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Ecosystem Hero of the Year Finalist!

We are very excited to announce that our CEO, Ilena Young, has been a finalist for the Ecosystem Hero of the Year two years in a row at the Victorian Governor’s Startup Awards. 

Ilena understands the challenges of startups, a founder at 24 with a desk in a small room and a loud dot matrix printer, learning every step of the way and expanding to A$2m/pa in European tourism sales before migrating to Australia to become an academic and consultant.

She never forgot those lessons, and this plus her love for the regions is where the passion comes from; building Startup Shakeup in regional Australia into a collaborative and inclusive Regional Innovation Ecosystem; living the ethos of Startup Shakeup – our community is with you every step of the way, we will grow with you, learn with you and seek to provide what you need for success at the point that you need it, building your connections, confidence capacity and purpose, enabling you to do what you want to do better.

Gifted with a team of talented staff, Ilena applied her experience and expertise first as Chair (2018-2021) melding a strong, diverse collaboration of Councils, education and now industry. Her commitment to Startup Shakeup has led the network into being an established Not for Profit, that’s leads a vibrant, dynamic Regional Innovation Ecosystem into the future, creating benefits for each and every Startup we work with, for the region of which they are part, and for the regions with which we collaborate, sharing what we have learned.