The Story of Founders - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

On Wednesday, 15 November, four panellists took to the stage at UniSC Moreton Bay campus to delve deep into the core of entrepreneurship and navigating the entrepreneurial voyage.

Joined by 55 guests, the esteemed panel shared their varied experiences, insights and tales from their founder’s journey, and engaged in an interactive dialogue providing their diverse perspectives on pivotal aspects of founding and scaling a business.

Topics explored included:

  • The Genesis: Transforming an idea into a viable business.
  • Surviving the First Year: Overcoming initial challenges and setting the stage for growth.
  • Securing Investments: Crafting a compelling pitch and forging relationships with investors.
  • Scaling Smartly: Strategies for sustainable growth in competitive landscapes.
  • Adapting to Change: How to pivot successfully when facing market shifts.
  • Team Dynamics: Building and maintaining a cohesive and driven team.
  • Embracing Failures: Turning setbacks into learning opportunities for future success.
  • Ethical Entrepreneurship: Balancing profit with purpose and societal impact.

Meet the Panellists

Vu Tran - Co-founder of Go1

Vu Tran played an integral role in transitioning the company from a Logan startup to Brisbane's premier 'unicorn' business, achieving a $3 billion valuation. Go1 is now the world's largest learning ecosystem, linking over 300 content providers to millions of professional learners globally and pioneering the future of online organisational learning.

Ellie Bakker - Founder and Director of Splice Marketing and Telehealth Mastery

As the founder and director of Splice Marketing and Telehealth Mastery, Ellie Bakker established a reputable healthcare marketing agency that ethically promotes medical devices, health businesses, and non-profits. Honoured as Moreton Bay’s Entrepreneur of the Year for both 2022 and 2023, she attributes much of her success to the support she's found in the communities that surround her and emphasises the significance of networking and community engagement.

Ash Ivory - Head of Product at Askable

Ash Ivory, the Head of Product at Askable, is recognised for their unparalleled commitment to ensuring optimal user experience and their dedication to product development. Outside of work, Ash is known for their distinctive dry humour, passion for motorcycle photography, and advocacy for the neurodivergent community.

Ian Mason - Founder of Rainbow Bridge Education

Founder of Rainbow Bridge Education, Ian Mason has a storied career in entrepreneurship, having significantly influenced the growth of Virgin StartUp and supported thousands of entrepreneurs globally. With roles ranging from advising the UK Government post the Global Financial Crisis to serving as Global Entrepreneur in Residence at Creative Enterprise Australia, Ian is a fervent advocate for emerging business leaders and has shared his expertise on international platforms, including universities and media outlets.

Master of Ceremony - Aaron Birkby

Led by the Master of Ceremony, Aaron Birkby, Co-Founder and CEO of Tribe Global Ventures, his key takeaways from the 90-minute panel were:

Be intentional
Observing the answers from all the panel members, there is a clear intentionality to their decision-making and actions, including the work they put in to improve themselves.

Read books, listen to podcasts, and most importantly, take notes and store them in a way that you can convert them into action

Focus on what you can control
Successful entrepreneurs have a high inner locus of control, but it needs to be directed at what we can influence, not on fighting externalities

Use gratitude
To reframe anxiety and imposter syndrome into a reason to take massive action

Connect with Aaron on LinkedIn.


During the panel discussion, and as Aaron identified above, a key takeaway echoed across most members of the panel was to consume as much information as possible, whether this be by books (including audiobooks) or podcasts.

Vu also added his words of advice which is to not just "consume" the content, but also talk about it, whether that be with a colleague, partner or friend.

Ash also shared this sentiment and discussed that she's in a "Book Club" at her work where they talk about and share resources that they find helpful.

The below resources are highly recommended by the Panel:


  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't by Jim Collins
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey
  • Discipline is Destiny: the Power of Self-Control by Ryan Holiday
  • Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clear

Other resources included apps such as Reflect and Notion.

Ash Ivory has also compiled recommended resources here.

Would you like to be invited to events like this?

Innovate Moreton Bay is dedicated to connecting individuals and organisations from throughout the Moreton Bay Region with opportunities to advance innovation in our community. We regularly host events and workshops like this, as well as promote events hosted by other organisations that align with our mission. Not only this, but we highlight opportunities for funding, awards & recognition, education, and more that stands to benefit you and the rest of #TeamMoretonBay.

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This speaker event was a part of a suite of innovation programs being delivered by Innovate Moreton Bay, as part of the Council’s commitment to the Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) which includes the objective of becoming a top 10 regional innovation hub. For more information about Council’s innovation programs see: