Pitch Night: Migrant and First Generation Founders

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The Goods Shed

710 Collins Street

Docklands, VIC 3008


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Event description
This month Startup Victoria and Victoria University want to shine a spotlight on the Migrant and First Generation Founders here in Victoria!

About this Event

As the university of Opportunity & Success, Victoria University is particularly interested in how education and entrepreneurship transforms people's lives. And we always look for ways to actively contribute to this positive impact, be that while educating the next generation, uncovering founder insights in partnership with Startup Victoria through Found (there is something good coming up in November:-), or by growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the West through VU Innovations.

The potential for education and entrepreneurship to transform lives is incredibly strong for migrants and their children. Research over the years has shown that migrants and their children start more businesses, and their businesses experience higher success rates, than non-migrants. And that’s why Victoria University has partnered with Startup Victoria to find the best startup started by a Migrant or First Generation Founder.


  • 12 September - Applications Open
  • 15 October - Applications Close
  • 16 October - Shortlisted applicants announced
  • 22 October - Pitch Training & Selection Session for shortlisted applicants (In order to be consider to pitch on the night, you MUST be available to attend training)
  • 23 October- Finalists announced
  • 29 October- Migrant and First Generation Founder Pitch Night!!

To Apply:

Please fill out this form by Thursday 15 October.

Prize Package:

  • Hatch Quarter: 3-hour deep-dive session with HQ's R&D and Commercialisation team to tackle the winner's biggest challenges. This award could simply be collected via an intro email after the event and we'll organise the session with the winner
  • Austrade: Participation in the Landing Pads program at a location of your choice (Singapore, Berlin, Tel Aviv, San Francisco, Shanghai.
  • AWS: $5,000 AWS Credit to the winner and $1,000 AWS Credit to finalists
  • Crazy Domains: 1 x hour consultation with a web expert and free comprehensive website health check, valued at $279
  • Coglan Duffy & Co: 1 x hour of free legal advice
  • Connect Labs: $4000 worth sales and marketing technology audit for your startup to get found, get leads and get customers
  • The Commons: 12 Month Open Desk Membership to the Commons valued at $4920.
  • General Assembly: $1000 credit for classes & workshops, valid for 1 year
  • Law Squared: $2500 credit to use the Cubed by Law Squared platform
  • Northraine: 10 hours x machine learning training and consultation
  • Prime Financial: 4hours x consultation for winner and 2hours x consultation for finalists
  • SendGrid: $5,000 credit to winner and $3,000 credit to finalists
  • SquarePeg Capital: 30mins x consultation with the team
  • Swineburne Innovation Project: 1 Week free pass for 1 person.
  • Free Tickets for all finalist founders to the Startup Grind APAC 2019 Conference, valued at $300


Tim Holman - WellAware

Tim Holman is a Victoria University Alumni who completed the Advanced Diploma in Business (Advertising) between 2005 and 2006. Tim is currently the Managing Director of Proximity Germany and RedProximity in London, part of the BBDO Group. As part of his role Tim oversees the global digital advertising for clients including Porsche and Bayer as well as looking after regional European business for clients including Amazon and Longchamp. Tim has been involved in various social startups since graduating including a philanthropical startup with celebrities Trudie Styler and Sting where he cycled 24,000 kms across the world for Child Trafficking awareness as well as various other initiatives across Nepal, Cambodia and Kenya. Tim is currently the Founding Partner for WellAware, an app based technology created to reduce the impact and prevent the onset of chronic disease. The algorithm has been built with technologists, data experts and doctors and is planned to be launched to Blue Chip clients for their employees in February 2020.

Bronte Neyland - Victoria University

Bronte is Director, Victoria University International at Victoria University. With more than 18 years’ experience in international education and having studied in Japan, Bronte is passionate about the transformational impact that an international education experience can have. Bronte believes strongly in lifelong learning and in recent years became an alumni of the Asialink Leaders Program and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors course (GAICD). Bronte is known amongst her friends and peers as someone who can’t help but offer to volunteer or “join in” and is currently the Chair, Australian Universities International Directors’ Forum and Council Member, Armadale Primary School. Her commitment to giving back to the international education sector through delivering workshops and webinars saw her become the inaugural IEAA Fellow in September 2019 and awarded the 2015 Tracy McCabe Future Leader Fellowship. In her free time, there is nothing more that she likes doing than spending time with her family and running – they’re not connected!

