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Mar 8
  • Doors open, registration starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Go home and try to get some sleep


Mar 9
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams finalising plans for the day
  • Market validation - pivot, pivot, pivot!
  • Lunch
  • Call for skills
  • Mentors help teams one-on-one
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Hacking and hustling
  • Go home and try to get some sleep


Mar 10
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (almost there, don’t be shy!)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Final prepping
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrap up
  • Go home!
National Sponsors
Platinum Sponsors
Gold Sponsors
Media Partner

Joe Ziegler

Technical Evangelist, Amazon Web Services   |   LinkedIn

Joe is originally from Texas, but began his career in Silicon Valley. In 1995, he worked on some of the first e-commerce applications at Netscape, and worked at NetGravity during the time of its IPO. After that, Joe built several startups from the ground up. As a technical executive, he was responsible for the company IP, and for managing engineering groups. His recent venture, Iris Data Services, was listed as one of the “Forbes 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the US”.

In 2006, Joe used cloud services and virtualisation for Iris Data Services, as the Director of Technical Services. Later, he worked with several enterprises that developed on Amazon Web Services, including his own company, IndexMedia. Today, he shares his enthusiasm for Amazon Web Services as an evangelist, speaking about its compelling benefits.

Joe has lived on five continents and enjoys meeting people in different parts of the globe. He has studied Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Korean. He has a degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University, and an MBA from The University of Texas at Dallas.

Jeffrey Paine

Founding Partner, Golden Gate Ventures   |   LinkedIn

Jeffrey Paine is the founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures, an early stage technology incubator based in Singapore. Jeff started and manages the Founder Institute in Asia where he is currently overseeing its expansion in the Southeast Asian region. Since 2010 the Founder Institute in Singapore has graduated over 60 companies in Asia.

Jeff spent the first eight years of his career in early stage venture and private equity in the US, North and South Asia. He co-founded a China market entry advisory firm which was then merged with a China mid-market private equity firm. He also cofounded Pyrks in early 2012 and currently sits on the board of TheMobileGamer, and AtticTV.

He is Singapore native and graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration (Information Systems) from the University of Southern California.

Phil Morle

Co-Founder, Pollenizer   |   LinkedIn

Since 2008, Phil Morle has been the co-founder of Pollenizer, a full service startup investment machine. With Pollenizer, he has created an ecosystem which allows for new tech companies to start including inception funding (up to $100K AUD), team (engineering, product, UI, back office, customer development), process (lean startup).

Before Pollenizer, he was the CTO at Kazaa for 5 years and led the development of a technology strategy which saw 5 million users online at any one time, millions of downloads per day and a total global user base of over 100 million, all this powered by innovative technology, a globally distributed team and a sprinkling of imagination.

Before that, strangely, Phil was a theatre director with companies in the UK and Australia. This taught him the discipline of making something valuable with few resources.

Specialties: Startups. Investing, building, growing.

Michelle d’Almeida

Managing Director, The Sunday Times and PerthNow   |   LinkedIn

Originally from Perth, Michelle returned home last year to take up the MD role of News Ltd’s WA business after spending the previous 8 years immersed in their digital businesses in Sydney and New York.

Michelle has worked for News Limited and News Corporation since 1995. She spent her first nine years with the company at The Sunday Times in Perth, beginning her career in sales holding several sales leadership roles. In 2004 she moved to America to take the role of director of classified adverting for the New York Post, soon after broadened her responsibilities as vice president of digital and classifieds. Over this time Michelle played a leadership role driving the commercial and product digital strategy at the New York Post.

Returning to Australia in 2008 she spent a short time back in sales with The Daily and Sunday Telegraph in Sydney before returning to the digital business as The Telegraphs digital director. Michelle led The Telegraph digital business to successfully rebrand the website and then launch their first tablet app and msite.

Michelle has a real passion for all things digital and strongly believes a great user experience is at the heart of successful digital products.

Rob Newman

Co-Founder, Stone Ridge Ventures   |   LinkedIn

Rob Newman has established a unique track record as a successful high technology entrepreneur in both Australia and Silicon Valley. Rob has twice founded and built businesses based on technology from Western Australian Universities and both times successfully entered overseas markets. These businesses combined have established market values of over $200M.

