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 am also the co-founder of Peak Persona, and also work in the startup ecosystem as a facilitator, mentoring startups, on advisory boards, and consulting to Government and corporates on models for innovation.  If I can help, please reach out and contact me.

Short Bio: Aaron is a tech entrepreneur, having successfully built and exited several startups since the age of sixteen. He is the CEO of Startup Catalyst, leading startup and investor missions to Silicon Valley, Europe, Israel and Asia. He is the co-founder of Peak Persona and 3am Founders, delivering programs to help founders achieve their peak mental performance. Aaron also serves on the Board of StartupAUS. In 2016 Aaron was awarded the national Benson Award for Entrepreneurship, and also the Pearcey Award as entrepreneur of the year for Queensland, prior to which he was also the Entrepreneur In Residence for the River City Labs Accelerator.

Long Bio: Aaron is a tech entrepreneur, currently serving as the CEO of Startup Catalyst, leading missions to Silicon Valley, Europe, Israel and Asia for youths, founders, investors and innovation leaders. I am also the co-founder of Peak Persona, delivering programs for startup founders with tangible, action-based routines that they can adapt to better manage their time, and to engineer their emotional state, on a consistent basis.

In 2016 Aaron was awarded the national Benson Award for Entrepreneurship, and also the Pearcey Award for Queensland.

Learning to code at the age of 8, Aaron has started over ten businesses (with 4 small exits) since the age of 16. 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 points-of-presence with over 6 million users annually in 9 countries.

Aaron previously worked as the Entrepreneur In Residence for muru-d Brisbane at River City Labs.  He is also a member of Queensland Government Startup Working Group, serves on a number of advisory boards, has facilitated over 40 Startup Weekend and corporate hackathon events, has led multiple trade missions to Silicon Valley, Europe and Israel, and has a weekly technology segment on ABC Coast FM radio station.

Consulting work
  • Hackathon facilitator / organiser (experience with 40+ events across Australia)
  • Grant applications (personally raised well over $1.5m 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
  • StartupAUS Board Member (2017-present)
  • River City Labs (2015-present) – mentor & EIR
  • Qld Government Startup Working Group (2014-present)
  • Bond University (2014-present) – advisory boards, previously guest lecturer
  • Startup Weekend (2013-2018) – facilitator, organiser
  • ABC Coast FM 91.7 (2013-2016) – 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
  • Peak Persona (2017-present) – programs for founder performance
  • Silicon Lakes Limited (2013-2016) – not for profit
  • Coded Intelligence (2011-2014) – exit via IP acquisition
  • Aptek Pty Ltd (2013-2014) – exit via 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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
Profile Pictures