VC Catalyst - Wade Institute

VC Catalyst

An immersive executive education program for active investors to gain the best practice tools and skills to make successful early stage high growth venture capital investments.

VC Catalyst is an exclusive multi-part program designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the venture investment space. Delivered online, the program has been developed to maximise engagement and collaboration.

This program is one-of-a-kind in Australia, delivered by Wade Institute and sponsored by LaunchVic. You will engage with a curated cohort of diverse participants and experts from local and international markets who will share best practice skills, networks, and thought leadership to help you craft a strong investment thesis.

VC Catalyst also includes the rare opportunity for six months of expert mentoring, continued learning and development through alumni events and masterclasses, and access to Australia’s most innovative entrepreneurial network.


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Program delivery: 10-day online intensive delivered over two 5-day sprints, Demo Day and six months of mentoring

Intensive dates: 8-12 May and 22-26 May 2023

Cost: $10,990 (+ GST)

Victorian residents are eligible for a 20% fee reduction

Delivered by: Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship, Ormond College – Melbourne, Australia


Powerful network of VCs, angel investors, experts and fellow investors for generating future deal flow

Tools to successfully navigate and engage with the venture capital ecosystem

Insight and guidance from 1-on-1 mentoring with some of the world’s leading VCs and VC investment education experts

Actionable strategies and tools for building and managing high-yield portfolios

Methodology to assess opportunities against your personal investment philosophy

Exposure to startups, deals and investment opportunities

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I think investing into early stage startups requires a leap of faith. And I think what I learned about myself [from VC Catalyst] is that I’m ready to take that leap. I’m quite comfortable with that risk level.

Elina Wilson (VC Catalyst alumna, 2019)

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Program structure


We bring together academics and industry practitioners to deliver immersive and relevant content.


Demo Day is an opportunity to put your learnings into action and get front row access to exciting startups.


Your mentors will help you over six months as you seek to implement what you have learned.

The VC Moment White Paper

The VC Moment is a new report on how venture-backed companies can transform Australia for the post-COVID era.

A deep dive into the Australian VC ecosystem, the report explores where the opportunities lie, and how investors can harness them to create a thriving technology export sector that will bring our innovation to the world. From software-as-a-service, to healthcare, deep technology, cybersecurity, space technology and agtech, the report shows that the startup sector is thriving, and investors today have a unique chance to break into the local VC ecosystem from its early stages.

There’s no time like the present for Australia’s VC ecosystem. The VC Moment demonstrates why investors have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape the nation’s economic future.

Read more

Some of the most compelling opportunities are in niche areas easily overlooked, but with the potential to grow exponentially for decades. We have seen this in health-tech where computing power has intersected with existing clinical practices and diagnosis, and long established models and practices have essentially become redundant.

Alister Coleman, Managing Partner, Folklore Ventures

2022 speakers

VC Catalyst is delivered by a world-class selection of practitioners and academics. Here are just a selection of the 2022 speakers, including Lead Facilitator, Rachael Neumann.

Wade Institute team member
Rachael Neumann

Founder, Flying Fox Ventures

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Wade Institute team member
Colin McLeod

Executive Director, Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre

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Wade Institute team member
Pedram Mokrian

Adjunct Prof, Stanford University

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Wade Institute team member
Justin Angsuwat

Chief People Officer, Blackbird

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Wade Institute team member
Alister Coleman

Founder, Managing Partner at Folklore

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Wade Institute team member
Kylie Frazer

Co-Founder and Partner, Flying Fox Ventures

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Wade Institute team member
Nisha Dua

Co-Founder and Partner, BBG Ventures

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Wade Institute team member
Peter Gahan

Professor of Management and Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), University of Melbourne

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Wade Institute team member
Peter Huynh

Co-Founder and Partner, Qualgro

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Wade Institute team member
David Kenney

Partner, Hall Chadwick (Sydney)

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Wade Institute team member
Jill Klein

Professor, Melbourne Business School and Melbourne Medical School

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Wade Institute team member
Leila Lee

Head of Distribution, Square Peg Capital (Melbourne)

