Melbourne’s innovation industry body Startup Victoria did not take long to appoint a new chief upon the announcement of CEO Scott Handsaker’s resignation in March.
Local entrepreneur Georgia Beattie will take over the reins of leadership to establish Melbourne as the top tech destination in Asia Pacific in the next five years.
Startup Victoria is a non-profit organisation dedicated to building and supporting Victoria’s start-up ecosystem. It organises some of the biggest technology start-up events in Melbourne and with a 11,000 membership base that is steadily increasing, it is one of the largest entrepreneurship groups in Australia.
Ms Beattie is no stranger to Startup Victoria. As an aspiring entrepreneur, she attended many of its networking events and workshops which she said played an integral role in educating her on the specifics of launching and growing a business.
She went on to launch her wine and packaging business Lupe and Beattie Wines straight out of university where she studied entrepreneurship, and expanded the startup into six countries in five years.
Her diligence and determination paid off when the company she co-founded was acquired earlier this year.
Ready to make an even greater impact on the startup scene, she jumped on the opportunity to spearhead Startup Victoria’s growth, and quickly established herself as the forerunner for the meaty role to help ramp up Victoria’s startup efforts.
“I’ve watched startups grow from the first time they pitch and to gaining market traction. Seeing them come full circle and witnessing how the community was helping each other was lovely,” Ms Beattie said.
“My role is to help make the ecosystem bigger and better by engaging the different aspects within the system and working with the founders to make Melbourne the number one tech destination in Asia Pacific,” she said.
“The start-up culture and the types of businesses that Melbourne attracts is vastly different from say, Sydney.”
Just days into her appointment, Ms Beattie already has her hands full assessing Startup Victoria’s accomplishments to date, developing the business plan for the next 12 months and reviewing their partnerships in order to ‘leverage premium partners to give the best value to the founders’.
The body currently has a range of small sponsors, but it will work with LaunchVic, a government initiative that will pump $60 million to develop Victoria’s start-up ecosystem.
She will also oversee seven of Startup Victoria’s biggest events and main projects, including the Above All Human conference and Startup Week.
Ms Beattie is fully confident that Melbourne has what it takes to be the top tech destination in the region
“A progressive government promoting innovation and our fantastic culture that combines all sorts of industries—from the creatives and arts to technology. We’ve managed to achieve that balance which is important. It’s our asset.”
It costs $99 to become a member of Startup Victoria. Members get access to a Startup Pack which comes with $30,000 worth of coupons to online services that most tech start-ups use, as well as free or discounted access to their events. Business memberships start at $5,000.