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VCCI Speed Networking: Event Review

By Business

Lachlan and I attended the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry ‘Fast Forward Speed Networking’ event.

The event was held on Wednesday 13th of June from 5.30pm-8pm. Located at the RACV City Club on Bourke Street, it was a perfect venue for a large networking event.

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, otherwise known as VCCI host regular networking events throughout the year for like-minded individuals to meet and form connections.

Business Growth Partners are members of the organistion. We often attend their events as we find its a great way to meet people and form meaningful business relationships.

The idea of speed networking is that you have two minutes to chat to the business contact in front of you. Before moving onto the next business contact.

This quick 120 second conversation allows you to introduce yourself, your business and discuss who you are and what your business does.

After the formal speed networking ends, there is an opportunity for all attendees to continue to network over drinks and canapes. The RACV Club served up a delicious section of food and beverages.

The type of businesses that attend the Speed Networking event was a mix. There were business owners from different industries ranging from small businesses to large corporate firms such as the big Banks and education providers. There was quite a lot of business development managers at this event.

Overall, I’ve attended a few speed networking events over the past few months and I find them quite enjoyable.  It’s loud, fast paced and quite an interesting way to meet a large selection of businesses. It’s also a great way to perfect your elevator pitch.

Things to Note:

  • Location: RACV City Club, Level 2, Club Pavilion, 501 Bourke Street, Melbourne, 3000
  • Highlight:  Meeting a selection of new businesses
  • Cost: Complimentary ticket with new membership
  • Hot Tip: Bring a lot of business cards


  • Venue:  5/5
  • Catering: 5/5
  • Speaker: 2/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 4/5

Total: 16/20



Rankin & Co: Women in Fashion and Design: Event Review

By Business

Megan and I attended the Rankin & Co ‘Women in Fashion and Design’ drinks and networking event on Thursday 3rd of May. The event was held at Misuzu’s, an authentic and delicious Japanese restaurant in the heart of Albert Park.

We were invited by Rob Roy Rankin, the Director of Rankin & Co, a law firm. At the event,  Megan and I met a range of his work colleagues. We were also introduced to Rob’s contacts and clients who had known Rob for years.

Rob often hosts these evening event throughout each year as it’s an opportunity for Rob to introduce some of his fashion and design clients to all the attendees as well as networking with like minded individuals.

The venue was a suitable choice as the event was quite intimate and relaxing. All attendees sat around a curved table sharing stories and enjoying delicious food and wine that Rob had organised for the night.

Megan and myself were fortunate enough to receive an attendance gift, a stila matte lipstick from MECCA which we were extremely grateful for.

Things to Note:

Location: Misuzu’s, 3/7 Victoria Ave, Albert Park, 3206

Highlight: The food and the MECCA gift

Cost: Free

Hot Tip: Be quick when circulating the tables to network


Venue: 4/5

Catering: 3/5

Speakers: N/A

Networking Opportunity: 1/5

Total: 8/15

DM Forum: Dando and LinkedIn Present: Event Review

By Business, Uncategorized

On the first Tuesday in May, Business Growth Partners attended the DM Forum hosted by Frank Chamberlin. The event was held at the Monash Conference Centre on Collins Street from 6-8pm.

The DM Forum is an casual after-work function that is held quarterly on a Tuesday evening throughout the year.

The presenters for the event were Steve Crough, Founder of the Dando, as well as Helen Hollins, the General Manager of Dando.  A digital agency in Richmond. The second speaker was Kae Hum, Head of Enterprise Sales for LinkedIn.

Kae Hum was a great public speaker and kept the audience engaged through his presentation. LinkedIn has over 550 million members globally. ! As majority of individuals and business owners have a LinkedIn presence, it was interesting to learn about the tactics for businesses to reach their marketing objectives through LinkedIn.

The DM Forum is always great to attend, Frank makes such an effort to connect individuals and businesses owners together. Every time I go, I meet a selection of interesting attendees who are at the DM Forum out of interest of the speaker and enjoy the great event that Frank hosts.

The sandwiches are a favourite and a highlight with the crowd.

