OUR TEAM

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.”

“My desire is to see Gippsland’s startup community inspire more future change makers and thought leaders to see the potential that exists for following your passion and taking the path less travelled.”

Zoe Doyle

Marketing & Communications Specialist

Zoe brings her background of running a successful training studio and personal development coaching business into her work in marketing. As Startup Gippsland’s Marketing and Communications Specialist, she is responsible for creating and managing all facets of the brand’s content and digital presence, and securing press and media opportunities for both the program and its founders. 

In 2019 she published her book, “Uncage the Lion Within”, and over the past 5 years, she has developed her skills in marketing, communications, and delivering better, more authentic messages and content online. Zoe is a “big picture” thinker, and is excited for the potential of Startup Gippsland, and helping it to become the best regional startup program in the country.

Hannah Moran

Programs Administration

A multitasker extraordinaire, Hannah Moran is responsible for more than just marketing & administration support for Startup Gippsland.  Hannah brings a combination of superior professionality and tenacity, to all that she does, whilst possessing that artful skill of maintaining her fun loving authenticity.
 
Being able to help “big dreamers”, become big achievers is what makes Hannah tick, and she loves nothing more than facilitating connections with the entrepreneurs of Gippsland, and supporting them as they make their business dreams come true.
 
A crucial cog in the Startup Gippsland machine, Hannah’s talents extend to more than just an up & coming business professional; when it’s time to unwind, Hannah loves to sink into her creative side, conjuring up delicious home cooking or painting exquisite artwork – all the while with her beautiful young family and dog, Prince by her side.

“Having been a founder based in Gippsland, and having to travel to Melbourne for regular programs, and meetings with investors and partners, I understand the importance of having a Gippsland focused ecosystem.”

James Muir

Startup Business Coach

James has been starting businesses and side hustles since he was six years old — he’s an entrepreneurship specialist with a passion for startups and small business. His core role within the Startup Gippsland team is to assist the development of program content, and to facilitate the learning and education of program participants. 

After completing his business degree at Deakin, James has built a diverse innovation career,  from launching his own startup, Trainer, that has gone through several accelerator programs, to working in adult education at TAFE, and most recently, being involved as a NEIS Consultant and Mentor to hundreds of business across Gippsland and North Eastern Melbourne. James is an outcome-focussed coach, and is excited to assist even more budding entrepreneurs to build and grow their businesses across the region.

Stephen Angus

Program Leader

Stephen is a passionate consultant and entrepreneur with an impressive resume. His career has been diverse, from partnering in a restaurant business, to playing in a band, to working as an executive for AirServices Australia, where he managed a team of 2,500 individuals. 

Stephen’s real excitement for innovation and startups began when he became involved with Canberra Innovation, where he mentored and invested in startups for 4 years. Since then, he founded Snowy Advisory, a consultancy business he shares with his wife.

“Gippsland’s startup ecosystem breathes life and energy into new business ideas. Each startup’s zest for innovation, their zeal for trying new things, and their ambition to make Gippsland a better place is the driving force for the positive culture of our community.”

“I love working with startups, because to a founder, their business isn’t just a business, it’s a vehicle to achieving their future hopes and dreams for themselves and their families.”

Jack Clayfield

Program Leader

Jack Clayfield has spent the last 12 years supporting small business owners with customer acquisition and university graduates start their career through professional internships. Drawing upon his own successes and failures as a job seeker and entrepreneur, Jack is passionate about ongoing personal development and working with individuals who are ready to make and implement change in their careers, lives and businesses.

Jack is a current founder of an education startup GraduateHero, and business mentor, specialising in strategic partnerships and early customer acquisition for the Australian startup community.

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