Team changes at Startup Adelaide


A message from Jenny Vandyke, our new Managing Director.

Team changes at Startup Adelaide

It’s been a busy 12 months in the Adelaide startup community. There have been some big wins, national and international expansion, awards won, VC rounds closed, and a whole lot of GSD. Startup Adelaide has also had a productive year.

Highlights from FY16:

  • July 15: Startup Weekend #6
  • August 15 Changing of the guard – Founders David Truong and Chris Hooper step down, new directors Geoff Kwitko and Aainaa Rahman appointed
  • (Sep 15: FIntech Adelaide launched)
  • Dec 15: SUADL Awards
  • (Dec 15: Innovation Statement launched)
  • (Dec: Innovation Bay ADL launch)
  • March 16 New community moderators join the team – Anika and Nick, new community guidelines based on community feedback
  • (May 15 Adelaide Tech Startup Community Meeting)
  • (June: Entrepreneurs week and Southstart)
  • (June: State Budget nearly 80m for innovation and commercialisation initiatives)
  • (June: Adelaide to become a Gig City – superfast internet)
  • (June: Launch of the inaugural Social Capital conference)
  • (Smart City Studio launched)
  • June: Putting ADL startups on the map – new website and interactive online map
  • June: New Startup Adelaide website launched

At the same time, we’ve also seen some fantastic wins for Adelaide startups in the last year:

  • Streaks won an Apple Design Award
  • Vinomofo raised $25 million
  • Jemsoft product launch
  • Betswaps on Shark Tank
  • Accodex and Inkling Women represented SA in Elevate61 international program
  • Joust launch
  • Sarah Bartholomeusz wons Telstra Business Award
  • Happyco raised 7.5m

It’s certainly been a busy year, and behind the scenes we’ve been working on a few changes at Startup Adelaide, including a few changes to the Startup Adelaide team.

Team changes

After a year of service, Geoff Kwitko has decided to step down from his role with Startup Adelaide to focus on his client projects. Through his passion for supporting Adelaide startups he has run more than 100 mentoring sessions, and most recently Geoff created the new Startup Adelaide website. Thank you for all of your contributions Geoff. We look forward to welcoming you back as a mentor at our next Startup Weekend.

We have also had a few new faces join the team. Georgia Heath from YupYup Labs joins as our Volunteer and Community Engagement Manager, and John Kamuchau from Multiplier Technologies joins as our new Digital Director. Rounding up the new additions, I’m stepping up as our new Managing Director. Aainaa Rahman and Orren Pruncken are continuing in their roles.

I’m excited to take the reins at Startup Adelaide, working with a committed, talented team. Our mandate is to continue our existing initiatives, including our next Startup Weekend in February 2017. We will also be consulting with local startups, partners, and leaders to identify opportunities for new products to add to our existing portfolio. If you’d like to join the conversation, we’ll be posting opportunities to get involved through our facebook group.

Who’s Jenny?

Now, before I sign off, I’m conscious that I’ve met a lot of people in the Adelaide startup scene since moving from Melbourne 18 months ago, but in case you haven’t met me, here’s a little background on my story and why I’m passionate about supporting the Adelaide startup community.

I’ve been working with startups since the age of 12. Over the last 20+ years I’ve worked with numerous startups, from bootstrappers to billion dollar fintechs in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide. My experience is a bit different – my hands on startup experience has overlapped with 15 years in the corporate world, working at a senior level on major innovation projects with some of Australia’s largest companies, including National Australia Bank and KPMG.

I speak regularly on innovation, particularly since publishing my first book The Innovation Recipe, in 2013. I’ve spoken at the Vivid Festival and CPA Week, and chaired a panel on corporate/entrepreneurial collaboration at last year’s SouthStart. I’ve judged the Sydstart (now StartCon) ASX Pitching Competition, and for the last 3 years I’ve also judged the Anthill Magazine Smart 100 Awards, judging the most innovative products in Australia.

I moved from Melbourne to Adelaide for family reasons, but I’ve chosen to make Adelaide my home because I’ve fallen in love with this city (for the curious, here’s why). We punch above our weight in so many ways, despite the challenges we face. I’m making it my mission to help South Australia to pivot from the industrial age to the entrepreneurial age.

If I haven’t met you yet, introduce yourself at one of our future events. I look forward to continuing the conversation.

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