These are the 2017 Speakers - 2018 will be announced shortly


Trent Innes - Xero Australia Managing Director

Trent Innes - Xero Australia Managing Director
creating opportunity for Small Business

Trent is the Managing Director of Xero Australia, the leading cloud-based accounting platform for small business. Grounded by a strong people focus, he develops the team to better help small businesses thrive in Australia.

Starting his career as a practicing accountant, Trent saw first hand the opportunity technology presents to growing businesses. He now centres his expertise on high-performing cultures that accelerate fast-growing cloud solutions.

Trent is passionate about fostering a thriving technology industry in Australia, and using collaboration to bring this to life."

Andy Lark, Chairman Group Lark

Andy Lark - Chairman Group Lark
Innovation in Marketing

Andy is an internationally renowned marketer and innovator in social media with 25 years' experience across business-to-business and consumer sectors. His experience spans building successful businesses, leading award-winning marketing programs and teams for Fortune and Times 100 companies, to global technology brands, start-ups and the world’s hottest advertising and communications agencies.

During his career he has worked and lived in the majority of the world’s major markets and developed a reputation as a highly creative executive, marketing turn-around specialist, entrepreneur and authority on social media. He is a prolific writer, blogger and speaker on marketing, technology and Web 2.0.

Andrew Morello, Winner of the Apprentice & Business Development manager for YBR and MC for this event

Andrew Morello - Winner of the Apprentice & Business Development manager for YBR and MC for this event
Let's superchage your Business 

Andrew Morello, winner of the first season of The Apprentice Australia, credits his strong work ethic as the catalyst for his success. Morello’s lifelong exposure to the property and finance industry, natural enthusiasm and outstanding sales skills mean he is adept at providing people with the service and outcome they are seeking.

A natural leader from his days at St Bernard’s College, Morello founded his own business at the age of fifteen and never looked back. Morello is now Head of Business Development at Yellow Brick Road, and is working closely with Executive Chairman Mark Bouris to further grow Yellow Brick Road’s expanding branch network. Morello is also the co-founder of online jewellery company Bellagio and Co. and a founding member of The Entourage, Australia’s largest educator and community of entrepreneurs with over 85,000 members around the world.

Morello’s number one mantra is that relationships are the key to a lifetime of success.

Abigail Forsyth - Founder and CEO of KeepCup

Abigail Forsyth - Founder and CEO KeepCup
Making an Innovative Idea a profitable Business

Abigail Forsyth is the founder and CEO of KeepCup which is the world's first barista standard reusable cup. Since founding KeepCup in 2009, the brand has developed into a global phenomenon with over 800,000 environmentally conscious commuters adopting the trend.

Entrepreneur and mother of two Abigail Forsyth has always been a passionate problem solver. The world of hospitality and the huge quantity of food packaging used within it alarmed Abigail and Jamie and, as such, they began searching for more sustainable and environmentally gentle ways to serve food. Unimpressed and uninspired by the design of reusable cups on the market, Abigail and Jamie decided to design and manufacture their own version. Lightweight and stylish, BPA free and non-toxic, the world's first barista standard reusable cup, KeepCup was born.

From modest beginnings, the KeepCup is now keeping drinks warm throughout Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, USA, South Africa, parts of Asia, and throughout Europe, with plans to broaden their 'Hot Espresso. Cool Earth" footprint even further.

Alec Potts, 2016 Olympic Bronze Medallist

Alec Potts - 2016 Olympic Bronze Medallist
It's about the Journey

At only 20 years of age, elite athlete and Olympic Medalist Alec Potts shares his experiences gained during his Olympic journey. He speaks of how he was banned from his main training venue in the year leading up to the games, and how he dealt with this challenge to come out on top. Reflecting on his involvement in the sport, Alec shares videos from his road to success and anecdotes of the adversity he faced to get to the podium.

