The Skills Network
One on one business advice for regional Startups, Shakeups, and Innovators.
The Skills Network is a chance for our Startups, Shakeups and Innovators to have access to our skilled regional Advisors.
If you are after either some specific advice, need some assistance to solve business challenges, want someone to brainstorm with or just someone to point you in the right direction, the Skills Network is for you.
Even better, you are able to access two free sessions through the Skills Network thanks to our local government partners.
The Skills Network also provides an opportunity for Advisors to share their skills and experience with local Startups and Shakeups to foster their business growth. Advising is a hugely rewarding activity for both Advisors and Participants.
“There is so much that can be learned and shared through this collaborative advisory model, from both Participants and Advisors.”
– Amelia Hartney
Meet some of our Advisors
BUSINESS PROCESS & PLANNING/ BUSINESS TOOLS FOR EFFICIENCY/ FINANCIAL PROCESS & REPORTING
Kirsten has always loved the challenge of turning chaos into order and, as such, excelled as a business analyst to many blue chip organisations over the course of 15 years. She enjoyed working with business owners and tech developers to build impactful solutions.
From the foothills of the Victorian Alps she helped build loop+, a med-tech start-up, which taught her just how much could be achieved with the right team, the right tools and the right data. Recently turning her skills to the local community, she managed a mountain bike park out of insolvency and into a sustainable community asset.
A strong believer that the right technology can provide more time for us to work on the truly human problems, Kirsten now lives in her Tiny House in North East Victoria with her Jack Russell dog, Riley.
COMMUNICATIONS/ PR/ SOCIAL IMPACT MEASUREMENT
Birgit supports businesses and organisations facing change by helping clients better understand their stakeholders and connect with their communities. Since 2010 she has been delivering tailored communications solutions and community engagement projects through Fishbowl PR.
Want to demonstrate the social impact of your startup? Speak to Birgit about how you can start your impact measurement journey. Tip: It really helps with communications too.
Birgit is practical, flexible, highly organised and is well connected through regional networks.
COMMUNICATION & BEHAVIOUR CHANGE / CIRCULAR ECONOMY / WASTE & RESOURCE MANAGEMENT / BLOGGING
Emma Avery is a sustainability entrepreneur, with 12 over years designing and delivering behaviour change programs, toolkits and workshops related to waste avoidance initiatives primarily within local and state government organisations.
To address a waste problem, Emma founded Cloth Baby – an online retail and education platform to help parents choose and use reusable baby nappies. She now focuses and consults on waste and resource management, the circular economy and initiatives to achieve behaviour change and communication for waste minimisation and avoidance.
STORYTELLING/ JOURNALISM/ CRAFITNG THE WRITTEN WORD
Bronwen O’Shea is the founder of StoryUp, a communications and storytelling business for regional Australia. StoryUp helps regional startups, small business owners, not for profits and emerging leaders talk about what they do and why it matters. Bron provides skills and support across a range of comms services including media training, business storytelling, content creation and audio storytelling/podcasting.
Before StoryUp, Bron spent fifteen years as an ABC radio presenter and producer where she brought over 17,000 stories to life.
FINANCIAL SERVICES & PLANNING/ LENDING & SUPERANNUATION
With over thirty years experience in the finance industry, covering most aspects of finance from start-ups through to Private Client Offices and Commercial Enterprises, Michael has the experience and contacts that can help clients grow towards their financial goals – be that financial or creating time for themselves.
His client for life philosophy enables him to get to know clients well, assess their needs and then source the right solutions. Michael helps clients understand the right solution for most financial needs including Secured Commercial and Business Cash flow lending and Equipment/Consumer Financing.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT/ FINANCE, CAPITAL & INVESTING/ IT & TECHNOLOGY/ OPERATIONS
Ash works with businesses to build strong financial processes to ensure compliance needs are met and progress towards goals, whatever they are, is being made. Having worked with small/medium businesses at all stages of the business cycle over the last 14 years he can get to know you and your needs to ensure that are addressed.
“I know that accounting isn’t everyone’s favorite topic.. and tax is even worse… but I love what I do and working with people to ensure that their accounting and tax needs are taken care of. “
PRODUCT R&D / FINANCE/ BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Amelia has a dynamic and flexible approach that pulls together groups into strong cohorts of peer support.
Her experience as a Management Consultant, working with businesses and not-for-profits on strategy and growth solutions, provides a depth of field for the program.
Her specialist knowledge areas include agriculture, manufacturing, trade, incentives and innovation.
CONNECTIVITY/ DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION/ IT SECURITY & SYSTEMS DATA/ CUSOMER OPERATIONS
With over 25 years experience in the Financial Services Industry in companies such as Merrill Lynch UK, Prudential Banking and Barclay’s and a member of the founding leadership team of 2 financial startup’s including UBank in Australia, Annette Rose is a senior leader with significant experience in a number of disciplines, gained globally across the UK and Australia.
Having held senior leadership roles in Technology and Operations – Annette can work with small business and startup’s to provide advice and guidance in all areas of Digital Transformation.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT & R&D, IT & PROTOTYPE / CODE SOLUTIONS – NONTECH FOUNDERS DEVELOPING APPS/ SALES – OUTBOUND & B@B SALES / CULTURE & SKILL BUILD
Reece founded 2 companies starting at 21. His first was a disability and aged care business. Exiting with a management buy-out, Reece is very proud that 7 of the new owners are people with disability. He was already developing his next venture, SpendAble. SpendAble is a debit card for elderly and disabled Australians. It empowers people to access their money and reduce the risk of financial fraud and abuse.
