Who are we?

SPARK Deakin is an entrepreneurship program powered by Deakin University. Through our offerings and community, we are creating a thriving society built by entrepreneurs and innovators.

We are entrepreneurial experiential and startup program designed for students, staff, and alumni of Deakin University with a strong focus on building connections with the entrepreneurial community outside of Deakin.

For those teams who are ready to take their startups to the next level, SPARK Deakin’s Accelerator Program provides funding, co-working space, connections, mentorship and expertise to accelerate the enterprise. We create an outlet for creative talent to collaborate together and take ideas to market.

For early stage explorers of entrepreneurship and innovation, we also offer regular events, free mentoring sessions, and Startup Ideation in partnership with Deakin University’s Work Integrated Learning program.

Learn more: Read our 2019 Impact Report

The team that make SPARK Deakin possible

Svetha Venkatesh

Svetha Venkatesh

SPARK Deakin Founder & Program Sponsor
Daizy Maan

Daizy Maan

Program Manager
Diletta Legowo

Diletta Legowo

Marketing & Partnerships Coordinator
Eleanor Harel

Eleanor Harel

Operations & Community Associate
Lisa Galbraith

Lisa Galbraith

Startup Coach
Olga Hogan

Olga Hogan

Startup Coach
Isaac Jeffries

Isaac Jeffries

Startup Ideation Coach

Top calibre mentors to support you

Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy

Executive Director, Deakin Infrastructure and Property Group
Pawan Lalwani

Pawan Lalwani

CEO & Founder, Language Your Way
Scott Handsaker

Scott Handsaker

CEO, Cyrise
Kirstin McIntosh

Kirstin McIntosh

Head of Partnerships, Cyrise
Kate Givoni

Kate Givoni

Development Manager, Xero
Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Portfolio Manager, Skalata Ventures
Josh Sharma

Josh Sharma

Startup Lawyer & Adviser, LUNA
Daniel Steen

Daniel Steen

UX Specialist and Creative Problem Solver, D. Steen Design
David Plumridge

David Plumridge

CEO & CTO, mindmybag
Chris Thompson

Chris Thompson

General Manager Business and Governance Services, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority
Kylie Frazer

Kylie Frazer

Partner, Eleanor Venture
Hugh Stephens

Hugh Stephens

General Partner, Galileo Ventures
Thomas Szmidel

Thomas Szmidel

Cofounder & CTO, CarDeals2Me / UChooseCars
Charlie Macdonald

Charlie Macdonald

Analyst, Giant Leap Fund (Impact Investment Group)
Phillip Dawson

Phillip Dawson

Associate Director, Centre For Research In Assessment And Digital Learning (Cradle), Deakin University
Edward Hooper

Edward Hooper

Investor, Cardinia Ventures
Kaja Antlej

Kaja Antlej

Lecturer in Industrial Design and Researcher, Deakin University
Vincent Wilson

Vincent Wilson

CEO, Deakin Residential Services
Matt Macfarlane

Matt Macfarlane

CEO and Managing Director / Founder, icetana / m15e ventures
John Sherwood

John Sherwood

Founder/CTO, Gleam.io
Oliver Kidd

Oliver Kidd

Founder and CEO, Archa
Sangeeta Mulchandani

Sangeeta Mulchandani

Strategy, Innovation and Leadership Professional & Consultant
Joel Hana

Joel Hana

Founder, Big Little Brush (social enterprise)
Leo Trieu

Leo Trieu

Founder & CTO, Code4Startup

Important answers to your big questions

  • I'm a Deakin student - how can SPARK Deakin help me?

    SPARK hosts regular events to help provide you with the knowledge and community connections to take your ideas to the next level. If you are looking for tailored advice, you can also apply for a mentoring session to get clear on your next steps.

  • I'm a Deakin alumnus - how can SPARK Deakin help me?

    We host events where you can learn from and contribute to the community, our monthly sessions are a great way to get you started on your entrepreneurial journey, and The Accelerator to take your business to the next level. All of these are open to Deakin students, staff & alumni.

  • I’m not studying business, should I attend SPARK Deakin events?

    Absolutely! If you are interested in solving problems and using business as a vehicle, our events will prove to be useful to you. We have different events on throughout the year and head to our YouTube channel to see testimonials from participants across faculties. Entrepreneurship is not limited to business students.

  • I’m a Cloud student and can’t physically attend events, what can SPARK Deakin offer me?

    Depending on where you are on your business journey, we can connect you with a mentor via Skype or Zoom. Also keep your eyes peeled for webinar events. Usually, in terms of the Accelerator, you do need to be in Melbourne or Geelong as it is an intensive 3-month program. In 2020, the program is running virtually due to COVID-19.

  • I'm interested in being a SPARK Deakin mentor - how do I do that?

    Being a mentor means you voluntarily contribute your time to empower other aspiring entrepreneurs or help scale existing entrepreneurs' businesses. You can fill out the 'Contact Us' form, tell us a little more about yourself, why you’d like to mentor and your availability.