Mentors for Event

**** Event Date  –  Thursday 16 November 2017 ****

Event Partner  –  RDA Sunshine Coast


Dr Dean Alle  –  Event Organiser and Facilitator
Dean has a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship, startups and commercialisation of new tech. In addition to several tech related startups of his own, Dean has led major commercialisation projects with Australian Universities and Research Centres, spinoff and startup companies, and corporate organisations. Dean facilitates events, lectures at several Universities, has been the lead mentor at many startup weekends and judge at pitch competitions. Dean is an investor, co-founder and CEO of 2 new startups.  Dean is on the Executive, Board or Advisory Board of another 7 startups.  Dean has a rounded startup experience with several failures under his belt!  Dean delivers incubator/accelerator programs and components, has held Entrepreneur in Residence roles at several organisations including universities, is an active Mentor and seed Investor and also does pro­-bono work to support innovation ecosystems.  In 2015 Dean developed a new investment model based on a auction format for startup equity, this was trialled early 2016.  Dean is an expert in capturing and valuing Intellectual Capital and has extracted value from hundreds of patents. Dean has a PhD in Atomic and Molecular Physics from the Australian National University, science degree from the University of QLD and graduated from Maroochydore State High School.

Aarif Nakhooda
(Singapore Mentor via Skype)
Aarif is currently Director for Amazon Prime Asia Pacific.  Aarif’s previous roles in Singapore and USA include: VP of Strategy and Operations B2C, NameNaspers Limited; Head of Finance, WW Amazon Prime; Ernst & Young.


Bruce Williams bruce-williams-2016-10-linkedin
Bruce Williams is the founder of Easy Teams, a training company that helps people create successful teams the easy way. With almost 4 decades’ experience in leadership and professional development, Bruce has delivered coaching and training programs for businesses, non-profits, chambers of commerce, universities, schools, and community groups. Bruce also coaches start-ups and entrepreneurs as part of the mentoring group who facilitate business incubator programs at The Innovation Centre.  As a mentor, Bruce’s specialty is helping people and organisations thrive through sharper focus, clarity of objectives and strategic action. Creating authentic personality-based tactics that boost engagement and drive performance, Bruce will help you stay focused, accountable, motivated and taking meaningful action so you and your team achieve your goals faster and more effectively. If you are a start-up founder or solo-preneur, Bruce can also save you time and heartache by identifying your core leadership style so you can quickly built the perfect team to compliment your strengths and help you achieve your vision.  Bruce serves on The University of the Sunshine Coast Foundation Board, is a founding member of The USC 1996 Society, and spokesperson for the USC Starfish Program.  Married for 38 years, with four daughters and (so far) four grandkids, Bruce lives on the Sunshine Coast with his better half, Jeanette.

Coby Sullivan
Coby Sullivan the newly appointed Regional Innovation Coordinator (RIC) role. Coby brings to the coast a wealth of knowledge and truly understands the nuances of entrepreneurialism and innovation, having worked in New York City’s Varick Street Incubator as well as with some of Australia’s most successful startups, such as The Urban List. She also brings a strong background in business development and stakeholder engagement, following leadership roles with Griffith University and Flight Centre Travel Group.


Darrell EdwardsDarrell Edwards 2017-05 fr LinkedIN
An inspirational leader and collaborator who creates a high performance culture, through teamwork and valuing and empowering people.  With a global view of business, and over 30 years Commercial banking experience, Darrell advises and supports clients with import/export needs, property development and investment projects, mergers, acquisitions and growth strategies.  Darrell is an owner of Childcare businesses so understands SME’s challenges and opportunities in a digital economy.  Darrell encourages innovation, digital adoption and skill development in small to medium enterprises to meet the challenges of a disruptive economy.  Darrell supports the growth of small corporate companies through non-executive board roles.