Reece’s 0 to 1 journey is always gritty, stressful and pushes beyond the comfort zone. As a non-technical founder he’s goal and customer driven. He honed his technical skills to develop 7 apps using low-code platforms and managing a dev team.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT/ STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR RISK/ INNOVATION
Jennifer is a trained scientist and award-winning business innovator who combines critical and creative thinking to help people interrogate the potential of their ideas. She’s worked across a range of sectors including agriculture, tourism and hospitality, tech innovation, local and state government and universities, and has had a hand in some of the most innovative and successful products you’ll find on the supermarket shelf: from Australia’s first low alcohol beer to Uncle Tobys muesli bars and Meadow Lea margarine.
Jennifer is a Telstra Business Women’s Awards winner, chief judge for the Albury Wodonga Business Awards and a former Chair of Regional Development Australia Murray.
BRANDING, MARKETING, GRAPHIC DESIGN, SOCIAL MEDIA, CONTENT CREATION & DIGITAL MEDIA
With a background in entrepreneurship, design, adult learning, and innovation, I’ve created my perfect design studio by mixing the above together. A place where I can collaborate with business owners, big dreamers, and founders daily; where I get to engine their ideas, express their point of view, engage their audience, and help them make their mark.
IT & SOFTWARE / STRATEGIC PLANNING / PRODUCT MANAGEMENT & MARKET FIT
Patrick has 15 years experience in the IT industry, with a focus on engineering in startups and scale-ups.
In that time he has helped companies grow past critical points, to adapt to growing needs.
Picking the right technology is about the people who operate it as much as the problem that needs to be solved.
Patrick spends his time mentoring those around him on how to build systems and processes that fit the constraints of business.
TOURISM & HOSPITALITY / LOCAL GOVERNMENT / MARKETING / BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Cameron Sutton is an accomplished regional advocate and tourism professional, with a passion for the area he calls home – Regional Victoria. Cameron gained valuable experience in senior hospitality roles across Canada and the UK and Australia, and has served as an independent, skills-based director on the Murray Regional Tourism board.
Cameron currently holds the position of Manager- Tourism & Events at Moira Shire Council, where he continues to make valuable contributions to the community.
OHS & SAFETY / BUSINESS & TEAM MANAGEMENT/ LEADERSHIP
Craig is an Occupational Health and Safety professional with 30 years of experience. and is a Charted Professional Member of the Safety Institute of Australia.
Craig has held a variety of Supervision and Management positions in Australia, Singapore and the USA. In 2005, Craig was requested by the Singaporean government (Ministry of Manpower) to assist with the implementation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2006.
In 2007, Craig set up Fusion Safety Management, applying this methodology to a few firms in Asia and Australia, gradually building the business reach organically. He continued to grow the business organically, employing other like-minded professionals with the goal of improving people’s lives.
Digital marketing, social media, content creation, website design
The online world is one that’s evolved quite drastically over the last 10 years, and with it, so too has Lauren Begley’s career! Starting in the space of social media marketing over 13 years ago, and gradually working her way into the more expansive realm of Digital Marketing, Lauren has been lucky enough to work with brands of the likes of Coon Cheese, Spotlight, Ben & Jerry’s, and Haircare Australia (to name a few)! But after making the tree-change back to her hometown of Wangaratta – she could see if it was a small business that was desperately in need of her expertise.
Enter: Propel Digital. Lauren founded the regional digital marketing agency, Propel Digital, back in 2018 – and since then, she and her team have helped 100s of local businesses with their digital marketing strategy, content creation, social media marketing, email marketing, website design, and more. Lauren is super passionate about offering creative solutions to help small-medium businesses get noticed – so she’s thrilled to be a part of the Regional Skills Network.
ANALYTICS & DATA DRIVEN MARKETING / BUSINESS STRATEGY & MANAGEMENT / CREATIVE & COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY
Karen Prebble is a passionate Brand and Marketing Strategist and is currently the Marketing Manager for the Australian owned ICM Agri-business: ‘Riverina Dairy’.
Over the past 20 years Karen has worked in Australia and the UK in various marketing and innovation roles for major FMCG companies such as Nestle, Colgate, Mars, Unilever and Brown Brown Brothers.
Karen believes in the power of curiosity to tap into the inventor in us all to help solve business problems and access new growth opportunities.
“Marketing and branding for our current times presents unique challenges and our ability to be brave and agile is easier than it has ever been. More than ever, we need to understand what opportunities exists behind the constraints to find inventive solutions to existing problems”.
Are you interested in being involved as an Advisor?
Startup Shakeup is looking for people with skills, experience, and knowledge across the region, willing to share with our Startups and Shakeups in small facilitated sessions. This is an opportunity for you to actively be involved in shaping the future by supporting our innovation network.
How do I sign up?
Welcome! The next step is to complete the Expression of Interest form by clicking the button below, and we’ll be in touch to arrange a Discovery Session. From there you will inform us of your preferred time commitment, before officially becoming part of the Regional Skills Network.
“Our North East community is made up of generous and committed people who are taking pride in supporting new and emerging innovators.”