Rob started his entrepreneurial career early. As a Ph.D. student at the University of Western Australia he was the inventor and co-founder of QPSX Communications Pty Ltd which sold products to Telecommunication Carriers in Australia, Europe and the U.S.

Rob was also the Founding CEO of Atmosphere Networks. The technology was developed at Curtin University and Rob established a company with US Venture Capital backing and ran it until it was acquired by Ditech Communications.

Rob is co-founder and executive director of Stone Ridge Ventures - a technology venture capital firm.


Jay Hollywood

Founder,   |  

Creator, crafter, problem solver and co-founder of design & web studio Humaan. Collaborated to produce apps such as Launchlist, Counter Culture, SimpleSafe and

Passionate about all things digital and strongly believes in the intersection of design, user experience and technology to create intelligent and purposeful digital products.

Laurie Smithdale

Founder,   |  

A startup veteran and founder/creator of, one of Australia's most popular websites.

Passionate about watersport, technology, playing guitar & helping others (not necessarily in that order!)

Stuart Hall

Founder, Filter Squad   |  

Founder of Filter Squad - we build Discovr &

I love tech, music and startups, so that's what I do.

Claire Robertson

Co-Director, Founder Institute   |  

Claire moved back to Perth last year, after 6 years in London where she was Product & Marketing Director for, the largest online pet supplies retailer in the UK. Having started her professional life as a veterinarian Claire joined MedicAnimal as the company's vet and employee #5, eventually leading MedicAnimal's marketing and product effort through an institutional fundraising round and a competitor acquisition.

Since returning to Perth, Claire has worked as a digital marketing and ecommerce consultant for businesses ranging from startup to enterprise. Claire is passionate about all things digital and is throwing herself into the local startup community, including co-launching a Perth chapter of the Founder Institute.

Dash Dhakshinamoorthy

Founder, Startup Malaysia   |   LinkedIn

Dash is a serial entrepreneur, startup catalyst and evangelist driving

As well as being co-director of the Perth chapter of Founder Institute with Claire, Dash leads the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) movement in Malaysia as its host for the last three years and was also an attendee to President Obama’s Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in Washington D.C last year.

Justin Strharsky

MD, Synaptor   |  

Justin is the Managing Director of Synaptor, a Perth-based startup that is changing the way companies ensure the safety of their people and the environment with innovative mobile and web applications.

Justin has owned businesses in Alaska and the Czech Republic, has produced a concert and an album, has roasted coffee, has written documents on enterprise management software solutions, and has helped Morning Startup become one of the most popular get-togethers in the Perth startup community.

Justin Davies

MD, Emergination   |   LinkedIn

Justin Davies is the Managing Director of Emergination - a consultancy focussed on applying emerging technologies and ideas, coupled with imagination to creating value for businesses. He currently works with a range of private sector clients in growth industries.

Justin has a unique blend of marketing, business and online experience, with a successful track record in delivering solid profitable business growth. He has a keen interest in new and growing business ventures and has assisted a number of software startups seeking international expansion.

Gary Barber

User Experience Consultant   |   LinkedIn

Gary is multi-talented independent (user) experience consultant, with a flare for visual and interactive design, having gained a large body of experience in the information industry since 1990.

Gary's personal goal is to make the world easier to use for all the interfaces and services we encounter.

Specialties: Evangelising UX, difficult interface design problems and customer research

Chris Farquhar

Case Manager, Commercialisation Australia   |   LinkedIn

Chris has extensive experience in technology development, marketing, commercialisation and strategic consulting, with 10 years experience working in Silicon Valley, USA.

Chris founded three technology companies that he managed through to commercial sales. Two of these were software businesses that were sold to US companies.

Charlie Gunningham

Executive Manager,   |   LinkedIn

Originally from the UK, Charlie lived and worked in Singapore for 8 years before arriving in Perth to do an MBA at UWA in 1997. Graduating top of the Business School, in 1999 he cofounded, an online real estate business which pioneered interactive mapping on the web. The company won various IT and Business Awards and in 2003 he was a 40under40 winner. In 2010 Charlie sold to REIWA where he now works.

