about us 2017-03-02T15:55:02+00:00

The key people in this enterprise are experts in their field. They combine to bring a unique set of capabilities and resources

At startup.business we take entrepreneurial learning outside the classroom and into business activity. We understand that people don’t want to be taught, they want to learn, and we passionately believe there is no action without learning and no learning without action. Our company name, Phronesis Academy, refers to the particular notion of judgment and experience emphasised by Aristotle: ‘practical wisdom.’ It indicates our purpose: to develop participants’ ways of thinking, practical nous, and the notion of the common good. We are not satisfied awarding certificates – we want our graduates to have initiated sophisticated business planning, developed social networks to support their ventures, and to have gathered the know-how and nous to establish and grow respected and sustainable ventures.

Our vision, mission and values align with this understanding – globally we want to see millions of aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs growing themselves and their businesses through learning in action.

Jo Burston is the founder and CEO of Job Capital and entrepreneurial movement Inspiring Rare Birds, which works to promote opportunities for women in entrepreneurship and has a global vision to inspire one million women entrepreneurs to join its community by 2020.

Jo has been recognised as one of Australia’s top 50 entrepreneurs for the past five years, is a regional Oceania ambassador for the UN¬-recognised Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, on the advisory board for the University of Sydney Business School and University of Sydney Innovation and Entrepreneur Advisory Group, Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) and a global ambassador for innovative accounting software Xero.

Jo is an active mentor for fast growth entrepreneurs and is passionate about encouraging young Australians to endeavour to find out exactly who it is that they want to become, and create their own jobs to achieve this.

Jo has had numerous speaking involvements with Google, Dropbox, Xero, EY, National Achievers Congress, Women’s Agenda/General Assembly and Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO), ACCI, CommBank, and Key Person of Influence – to name a few. Her philanthropic interests include R U OK?, Can Too, Project Futures, and School of Life Foundation. Jo is currently establishing the Inspiring Rare Birds Foundation to provide scholarships and support to ensure our entrepreneurship opportunities are inclusive and available to many diverse communities.

Jo is co-founder and director of Phronesis Academy Pty Ltd.

Richard Seymour is responsible for the content development, the Learning Management System design and the impact measurement programs for phronesis.academy and startup.business.

Richard has considerable experience designing and implementing education programs, with 10 years’ experience in Australia with The University of Sydney. As Programme Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the University, Richard is responsible for the entrepreneurship and innovation courses and units of study within the Business School. He is also founder of the Entrepreneurship Development Network Asia (EDNA) which currently operates grass-roots entrepreneurship education and research programs in Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia. The largest of these programs currently teaches over 6,000 entrepreneurs in Myanmar (80% women, 80% in rural and regional areas), with one of the largest randomised control trial study ever undertaken.

Prior to joining The University of Sydney Business School in 2006, Richard worked in the corporate, NGO and consulting sectors. He has over 5 years’ experience advising small and medium-sized enterprises on corporate divestments, capital raisings and cross-border transactions, and over 10 years’ experience with a number of European, Asian and Australian organizations in the financial, property, and environmental sectors.

Since 2007 Richard has been a member of the Steering Committee for the OECD Entrepreneurship Indicators Program (developing policy-relevant and internationally comparable indicators, based on an analytical model and measurement infrastructure that allow gathering comparable data). This work has been particularly relevant for governments to understand entrepreneurial activity providing comparative and accurate data at the national and state levels.

Richard is co-founder and director of Phronesis Academy Pty Ltd.

Gabbie Budai is the General Manager of Phronesis.Academy and the Program Director for startup.business. She is greatly valued for her diverse range of skills and abilities and her depth of experience. Gabbie brings to the business her experiences from the education sector as a teacher, her corporate career that followed and her 10 years as an entrepreneur most recently. As an educator and a parent, Gabbie is passionate about the program and its primary goal which is to “teach children the mindset of Entrepreneurship”. Gabbie believes “Whether a learner ends up creating a product or service or developing a business for profit or social impact, the lessons learnt through this program apply to their lives far beyond the immediate learnings“.