Aiman Hamdouna - Hatch Quarter

On a mission to educate, support, and empower the people solving the world’s problems through businesses and innovation. Aiman is a leader in the Startup industry who has worked hand-in-hand with some of the brightest entrepreneurs at all stages of their business’s growth via Hatch Quarter (a leading startup incubator) and Mo Works (a digital agency at the cutting edge of creativity), and has delivered successful projects for government agencies and small, medium and large companies. He has dedicated the past decade to the growth of the Victorian startup ecosystem and has founded the first collaborative community for International Entrepreneurs in Melbourne to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs from around the world and the local startup ecosystem and is a recipient of the TechDiversity Merit Award Winner 2019 - Education Category.

Michelle Fitzgerald

Michelle Fitzgerald leads the smart city and innovation agenda for the City of Melbourne, andis the city's first Chief Digital Officer. As our cities face digital disruption, Michelle and her team are responsible for trailing and implementing digital and data tools that will help prepare Melbourne for major population growth and help create jobs and startups of the future. Melbourne was recently rated the 8th 'smart city government' in the world!

Guest Speaker

Julian Waters-Lynch

Julian Waters-Lynch researchers how entrepreneurs learn, the relationship between innovation and communities of practice, and entrepreneurial approaches towards solving complex social challenges. He is a research associate with the VU Innovations at Victoria University, Blockchain Innovation Hub and Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University and Melbourne Business School. Julian holds a PhD in management from RMIT University, where his doctoral thesis investigated the pioneering Coworking community in Melbourne. As a practitioner in strategic and experience design, Julian specialises in customer experience research, innovation management and organisational design and has worked with major clients across corporate, government and non-profit sectors. Julian regularly offers public talks, workshops and writing on technological disruption, strategic design and the possible future(s) of work.

Omer Molad - Vervoe

Omer Molad is the co-founder and CEO of Vervoe, an AI-powered skills assessment platform that helps companies hire the very best by focusing on who can do the job, not who looks good on paper. Omer grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel, and was an officer and platoon commander in the Israel Defence Forces and worked at two startups. Omer then moved to Melbourne where he struggled to get a job because companies didn’t value his military or startup experience. Omer then obtained a combined Law/Commerce degree from the University of Melbourne and spent the majority of the following decade working in banking with ANZ and NAB, including his most recent role leading a corporate finance team of 25 people. During a brief break from banking Omer spent two years coordinating international emergency response on behalf of Australia Red Cross, during which he obtained a Masters in International Law from the University of Melbourne. In December 2016 Omer left NAB to start Vervoe with his friend, David Weiberg. Having experienced the inherent bias in the traditional recruitment process first-hand, Omer and David learned about the “auditions” Matt Mullenweg was doing at Automattic, the company that invented WordPress. Instead of résumés and interviews, Automattic invited candidates to work with the company on a trial basis. Inspired by the audition concept, Omer and David decided to recreate the “audition” process using technology so companies could “audition” candidates using at speed, at scale and based on data. Today Vervoe helps over 5,000 companies hire based on merit, not background.

Major Sponsor:

For more than 100 years, Victoria University (VU) has offered accessible education to students in Melbourne’s west and beyond.

Our flexible approach to learning and teaching supports our vision and mission.

We aim to continue creating positive outcomes for education, industry and our community into the future.

The City of Melbourne is helping innovators and entrepreneurs to realise their dreams of starting, growing and going global with their small business.

Along with offering resources for startups and small businesses, and providing grant funding through the Small Business Grants Program (more than $8 million to 363 small business since 1996), the City of Melbourne strives to be a collaboration leader, playing a key role in connecting startups with some of Melbourne’s greatest assets – education facilities, research institutions, co-working spaces, training programs and more. The City of Melbourne hopes to continue to attract founders, talent, customers and investors to our city, allowing Melbourne to continue to grow to create new jobs and drive economic growth.

Official Venue Sponsor:

Stone & Chalk is Australasia's leading independent, not-for-profit innovation hub with locations in Sydney Melbourne and Adelaide and the support of 27 corporate partners.

Their 680 residents compose of 140 startups and 6 accelerators/ incubators in the building enjoying customised Mentor programs, Office hours with Industry leaders, Introductions to corporate partners and to date have raised over $330M in capital.

Stone & Chalk fosters and accelerates the development of world-leading technology startups and act as a centre of gravity for the innovation ecosystem.

Official Event Staffing Provider:

Weploy is creating an empowered and fearless workforce and building the world's best community of on-demand short-term office support staff.

Photos and video may be taken at the event and may be used for promotional purposes. Your attendance at this event is considered as implied consent for the use of these photographs for these purposes.

All attendees to Startup Victoria's event must comply to our Startup Victoria Events Code of Conduct.

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The Goods Shed

710 Collins Street

Docklands, VIC 3008


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