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
Top calibre mentors to support you
Kevin MurphyExecutive Director, Deakin Infrastructure and Property Group
Saba KarimGlobal Startup Pipeline Manager, Techstars
Pawan LalwaniCEO & Founder, Language Your Way
Scott HandsakerCEO, Cyrise
Kirstin McIntoshHead of Partnerships, Cyrise
Kate GivoniDevelopment Manager, Xero
Ryan FitzpatrickPortfolio Manager, Skalata Ventures
Josh SharmaStartup Lawyer & Adviser, LUNA
Daniel SteenUX Specialist and Creative Problem Solver, D. Steen Design
David PlumridgeCEO & CTO, mindmybag
Chris ThompsonGeneral Manager Business and Governance Services, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority
Kylie FrazerPartner, Eleanor Venture
Hugh StephensGeneral Partner, Galileo Ventures
Thomas SzmidelCofounder & CTO, CarDeals2Me / UChooseCars
Charlie MacdonaldAnalyst, Giant Leap Fund (Impact Investment Group)
Phillip DawsonAssociate Director, Centre For Research In Assessment And Digital Learning (Cradle), Deakin University
Edward HooperInvestor, Cardinia Ventures
Kaja AntlejLecturer in Industrial Design and Researcher, Deakin University
Vincent WilsonCEO, Deakin Residential Services
Matt MacfarlaneCEO and Managing Director / Founder, icetana / m15e ventures
John SherwoodFounder/CTO, Gleam.io
Oliver KiddFounder and CEO, Archa
Sangeeta MulchandaniStrategy, Innovation and Leadership Professional & Consultant
Joel HanaFounder, Big Little Brush (social enterprise)
Leo TrieuFounder & 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.