Potts started archery in 2008 and made his international debut in 2011 at the World Youth Championships. His best World youth result came in 2015 when he finished 17th. in 2016 he made history as part of Australia’s Olympic Bronze Medal winning team.In 2015 he made his senior world championship debut for Australia placing 33rd in the individual and helping Australia secure the three spots for Rio 2016 by placing eighth in the Team event.He made his World Cup debut in 2015 and at the Shanghai World Cup in May 2016 he recorded the highest Australian international score of 685 to be third in qualifying. He finished the tournament in 17th and ninth for the Team event.Potts is self-employed and runs an archery store called Eliza Archery with sales and teaching. He shoots different bows, ranging from longbows to compounds to crossbows. He also spends a fair bit of time on the water kayak fishing.

Omar De Silva - Co-founder and CEO The Plato Project

Omar de Silva - Co-founder and CEO The Plato Project
Purpose driven Business

After numerous business attempts growing up, and a couple of successful ones, Omar finished school and chased the dream of becoming a professional golfer. Realising this wasn't to be, he quickly found his passion for business. Most recently Omar’s focus has been on education and the entrepreneurial eco-system of Australia. In 2014/15 Omar developed and launched Australia’s first and only bachelor degrees in Applied Entrepreneurship and Applied Social Entrepreneurship with an education startup Ducere, truly disrupting the education system in Australia.

In 2015 Omar became an Ambassador of the G20 Global Entrepreneurship Week and in 2016 is working as a Sherpa with the G20 Australian Young Entrepreneur Alliance.

In February 2016, Omar co-founded The Plato Project - a new business school driven to foster entrepreneurship and business leadership that unlocks both commercial and social value.

Alex Synergy8

Alex Cumberland - Operations Synergy8
Your digital footprint - practical tips for making it happen regularly

Alex is the Operations Manager of Synergy 8, a platform that takes all the power and features of complex website and marketing systems, and provides one simple solution for advertising your business through digital.

Alex's experience carries through both implementation and training, so he's perfectly placed to provide insight into strategies for consistently producing content that drives the right kind of customers to your website from search, social media and e-mail marketing.

Vend & retail industry

Cat Morgan - Director of Channel APAC VendHQ
Future proof your business: Learn more about the retail tech trends that will have major impacts on the retail industry 2017 and beyond.

Nadia Hughes - Director SMART Business Solutions

 Nadia Hughes - Director SMART Business Solutions
Federal Budget Update

With the Federal Budget being announced the night before the conference Nadia & her business partner Shannon will provide a summary of the implications for small business.

Nadia Hughes joined SMART Business Solutions at the end of 2013 and has continued to work tirelessly in partnership with Shannon to grow a highly successful business. Receiving a ‘New Partner of the Year’ Australian Accounting Award within less than 12 months is a testament to Nadia’s dedication and skill.

Nadia brings a wealth of experience having worked with countless business owners and high net worth individuals. Nadia’s clients always tell her she is the first accountant they have worked with who actually explains financial concepts in plain English – she never leaves a client with a blank stare.

Having set up and run several successful businesses, Nadia thrives on helping her clients navigate legal and tax challenges so they can focus on growing their business and maximise their wealth.

In her spare time Nadia is a chauffeur for her four active children. She is passionate about health and fitness and establishing equal opportunities in the local community. This is demonstrated in her pro bono work with underprivileged people, teaching them finance skills for life.

Shannon Smit - Director SMART Business Solutions

Shannon Smit - Director SMART Business Solutions & Transfer Pricing Solutions
Federal Budget Update 

With the Federal Budget being announced the night before the conference Shannon & her business partner Nadia will provide a summary of the implications for small business.

Under Shannon's leadership, SMART Business Solutions has become the Peninsula's most awarded accounting firm, with a reputation for working proactively with clients to help them manage their tax obligations and grow their wealth. Shannon has also owned several successful businesses and property developments, so she understands the challenges business owners face.

Shannon Smit’s career has spanned global firms in New York, Prague, Amsterdam and Melbourne, before she settled back on the Peninsula and set up SMART Business Solutions in 2007. She wanted to give local business owners to access an advisor with extensive global expertise, without having to travel to the city. On the weekends you'll find her organising fundraising events for her children's school or sporting clubs.

