Free, booking required.


Tue 22 Mar
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm


Melbourne Connect - Forum 1
700 Swanston Street, Carlton VIC, Australia


Wheelchair Access

Sustainable Startups: Designing for a Circular Economy

Sustainable Startups: Designing for a Circular Economy Past Event

Presented by Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre

This masterclass focuses on how sustainable startups are brought to life, from identifying a problem through to creating solutions that enable sustainable businesses. The panel will include three expert speakers with a link to the startup and social space in Melbourne. Topics covered include: social impact, sustainable startups, circular economies, positive change in business through environmental sustainability



Rory McNeice, MAP Velocity Program Manager

Rory has spent most of his professional life in innovation and entrepreneurship, working with startups, corporates, universities, and small businesses to develop new products and services and embrace new ways of thinking. He has a long MAP-adjacent history, first through working with Omny Studio which came through MAP’s inaugural cohort in 2012, and then as part of the University’s Carlton Connect Initiative, establishing the Melbourne Connect Precinct and hosting MAP at LAB-14.

As a business consultant and advisor, Rory has helped startups and small businesses in Australia and the UK identify and improve their product-market fit, build and refine their business plans, and secure private and grant funding to bring their innovations to market. From time to time he also makes use of his formal education: a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science & Philosophy) and a Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne, and a Certificate of General Management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Roelof Vogel, Instructor, Innovation Practice Program, University of Melbourne

Roelof Vogel had a corporate career in the Packaging Industry for a collective 30 years in roles that have spanned South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Western, Central and Eastern Europe as well as Asia. His roles have been in Operations, Sales and Marketing and Executive Management and he spent 26 years with Amcor until end 2017.

In the startup space his experience includes establishing a startup company in re-enforced plastics using a process called Resin Transfer Moulding. He was the General Manger of the startup company, Conveyor Belt Monitoring, that went on to win the NSW Exporter of the Year Award in 1989. His new and passionate interest lies in the concept and practice of the Circular Economy.

Roelof now divides his time between his academic studies in the Circular Economy, his consulting activities, as an Instructor on the Innovation Practice Program at the University of Melbourne and as a MAP mentor to the start-up company Bardee, involved in the processing of food waste. His formal qualifications are an MSc (Eng), MBA and M Industrial Relations and he is a PhD candidate researching the diffusion of Circular Economy innovation.

Rhianna Knight, Founder and Director, Team Timbuktu

As a sole founder, Rhianna’s industry experience and background in fashion, in addition to her tenacity and perseverance have been instrumental to her success with Team Timbuktu so far. Rhianna went through the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) in 2020.

After completing a Bachelor of Applied Science (Fashion Design & Technology) she managed design and production for a snowboarding apparel company. With this experience in addition her years of freelancing, creating and optimising other businesses ecommerce experiences, resulting in a resourceful and varied skillset, ideal for an entrepreneur. She was a semi-finalist for Seven News Young Achievers award in 2019 for her progress within sustainability in Team Timbuktu. Rhianna recently became one of the first recipients of funding from LaunchVic’s Alice Anderson Fund. Named after the founder of Australia’s first all-woman motor garage in the 1920s, the Alice Anderson Fund is a $10 million angel sidecar fund supporting women-led startups.

Daniel Prohasky, CEO and Co-Founder, Curvecrete

Daniel Prohasky is an architectural engineer and roboticist passionate about translating research towards industry adoption in Australia, particularly in the building design and construction industry. He is the CEO and Co-Founder of Curvecrete, an advanced manufacturer and robotics development company focused on delivering on elegant low-carbon construction. Curvecrete went through the Translating Research at Melbourne (TRAM) Air Program in 2018 and the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) in 2019. He is also the founding lecturer in Architectural Engineering at Swinburne University and was Swinburne’s 2019 Design Faculty Innovation Fellow to further develop his innovative advanced manufacturing venture, Curvecrete.

Daniel represents Curvecrete as a founding member of the NSW government’s MECLA program, on a mission to incentivise the use of low-carbon material use in construction to accelerate the implementation of solutions to the climate crisis.

He has deep industry knowledge in applied research outcomes for multi-disciplinary engineering firms, and works across institutions and innovation precincts bringing teams together to solve some of the most pressing challenges in the building and construction industry. His focus is on the exploitation of advanced manufacturing and automation techniques towards more resourceful methods of construction; and the utilisation of higher levels of computational integration and interoperability to achieve the former in orchestration with all environmental, operational and construction factors.

Daniel has his sights set on taking Curvecrete’s innovative processes and products much further – to construction projects not just on Earth, but the Moon, Mars and beyond.