Leadership team

Colin McLeod

Colin McLeod headshot
Professor Colin McLeod

Colin McLeod is the inaugural Executive Director of the Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre.

Colin is a Professor in the Melbourne Business School where has been the Program Director of the Master of Entrepreneurship degree and the Academic Director of the Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship since 2015. He was awarded the title of Enterprise Professor in 2016 in recognition of his contribution to industry and academia.

Colin has a long-standing interest in entrepreneurship. He co-founded his first business in 1992, which expanded to a national company with almost 200 employees, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Haas School of Business in 1995/96 during the first 'Internet Boom' (and crash!) and completed a PhD in 1998 that identified some of the key factors that lead to the successful commercialisation of innovation. He has also been a Senior Associate of the Judge School of Business at the University of Cambridge.

In 2007, Colin and colleagues at the University of Melbourne were amongst the first researchers in the world to look at co-production with customers as a source of innovation. Their research was published in the highly ranked Journal of Retailing and has been cited over 800 times by other researchers.

Colin continues to have an interest in the commercialisation of innovation, and he contributed a section called “From Innovation to Entrepreneurship,” to a recent book by Danny Samson and Marianne Gloet titled Innovation and Entrepreneurship and published in 2016 by Oxford University Press.

He is currently a Director/Investor/Co-founder of six early stage companies in retail technology, online training, wireless technology, employee management, aged care and wearable biotechnology. All these companies started in Melbourne and have raised venture capital in the US and Australia, and have expanded to offices in Silicon Valley, Berlin and Manchester with partner operations in India, Malaysia and Uganda.

Colin was a member of the Executive Committee that raised almost $200 million to construct the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre at the Austin Hospital and is a member of the AFL Research Board.

Simon Wilkins

Headshot of Simon Wilkins (TRaM)
Simon Wilkins

Simon is Director and Co-founder of Translating Research at Melbourne (TRaM). TRaM’s flagship program, TRaM Runway, is a cohort-based, experiential program to develop the entrepreneurial capability and practical business skills of researchers to maximise their commercial impact.

Since establishing TRaM in 2016, Simon has worked with teams of researchers and their collaborators to successfully engage with customers, identify market-inspired solutions, accelerate commercial traction and build high performing teams.

Simon previously led Innovation Development for the University of Melbourne’s Innovation Precinct (known as Carlton Connect), within the Vice-Principal Enterprise Portfolio, and was also previously acting Centre Director for the University of Melbourne EU Centre on Shared Complex Challenges, hosted within Carlton Connect.

Simon’s passion is accelerating research impact. He is an official Lean Launchpad™ Educator and has a background in business development with several early stage, high growth biotechnology companies in Europe and the US, as well as over 8 years’ experience in research commercialisation, working for both the University of Queensland and the University of Melbourne. Simon has also worked in management consulting, focused on strategy development at the intersection of industry, research and government.

Contact Simon - simon.wilkins@unimelb.edu.au

Georgia McDonald

Headshot of Georgia McDonald (WADE)
Georgia McDonald

Georgia is the Director of the Wade Institute and as a business leader, teacher and mentor, she is responsible for shaping and leading the strategic development of the Wade Institute. Her focus is on building relationships across the startup ecosystem and attracting a pipeline of entrepreneurial talent to undertake the Master of Entrepreneurship which is taught at the Institute.

Georgia spent the better part of her twenties living all over the world. From six months in Argentina learning to speak Spanish to eight months in Laos running a tourism business.

During the same time she nurtured a love for philosophy which would later prepare her for the world of entrepreneurship – both disciples are rooted in complex ideas and abstract concepts that require keen critical thinking and analytical skills.

Now working with hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs, Georgia is passionate about helping them develop a strong sense of purpose, the ability to work across multi-disciplinary teams, the resilience to overcome doubts and setbacks and the confidence to change the world – one startup at a time.

Contact Georgia – Gmcdonald@wadeinstitute.org.au