Gabbie loves that the program is so highly engaging and that the learners retain the skills learnt and the content taught. Most importantly the learner applies the skills developed during the program to all areas of their studies. Students are not all alike and they don’t all learn in the same way. Educational programs need to cater for the individual learner, their interests, passions and goals. Gabbie believes there should be no barriers to participate and her efforts to raise support from the Government and Corporate community will ensure that all learners despite their socio economic background, ethnicity, and location will have access to the program. Children can’t be what they can’t see and they learn by doing!

Advisory Board

A HR Leader and Telstra Businesswoman of the Year, Rhonda is a current Director of AHRI, and recognised as one of Australia’s foremost experts in the human side of business, specialising in leadership, learning, diversity, and the future of work. Her fundamental belief is that inclusion and great leadership are not only foundational for good people practices in organisations, but equally of more equitable and prosperous economies and communities.

Her career has spanned senior roles in large multi-nationals – starting with BHP, moving to Sara Lee, (Italian eyewear giant) Luxottica and CommBank, living and working in Europe, Asia, and the USA.

With an undergraduate degree from UNSW and post-grad from UTS and London Business School, Rhonda now guest lectures in HR, Leadership and the Future of Work at UNSW and Sydney University.

She is a past Patron for Autism, and remains active in ASPECT, Fighting Chance and other organisations that work closely with disability, the indigenous community and other structurally excluded people and groups.

Now working exclusively with entrepreneurs and businesses focused on fundamentally changing the way we work and designing better ways, Rhonda is CEO and Founder of mwah.

Making Work Absolutely Human. mwah. is a business designed and built to help us all (businesses and individuals) put people at the heart of the way we work.

After a rural upbringing, Clive‘s first real job was with a country Western Australian TV station where, at 15 he directed produced his first TV pilot, Kidz Biz.

Clive worked for Australian television networks 7 and 9, before at 25 launching Foxtel’s Comedy Channel as creative director. He drove record media sales while winning a record 30 global award in 3 years, and creating innovative brand-funded content ideas.

At 30, Clive formed The Conscience Organisation in NYC in 2000 born out of the idea of finding better ways of creating brand assets for clients at ‘palatable’ budget level.Be conscious of ourselves, our messages and have a positive impact on our communities. 40% was sold to STW / WPP in 2008 and purchased back in 2015. Major clients being Westpac, Nestle, Sanger, Contiki, Macquarie University, Australian Turf Club, Sumo Salad and more.

Clive has founded several other businesses, The Human Race (fizzer), The Happy Farm (merged), Praise (fizzer), Give Art Science (ripper). He 2014 he launched Social Impact investment business, Thrivr Pty Ltd, which in 2016 co-founded an Australian agriculture and community platform, For Goodness Sake (ripper).

As a member of YPO and Innovation Bay, he his actively involved with business locally and across the globe.

David has advised leading Australian and International Businesses on expansion, tax and commercial strategies for 30 years.

He is widely regarded as the leading accountant in the start-up space, being a mentor and investor at Startmate. He has acted on over 100 transactions including IPOs, trade sales, placements, rights issues and privatisations. His clients include family offices, ASX Companies, Property Developers, Athletes, Entertainers and of course, many of Australia’s most successful start-ups.

Working creatively and strategically with entrepreneurs, family groups, public and private businesses, directors and public figures to help them surpass their own expectations.

Avoiding short term thinking, anticipating future scenarios and providing strategies to maximise enterprise value, I combine skills in business planning, forward thinking tax advice for all clients. Providing independent expert reports, valuations, due diligence IPOs to deliver smooth and successful corporate transactions to take a company to the next level.

