About us

As an independent, Victorian-government owned company, we help talented innovators and businesses to shape their IP, commercialise their research and connect with partners that can bring their ideas to life.

Our role

We recognise the industry challenge of prioritising research over commercial outcomes. Many organisations have limited capacity to develop ideas that are viable, investable and supported to reach their full potential.

We mobilise the sectors we work in by connecting the research community with industry, resulting in world-leading projects and a more innovative Victorian economy.

Our mission

Drive commercialisation

Mobilise and drive the commercialisation of IP to solve complex problems

Impact investor

Invest across the spectrum from platforms supporting deep tech and product development, all the way through to manufacturing to create jobs for Victorians

Commercial focus

Deliver commercial returns to ensure Breakthrough Victoria is sustainable beyond its 10-year remit

Patient partner

Invest patiently and viably over the long term

Catalytic capital

Act as a catalyst to grow local and global investment into innovative Victorian research and technologies

Our team

The Hon John Brumby AO

Chair

The Hon John Brumby was the Premier of Victoria from 2007 to 2010 and Treasurer from 2000 to 2007.

Mr Brumby is Chair of a number of for-profit and not- for-profit organisations including Citywide Solutions Pty Ltd, BioCurate Pty Ltd, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust and the Victorian Government‘s International Education Advisory Council. John Brumby was installed as Chancellor of La Trobe University in March 2019 and is also a Professor (Honorary) in the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne.

John Brumby was awarded an Order of Australia in 2017 for distinguished service to the Parliament of Victoria, to economic management and medical biotechnology innovation, to improved rural and regional infrastructure, and to the community. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Graduate (Advanced) of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees.

Dr Amanda Caples

Director

Amanda is Victoria‘s Lead Scientist, connecting Victoria‘s science, technology and innovation capability with business needs and with government‘s economic development activities.

Amanda is a Director of Breakthrough Victoria Pty Ltd; Chair of mRNA Victoria‘s Scientific Advisory Group; Director of Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd; a member of the VicTrack Strategic Innovation Advisory Group and the Rail Industry Development Advisory Committee. She chairs the Victorian Inspiring Australia Board to promote community awareness of science and the Victorian Quantum Technology Network to advance teaching and research in quantum technologies.

Amanda has led the development of industry and science and innovation policy in Victoria since joining the Victorian Public Service in 2002 as the inaugural Director of Biotechnology, delivering landmark initiatives including the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Professor Jane den Hollander AO

Director

Professor Jane den Hollander AO was Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University 2010 - 2019; Interim Vice-Chancellor, University of Western Australia March - July 2020 and is currently the Interim Vice-Chancellor at Murdoch University.

In 2017 Jane received an Order of Australia for distinguished service to tertiary education; in 2018 she was awarded the Business Higher Education Round Table Ashley Goldsworthy medal for individual leadership and in 2019 was named in the Victorian Honour Roll for Women. In 2020 Jane received the Australian Financial Review 2020 Higher Education Lifetime Achievement Award.

Current Board appointments include: Breakthrough Victoria (Melbourne); Navitas Ltd (Perth); Lion‘s Eye Institute (Perth) and Centre for Stories (Perth)

Joshua Funder

Director

Josh Funder is founder, CEO and Managing Director of Household Capital. Josh was a director of Celladon Inc. (NASDAQ: CLDN) and spent over a decade as partner at GBS, Australia’s largest venture funds management firm. Josh has served as chairman and director of US and Australian companies including Peplin (ASX: PLI) and Spinifex Inc. and is a winner of the AVCAL early stage investment award. He previously worked at Infinity Inc (NASDAQ: INFI) in Boston, and at the Boston Consulting Group in San Francisco. Working with the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative, Josh helped successfully negotiate reduced prices for anti-retrovirals and initiate pharmaceutical supplies across eastern and southern Africa.

