The Victorian government has finally found a replacement for its $60 million startup accelerator LaunchVic, handing the chairperson’s role to businesswoman and philathropist Laura Anderson.
Anderson, who already chairs the Melbourne Fashion Festival, SVI Global and the Good Foundation, replaces former Australia Post boss Ahmed Fahour who stepped down in February.
Anderson’s board duties also include the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, Epworth Health Care, Fed Square Pty Ltd, the American Australian Association and Defence Science Institute as well as several private investment companies.
LaunchVic began last year and invested $11.4 million in 28 projects under Fahour’s tenure, but suffered a setback in August when it terminated a $3 million deal with US-based Startups 500 to launch in Melbourne after founder Dave McClure was forced to step down after allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment.
Innovation minister Luke Donnellan said Anderson had extensive experience in fostering an entrepreneurial culture and talent and support firms to grow globally.
“Laura is extremely well known in Australian and international business circles and her expertise and networks will be invaluable assets to LaunchVic,” he said.
Anderson said the startup community had never been more important or prominent.
“Now is the time for our community to lead by example and maximise its potential to create, innovate and collaborate beyond Victoria’s borders, and that’s what I intend to do,” she said.