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Wade Institute team member
Kate Cornick

CEO, LaunchVic

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Wade Institute team member
Bryn Leggett

Founder and Director, HelloCFO (Melbourne)

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Wade Institute team member
Jules Miller

Partner, Mindset Ventures (Nashville)

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Wade Institute team member
Paul Naphtali

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, rampersand (Melbourne)

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Wade Institute team member
Rayn Ong

Venture Partner, Archangel Ventures (Sydney)

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Wade Institute team member
Nicole Small

Founder, Start Small Ventures

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Wade Institute team member
Rachel Yang

Partner, Giant Leap Fund at Impact Investment Group (Melbourne)

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Wade Institute team member
Will Richardson

Managing Partner, Giant Leap

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Wade Institute team member
James Tynan

Partner, Square Peg

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Wade Institute team member
Jodie Imam

Co-CEO, Tractor Ventures

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Wade Institute team member
Taryn Pieterse

Investment Manager, Rampersand (Sydney)

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Wade Institute team member
Christie Jenkins

Investor, Blackbird

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Wade Institute team member
Chris Hitchen

Managing Partner, Possible Ventures

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Founding partner: LaunchVic

LaunchVic is Victoria’s startup agency. Established by the Victorian Government in 2016 as an independent agency responsible for developing Victoria’s startup ecosystem. Their investment into our program will improve the local investor education landscape and help create the next generation of startup Angel and Venture Capital investors.



Our approach

Best practice learning bringing together leading academics, investors and experts to deliver immersive and relevant content.

Active mentoring to complement deep learning with ongoing feedback and guidance to help you tailor the tools and tactics for you.

Unrivalled access to leading Australian and international investors sharing their playbook for venture capital investing.

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Express interest

Our Program team will be in touch with further details.

2.2 VC Catalyst Enquiry Form (LIVE)
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Who is this course best suited to?

VC Catalyst has been created for active investors with a demonstrated history of investment. We are primarily seeking participants with the capacity to invest and who possess the ability to make a sizeable impact on Victoria’s startup ecosystem. We recommend reaching out to us directly to discuss whether this program is the right fit for you.

Am I obligated to make any investments during the course?

There is no obligation to make an investment during the program. We do however encourage active investors to take advantage of Demo Day and the 1-on-1 mentoring relationship to support making a deal if that aligns with their investment plan.

How do I apply for a scholarship?

We are committed to ensuring that the VC Catalyst program includes a diverse range of participants, faculty and guest speakers.
To ensure this, we have five full tuition scholarships on offer for each cohort.

Merit will be awarded to participants who have shown an active commitment to diversity and inclusion and will use their attendance in the program to promote and support a more diverse investment landscape. You will have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship during the online application process.

Who are the teachers/faculty and what are the class sizes?

VC Catalyst is delivered by distinguished practitioners and experts from around the world. From Silicon Valley to Asia and Australia, our thought leaders bring wide-ranging experience to workshops and masterclasses. Additionally, speakers are made available for the program’s six months of one-on-one mentoring.

VC Catalyst class sizes range from 20-30 participants. Cohorts are kept deliberately small to facilitate optimal discussion and collaboration.

Do you accept applicants from outside of Victoria?

Applications are open to both Australian and international residents. Victorian investors who are accepted into the program will receive a 20% fee reduction.

Who will my mentor be?

Speakers and faculty, alongside experienced Australian investors, will be made available for one-on-one mentoring throughout the six-month mentoring period. You will have limited access to the entire cohort of mentors during this period.

What’s the application process? How will you select the participants?

All applications are to be made online. Participants will be selected on their suitability to the program and to create a diverse cohort of participants. You will be notified of your application outcome shortly after submission.

I’ll be unable to attend one of the days/sessions, how will I make this up?

In-depth class materials will be provided where a participant is unable to attend a session. However, exposure and interaction with faculty and fellow participants is an incredibly important component of this program and so it is strongly encouraged that you try and attend all sessions. Let our program manager know as early as possible so that we can try and accommodate you.