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Get to know Dr. Marcus Tan and Kirsty Packer who will be leading the 2024 Plus Eight Accelerator Program

Mar 6, 2024

This year, the 2024 Plus Eight Accelerator program is opening its doors to a new era of innovation and is set to be bigger and better than ever before. As Australia’s leading seed-funded accelerator program, the Plus Eight Accelerator holds an impressive track record, serving as the catalyst for local startups reaching new heights on the global stage.

This year, we’re excited to introduce a new team who will be leading the 2024 program. Get to know this year’s Entrepreneur in Residence and Program Lead below.

Dr. Marcus Tan, Entrepreneur in Residence
Deeply woven into Perth's vibrant tech startup ecosystem, Dr. Marcus Tan is a visionary entrepreneur, investor, and company director. This year, he assumes the pivotal position of Entrepreneur in Residence for the program. With over two decades of clinical and commercial expertise, Marcus has seamlessly navigated senior leadership  roles within both startup ventures and large organisations.

Marcus was  the Founder and CEO of Healthengine from 2009 to 2023, where he orchestrated a remarkable transformation, by raising around $80M in corporate and global venture capital he elevated Healthengine to become one of Australia's premier online consumer health platforms. With an illustrious career marked by innovation and leadership, Marcus will continue to aid in shaping the innovation landscape by helping local startups achieve international success through the Plus Eight Accelerator.

“The Plus Eight program has had a strong track record of identifying and supporting high calibre founders and providing them with the support to go on to raise further funding to grow their impressive businesses.”

“In conjunction with an amazing lineup of mentors, I’m looking forward to discovering the talent that is out there in the startup ecosystem and helping them make a huge impact on the world. We are looking for ambitious founders looking to solve big problems with the courage, cleverness and hustle to fight their way through the inevitable roadblocks along the way.” Marcus shared.

Kirsty Packer, Program Lead
Bringing a wealth of experience in investment finance, Kirsty Packer is taking on the role of Program Lead for the program. She is currently also Investment Manager at Purpose Ventures, a $46 million venture capital fund in WA. Previously, Kirsty held pivotal positions including serving as the Head of the British Consulate in Perth and the Director of Investment for the UK's Department of Business and Trade. In these influential roles, she led initiatives that played a crucial role in facilitating the seamless expansion of Australian and New Zealand companies into the dynamic UK market.

With her extensive experience in investment finance and aiding companies to scale internationally, Kirsty will provide this year’s cohort with invaluable insights and strategic guidance through the international immersion trip to London.

“I’m very excited to take on this role, building on the success of previous years and with the increased support of our Partners this year. The Plus Eight accelerator is a fantastic program, supporting founders and companies in WA to scale and go global.”

“Applications are now open for entrepreneurs looking to take their start-up or scale-up to the next stage. Many companies that have previously completed the program have gone on to achieve great things and I’m looking forward to meeting and working with this year's cohort to reach their potential.” Kirsty shared.

The 2024 program will officially kickstart at the end of April, following an intensive bootcamp, where selected startups will pitch, pivot, and present their ventures for a coveted spot in Phase One of the program.

We’re extremely excited to launch this year’s program next month, as it’s set to mark our most substantial year yet, all thanks to the increased support from our esteemed corporate partners. This year we’re welcoming the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation and Sherkane to our lineup, who will be supporting the program alongside BetterLabs, Woodside Energy, Vici Ventures, adapt, Hawaiian, Jackson McDonald and DFK Gooding Partners. This heightened collaboration ensures the 2024 program to be an unparalleled success.

If you’re a high-growth startup looking to scale globally, access a pool of over $800K seed-funding, attend international immersions and connect with world-leading mentors, funders and investors, apply now for the Plus Eight Accelerator program. Click here to learn more and get started on your application (applications close on March 29.)