There is limited time to network at the event – it is key to get to the venue before 6pm to have a opportunity to network with like minded individuals. The type of attendees were a lot of Monash marketing students as well as digital agencies. The key speakers tend to speak for about an hour and a half. In this case, make sure you get in early to network and to eat some of Frank’s sandwiches!

Things to Note:

Location: Monash Conference Centre, Collins Street, Melbourne, 3000

Highlight: The sandwiches and speakers

Cost: $32

Hot Tip:  Get in early to network



Venue: 5/5

Catering: 5/5

Speakers: 4/5

Network Opportunity: 3/5

Total: 16/20


Steve Crough from Dando presenting

Kae Hum from LinkedIn presenting

Alibaba Group – Conversation with Daniel Zhang: Event Review

By Business

Megan and I attended  the Alibaba Group: Conversation with Alibaba Group Global CEO Daniel Zhang on Monday 23rd of April.

The event was held at the Plaza Ballroom, on 191 Collins Street, Melbourne. The venue was incredible and the interiors were stunning. We arrived to a red carpet entrance where attendees were able to get their photo taken with the Alibaba sign behind.

Walking down into the ballroom, it was quite interesting to view the various selection of products on show that Alibaba sell online including vitamins, Kathmandu jackets, baby powder formula, goat milk moisturizes, petfood and sunscreen.

The MC was Ticky Fullerton who moderated the discussion with Daniel Zhang, he was fascinating to listen to and so modest. The atmosphere was electric as all attendees came out of interest to listen to Daniel and the other speaks talk. Following on, we were introduced to four new high level panellist who discussed more about the platform and its use.

The panel included Christine Holgate, the Managing Director and Group CEO of Australia Post, Damien Gance, Co-Founder of Chemist Warehouse, Jessica Rudd, Founder of Jessica’s Suitcase and Maggie Zhou the Managing Director of the Alibaba Group.

The evening continued on after the discussions, were there was a cocktail reception with a big selection of food and drinks. The catering was delicious and some of the best food I have eaten at an event this year.

As it was quite hard to chat while we were seated. There was a chance however to network with the attendees during the cocktail reception. Majority of the attendees we encountered were either managers or business development managers from companies which sell on Alibaba.

Overall, we were extremely impressed by the turn out and set up of this event and hope Alibaba hosts more events in the future.

Things to Note:

Location: Plaza Ballroom, 191 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Highlight: The food and the key speakers

Cost: $38

Hot Tip: Linger near the waiters who are serving food



Venue: 5/5

Catering: 5/5

Speakers: 4/5

Network Opportunity: 3/5

Total: 16/20


Fireside Chat: The Future of Work: Event Review

By Business

I attended Fireside Chat: The Future of Work on Wednesday 11th of April. The event was held at WeWork, a co-working space in the heart of the CBD on Elizabeth street.

The shared space layout at WeWork was very interesting with various areas to set up for work as well as meeting rooms to book for clients. There was a large outdoor seating space too with a lot of co-workers from WeWork mingling together.

The attendees were a selection of university students, attendees who wanted to come and listen to the key speakers and members of the WeWork collaborative space.

Georgia Beattie, the executive manager of Spacely moderated the discussion between the panelists. The theme was the future of work which is the theme for the entire of April for WeWork.

The panel included Tony We from Weploy, Jamie Dawson from WeWork, Jane Pirovich from Hall & Wilcox and Julian Waters Lynch from TypeHuman. These panelist came together to discuss the ways in which technology and innovation are influencing the way of the future of the workplace.

The changes in culture, fast advancement of technology and work hours have developed over the years. These changing conditions are affecting the way we work, where we work and when we work with a huge focus on work-life balance and flexibility.

Majority of the panel discussed the benefits of working in a creative co-working space. The are around 80-90 spaces in the city alone. This will continue to grow as workers understand the importance of creating a shared workplace environment especially for the evolving start-up and entrepreneur culture in Melbourne.

Overall I really enjoyed the panel discussion as well as hearing their personal stories within their industries of work.

Things to note:

Location: WeWork, Level 4, 152 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, 3000

Highlight: Very interesting discussions by the panel

Cost: Free

Hot tip: There was no food so make sure to bring a snack. Could get a water from the co-working space bar.



