Why We Exist

When we created Innovation Bay in 2003, it was never meant to be a business. We were a couple of young startup founders who wanted to learn from the experiences of others who had come before us. What started as a few casual events has evolved into a thriving national community of tech founders and investors, but we have never moved away from the founding philosophy of learning from others.

We are a trusted, independent voice at the centre of the ANZ tech ecosystem. Uniting our community around quality events, programs, and curated content that tell truth about the founder experience.

We help entrepreneurs take the next critical steps in their business. We connect them with peers, mentors and investors who share knowledge, expertise, and networks to help them reach their goals.

At the centre of the Australian technology ecosystem

We exist to better the Australian technology landscape, by providing a platform for entrepreneurs to learn, raise capital, network and collaborate.  We believe Australia’s future is deeply connected to our ability to create great companies, drive innovation across all sectors of the economy, and enable an environment that supports and enables entrepreneurialism. Our desire is to live in a country where innovation improves the lives of all citizens and makes the world a better place.

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How we're helping


Community Members


Seed Funding Raised


of valuable connections made


of Founder Stories shared

Our History

Innovation Bay founded

April 30, 2003

Innovation Bay is cofounded by  Ian Gardiner and Phaedon Stough to help them grow the tech entrepreneur community for support and collaboration.

Meetups hosted

May 1, 2003

Host first event with guest speaker Tim Pethick founder of natural fruit smoothie giant, Nudie 

Founder Dinners Launch

April 30, 2010

Founder Dinners are started to connect the community. Bringing together emerging technology entrepreneurs who pitch their businesses to our investor community for funding, connections & advice over a relaxed dinner.

IB launches in San Francisco

April 30, 2011

Cofounder Phaedon launches Innovation Bay in San Francisco, to offer Aussie entrepreneurs who move to the Bay Area a community to engage with and support them.

National Event rollout

April 30, 2014

Innovation Bay launched events Nationally in Melbourne, Perth & Adelaide.

First National Sponsor

April 30, 2017

KPMG join as Innovation Bay’s 1st National Sponsor.

First Venture Downunder

April 30, 2018

First Venture Downunder

Innovation Bay run the first Venture Downunder, venture capital conference. An exclusive trip for venture partners to New Zealand’s stunning south island. There are no spectators at Venture Downunder, making this a fully immersive offline conference designed to give participants space and time to stretch their thinking and expand your

AWS and Macquarie join as Sponsors

April 30, 2018

Macquarie Bank & Amazon Web Services join as the second and third national sponsors to Innovation Bay.

2nd VDU

February 1, 2019


New City Ambassadors

March 5, 2019

DID WE HAVE THEM before this date? was there a new state that this was rolled out to?

Launch Summit Club

April 30, 2019

A private, invitation-only, members association for exceptional Founders, who come together multiple times a year to learn and share in highly curated events which have been designed by the members. The aim is to drive greater collaboration, share knowledge and deepen connections to empower and inspire future business leaders. The

Online community launched

May 1, 2019


Virtual events series

April 30, 2020

As a reaction to COVID-19 IB moves all events to virtual events to continue to address and educate our community.

In the last month we participated in many pitch night events and by far the Innovation Bay founders dinner was the most valuable. The structure of the night and the feedback together with a list of genuine leads is like no other.

Roei Yaakobi, TieUp Farming

Innovation Bay has been a great supporter of Expert360. We've been introduced to a world class network of advisors and investors through their events. They are a great springboard for start-ups in Australia. We raised $100k through the Innovation Bay dinner.

Bridget Loudon, Expert360

We closed our Angel round directly from pitching at the Innovation Bay Angel Dinner. with great investors and quality meetings with potential clients through Innovation Bay attendee introductions. It also increased exposure for our next funding round. Great session to learn from successful founders, like the Y Combinator founders also.

Vanessa Wilson, StorReduce

Great way to dip the toe into pitching. Very friendly room. Opportunity to meet with the other founders presenting as well as the 'angels' over a drink before hand really framed the evening nicely. As opposed, to entering a cold room which you do in a lot of other pitching environments. We did meet one angel who invested in our pre-seed raise and who has been a great supporter of our business.

Heidi Holmes, Mentorloop

Innovation Bay enabled Equitise to refine its pitch with valued mentors and also access some of the best and most active angel investors in Australia in a constructive, fun and laid back pitching environment. The guys at Innovation Bay have provided ongoing introductions to Equitise as a business following the event. What they are doing is fantastic and we certainly recommend the process to anyone considering.

Chris Gilbert, Equitise