Learn more about Victoria’s $91 billion startup sector.
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Connect with a wide range of LaunchVic programs fuelling the startup state.
Discover grant opportunities to grow startup activity in Victoria.
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 the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Firmable, CEO of Saniel Ventures, Chair and Co-Founder of Second Quarter Ventures and a non-executive director of SEEK Ltd, Buildxact and Matrak. 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 for 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.
— Chair of the Board, Member of the Audit, Finance & Risk Sub-Committee and People Sub-Committee
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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’ of 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 President of Roads Australia and sits on the Boards of LaunchVic, the Melbourne Arts Precinct Corporation and the North East Link State Tolling Corporation.
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.
— Chair of the Investment Review Committee and Member of the Alice Anderson Fund Investment Committee.
Group Chief Customer & Digital Officer, Qantas
As Qantas Group Chief Customer & Digital Officer, Catriona is responsible for the end-to-end customer experience, both digitally and physically, as well as brand, marketing and technology.
She commenced in the role in September 2023 having previously served as the Executive Manager Qantas Freight for three years and before that as Jetstar’s Chief Customer Officer.
Catriona joined the Qantas Group in 2015, and prior to this held senior roles at The Boston Consulting Group, Australia Post and Spotless. Catriona holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from the University of Melbourne.
— Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee
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Group Chief Growth and Innovation Officer, GrowthOps
Mr Con Frantzeskos is Group Chief Growth and Innovation Officer at GrowthOps, creating strategic growth plans to address client growth challenges, drawing on the group’s strengths in business and technology consulting, CX, digital marketing, creative, content, PR, and media in ten offices across Asia, the Middle East and Australia. He is the founder and former CEO of PENSO, a visionary digital strategy consultancy, and former Managing Director of AJF, one of Australia’s top creative agencies.
Mr Frantzeskos 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 world’s most renowned futures and foresight consultancies.
— Member of the Audit, Finance & Risk Sub-Committee
Con joined the LaunchVic Board on 11 March 2016.
CEO & Co-Founder, shilo.people | CEO & Founder, pivotnow
– Ms Ilona Charles is an experienced executive with an extensive career in human resources, transformation and change across a range of industries.
Ilona has held executive roles with the CSIRO, Aconex, Telstra, Medibank and NAB and is currently 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.
– Chair of the People Sub-Committee
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.
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GM, Corporate Affairs
Social Media Lead
Coordinator, Regional & AgTech
Assistant Accountant & Business Partner
Community Manager, LaunchVic & Investment Manager, Hugh Victor McKay Fund
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 & Hugh Victor McKay Fund