Kye Leslie

Business Process Consultant   |   LinkedIn

A process consultant and people-focussed management specialist, Kye understands how processes, organisational structures and human behaviour interact. He uses this knowledge to design changes that improve the effectiveness of workplace systems.

Kye is an expert on Change Management, Agile Development, Systems Thinking and the Theory of Constraints (TOC), and is returning to mentor for us again after enjoying his experience at the inaugural #SWPerth so much!

Andrew Larsen

CMO, Health Engine   |   LinkedIn

Andrew has a diverse background ranging from a Masters in Computer Security and an MBA, to Project Management consulting to a Perth startup that is now a publicly listed global entity. He has been involved in various other startups and is currently a Director with HealthEngine and operates SyncLabs. Andrew frequents startup related Meetups and entrepreneurial functions and is a keen Angel Investor.

Matt Macfarlane

Co-Founder, Yuuwa Capital   |   LinkedIn

Matt has been both an investor and an entrepreneur in early stage ICT startups. 

Having spent 11 years in Europe working on large-scale international mergers and acquisitions, Matt returned to Australia and co-founded the Web 2.0 start-up Vibe Capital, launched the website and raising over $2.7m in funding in 2006. 

Matt is a Co-Founder and Investment Director of Perth-based Yuuwa Capital and has a particular interest in technology investments including software, web-based businesses and mobile communications. He currently holds eight directorships including with Yuuwa investee companies: iCetana (video analytics), Agworld (Cloud SaaS for farm management), Filter Squad (iOS apps) and Dealised (loyalty solutions).

Bernadette Jiiwa

Founder, The Story of Telling   |   LinkedIn

Bernadette is a company founder, brand strategist, publisher and TEDxPerth speaker!

She enjoys working with entrepreneurs and business leaders who know the value of what they've got but need to find the best way of communicating that vision to their customers, clients and staff.

In true startup spirit, Bernadette's mantra: "It's not how good you are, it's how well you tell your story."

Greg Riebe

Chairman, WA Angel Investors   |   LinkedIn

Greg has over 30 years experience in commerce across a variety of industries including technology, professional services, mining and retail.

As a practicing entrepreneur, Greg has focused on developing his own portfolio of technology-based businesses as well as being invited to provide his experience and skills as an adviser to a number of emerging technology-based businesses.

John Cinquina

MD, Red Meets Blue   |   LinkedIn

Since beginning Red Meets Blue Design as a young entrepreneur, John has built the business into one of the country's fastest growing design agencies, providing ongoing brand support for a range of Fortune 500 companies including iiNet and Wesfarmers. John's innovative leadership also extends into the social enterprise sector with his founding role and board position with Spark* International, an awarded not-for-profit organisation working alongside emerging social entrepreneurs in some of the poorest places on the planet.

In 2011 John was recognised nationally for his entrepreneurial success and industry expertise in the B&T Top 30 Under 30 awards.

Graeme Speak

Founder, Central Data &   |   LinkedIn

IT Entrepreneur.

2x startups Central Data (1983-present), (2005-present) .

Technical and business background.

Darius Wey

CTO, Health Engine   |   LinkedIn

Darius Wey is a designer and developer with extensive experience in computational and programming principles, systems, software engineering, graphic and Web design, and mobile computing. He worked as a Software Engineer at IBM, before venturing into the world of technology start-ups by founding Codesparq, a business specializing in the creation of Web and mobile applications.

Darius' technical influence has been felt internationally, having delivered many presentations and contributed countless technical articles to Microsoft, user groups, and both online and printed magazines. His contributions in this area have seen him recognised as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP).

Ray Grasso

Consultant, ThoughtWorks   |   LinkedIn

Software developer with over twelve years experience in solving problems and building systems within highly commercial environments.

Ray gets a kick out of energising folks and working in teams to identify concrete problems and devise pragmatic solutions. He strives to create elegant systems that people love to use.

Mike Gardiner

Consultant, ThoughtWorks   |   LinkedIn

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