We are very excited to announce that our CEO, Ilena Young, is a finalist for the Ecosystem Hero of the Year in the People’s Choice category at the VicGovernor Startup Awards and Startup Shakeup is the only regional ecosystem nominated.
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 her region is where the passion comes from; building out Startup Shakeup across North East Victoria 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 and Committee members, 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 through to secure footing, moving from auspiced body to establishment of a Not for Profit with a dynamic Board.
Working in a voluntary capacity to lead Startup Shakeup through establishment, Ilena was recently made CEO after a highly competitive process, leading 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.
We would love to win this award on behalf of the Startups and businesses within North-East Victoria and Regional Victoria.
Vote for Ilena today! Voting closes December 20, 2021.