Chris ThompsonChris Thompson
Director, Research Operations and Finance

Chris is the Director of Operations and Finance of the Deakin Research Office. He is a full member of CPA Australia with 7 years experience within the University sector in senior finance and management roles.

Prior to joining Deakin, Chris worked predominantly in the Private Hospital Sector working for Ramsay HealthCare, Affinity Health and Mayne in Hospital CEO, and Hospital business manager and finance manager roles.


Ben Spincer

Ben Spincer
Director, Deakin Research Commercial

Ben brings over 20 years of diverse finance, business and technology experience to Deakin. He is a geoscientist by background but has worked in investment banking, journalism and stakeholder relations roles.

Most recently he was the Director of Technology Strategy and Innovation at Telstra overseeing the company’s innovation program including relationships with research institutions and universities.


Murray HeightDr Murray Height
Chief Executive Officer of HeiQ Australia Pty Ltd.

Originally from Australia, Murray studied
chemical engineering and mathematics at the University of Newcastle. In 1999 Murray travelled to the USA on a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Completing his PhD in 2003, Murray then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich). In early 2005 Murray co‐founded HeiQ Materials, a spin‐off company from ETH Zurich
that today has grown to become a leading technology provider to International textile and apparel brands.
Since 2013 Murray has been based in Geelong and in addition to building HeiQ Australia is an adjunct Professor in the Institute for Frontier Materials at Deakin University. Murray is also a graduate of Melbourne Business
School with an executive MBA.


Ashley Bowen

Ashley Bowen
Partnerships Manager, Deakin Research

Ashley has diverse experience in roles spanning basic and applied research, technology development and investment attraction.

He worked 7 years in the USA in rapid growth technology driven companies: Celgene Corp (Warren, NJ; as Manager R&D) during a formative post IPO period for what is now a Fortune 500 company; and Diversa Corp (La Jolla ,CA; as Director Biocatalyst Development) prior to a $200M IPO.  As General Manager Commercialization & Finance at the University of Queensland, Ashley worked in teams that developed business cases, and secured venture financing (e.g GBS Venture Partners and Start-up Australia Ventures) for a series of start-ups including Promics Pty Ltd (later acquired by Peptech) and Mimetica Pty Ltd; and served as a board member.

During 7 years with Invest Queensland he led teams facilitating corporate investments in priority industries (e.g. aviation & aerospace, biotechnology, agribusiness and energy).

Ashley is currently based in Deakin’s Faculty of Science Engineering and Built Environment working closely with industry, and government to secure partnerships and funding.

Olga HoganOlga Hogan
Senior Commercial Manager – Health, Deakin Research Commercial   

Olga caught the “commercialisation bug” during her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Oxford where she worked closely with industry on various projects.

Olga has since pursued a career in corporate finance during which she has worked with technology and biotech spinoffs from Cambridge University amongst others.

Olga is also a co-founder of a software-as-a-service startup which sells real-time predicative weather analytics to energy traders and wind-farm operators in the UK and Europe.

In Australia, Olga has managed investments in agri- and sustainable technologies companies for a Melbourne-based private equity firm.

Nathan Murphy

Nathan Murphy
Founder at TribeGrowth  

Nathan is an established serial entrepreneur with a track record of launching, growing and selling businesses in the digital economy. He is currently the founder of Tribe Growth, Director of Jobhack and ‘entrepreneur-in-residence’ at Inspire9. He occasionally blogs at and is passionate about startups, youth entrepreneurship and social impact.

GeoffGeoff Gourley 
Impact Investor, Founder of One10   

Geoff Gourley is an ACTIONIST not an activist. He is the Founder of One10, Co-Founder and Director at Impact Investment Fund, and an advocate for a sustainable and just future. Geoff has more than two decades experience in the impact investing space, commercialising social enterprise, and raising capital. He is offering up his expertise to purpose-driven entrepreneurs.



VincentVincent Wilson
CEO, Director, and Industry Leader.

As the Chief Executive Officer of Deakin Residential Services he is responsible for the overall operational and strategic leadership of Deakin Residential Services, a controlled entity of Deakin University, with the primary purpose of sustainably developing and managing outstanding and market leading student accommodation premises, services, and support for Deakin students. Taking an entrepreneurial approach, he has been the driving force behind a reimagining of student residences at Deakin, and a number of major property developments on campus valued at tens of millions of dollars. Vincent is also the current President of AACUHO, the Asia Pacific association for student housing, which advocates for excellence in the industry and boasts a broad membership including traditional colleges, Universities, and the private sector. Prior to joining Deakin Vincent enjoyed a career managing hotels and resorts where he built a reputation as an agent for positive change and a skilled manager of difficult projects. Vincent grew up in a family business environment, and in fact started a small business of his own in the early days of web design when in year 8 at high school, a business he ran on the side right through his high school and university days.



Dr Mona Chung
Australia China Business Council

Mona is a bi-cultural business expert in doing business with China in particular negotiations. She addresses the major issues – overcomes the cultural gap between Westerners and Chinese in the fields of commerce and education.

Dr Chung specialises in strategic planning, management and marketing practice for international businesses with the understanding of the culture of Chinese market first. As a bi-cultural consultant she short-circuits processes and produce results that increase efficiency by between 70% and 50%.

Dr Chung is on the executive board of the Victoria branch of the Australia China Business Council. Being highly experienced in a large number of industries and a frequent visitor to China, Dr Chung is a guest speaker at many public forums and author of a list of over 80 publications in cross-cultural business studies.


Kevin Murphy

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) and a Master’s degree in Commerce (Property Investment). In 1992 he relocated to Australia from the United Kingdom and worked a property portfolio manager for one of Australia’s largest property funds as well as a leading Investment Bank.

Kevin specialized in retail property funds with MCS Property as an Executive Director and shareholder, assisting the business to grow to over $1.5B under management and the largest unlisted property fund in Australia, subsequently sold very successfully to Centro Properties Ltd for $200m. Kevin relocated to London in 2005 as Head of UK / European Property for Multiplex Capital Ltd and successfully listed a European Property Fund on the ASX in 2007. In 2009, on returning to Australia, Kevin was appointed as a Director of a boutique funds management business, part time lectured in real estate investment analysis at RMIT University before being appointed Executive Director, Facilities Services Division at Deakin University in January 2012. 

Kevin’s interest continues to be in investing in start- ups’ being a major shareholder of two companies as well as his ongoing successful investments in real estate. Kevin is a director in two tech companies. The first provides education and training via a web based portal to clinicians with the content being provided by trained specialists within the company. Income is generated through annual memberships both individually and through departmental memberships. The second company is focused on the development of clinical care patient data base, for use in hospital ICU’s’ initially franchised and more recently with a new version developed has been brought in-house. Kevin provides the leadership advice and strategic development for each of the companies through many years’ experience in the world of business and finance.

PK Rasam

P K Rasam is Head of Melbourne Startup Advisory and Corporate Innovation. 

He has lived in 20+ countries, served the top 100 global brands, climbed 5+ mountains, cycled 850+ km in 5 days and looking for his next adventure. 

He is curious, passionate and experienced in helping founders navigate from an idea on a napkin to Seres A funding. And well versed in assisting a corporate drive innovation both vertically and horizontally to build commercial value.