Josh is a co-founder and former chairman of Per Capita, an independent progressive policy think tank. He is also author of the novel, Watson’s Pier (MUP 2015)

Joshua earned B.Sc. and LL.B. degrees at Melbourne University, an LL.M. degree at the London School of Economics and a D.Phil in intellectual property for biotechnology from Oxford University where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

Mark Johnson

Director

Mark is a strategic advisor, board member, and executive coach who has worked with Australian technology companies for over ten years both in the US and across Australia. He was an early supporter of Skalata Ventures Seed Investment Program, the Melbourne Accelerator Program, and Queensland University of Technology’s Collider Accelerator.

Having worked in and with the venture capital community in Silicon Valley for the last two decades, Mark has a track record of building businesses and teams. With experience from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies across the United States, Europe, and Asia Pacific, he brings a global perspective on business, entrepreneurship, and product development. Mark has served in both operating and director roles in technology companies from pre-funding stages through IPO and acquisition.

Mark was CEO of SkyPilot Networks (acquired by Trilliant), a carrier-class wireless broadband systems provider and an Associate Partner at Mobius Venture Capital (SOFTBANK) with a focus on mobile and software infrastructure. Prior to that, he directed product strategy at Preview Systems (acquired by Aladdin Knowledge Systems), a pioneer in the field of digital rights management and content distribution and spent 10 years at Apple in a succession of technical, marketing, and international management roles building platform ecosystems.

Sue Dahn

Director

Sue Dahn is an experienced investment specialist having founded in 1998 the Melbourne private investment advisory practice of Pitcher Partners Investment Serviced as well as served as Investment Committee Chair in the superannuation and philanthropy sectors since 2000. She acts as investment advisor to not for profits, educational institutions, membership associations and industry bodies. Sue has held governance positions on Boards for over 30 years. She is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, FINSIA, AICD and the Governance Institute.

Mrs Sandra (Sam) Andersen

Director

Sam is an experienced non-executive director with a diverse background founded on deep experience in financial services, health and technology companies. Her executive industry experience covers financial services, digital technologies, healthcare, bio-technology, funds management, transport and agribusiness. She is also Chair of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation Limited, Beyond Bank Australia Limited, Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd, and the Audit and Risk Committee for Victoria Police, a director of Secure Electronic Registries Victoria, and a Trustee of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust.

Sam holds a Bachelor of Laws and is a Certified Practicing Accountant, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Fellow of FINSIA.

Kee Wong

Director

Kee Wong is an entrepreneur, investor, advisor and Non-Executive Director with a background and qualifications in Engineering, Information technology and Business.

In 1999, Kee founded his first business, e-Centric Innovations – an IT/Management consulting firm that is still operating successfully in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore, serving large multinational enterprises and governments.

Since then, Kee has started (and invested in) a number of other businesses and today continues to invest in startup as well as established businesses globally (Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, China and US – in Silicon Valley).

In addition to running and investing in businesses, Kee also sits on a number of Boards.

Kee is a Board member of Carsales.com and InvoCare, both of which are ASX100 company listed on the Australian stock exchange.

Kee is also a Board member for the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), the Arts Centre Melbourne, the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Breakthrough Victoria and the Committee for Melbourne. He is also a member of the Victorian Government Ministerial Advisory Council on International Education and Victorian Government Ministerial Innovation Taskforce. Recently, Kee has also joined the VicTrack Strategic Innovation Advisory Group, Transform Reform Board (Victorian Department of Transport), ANU Centre for Asian-Australian Leadership Advisory Board, Swinburne University’s Technology and Innovation Committee.

Mr Grant Dooley

CEO

The Breakthrough Victoria CEO is Mr Grant Dooley, an experienced international funds manager.

Mr Dooley commenced in the role in November 2021, returning to his home town of Melbourne from Singapore where he formerly headed ARA Infrastructure, managing public and private investment across the Asia-Pacific region. He was previously an Executive Director and Head of Asia for Hastings Funds Management.

Prior to working in funds management, Mr Dooley had a distinguished career as a trade official for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including two years as the Australian Consul General in Guangzhou, southern China from 2010-12