K. Kumar is the Apeejay Surrendra Chair Professor of Family Business and Entrepreneurship and Chairperson (Academic Activities) at the N.S. Raghavan Center for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB). He joined IIMB after sixteen years of experience in the industry, having held positions as CEO, President and Management Consultant in reputed organizations.

Kumar was also an entrepreneur, and had started and nurtured to growth three different companies dealing with consumer products, information technology services and techno-commercial services. He served as the Chairperson of NSRCEL during 2008-2012 directing its research, teaching and training activities, besides running a business incubation center. Kumar was awarded the ICCR Chair Visiting Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Athens University of Economics and Business and was also a Visiting Scholar at the University of Sydney. His research interests are in the areas of high growth entrepreneurship in emerging economies, international entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education and family business management. In addition to offering core and elective courses in entrepreneurship in all the long duration programs at IIMB, he has also, designed and taught many executive education programs, such as the Management Program for Entrepreneurs and Family Businesses (MPEFB), Business Leadership Program for CREDAI and Managing Family Businesses for Sustained Success. Apart from publishing his research in leading academic journals including Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Long Range Planning and South Asian Journal of Management, he has also contributed columns to reputed business publications like The Wall Street Journal and The Entrepreneur. He continues to be actively involved with corporate organizations as an advisor, mentor and member of the Board in publicly listed and unlisted companies.

Kumar holds a B.E degree in Electrical and Electronics, and is an alumnus of both PGP (MBA) and FPM (Ph.D) programs of IIMB.

Ms. LaVonn Schlegel is Executive Director of the Institute for International Business (IIB) at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. The IIB, the Kelley School’s international development outreach arm, focuses on helping entrepreneurs and small/medium enterprises in the developing world and seeks to expand opportunities to faculty, students, and the business community to engage in business education and economic development activities in development and emerging markets.

Ms. Schlegel manages a portfolio of projects worldwide including partnerships with USAID, US Department of State, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Yangon University of Economics, Bethlehem University, US Department of Education, World Federation of Direct Selling Associations, Hewlett-Packard, Gap Inc., and Coca-Cola Corporation. She also oversees IIB’s Center for International and Business Education Research, which has been funded since 1992 by the US Department of Education to provide connections to global market resources, support professional development programs on international business issues, strengthen students’ understanding of business in a global context, and promote the study of foreign languages.

Ms. Schlegel joined the Kelley School of Business in 2007, bringing to Kelley organizational leadership experience, ranging from entrepreneurial start-up to multinational corporate environments, and a significant set of organizational management, business partnership, personnel development, research evaluation, and program innovation skills. Early in her career, she developed and launched Hallmark Cards’ first successful foray into the Hispanic market and its first strategic creative manufacturing partnership.

As senior marketing manager and then acting director for Sprint’s Medium Business unit, she was responsible for the billion-dollar mid-market business group, where she developed innovative programs to enhance connections with the business community.

From 1997 to 2007, she served as president/CEO of an independent strategic management and marketing consulting group that provided services for international and national clients in the utility, entertainment, high tech, services, import/export, hardware, and health care industries. She received her MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in 1985.

Sharon is a former secondary English teacher, an entrepreneur and qualified business coach.

In 2006 she and her husband founded SEQTA Software, growing the business from a literal ‘kitchen table start up’ into a multi-award winning, Edtech company, employing more than 75 people.

Her entrepreneurial success was most recently acknowledged when she was named a Western Region Winner in the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

Sharon currently divides her time between coordinating SEQTA’s innovation program, Startup Assist; advocating for the Perth startup community in her role as CEO of StartupWA; and mentoring a number of business founders.

Yvonne Coburn is an experienced human resources professional with a background in the delivery of leadership programs designed to achieve cultural transformation for client organisations.

Most recently, and relevantly, Yvonne has worked as a Feedback Facilitator at Mt Eliza Executive Education, Melbourne Business School, in Leadership and Management (with particular emphasis on applied leadership in the workplace). Clients at Mt Eliza have included a wide range of top companies from Australia, New Zealand and neighbouring Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Yvonne has also provided executive coaching at leadership programs for Leadership Victoria, an organisation that provides leadership consulting services to the government, semi government and not for profit sectors in Australia. She was instrumental in the development of the Women in Leadership Program and recently coached and presented on the pilot program held in mid June 2015.