Venue: 4/5

Catering: 0/5

Speakers: 4/5

Networking Opportunity: 2/5

Total: 12/20

Culture Amp: People Geekup by Culture Amp – Melbourne 2018.03.22 Event Review

By Business

On Thursday March 22nd, I visited Culture Amp Melbourne’s new office to learn about the current state of diversity and inclusion in organisational teams at its March People Geekup event. Sue McNamara (Head of People & Culture at ‎Cbus Super Fund), Didier Elzinga (Co-Founder and CEO at CultureAmp), and Valeria Ignatieva (Co-CEO & Founder at ‎DCC Jobs) answered prepared and audience questions around various issues of diversity and inclusion. One interesting point of discussion was how Cbus has made great effort in ensuring that the majority of its roles could be fulfilled by someone working remotely.

The evening began with half an hour of networking over some refreshments before the panel discussion officially began. While the panel was scheduled to end at 7.30pm to allow for another half-hour of networking, it actually ended close to 8pm.

The audience was comprised mainly of human resources staff members from various medium-large organisations with the majority of them being female. It was great to see representation from varying age ranges as well, although, it would have been nice to have seen more diversity in terms of ethnic background.

I really appreciated how the discussion covered a multitude of topics within the scope of diversity and inclusion. One example centred around how, even in 2018, applications are not given a second glance because the applicant does not possess a Western surname.

All in all, while the discussion was very interesting and relevant, the event was not suited to Business Growth Partners because it did not cater to small business owners. HR staff members and team leaders would greatly benefit from the type of advice and knowledge that was shared at this People Geekup event.


Things of note:

  • Location: Culture Amp office, 31 Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Highlight:The discussion
  • Cost:Free
  • Hot tip:Get in early to secure one of the comfier seats


  • Venue: 4/5
  • Catering: 3/5
  • Speaker: 4/5
  • Networking opportunity: 2/5

Total: 13/20

Tim Smith’s Speed Networking Review

By Business

I attended Tim Smith’s speed networking breakfast on Monday 19th of March. The breakfast was a early wake up, starting at 6.45am at the Little Collins Street cafe, Henry and the Fox.

I was invited by Tim, from Sable International who successfully ran this event.

Before we began in our speed networking, we sat down and ate breakfast. I ordered the smashed avocado and cherry tomatoes on toast which was delicious. It was a great chance to relax and get to really know the attendees. .

The speed networking was very fast paced and loud but the cafe, Henry and the Fox was a perfect environment for a event like this as we were placed in a back room.

Similar to speed dating, there were two long tables where you sit across the table from a partner and have 30 seconds each to introduce and chat about your business. This is where it is important to master your pitch as 30 seconds is a very quick time frame to discuss your business!


The turn out for Tim’s speed networking event was really good, with up to 45 people attending. A few attendees stood up and spoke about other networking events around Melbourne that they find useful to attend such as Fresh Hub networking, Your Time Matters events and South East Manufacturing Association (SEMA). They host regular networking events every fortnight.

This event is a perfect opportunity to network and meet like minded individuals for someone who is new to networking.

Tim has a wide selection of networks from different industries. It is recommended that you join his mailing list as Tim sends regular emails with upcoming events each month.

Things to Note:

  • Location: 525 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 3000
  • Highlight: Meeting new people and learning about their business
  • Cost: $25 for breakfast
  • Hot Tip: Bring heaps of business cards and a pen


  • Venue: 4/5
  • Catering: 5/5
  • Speaker: 3/5
  • Networking Opportunity: 5/5

Total: 17/20

Crescent Institute: Gavin Smith at the Crescent Institute Event Review

By Business

On Tuesday February 27th, Business Growth Partners Director Natalia and I had the pleasure of hearing Gavin Smith (President at Bosch Australia) speak at the Crescent Institute. The event was held within Mercer Wealth’s offices at 727 Collins St, Docklands.

Gavin provided a very candid and honest depiction of his journey from a socially awkward young man to the warm leader that he is today. He repeatedly reminded everyone that there was no secret to his success other than to embrace opportunity whenever it appears. He even highlighted the fact that it was very rare to see someone like him, one who started out in the information technology department, leading an organisation’s senior executive team. Gavin enlightened the crowd by explaining how Bosch proved naysayers wrong in embracing the potential of internet-connected appliances and cloud computing. Furthermore, he also noted how Bosch is majority-owned (92%!) by charitable organisations and continues its founder’s legacy of making the world a better place.

