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Making innovation easy - that's what we do.

uSpark is an Australian business accelerator, based in Melbourne, Victoria. We stand with start-ups all the way from product design and experimentation to market launch. We were founded by Unico Computer Systems in 2020 to manage their internal innovation.  Unico is an IT services company with over 30+ years experience in delivering innovative technology solutions.

 

In 2021 uSpark is turning our attention to the start-up ecosystem with our Destination Start-Up Partner Program. We want to enable start-ups to fast track their product development by giving them access to technical expertise when they need it.  Our technical expertise is generously provided by  Unico to support the Australian innovation ecosystem.

Our Board

The Board brings a deep experience in running business and delivering innovative, software based solutions to guide us.

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Geoff Illing

Director

Geoff is dedicated to creating innovative technology solutions and has been doing so for more than 40 years. He has a unique ability to grasp highly complex technical challenges and translate them into workable solutions. Geoff holds a Master's Degree in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge and is passionate about imparting his knowledge to others and leading technical vision.

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John Rowland

Chair

John has over 30 years’ experience in leading organisations and holds a Master's Degree in Engineering. He has a deep understanding of how connected business technology drives business productivity and competitiveness. John is also a highly regarded leader in the technology industry and has led large technology companies across Asia Pacific.

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Pamela Wilson

Director

Pamela brings a broad range of experience from the commercialisation of innovations within the corporate and university sectors. She has held strategic advisory and research management positions in Australia and the United States, serving on the Boards of three technology start-ups. Pamela is a qualified lawyer with an interest in media and IT law. She also holds a Master's Degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

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Roland Thomas

Director (Independent)

Roland is a trusted advisor to software businesses, from start-ups to more mature companies, helping them navigate the strategic, operational, and financial challenges they face as they grow. He has over 35 years of leadership experience in the software industry in IP rich sectors including Product Lifecycle Management, Statistics, Safety and Reliability, Manufacturing Analytics, and Fintech. Roland has led both public and private businesses in the US and Australia as well as holding
several corporate and not for profit board positions.

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Stephan Wellink

Director (Independent)

Stephan’s experience includes roles in the private sector with Unilever and ICI followed by senior executive positions in the public sector with the CSIRO and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Since 2006, Stephan has consulted to universities, CSIRO, Cooperative Research Centres, research institutes and the private sector on strategic planning, leadership development, start-up companies, corporate governance, knowledge transfer, competitive research grants and the commercialisation of intellectual property. In recent years, he has written, produced and directed several award-winning documentaries.

Our Founding Team

The Founding Team has been there, done that and are ready to apply their lessons learned to building business success.

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Adam Long

Chief Technology and Innovation Officer

Adam’s passion is in creating customer value through technology leadership and innovation. He has over 27 years’ experience envisioning and delivering software projects and products, and has worked for leading global companies including ANZ Banking Group, Aviva, IBM, PwC, QSR International, and Unico.

For the past 8 years Adam has volunteered as a judge for the iAwards to help recognise, celebrate and elevate Australian digital innovation. He has also been recognised and awarded at the Dell Small Business Excellence Awards for innovative application of information technology to better serve customers. Adam holds a Bachelor's Degree with Honours in Business Systems and a Master's Degree in Information Management & Systems from the Faculty of IT at Monash University.

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Pamela Wilson

Manager, Strategic Innovation & Engagement

As well as serving on the uSpark Board, Pamela is responsible for co-managing uSpark with Adam. She takes the lead on engaging with external partners to cultivate innovation at uSpark and within the greater Australian innovation ecosystem.

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Dr. Marcus Powe

Expert in Residence

Marcus has over 40 years’ experience developing and implementing sustainable enterprise innovation systems in 1500 organisations. He has managed, lead and owned companies in the fields of textiles, scientific instrumentation, education, information technology, consumer software development and tourism. He has also acted as an advisor and facilitator of change to boards and senior decision makers across a broad range of industries.


Marcus has been awarded Australia's Best Entrepreneurial Educator and held fellowships at Swinburne University, Waikato University and Ormond College, University of Melbourne.

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Michael Keating

Program Manager

Michael has over 25 years’ experience in numerous roles designing, delivering, and operating solutions across a range of industries including finance, superannuation, wealth management, entertainment, and telco. He is excited to be able to leverage his broad experience, and great sense of curiosity and experimentation to the evolution of software solutions and product development at uSpark.

Our Steering Committee

Our Steering Committee has a broad range of experience in product creation, meaning we see potential from all angles.

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Grant Koster

Product Delivery Specialist

Grant has been employed in a varied number of IT roles over the years – from concept and design to development and delivery. In joining the uSpark Team he has been able to draw upon his extensive experience and the ideas he has developed or helped to create over the years. Grant enjoys seeing how diverse perspectives can join the dots in unexpected ways. He is looking forward to some of his route mapping, trading platform, online games, mobile app, health, telco or other experiences being of value in pursuing new concepts through uSpark too.

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Maurice Pizzo

Product Architecture Specialist

Maurice has a passion for working with people to identify and solve complex problems through innovative approaches. Currently serving as the Head of Solution Design within Unico, Maurice leverages over 20 years of broad IT experience delivering solutions for some of the largest brands in the world. His experience includes Ericsson, PwC, Toyota and the Victorian Government. Maurice leads from a place of empathy and thrives on helping others succeed in the learner mindset and in the application of technology to provide great experience in unique ways.

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Anthony Walker

Solution Design Specialist

Anthony is a highly experienced solution designer with over 20 years experience over many industries including agriculture, pharmaceuticals, consumer health, manufacturing and IT consulting. His specialties are in complex web and digital systems, data-driven applications and business process optimization; skills that give him rapid insight into how to bring ideas to life in software solutions.

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Sue Matthews

Business Analyst

Sue has had many years’ experience in delivering successful IT solutions while working in a wide range of solution delivery roles - ranging from Business Analyst/Scrum Master and Project Manager to Technical Development Lead and support of live systems. Sue has always been interested in changes in technology especially how that technology can assist and sometimes transform people’s lives. She looks forward to helping others turn their ideas into reality.