Aaron Birkby

Hi, I’m Aaron.  This is my personal site and blog.

I’m a tech entrepreneur who now gets to spend a lot of time playing in the startup ecosystem, and taking groups to international startup epicentres.  As well as my day job with Startup Catalyst, I also work in the ecosystem as a hackathon facilitator, mentoring startups, on advisory boards, micro investing, and consulting to Government and corporates on models for innovation.  If I can help, please reach out and contact me.

Bio

Aaron is a tech entrepreneur and micro investor, currently working as the CEO of Startup Catalyst, leading missions to Silicon Valley, Europe, Israel and Asia for youths, founders, investors and innovation leaders. Learning to code at the age of 8, Aaron has started over ten businesses (with 4 successful but small exits) since the age of 16, when he converted his high school and University maths and physics notes into interactive software which he sold to other students and high schools. His largest business, Arinda, which he sold in 2012, provided a cloud-based billing and authentication platform for public-space ISPs – at the time of sale that software was used by over 250 clients with over 6 million users annually in 9 countries.

Aaron previously worked as an Entrepreneur In Residence for muru-d Brisbane at River City Labs.  He is also a member of Queensland Government Startup Working Group, serves on two advisory boards for entrepreneurship and innovation at Bond University, is a director of Startup Weekend Australia, has facilitated over 30 Startup Weekend and hackathon events, has led multiple trade missions to Silicon Valley and Europe, and has a weekly technology segment on ABC Coast FM radio station.

Consulting work

  • Hackathon facilitator / organiser (experience with 30+ events across Australia)
  • Grant applications (personally raised well over $750k in grant and sponsorship funding over the last few years)
  • Consulting and design on startup ecosystems (experience with Silicon Lakes (Gold Coast), Fire Station 101 (Ipswich))
  • Consulting on corporate and Government innovation models, programs, and policies
  • Advisory Boards (from University boards to startup boards)
  • Startup mentor and advisor

Volunteer work

  • River City Labs (2015-present) – mentor & EIR
  • Qld Government Startup Working Group (2014-present)
  • Bond University (2014-present) – two advisory boards, guest lecturer
  • Startup Weekend (2013-present) – facilitator, organiser
  • ABC Coast FM 91.7 (2013-present) – weekly technology segment
  • Silicon Lakes (2013-2016) – CEO, mentor, organiser, funding
  • OKFNau (2013) – Ambassador
  • 2BOB Community Radio (2001) – DJ
  • Australian Army Cadet Corps (1996-2001) – OOC, instructor

Businesses

  • Silicon Lakes Limited (2013-2016) – not for profit
  • Coded Intelligence (2011-2014) – exit via IP acquisition
  • Aptek Pty Ltd (2013-2014) – exit via management buyout
  • App Start Studios (2012-2014) – merger with Silicon Lakes
  • Arinda Internet (2004-2012) – exit via trade sale
  • Internet Here (2010-2012) – exit via trade sale
  • Chat Room Restaurant & Bar (2004-2006) – exit via trade sale
  • Beyond The Black Stump Productions
  • The Real Estate Group
  • InterLect
  • Perfect World Pty Ltd

Investments

Employment

  • Startup Catalyst (present) – CEO
  • River City Labs (2015-2016) – Entrepreneur In Residence, Telstra muru-D accelerator
  • Dept. Science, IT and Innovation (2014-2015) – Manager Commercialisation
  • Australian Customs Service (2002-2004) – Manager, Intelligence Systems
  • National Crime Authority (2001-2002) – NSW Crime Commission Liaison Officer, telephone intercepts
  • PwC (2000-2001) – Management Consultant (SAP)

Awards

  • 2016 Pearcey National Entrepreneur Award – for inspiring leadership, scale, impact, innovation and acclaim on the world stage.
  • Pearcey State Entrepreneur Award for Queensland for 2016 – for “taking a risk, making a difference, and inspiring others”.
  • Australian Telecommunications User Group (ATUG) award for Innovative Broadband Solution

Education

  • Diploma of Financial Markets (Certificate III), Securities Institute of Australia
  • Bachelor of Laws, University of New England
  • Bachelor of Science (Physics & Maths), University of New South Wales