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Nurturing purpose, confidence, and powerful connections.

Startup Shakeup is a thriving community of Entrepreneurs, Businesses, Innovators, Local Government, and Supporters turning big ideas into jobs and growth across the region. 

Founded in 2018, we have a state-wide reputation, known for programs and events that engage, provide connections, build skills, and support you in driving innovation forwards.

We aim to connect & strengthen community networks & spaces, increase resilience and embrace learning for life.  

We support innovators and entrepreneurs across our communities and give them access to resources, support and growth by connecting them with what they need when they need it. 

Our Story

From mid-2018 to mid-2021 our network has grown to over 500 people and supported over 150 Startups and Shakeups with regional Victoria.

Startup Shakeup was created in 2018 as part of a regional collaboration thanks to a $400,000 grant from LaunchVic with five council partners in AlpineBenalla, IndigoMansfield, and Wangaratta, managed by Benalla Rural City Council, in partnership with Charles Sturt UniversityGOTAFE, and NE Tracks LLEN

This funding allowed us to run a whole range of programs and events, including four SMART SEEDS Challenge Workshops, SUSU x Global Sisters Trade Night, Jump Start Me, Incubators, Changemakers, Pitch Nights,  Strategic Creativity, Regional Resilience, Meetups, and more.

We are now newly incorporated as a not-for-profit organisation (read the press release here) and are committed to continuing our work within regional Victoria by providing Startups, Shakeups, and Innovators room and opportunities to grow, connect, explore and innovate. 

Original Steering Group

Meet the crew that made Startup Shakeup what it is today.

Ilena Young, Chair, Charles Sturt University

Catherine Macmillan, Project Manager, Benalla Rural City Council

Anne Shaw, North East Tracks LLEN

Brett Ambrosio, GOTAFE

Danielle Roberts, Mansfield Shire Council

Guy Wilkinson, Indigo Shire Council

Rachael Richards, Rural City of Wangaratta

Kate Simpson, Alpine Shire Council

Emma Jones, GHD

Our Goals & Vision

The Vision: North East Victoria will be a leader and role model for regional innovation eco-systems in Australia by 2030

  1. Support North East Victorian entrepreneurs with their Startups, Shakeups and Innovations.

  2. To support growth and development for our Shakeups, Startups and Innovators to thrive.

  3. Connect the network to advisors, resources and funding opportunities.

  4. Help develop and retain skills in our region to take advantage of new technologies and ways
    of working.

Our Team & Board

Ilena Young

Acting CEO

Jessica Bolch

Program & Comms Facilitator

Amelia Hartney

Incubator Facilitator

Martina Rienzner

Board Chair

Trey Zagante

Board Deputy Chair

Graham Frank

Board Treasurer

Andrew Vittadello

Board Director

Dr Emma Ball

Board Director

Guy Wilkinson

Board Director

Catherine Macmillan

Board Director

Learn more from one of our founders, Emma.

BuyFrom North East Victoria

Partnership with Issimo, Startup Shakeup, Regional Development Victoria and local Shire Councils.

Buy From North East Victoria is a free online marketplace for local towns offering a one stop virtual shopping experience, with delivery to your door. The portal allows local businesses to continue to trade even if their physical store is closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Buy From Benalla was the first town to be turned “online” with an e-commerce platform under the program. It was is a pilot for a larger rollout thanks to seed funding from Ovens Murray Regional Partnership. The system focusses on ease of use, with plenty of support available to help businesses transition to online sales.

For more information, to shop online via your local main street or to register your interest visit your local town below. For those not listed, please get in touch with your local Shire Council or check back as we regularly update this page.

Our Partner Programs

Smart Seeds

Smart Seeds is a design-led innovation program founded by GHD that is offered throughout our region and builds the connections, capabilities and confidence of emerging leaders in regional communities.

Jump Start Me

JumpStartMe run workshops for people with startup ideas, to allow them to validate the ideas and progress them into sustainable, growing and scalable businesses. It was followed up with mentoring sessions with founder, Mark Cooper.

Global Sisters

My Big Idea
My Big Ideas is a workshop for women without an idea, with too many ideas or with a very early stage business hunch. It helps women explore and land a concept they want to turn into a business.

Sister School
The Sister School is a five-day program to equip women to startup or accelerate an early stage business. It has been specifically designed for women who are facing a range of barriers to workforce participation.

ACRE Understanding Social Enterprise

People, planet, and profit are the three elements at the heart of all social enterprises. The ACRE Understanding Social Enterprise two-day workshops introduce people with a social cause idea to the objectives, purpose, theories and practice of social enterprise.

CSU Organisational Entrepreneurship

Charles Sturt University’s Organisational Entrepreneurship three-day course is designed to develop, launch and grow innovative ideas and projects within organisations. The course combines entrepreneurial theory and research with practical business and management knowledge.