Farhana Nakhoohda
(Singapore Mentor via Skype)
Farhana is the Director of IBM Asia Pacific Healthcare and Social Services.  In this role Farhana assists healthcare and social services organizations to improve outcomes, access, efficiency and effectiveness.  Farhana has a strong focus on the applicability of cloud, analytics, mobile and security in the healthcare and social services sector.  Farhana also has helped drive a number of cutting edge cognitive computing (IBM Watson) healthcare engagements across Asia Pacific.  Farhana has experience in both national healthcare/social services projects as well as hospital/provider environments. Farhana has more than 15 years of international experience in the healthcare, social services and life sciences industry as a subject matter expert. Farhana has been invited to speak as an industry expert at events in multiple countries globally.  In May 2012, Farhana was inducted into IBM Industry Academy, an honor only given to a select number of leading industry experts in IBM.  Farhana is a frequent speaker at healthcare industry events. She represents IBM in a variety of forums, press interviews and conferences.  Farhana has a degree in Bachelor of Science (with Honors), in which she majored in Biology and Biochemistry, at the University of British Columbia. She completed her MBA at Monash Mt Eliza Business School in Melbourne, Australia, in December 2000.

Gideon Shalwick Shalwick 2017-05 fr LinkedIN
Gideon Shalwick is a serial entrepreneur in the online video industry. He loves anything to do with building global audiences using video and has helped over 200,000 people grow their businesses using video marketing.  He is co-founder of, a powerful platform that makes getting traffic from YouTube, Facebook and Instagram V
IDEO Ads super easy, fun and fast, with over 23 MILLION video ads already served for it’s customers.  He’s also founder of, a fun video production service that helps you make your videos look great quickly and easily using innovative video templates. Over 77,000 people have already joined Splasheo to learn how to make their videos stand out from the crowd!  Gideon is also very passionate about helping entrepreneurs succeed while getting a ton of fulfillment out of it, and is currently putting together his philosophy at

Helen Andrew Andrew 2017-05 fr LinkedIN
Currently I have Chief Connector at Spare Harvest which is online community that shares, swap or sells what they have spare in their kitchens, gardens and farms.  It’s time we wasted less and shared more and viewed what we no longer need as a valuable resource.  There is no excuse for waste, every person can reduce their waste footprint by sharing what they have spare.  It has been my experience that it takes some time to find your purpose in life.  This does not mean that you don’t live and enjoy your life while you are exploring your purpose.  But, finding your purpose is important.  I started my career navigating several corporate jobs left me soulless and wondering why.  It was not until I made the decision to leave corporate and raise my children full-time that I was given the opportunity and time to explore my ‘why’.  I have come to realise that my why is: To best the best parent I can be and raise young adults that are personally responsible, compassionate, kind and thoughtful; To be more accepting, kind and inclusive with everyone I meet; To be mindful of my impact on the environment, so I leave the planet in a better place for my children; To focus on solutions, not problems.  Accepting that my purpose was to help others connect with their wider community and share what they could from their kitchens and gardens was daunting and energising.  I am enjoying exploring my ‘why’ and believe it is a journey, not a race. What is your ‘why’?

Keith SteeleKeith Steele 2017-05 fr LinkedIN
Over 30 years experience in developing and commercializing IP. Experience includes governance [Chairman, Deputy Chair, Non-Executive Director of 16 companies]; Board sub-committees [Chair or member – Audit and Risk Management, IP & Commercialization, Remuneration]; Corporate Leadership [CEO and General Management in large and complex technology companies and government organizations]; commercialization; company performance [strategy, change management, profitability, revenue growth]; acquisitions; and mergers. Established one venture Capital Fund [>$100m] and raised significant amounts of capital. Founder, Chairman, Director or Business Advisor to more than 100 companies.

Mackenzie ReardonMackenzie Reardon 2017-05 fr LinkedIN
(Youth Mentor)
I am a young entrepreneur on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.  In 2015 I was runner up in Sunshine Coast Generation Innovation Challenge and have also recently pitched at Start-up Weekend Sunshine Coast 2016 with an idea for a virtual reality (VR) game targeted at STEM (STEAM) skills.  At the age of 14, I started selling products that I imported from suppliers in China, on eBay using a method called “Drop-shipping”. I learnt some good skills from communicating with overseas suppliers which led me start my first company at the age of 15.  I left school in year 11 to pursue entrepreneurship. I was disengaged with school and felt that I wasn’t benefitting from learning in a classroom environment.  Now I am out of school I have been working on a new startup focused on helping other young people like myself who have the entrepreneurial attitude and creativity, but struggle with the complexities and barriers to starting up a business while under the age of 18.  It’s a “Youth run and Youth led Startup “.  My goal and passion is to inspire young people like myself to engage in entrepreneurship and innovation at a early age.  Technology is my preferred area! I love new technology and I’m always using new innovative products. I am a skateboarder, surfer and adventure seeker.

