantzeskos is the founder of PENSO, a visionary digital strategy consultancy. The firm has offices in Australia, South East Asia and the Middle East. Con is also founder of startups MillionEyes, a visual analytics platform, and Conformly, a revolutionary cloud-based home for brand and marketing guidelines.
Con sits on the advisory board of the Swinburne University of Technology Innovation Precinct, and is the Australian presenting Partner of The Future Laboratory, one of the worlds most renowned futures and foresights consultancies.
Con holds a Bachelor of Economics from Monash University and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment (Finsia).
Con joined the LaunchVic Board on 11 March 2016.
CEO & Co-Founder, shilo.people | CEO & Founder, pivotnow
Ms Ilona Charles is Chair of LaunchVic’s People Committee.
Ms Ilona Charles is an experienced executive with an extensive career in human resources, transformation and change across a range of industries. She has worked in global and complex organisations ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups, scale-ups and multi-national corporations. Industries include digital and technology, financial services, health, telecommunications and government.
Ilona has held executive roles with the CSIRO, Aconex, Telstra, Medibank and NAB. She commenced her career as an Occupational Therapist and has a Master of Business Administration. Ilona is the CEO and co-founder of ShiloPeople (shilo.), providing world class on-demand HR talent and consulting solutions across Australia. She also founded pivotnow, providing strategic people advice to Founders, CEO’s and Boards of organisations going through significant transition or scaling up.
Ilona is a Director & Board member of Goulburn Valley Health (GVH), Chair of the GVH Workforce Committee; Non-Executive Director, intelliHR, Chair of the People Committee (intelliHR) and a Member of the People & Culture Committee, Burnet Institute. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Certified member of the Australian Human Resources Institute.
Ilona joined the LaunchVic Board on 1 July 2020.
Director, Wisetech Global | CEO & Founder, Stickytek
Ms Teresa Engelhard has a passion for technology and collaboration aligned with moral purpose which has underpinned a career-long focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. She is currently the founder and CEO of edtech startup StickyTek and serves on the board of ASX-listed tech unicorn Wisetech Global. Her former ASX-listed NED roles include Origin Energy and RedBubble where she supported the company’s growth from 25-people through its ASX listing.
Her work at LaunchVic builds on over a decade of service to the Australian public and not-for-profit entities. Currently, she serves on SCATS advisory panel (Government of NSW). She previously was a member of Innovation Australia’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme Committee and was a Director at StartupAUS (now Tech Council of Australia) and Redkite Cancer Charity.
Arriving in Australia in 2006 from Silicon Valley, Teresa joined Jolimont Capital to eventually become a Managing Partner. Her investments there included NextWindow which achieved an AVCAL Chairman’s award for IRR performance and Daintree Networks which achieved Australia’s highest value technology trade sale in 2016. At Daintree Networks, she was the longest-serving director providing hands-on leadership through multiple international venture financings and its trade sale to GE.
Between 1996 and 2006 in California, Ms Engelhard was a venture capitalist at Mohr, Davidow Ventures, VP of Software Solutions at $5 billion US-listed ONI Systems (now Ciena), and held multiple roles at startups backed by top-tier venture syndicates including as CEO leading Timeshift’s exit to J2 Global (US-listed) and as VP Marketing and Business Development at Xponent, acquired by Hoya Corporation (Japan).
Teresa began her career at McKinsey & Company in Los Angeles, has an MBA from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Engineering and Applied Science from Caltech.
Teresa joined the LaunchVic Board on 1 July 2020.
.2.) And in the biography text, some minor letter-case corrections in one sentence…She is currently the founder and CEO of EdTech edtech startup Stickytek StickyTek and serves on the board of ASX-listed tech unicorn Wisetech Global.
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Government Engagement Manager
Social Media Lead
Coordinator, Regional & AgTech
Assistant Accountant & Business Partner
Community Programs Lead
GM, Communications & Marketing
Marketing Campaigns Manager
Startup Programs Manager
Investment Manager, The Alice Anderson Fund
Michelle is Investment Manager for the Alice Anderson Fund
Grants & Procurement Manager
GM, Investors/Alice Anderson Fund
GM, Corporate Affairs