Locals supporting locals

The team at Startup Gippsland is made up of passionate visionaries, all who offer diverse and unique perspectives, both nationally and internationally. Their common goal is to make entrepreneurship accessible to all Gippslanders, and continue to shape and grow its ecosystem.

“Startup Gippsland is not just about growing businesses, it’s about growing business leaders, and creating a local supportive community of entrepreneurs for years to come.”

Dr. Elena Kelareva

Program Founder

In 2017, Elena traded in a decade-long technology career in Melbourne for a fresh start in Warragul, to pursue her passion for bringing digital innovation to regional communities. It was here that GippsTech, Startup Gippsland’s delivery partner, was born.

In the years since, she has been the instigator and driving force behind Startup Gippsland, with a desire to not only help local entrepreneurs and founders, but to develop Gippsland’s startup community and contribute toward the economic development of the region. 

Elena holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Australian National University and has worked for over ten years in large-scale digital product and software development. Prior to starting GippsTech, she spent 3.5 years at Google as a Product Manager for the Google Maps Web APIs.

Tasha Wright

Program Manager

Natasha is the glue that holds Startup Gippsland together. From administration, to event and program coordination, to marketing support, she’s always behind the scenes ready to help her team and the program participants.

Working for companies such as Hallmark, Simplot Australia, and Allans Billy Hyde, Natasha has over 10 years’ experience in administration and customer service. She excels at helping clients and the people around her achieve outcomes, and she has a passion for using these skills to help local businesses and communities.

“The entrepreneurs of Gippsland have so much to offer the world, and we’ve barely scratched the surface.  It’s massively fulfilling to contribute to initiatives that help people realise their dreams, and develop the growth and success of the region that I now call home.”



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