LaunchVic loses another director

Denham Sadler
Senior Reporter

The board member who served as acting chair of LaunchVic for most of this year has quietly resigned from the $60 million government body, the ninth director to depart the organisation in the last year.

Mirvac non-executive director Elana Rubin had been on the LaunchVic board since March last year, and had been acting chairperson for more than eight months, since the resignation of ex-Australia Post chief Ahmed Fahour in February.

Ms Rubin’s resignation was not published or announced by LaunchVic, nor by the usually noisy Trade and Investment minister Philip Dalidakis.

But documents were filed with ASIC on 14 November state that the former acting chair had left the organisation at the end of October.

In a statement to, a nameless quote from LaunchVic said Ms Rubin had planned to end her time at the organisation earlier this year.

“Elana Rubin extended her planned time on the board as LaunchVic’s acting chair to ensure continuity during the search for the new chair,” the LaunchVic spokesperson told

“With the successful appointment of Laura Anderson to chair she was able to effect her resignation so that she could devote her time to her many other obligations.”

LaunchVic board positions are unpaid positions. Ms Rubin was listed as LaunchVic’s deputy chair in its annual report for 2016/17.

The organisation appointed Melbourne-based businesswoman and serial board member Laura Anderson as its new chair in October.

Ms Rubin is now the ninth director to resign from LaunchVic since October last year.

Following Mr Fahour’s resignation, the government conducted an internal review that found the board’s original size of 11 was too large. Changes were made to “bring it into line with other similar government business entities”.

Ms Rubin’s resignation reduces the LaunchVic board to five members: Ms Anderson, NAB’s Anne Bennett, Cisco Systems Australia’s Tim Fawcett, Penso’s Con Frantzeskos and Jetstar’s Catriona Larritt. The organisation’s chief executive Kate Cornick remains in place.

LaunchVic has now dished out $11.4 million in funding to 28 projects across three funding rounds, with two other rounds scheduled to be finalised before the end of the year.

Ms Rubin served as acting chair during LaunchVic’s 500 Startups controversy, which saw the body eventually withdraw its near-$3 million grant to the global startup accelerator following sexual harassment allegations being made against its prominent founder.

LaunchVic initially stood by the funding decision after the allegations emerged, but later withdrew from the arrangement.

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