The event was well-organised, with Crescent Institute providing ample time to mingle and network before and after Gavin’s presentation. The venue was neat and tidy, and the catering was varied and delicious. The majority of the attendees appeared to be employees from large organisations, but there were a handful of entrepreneurs looking to strike up a conversation with Gavin after the event. All in all, there was no shortage of smiles and business cards exchanged.

I would definitely attend another event by Crescent Institute, and I look forward to its next networking evening.


Things of note:

  • Location: Mercer Wealth, 727 Collins St, Docklands
  • Highlight:Gavin Smith’s anecdotes
  • Cost:$32.41
  • Hot tip:Head to Tower 1 to find Mercer


  • Venue: 4/5
  • Catering: 4/5
  • Speaker: 5/5
  • Networking opportunity: 4/5

Total: 17/20

City of Whittlesea Economic Development Team: Coffee and Connect Networking Series – February Event Review

By Business

On Friday February 23rd, I attended the Whittlesea City Council’s monthly Coffee and Connect networking catch-up at Santos Café and Bar in South Morang.

It was a small but friendly event, with a handful businesses from around the Whittlesea area gathering to share stories and advice in the venue’s outside entertaining area. The open-air environment lent itself well to the comfortable atmosphere and the complimentary food and drinks ensured that everyone stayed for a while.

There was a diverse group of people in attendance, ranging from someone who had moved down from Brisbane to take over a local clothing business to representatives from banks and credit unions. Readers who are based around Melbourne’s Northern suburbs may find it useful to attend and connect with local businesses.

It was interesting to see the City of Whittlesea asking attendees to choose the event series’s next name. I would have very much liked to have learnt more about what the council has been doing for small businesses in-person instead.

While I may not attend this event again, I am interested in a larger event that is centred around the council’s small business growth efforts.


Things of note:

  • Location: Santos Café and Bar, 2/795-801 Plenty Rd, South Morang
  • Highlight:The friendly faces
  • Cost:Free
  • Hot tip:Bring a jacket in the colder months


  • Venue: 3/5
  • Catering: 3/5
  • Speaker: 2/5
  • Networking opportunity: 4/5

Total: 12/20

Startup Grind Melbourne: Startup Grind hosts Rick Klink (OpenMarkets / Paritech) Event Review

By Business

On Thursday February 21st, I attended Startup Grind Melbourne event where it invited Rick Klink from OpenMarkets/Paritech to speak about his transition from corporate life to one of an entrepreneur and the ever-changing cryptocurrency landscape.

Rick spoke at length about working at IBM during the personal computing boom of the 1980s and early 1990s and how the Australian industry was small enough that recruiters would approach students directly on campus. He spoke about how IBM invested significant training resources in its staff and provided him with the vigour to embrace change. This philosophy carried him to his pioneering work in surfacing end-of-day trade date through Paritech and CommSec and continues in his latest venture, an online stockbroking platform named OpenMarkets.

Given OpenMarkets’s work within the cryptocurrency arena, the event attracted attendees from those who are curious about the concept of blockchain to entrepreneurs on the cusp of their own initial coin offerings. It was very interesting to see how Rick, who could very easily be mistaken for a tradition stockbroker at first glance, openly embraced cryptocurrency through OpenMarkets and viewed it as a legitimate way of trading going forward.

As with last time, the event was held at MYOB’s Cremorne office, so seating was quite lacklustre and the food was decent.

Despite the venue’s shortcomings, I would still attend future StartUp Grind events because they represent a great opportunity to meet entrepreneurs and learn about the origins of some of Australia’s most successful leaders.


Things of note:

  • Location: MYOB, 167 – 169 Cremorne St, Cremorne.
  • Highlight:Rick’s anecdotes about computers that were the size of rooms
  • Cost:From $30
  • Hot tip:Find a good seat with a cushion


  • Venue: 2/5
  • Catering: 2/5
  • Speaker: 4/5
  • Networking opportunity: 4/5

Total: 12/20