TEAM

Meet the people behind the people.

We’re a close-knit, collaborative group who have helped build and advise hundreds of companies at the seed stage here and around the world. But we’re humans first and hard-working startup land people second.

MEET OUR TEAM

Independent minds, working as one.

Skalata is a community helping one another succeed. This includes our team, board, portfolio founders, advisors, investors, and broader network. When you work with Skalata, you work with all of us.

Rohan Workman

Co-founder & CEO
Rohan has been an integral part of the Australian startup ecosystem for nearly a decade as a founder, director and advisor. Previously, he was the Director of the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP).

Maxine Lee

COO
Maxine is a leading authority in designing programs which help companies from inception to growth, and acquire their first round of funding. In 2020, Maxine was named in Forbes 30 under 30.

Anthony Glenning

Fund Manager
Anthony is a seasoned investment professional and Non-Executive Director with a career spanning over 25 years in the software development industry, 14 of those in California's Silicon Valley.

Paul Mann

Chief Financial Officer
Paul has an extensive background in financial services gained in Australia and the UK. This includes 14 years of experience as CFO and acting Managing Director of the Future Fund—Australia's Sovereign wealth fund.

Tom Smalley

Investment Manager
Tom brings a wealth of legal and financial experience to Skalata, having spent five years working for leading Australian corporate law firm King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) in the Corporate M&A team.

Mei Chesson

Financial Controller
Mei brings more than 15 years of corporate accounting and finance experience to Skalata Ventures, having previously worked at KPMG, GlaxoSmithKline and Toll Holdings.

Sam Henderson

Head of Marketing
Sam has over 10 years of international marketing experience, and has helped accelerate growth in both early-stage and ASX-listed financial and technology companies.

Sarah Abendschein

Administration Manager
Sarah has extensive startup and technology sector experience, having previously worked in San Francisco at Australian-founded PDF software company Nitro.

Shahirah Gardner

Venture Partner
Shahirah is an award-winning entrepreneur and currently co-founder of Finch, a data intelligence company. She is one of Australia’s leading women in tech, and was recognised as the country’s “Rising Fintech Star” in 2018.

Mark B Johnson

Venture Partner
Mark is a strategic advisor, board member and executive coach for a number of tech companies in Australia and the US. For the last two decades, he has worked within the VC community in Silicon Valley.

Guy Franklin

Venture Partner
Guy is a strategic technology leader who co-founded real time video streaming company, mView. He has also led teams at Telstra Labs and mentored startups at Telstra’s Accelerator, muru-D.

Justine Lum

Head of Investor Relations
Justine brings a wealth of experience in both investment banking and law, having previously worked at Morgan Stanley, Macquarie Bank and international law firm, Ashurst.

Kush Premachandra

Community & Events Coordinator
With five years experience in the events and communications field, Kush is passionate about fostering purposeful connections that lead to meaningful growth.

Natalya Grabavoy

Content Marketing Manager
Natalya has 8+ years professional experience in the marketing and content space, and previously working for major brands including Groupon, helping build their voice and presence through social and content marketing.

Claire Bristow

Associate
Claire began her career in Academia, obtaining a PhD from Monash University where she went on to hold a Lecturer position. She previously founded her own startup, which scaled to a community of over 14,000 women.

Been there, done that.

Previous early-stage investments made by Skalata's leadership team. They've gone on to great things...

Series A
AI
After raising a US$30m Series D round in 2020 from US VC firms, Aktana has grown to over 300 employees and over half of the top-20 global pharmaceutical companies are Akatana customers
Pre-seed
Clean Energy
Following commercialisation of its world-first solar distribution system, Allume Energy recently closed a $6m Series A round co-led by Taronga Ventures and The Schmidt Family Foundation to accelerate its expansion into the US and UK.
Pre-seed
eCommerce
After raising a Series B round from investors including AirTree and Bailador, Brosa now has over 75 team members across Australia, China, India and the Philippines.
Pre-seed
Automotive
Carbar has grown to over 70 employees and is one of Australia’s fastest-growing automotive tech start-ups. IAG bought a majority stake in 2019 for A$16.8m. Carbar then raised over A$50m in funding in 2021 and a further A$28.9 million in 2022 led by IAG and new backer Seven West Media.
Series A
Marketplace
DesignCrowd now plays host to over 1 million designers in its community. The company has raised an A$6m Series B round and A$10m Series C round from institutional investors including AirTree and Regal Funds Management.
Pre-seed
SaaS
Since launching in 2017, Kepler Analytics has deployed its retail analytics technology in 5500 stores across 25 countries. Customers include Aēsop, Hanes Group, Officeworks, Hudsons Bay and Pandora. Kepler raised a A$22m Series B round in 2022 led by OneVentures.
Series A
SaaS
Following its 2019 IPO and listing on the ASX, Nitro has grown to a market capitalisation of over A$500m and is now generating annually over $40m in revenue.
Pre-seed
Hardware
Nura has raised over A$23m from investors including a $16m Series A round led by Blackbird Ventures and joined by Napster Co-Founder Sean Parker’s Strangeloop Ventures. Nura’s NURATRUE earphones were named one of the best inventions of 2021 by TIME Magazine.
Pre-seed
SaaS
Omny has served more than 1 million podcast episodes and works with some of the largest broadcasters in the world – including seven of the top 10 US radio networks. After raising a $1m Series A round in 2014, Omny was acquired by Triton Digital in 2019.
Pre-seed
Clean Energy
Relectify raised a Series A funding round in 2021 from VC firms from the US, Japan, Europe and Australia. Relectrify is using the funds to expand in the US, Europe and Asia. It has also partnered with Nissan, Volkswagen and IBM.
Pre-seed
Augmented & Virtual Reality
Smileyscope’s VR-based paediatric injection technology has won or been shortlisted for over 30 awards, including from Stanford University.