Over the years Business News Australia has reported on the achievements of thousands of entrepreneurs through our editorial coverage, bringing to light their incredible stories while drawing inspiration from their resilience, creativity and leadership. 

In that same spirit we are excited to be hosting our inaugural E2E Summit (Entrepreneur-to-Entrepreneur) on 16-17 February at the ivy in Sydney, bringing together some of the nation’s top business minds.  

The intimate event will feature talks and Q&As with some of Australia’s most exceptional founders, touching on themes ranging from personal success stories and overcoming adversity to tales of positive disruption, the importance of meaningful ESG engagement, how to effectively raise capital, and more. 


Alex Bottomley
Co-founder of Ampersand Projects

Julie Mathers
Founder of Flora & Fauna
and owner of Snuggle Hunny

Stuart Cook
Former Global CEO of Zambrero,
co-founder of Flave, founding partner TWIYO Capital

Steve Maarbani
Founder of VentureCrowd

8.30 - 9.00 AM

Arrival & Registration

9:00 - 9:15 AM

Welcome Address

9:15 - 10:00 AM
Jade Spooner
Co-founder of Equalution and Big Uppetite

What began with a one-way ticket to Silicon Valley for Jade Spooner became the successful digital pocket nutrition coach Equalution, but earlier this year the entrepreneur parted ways with the fast-growing company to chase the next big idea - Big Uppetite, which is helping start-ups around Australia thrive in the online space in tech, marketing and business coaching. 

Trusting your intuition: Why digital marketing expert Jade Spooner left one successful business to found another

Having co-founded body transformation and nutrition app Equalution at the age of 21, Jade Spooner was almost 30 by the time she left. Friends and family thought she was mad because the business was thriving with eye-watering valuations, but her intuition was that her skills would be better applied elsewhere. In this session Jade will tell her journey of:

  1. Co-founding Equalution, building that business, and making the difficult decision to leave;
  2. Overcoming self-doubt to drive her new business Big Uppetite forward with outstanding growth in a short space of time;
  3. Finding a new sense of purpose helping founders with their digital marketing and branding, with tips as well for attendees

10:00 - 10:45 AM
Tom Caska
Co-founder of Aerologix

"Lean in to the fall” is the message from Tom Caska, whose career as a Qantas pilot was shattered when he broke his neck. Through adversity, he took back control of his life and transferred his skills to another form of aircraft, in 2019 co-founding Aerologix as an ‘Uber for Drones.

“Lean into the fall”: How pilot Tom Caska recovered from a career-changing injury to found an ‘Uber for drones’

Having secured his dream job as a pilot with Qantas in 2010, five years later Tom Caska’s world was rocked by a neck injury after a kite surfing accident with doctors saying he may never walk again. The would-be entrepreneur got through rehab however and turned a negative into a positive, becoming an expert in drones before co-founding Aerologix - a platform that connects more than 10,000 pilots with drone work. In his session, Tom will reveal:

  1. What it takes to pick yourself up from debilitating events;
  2. How to achieve network scalability with a digitally disrupting business model;
  3. The importance of blue-sky thinking for global expansion, and the case for testing in Australia first.

10.45 - 11.15 AM
Morning Tea Break

11.15 - 12.00 PM
Fireside chat with Alexis Soulopoulos, co-founder of Mad Paws, and Business News Australia senior journalist David Simmons

Having started as a pet sitting platform back in 2014, Mad Paws has since grown to offer a full suite of pet services including dog walking & grooming, pet food delivery and even insurance for our furry friends. Founder Alexis listed the company on the ASX in 2021
and has completed a raft of strategic acquisitions since then.

Raining cats and dogs: How Mad Paws capitalised on Australia’s boom in pet ownership

Mad Paws founder Alexis Soulopoulos has transformed his petsitting platform into a one-stop-shop for animal health, wellness and care over the past eight years, amplified by a boom in pet ownership more recently. This session will explore how Alexis has tapped into the hearts of pet parents nationwide, plus lessons on the following:  

  1. The power of word of mouth: How to grow your business with a focus on organic channels;
  2. Organic vs inorganic growth, or how to scale your business via acquisitions; and
  3. The one stop shop: How to build a data-driven business with multiple revenue streams.  

12.00  - 1.00 PM
Lunch Break

1.00 - 1:45 PM
Fireside chat with Trevor Folsom, co-founder of Investible and Matt Ogg, editor of Business News Australia

Trevor Folsom is one of Australia’s most active and successful angel investors in the Australian tech start-up ecosystem and is the co-founder and chair of early-stage venture capital firm Investible. He is a driving force behind Investible’s active global community of investors, serves on the board of listed education provider Kip McGrath and is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UNSW.