Yvonne’s varied career experience qualifies her with a deep understanding of a range of industry sectors. That experience has included a period as a lawyer in private practice, a senior manager in human resources for a large law firm (now Herbert Smith Freehills), a period as a consultant with Morgan & Banks, a founder of Crowe Legal (a recruitment firm), experience as an Executive Search Consultant with A T Kearney & Associates, working as an executive and later advisory board member of search and leadership consulting firm Emissary Partners, service on a number of charity and pro bono boards including school boards (for example, Moriah College and Woodleigh School), and service as an elected Councillor on Waverley Council in Sydney.

She was also an Ambassador for the NFP Fitted for Work, assisting women back into the workforce after a period of absence.Yvonne was a regular contributor for a few years to the Australian Newspaper with her column called “Legal Affairs”. She regularly commented on gender related issues in management and leadership.

In addition to her accreditation in the products and services of the CreatingWE Institute (including Conversational Intelligence), Yvonne is also accredited to deliver a range of psychometric instruments. These include MBTI, FIRO B, Benchmarks/Skillscope 360 Learning by Design, Genos Emotional Intelligence, Management Research Group Leadership Effectiveness Analysis and Strategic Leadership Management, and the I4 About My Brain Instrument. Yvonne brings to any program her warmth, energy and enthusiasm for engagement with others, and a deep desire to assist individuals to advance their performance and their careers. Yvonne’s company, YAC Consulting Pty Ltd, operates the CreatingWE Institute Australia and New Zealand.

Linda Jenkinson is a serial entrepreneur who has built three multi-million technology-enabled services companies with successful exits. Linda is an experienced executive and strategist in global travel, hospitality, corporate loyalty, financial services and on-demand delivery. Her career has spanned being Partner in a global strategy consulting practice (focused on financial institutions), a founder of several startups, running companies as CEO, and taking on public, private and non-profit director roles.

Linda is an experienced board director. She currently serves as a Director for Air New Zealand (AIR.NZ) and as a Director for The Guild (www.guildgroup.com.au). She is the former director of DMS Corporation (DMSC) and Chairman of John Paul.

Linda is the first New Zealand woman to take a company public on the NASDAQ Exchange. She has received multiple awards for her entrepreneurial efforts in the United States and New Zealand. Linda is a serial entrepreneur who has built three multi-million dollar companies, on-demand delivery and on-demand limo (DMSC), online wine sales (Porthos Inc) and concierge oriented customer loyalty (John Paul). Her focus has been on technology-enabled services.

Prior to her entrepreneurial endeavors she was a Partner at A.T. Kearney where she was a leader in financial institutions strategy and strategic sourcing practice. Her consulting career spanned the globe. (www.linda-jenkinson.com)

Most recently Linda was named one of the most Influential Women in the Bay Area (San Francisco, CA, USA), Master Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, in New Zealand and was the first women to be awarded The Sir Geoffrey Peren Award for most Distinguished Alumni from Massey University in New Zealand. Ms. Jenkinson is active in supporting her community. She is a World Class New Zealander, a director of “Global New Zealand Women”. Linda is also a member of the New Zealand Olympic Counsel, an Advisor for The Icehouse and is a Director and Secretary of the Massey University Foundation. Linda co-founded WOW for Africa, an innovative business-based approach to SME development in West Africa. Linda was a five-year Chair of the Bay Area Red Cross and was a Board Member of the NZTE Silicon Valley Beachhead in the United States. Linda has an MBA from The Wharton School – University of Pennsylvania and a BBS from Massey University in New Zealand in Data Processing and Accounting. She resides in San Francisco and Wellington with her husband, son and daughter.