Michael GreeffMichael Greeff 2017-05 fr LinkedIN
Mike is a driven, highly experienced Chartered Accountant who brings with him a clear thinking, vision driven outlook combined with a fresh entrepreneurial spirit.  A strong moral compass guides Mike and this, combined with decisiveness and courage to “make the decision” delivers results.  Mike delivers a strong democratic leadership style, with empathy, commitment and a “lead by example” approach.  He is able to build strong teams, lead, mentor and develop associates and subordinates to their full potential.  Mike has extensive experience in the following areas: Transformational leadership – Leading companies and people into new territory and new growth opportunities; Building businesses by providing strategic direction and vision, including designing and implementing new business processes, management information systems and teambuilding; Raising debt finance, in particular in the European high yield bond market; Finance and audit committees; Executive and non-executive roles on various Boards of Directors.  Mike’s ability to engage and form trusting relationships with people across the board, from unskilled staff in the workforce through to corporate CEO’s and leading Hedge Fund Managers and Corporate Finance Professionals, places him in the unique position to quickly understand businesses from the grass roots up, and play a meaningful role in meeting the needs and expectations of all stakeholders.

Nigel Hall
Nigel has an extensive international business background in biotechnology, telecommunications and finance and has lived and worked in the UK, Germany, USA and South Africa before relocating to Australia in 2006. His first degree was in business and economics and he has a MBA from Clemson University in South Carolina.  Nigel was CEO of Highway One, a German Telecommunications business that sold to Telefonica. He has a been involved in raising over $200m finance for fast growing businesses, previously ran a seed capital fund in South Africa and is currently on the advisory board for Terra Rossa Capital, an Adelaide based venture capital fund.

Phil Reardon  
Phil at LinkedIN
After 22 years trading financial and commodity futures across three continents Phil hung up his trading jacket and settled on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland to start a new business. Phil identified a clear need in the market to better connect parents into schools. Phil founded Schoolzine in 2007 to meet this need. Using a persistant approach to innovation, Phil has built Schoolzine into a digital solution for immersive parent engagement. Schoolzine now operates in five countries with a team of fifty and offices in the UK and HQ in Queensland. The Schoolzine engagement platform is used by schools, education departments and associations across three continents. Schoolzine’s innovative approach allows schools to produce media-rich content that engages with their parents and wider communities whilst reducing the strain on teacher and administration resource. Schoolzine is recognised as a leader in digital school communication, Schoolzine’s services include eNewsletters with unlimited content, interactive surveys, calendars, online parent-teacher booking systems and a mobile app available for download at Google Play and the App Store. Phil knows how to build a viable business from the ground up and is a keen supporter of youth in entrepreneurship

Dr Retha de Villiers Scheepers
Dr Retha de Villiers Scheepers teaches entrepreneurship and innovation management at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She believes in teaching entrepreneurship in an experiential fashion and is passionate about the power of education to transform people’s lives. The recent multidisciplinary experiential entrepreneurship model (MEEM) grant project, in collaboration with Dr Renee Barnes and Dr Uwe Terton at USC has spawned five start-ups, with four of these ventures being awarded in different entrepreneurship events.  Retha volunteers in the Sunshine Coast start-up community as a Startup Weekend organiser and #SiliconCoast facilitator, creating opportunities for entrepreneurial students to extend their network, share and grow their start-ups and meet like-minded individuals.  Retha’s main research interests are related to the entrepreneurial experience within startups and existing organisations. She tackles research questions like: How are entrepreneurial communities formed? How do entrepreneurs make decisions to co-create the future with others? What factors trigger innovation and entrepreneurship within firms?

Tom AlleTom Alle 2017-05 fr LinkedIN
(Youth Mentor)
Tom is currently in Year 10 at Montessori International College.  In 2016 Tom graduated from the Generation Innovation yout entrepreneurship program,  During this time Tom scoped a new business model to blend physical activities with creative design.  Tom is currently leading a team for the 2018 Submarines in Schools Challenge and finishing Year 10 at Montessori International College.  Tom balances the challenges of part-time competitive team gaming, self teaching the Adobe Creative Cloud, while successfully maintaining high grades at School.  Previously, Tom built two ramjet engines from scratch, the first from a stainless steel coffee mug, the second from a turbocharger.  Tom recently tested a new business model called “subs for you”, where subscribers share lists for mutual benefit.