Investible: What an early-stage investor looks for in a high-potential founder

APAC-based VC firm Investible was more active than ever in 2022, and that momentum is set to continue in 2023 for the group that was an early investor in the likes of Canva and Car Next Door (acquired by Uber). Investible co-founder and chairman Trevor Folsom will take part in a fireside chat with Business News Australia editor Matt Ogg to discuss:

  1. What traits and vision a founderneeds to attract investment for pre-seed through to Series A and beyond;
  2. How drawing on a global club of experts as investors brings more than just money to the table; and
  3. Trevor’s investment philosophy and what’s next for the Investible Early Stage Fund 2 and Climate Tech Fund.

1:45 - 2.30 PM
Julie Mathers
Founder of Flora & Fauna and owner of Snuggle Hunny

Julie Mathers founded vegan, ethical and sustainable products e-comm platform Flora & Fauna in 2014, before selling the company for $30 million to BWX last year. Since then, the entrepreneur has gone on to acquire a new business herself, babywear brand Snuggle Hunny Kids. 

Build, negotiate and exit: Julie Mathers’ guide to creating a successful e-commerce brand

A savvy retail expert, Julie Mathers threw herself back into the world of entrepreneurship when she acquired babywear brand Snuggle Hunny Kids nine months after selling Flora & Fauna to ASX-listed BWX for $30 million. Now working with Arcus Partners, she is using her knowledge to help her latest venture reach its full potential. The session with her will cover:

  1. How to build a successful purpose-driven business and stand out from the competition;
  2. How to navigate the evolving e-commerce market and negotiate a successful business exit; and
  3. The mistakes to avoid when running an online enterprise.

2:30 - 3.15 PM

Dr Stephen Morse
Founder of Unchained Solutions

Having assisted and advocated for survivors of human trafficking in Europe and Australia, Dr Stephen Morse has a deep understanding of modern slavery and what it means for businesses to address this issue in their supply chains and operations. In 2018, he founded Unchained Solutions to offer modern slavery analysis tools, e-learning courses and improvement strategies for companies looking to better their ESG.

Don't be complacent: Embedding ESG into your company's DNA 

While it’s no secret that consumers are actively looking for companies to commit to social responsibility and sustainability, there is still plenty of work to be done in the space. One such person helping enterprises transform their processes is modern slavery expert Dr Stephen Morse, who has helped corporate giants in finance, mining and construction analyse their operations from the bottom up.

This session will cover:

  1. How to make a real impact and adopt sustainable business practices;
  2. How to develop resilient supplier chains, strategic objectives, resource management and more; and
  3. The consequences of failing to embed ethics in your business: losing reputation, customers, staff, investors and profit

3.15 - 3:30 PM
Afternoon Tea Break

3:30 - 4.15 PM
Anaita Sarkar
Co-founder and CEO of Hero Packaging

Aiming to reduce waste in the e-commerce industry, Hero Packaging was founded by husband-and-wife team Anaita Sarkar and Vikram Davé, creating and selling zero waste, home-compostable shipping mailers and sustainable packaging to online retailers on a global scale.

The perfect package: How Anaita Sarkar fights plastic waste and has fun doing it 

In five short years, Anaita Sarkar and co-founder Vikram Davé have stopped 20 million plastic packaging bags from being produced thanks to their eco-friendly mailer brand Hero Packaging. In this session, she will guide attendees through her journey and discuss:

  1. How to build brand awareness, cut through the noise and stand out in a crowded industry;
  2. How to tackle serious ESG matters, but have a great time in the process; and
  3. How brands can avoid greenwashing through education and certification.

4:15 - 5.00 PM
Alex Bottomley
Co-founder of Ampersand Projects

Innovation is at the core of Ampersand Projects and front of mind for co-founder Alex Bottomley. Having been in the ready-to-drink space before international conglomerates wanted a sip, the alcohol brand has steadily built a reputation that is fun and fizzy. 

Hustle & innovate: How Ampersand Projects took on the titans with captivating cans

It’s been a story of David & Goliath for the co-founders of ready-to-drink beverage purveyors Ampersand Projects who used innovation as their weapon of choice when capturing a market of drinkers looking for something different. Co-founder Alex Bottomley will divulge the secrets behind Ampersand’s success, and discuss:

  1. Why establishing a brand identity is so important for early-stage founders;
  2. How overcoming adversity has been character building and crucial to Ampersand’s achievements;
  3. How to tap into an innovation-led mindset as an entrepreneur.

5.00 -7.00 PM
Sunset drinks and canapés

Tom Caska
Co-founder of Aerologix

Trevor Folsom
Co-founder and chair of Investible

Anaita Sarkar
Co-founder of Hero Packaging

Alexis Soulopoulos
Co-founder of Mad Paws


Jade Spooner
Co-founder of Equalution
and Big Uppetite

Vu Tran
Co-founder of unicorn GO1

Dr Stephen Morse 
Founder of Unchained Solutions

Xavier Orr
CEO and co-founder of Advanced Navigation

8.30 - 9.00 AM

Arrival & Registration

9:00 - 9:15 AM

Welcome Address

9:15 - 10:00 AM
Steve Maarbani
Founder of VentureCrowd

Steve Maarbani's VentureCrowd is changing the way Australians invest. Having built a 64,000-strong membership base, VentureCrowd backs successful startups with strong track records that are able to deliver venture capital exits for investors.

