Thrive Conference

Thursday 16 June 2022, 10:00AM - 6:00PM

LaunchVic's flagship startup development conference for regional Victoria.

If you have a passion for growing startup activity in your local community and want to build your networks with like-minded people, then Thrive is the conference for you.

Specifically aimed at those working in local government, as well as co-working and innovation hubs across regional Victoria, the conference will provide a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship and how to harness startup activity and create regional communities.

Thrive 2022 is fully catered, and your ticket includes morning tea, lunch, networking drinks and refreshments throughout the day.


10:00 - 10:30REGISTRATION
10:30 - 10:40WELCOME ADDRESSMinister Jaala Pulford
Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy

10:40 - 11:00State of the Victorian Ecosystem
Dr Kate Cornick will give an overview of the Victorian startup sector including our strengths and opportunities, and how LaunchVic plans to continue building a vibrant regional Victorian startup community and encourage more people to consider a pathway into the startup ecosystem
Dr Kate Cornick
CEO, LaunchVic
11:00 - 11:30Startup Genome 2022 Report Findings
Startup Genome is the world-leading innovation policy advisory and research firm, has advised the ecosystem development strategy and action plans for more than 45 governments in the last year. JF Gauthier CEO & Founder Startup Genome, will present the findings from the 2022 Global Startup Ecosystem Report just days after the release on the 14th. This report is the world’s most comprehensive research on startups, with 280+ entrepreneurial innovation ecosystems and 3 million+ companies analysed.
JF Gauthier
CEO, Startup Genome
11:30 - 12:00
Growing Startup Ecosystems
Susan has been involved in the governance of global companies since 1996, with expertise in rebuilding stakeholder trust and finding the potential in legacy assets, all whilst mapping a path for a company to succeed into an unknown future. Hear a special keynote sharing their experience growing the startups sector, why startups are important for our economy and why it’s important for everyone to be supporting regional entrepreneurs to establish and grow.

Susan Oliver AM
Chair, The Alice Anderson Fund
12:00 - 12:45LUNCH
12:45 - 1:30Establishing foundations for success in regional Victoria
Collectively, these ecosystem leaders have supported over 160 regional entrepreneurs through their programs. Hear how they worked with their local councils to establish their program, how they champion regional innovation and what challenges and opportunities exist for regional programs.
Linda Wong
Managing Director, Runway
Ilena Young
Managing Director, Startup Shakeup
Elena Kelareva
Founder & CEO, GippsTech / Startup Gippsland
1:30 - 2:00
Following a panel conversation, join a breakout session to dive deeper into one of these regional programs to understand what the driving forces are behind a successful regional program, and what opportunities exist to help drive regional innovation programs.
2:00 - 2:20AFTERNOON TEA
2:20 - 2:50Understanding the significance of migration to Regional Victoria
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, a lot of attention has been given to the internal migration patterns of city dwellers to regional Australia. Researchers at the Future of Work Lab are trying to understand how newer arrivals in the regions might engage with local communities to foster innovation and take advantage of the emerging digital economy. Dr Peter Ghin will share their findings so far on behaviour patterns and attitudes of these tree & sea changers and the opportunities that exist for local communities.
Dr Peter Ghin
Researcher, University of Melbourne
2:50 - 3:20Growing a Startup in Regional Victoria
Hear lightning talks from regionally-based startup founders on how they are building their startups in regional Victoria, why they've chosen a regional base, how they're building their teams and how they connect with the local ecosystem.

Alex Sinickas
Founder & CEO, Milkdrop
Hunter Jay
Founder & CEO, Ripe Robotics
Nathan MacPhee
Founder & CEO, Invest Inya Farmer
3:20 - 4:00Building & Scaling Community
Well-connected startup ecosystems grow faster and perform better than less-connected places. Hear from some of Victoria's community heroes on how to build strong communities, what to keep in mind when building the early foundations, and how to keep your communities connected with each other.
Aiman Hamdouna
Founder & CEO, Hatch Quarter
Emma Forster

Project Lead-Industry Facilitator & Events | Regions & Partnerships, Sustainability Victoria
Josh Lipscombe, Community Programs Lead, LaunchVic & Cofounder, FuckUp Nights Melbourne
4:00 - 4:40Expanding opportunities for regional founders
Hear how to support regional founders to engage with organisations that can provide further education and exposure to bigger markets so startups will have a better chance of success, and enable faster growth for themselves and local ecosystems.
Samar McHeileh
Co-CEO, Scale Investors
Matt Vitale
Co-founder, Birchal
Phoebe Pincus
Chief of Staff, Startmate
  1. Linda Wong

    Managing Director

  • Thrive brings together community builders and local council members from across the state to hear practical advice on fostering innovation in regional communities. This event is a unique networking opportunity to meet and talk with other local government and regional development leaders in one of the first face-to-face events in the last few years.

  • * Regional startup community builders & startup programs * Local councils and business chambers * Regionally based coworking spaces and innovation hubs

  • In a series of talks and presentations throughout the day, you'll hear from local and international experts on topics such as growing a startup in regional Victoria, creating a culture of innovation and supporting regional ecosystems to succeed.

Pre-Conference Event

If you're in town early, join LaunchVic & Startup Shakeup at Bridge Road Brewery on Wednesday 15th June from 4:30 - 6:30 for a pre-conference warm-up.