Wayne Schmidt - Karbon HQ

Wayne Schmidt - Entrepreneur, Keynote Speaker & Karbon HQ
Social proof is the new word of mouth

From launching Xero in Australia from his kitchen table in Melbourne to speaking in front of 15,000 business owners in Chicago, with all the battle scars in between. Wayne’s renowned for taking businesses to the next level. Digital is the new handshake. Wayne’s passionate about how you can leverage social selling and social proof to grow your business, no matter where you’re in the business life cycle journey

Yolande Hughes - Inspire Tribe

Nikk Hughes & Yolande Hughes - Inspire Tribe
Your thinking determines your income level

Inspire Tribe founders Nikk and Yolande Hughes are passionate about mindset! They have a proven track record working with committed entrepreneurs, leaders and companies achieving outstanding results by leveraging an individual's potential to create success.  Nikk and Yolande offer outstanding mindset mentoring programs based on their own cutting-edge Intellectual Property for teaching emotional intelligence.  Over the past five years, Inspire Tribe has delivered these outstanding programs to leaders at National Australia Bank, Endota and of course Smart Business Solutions.

Their programs are logical, easy to implement and provide participants with deep insights into themselves and their leadership styles. Mindset mentoring is available for Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Managers and Teams through 1:1 mentoring and various group programs. 

Pippa Hanson

Pippa Hanson - Managing Director, The Sports Injury Clinic
Panel - Efficiencies that changed our business

The Sports Injury Clinic, a multidisciplinary and progressive Allied Health business.  Pippa’s focus is on Strategic Business Operations, growth and human resources.  Achieving success through well documented policies and procedures,  measurable marketing programs and staff wellness programs to ensure that the business operates productively in all areas at all times.  

Pippa promotes the culture of excellence to her dedicated team. “Our inherent mission is to create customer focused values to deliver solutions, services and products that are the benchmarks for the industry”. This excellence was recognised by being the overall ‘Excellence in Business’ winner at the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula Excellence in Business Awards. (2011) and category runner up (2012).

Pippa has lectured in Business Management / Human Resource Management, and has previously worked in government positions before establishing The Sports Injury Clinic 13 years ago.

Work life balance and health are extremely important to Pippa who, with a young family, spends her planned spare time enjoying being a wife and a mother to three children.

Pippa has a strong commitment to being actively involved in the local community both personally as well as in business. She has appeared as a key note speaker in various events and forums and enjoys engaging the audience. Pippa is a key member in local business network groups and consultative committees both as a representative for local business as well as contributing as a business mentor.

Matt Bebe

Matt Bebe - Managing Director, Mornington Peninsula Brewery
Panel - Efficiencies that changed our business

Matt took his passion for drinking beer to the next level and co-founded Mornington Peninsula Brewery, opening its doors in September 2010. Today it is recognised as one of Australia’s top craft breweries with arguably the best core and speciality range in the country. Mornington Peninsula Brewery growth has been amazing distributing both nationally and internationally proudly promoting their origin at all times. Matt continues to be involved in regional tourism building awareness for the area.

The Brewery Bar in Watt Rd Mornington enables customers to experience seven beers on-tap with some wood-fired pizzas while sitting in and amongst the stainless steel of the brewery.

Matt’s enthusiasm for the brewery and the beer is very evident – however don’t get trapped having a brewery tour and taste with him he can talk for a while! 

Hollie Black

H ollie Black
General Manager - Select Scootas Pty Limited & Director - Armadillo Scooterwear Pty Limited

A family business, Select Scootas has been importing and distributing motor scootas throughout Australia since 1999. Select Scoota has maintained it's position as the number 1 scoota importer for many years.

A focus on quality second-to-none scootas, back up of spare parts and the best service possible is what the business has been built on. Whether it has been day-to-day commuters, rental fleets or commercial scootas , we keep our customers on the road. And with nearly 30,000 scootas sold so far, Select Scootas is doing something right!

The company has also moved into other businesses including Eureka mobility scootas , protective clothing and bash plates for ATVs