Show me the money: How to source capital faster and more flexibly than ever before

In the digital age of venture capital, angel investing and crowdfunding, founders have more options than ever before. In this session, Steve Maarbani will explain what the transformed capital raising landscape means for founders, tailoring pitches to different options, and how to source capital faster and more flexibly than ever before. The session will explore:

  1. How to raise capital in 2023: everything you need to know to plan your next capital raise;
  2. How to develop your capital raising strategy & capital raising narrative; and
  3.  An overview on deal structure and terms

10:00 - 10:45 AM

Stuart Cook
Former global CEO of Zambrero, co-founder of Flave, founding partner TWIYO Capital

Whether it’s through early stage investing in high-impact businesses with TWIYO Capital or working on Oz Harvest’s new venture arm to back food waste and food ecosystem technologies, Stuart Cook is out to make a difference. A former CEO of Zambrero, he knows how restaurants can effect positive change at scale and co-founded emerging plant-based chain Flave. 

Reimagine, influence, change: Entrepreneurship with purpose and making ESG profitable

Stuart Cook made a name for himself as CEO of Zambrero, overseeing growth for the chain on a mission to stop world hunger. Since then he has been involved in numerous for-purpose ventures including TWIYO Capital & Advisory, plant-based restaurant Flave, and OzHarvest Ventures. In this session Cook will recount his wild ride of impact entrepreneurship, exploring the following topics:

  1. How effective impact entrepreneurship and investing can make an immense difference to people’s lives and the planet;
  2. How to embed your personal values in a business in a way that resonates with consumers and stakeholders; and
  3. Advisory for reporting, structures and financial frameworks to maximise value and growth opportunities for businesses making positive change.

10.40 - 11.00 AM
Morning Tea Break

11.00 - 12.00 PM
Vu Tran
Co-founder of GO1

What does it take to build a unicorn? If anyone knows, it’s co-founder of Go1, Vu Tran. Having started the business back in 2009, Tran and his co-founders have transformed the global workplace training platform into an internationally recognised smash hit. 

“Lifting up your eyeline”: Lessons on ambition from the founder of a unicorn

Go1 co-founder Vu Tran started his entrepreneurial journey in high school with a close friend, founding a venture that would eventually evolve into an ed-tech unicorn. In 2015 they hit an inflection point when the opportunity cost of ‘business as usual’ became crystal clear, prompting an ambitious change in direction. In his session Vu will discuss:

  1. The origins of his business journey and the ingrained risk appetite learned from refugee parents;
  2. Critical moments of inspiration that shaped his entrepreneurial philosophy and trajectory; and
  3. Finding time for “enforced mindfulness” as a business matures through its stages of growth.

12.00  - 1.00 PM
Lunch Break
1.00 - 1:45 PM
Xavier Orr, CEO and co-founder of Advanced Navigation

From aiding ocean restoration to guiding spacecraft for the next NASA moon landing, Advanced Navigation’s robotic and navigation technology can be applied to a wide range of challenges. With more than 1,200 clients, the company offers expertise across fields including sensors, GNSS, inertial navigation, RF technologies, acoustics, robotics, AI and algorithms.

How years of R&D led to deals with NASA, Google and more for Advanced Navigation

Commercialising the fruits of research is no simple feat, but the co-founders of AI and robotics firm Advanced Navigation have turned a decade of work into a booming company that works with some of the world’s largest organisations. During this session, co-founder Xavier Orr will break down his long game as well as:

  1. The fortitude required to scale world-changing research at the pre-commercialisation stage;
  2. Turning ideas into reality with patient investors; and
  3. Demystifying AI - the tech that will define the decade.

1.45 - 4:00 PM
E2E Summit wrap up followed by networking drinks at ivy's Pool Club.

Murray Hurps 
Director of entrepreneurship, UTS 

Murray Hurps has lived and breathed technology-enabled entrepreneurship since the age of 16 when he founded ad-blocking startup Ad Muncher, which over more than a decade grew to a peak of 100 million users.  

During the course of his career he has shown an insatiable appetite to improve the founder community, founding Startup Muster - the largest survey of Australian startups for five years - and Westpac’s data-focused accelerator program FUELD, as well as leading Fishburners as CEO, which grew from 100 desks of startup space to 750 across Sydney, Brisbane and Shanghai during his tenure. 

Today Murray carries on that same spirit as director of entrepreneurship at UTS, where he has built the largest community of student-launched startups in a single space in Australia, helping new entrepreneurs spread innovations and create jobs that will drive the nation’s recovery. 

Bringing brilliant entrepreneurs together.


Please call us on 07 3608 2068 or email [email protected] if you need any further information.