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La Trobe Innovation and Entrepreneurship Team

Cerasela Tanasescu


Cerasela is the Director of La Trobe Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programs with the primary role of overseeing the development and implementation of a strong entrepreneurial program all over Victoria and in all La Trobe Campuses.

Passionate about innovation, Cerasela truly thinks that sustainable start-ups are the key for a better future. She perceives fostering innovation and entrepreneurship as one of the core missions of academia.

Cerasela has 7 years of experience working in universities’ incubators as a senior manager. Before taking this role, she was Program & Activation Manager at RMIT. She also held several senior management positions at ESSEC Business School in Paris, where for 6 years she developed new entrepreneurial communities in Europe and Singapore. Cerasela is also an experienced lecturer and researcher, with multidisciplinary expertise (PhD in Computer Science, Engineering Degree in Bio-Informatics and a Master in Business Administration) allowing her to build connections between different areas of research and their applied, commercialised context.

Cerasela has settled in Australia with her family since November 2014. She loves Melbourne and Victoria and has faith in the creativity of younger generation.

Mark Ryan

Business Development Manager

Mark Ryan

Marks career is built on values and lifelong learning as universal enablers.  He has been delivering business growth and B2B relationships for 25 years with a tenacious and inquisitive nature. Client success, providing the voice of the customer, and delivering mutually beneficial outcomes are key drivers. His experience and education combine to provide clients an entrepreneurial mindset to envisage innovative ways to achieve goals; execute the activities that fulfill dominant priorities; and undertake the critical analysis required to reproduce success.

Mark is also a Non-executive Director, Intrapreneur, Father and Social advocate.

Master of Business Administration (MBA), Business Management · (2007 - 2011)
Graduate Certificate, Innovation and Entrepreneurship · (2009 - 2010)
Diploma of Financial Services (2009 - 2010)

Recent Experience
Present: La Trobe University Business Development | Industry Engagement | Innovation & Entrepreneurship
2015 – 2017: Sales Manager, Australia and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance
2013 – 2015: National Manager - Broking Operations, Arthur J. Gallagher (Australia)
2004 – 2013: Senior Leader Business Development, ANZIIF

Volunteering and social advocacy
Non-executive Director and Education Committee Chair of the Risk Management Institute of Australasia.
Change Agent, The Movember Foundation

Peer support provider, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia
Founder, Shoes for School. Providing industry perspectives and participate in education and financial services industry advisory groups.

Catherine Klimes

Program Manager

Catherine Klimes

Catherine's role within the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Team is to support a number of internal and externally facing programs.

Launching a Global Markets Accelerator and number of business recovery programs is ensuring Victorian Start-ups and SMEs are well placed not to not only survive, but to thrive, during challenging times.

Nurturing partnerships further develops the universities strengths in Agri-Bio and Food, Health and Wellbeing, Digital Security and Cyber, Tech and Start-Up incubation. Doing so enables La Trobe to not only understand its “why” but ensure it is well positioned to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and divergent portfolio.

Supporting the talents and capabilities of university educated students, graduates and alumni to transition into meaningful opportunities throughout Australia, Asia and globally is a secondary core focus. To achieve this, our programs focus on identifying emerging undergraduate, postgraduate, international, MBAs, PhDs, Alumni and 1st Nation talent – and aligning their strengths with that of the growing Australian, Asian and Global

Lauren Giusti

Program and Engagement Coordinator

Lauren is a highly skilled events and programs professional with a background in developing and coordinating engaging experiences for a broad range of audiences and communities. She has expertise in internal and external stakeholder engagement and relationship building. She has a keen eye for creativity and is detailed in her communication work. Her strong administrative background has enabled her success in her previous roles.

Lauren has held previous positions in the education and creative arts industries including Monash University, the Biennale of Sydney and the National Gallery of Victoria. She has completed a Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary – Visual Arts) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Jenny Bevis

Marketing and Communications 

Jenny Bevis

Jenny has over 10 years’ experience in Event Management, Community Engagement, Marketing and Small Business.
Her experience with La Trobe University includes being a La Trobe University Alumna from Albury Wodonga, La Trobe Accelerator Program Alumna Cohort #2, and winning the La Trobe Big Idea Competition in 2015.

Jenny has worked with several Local Governments in North East Victoria and Southern NSW, Albury Chamber of Commerce and with her small business supported the private sector in North East Vic.

Jenny is passionate about entrepreneurship, small business, and engagement of young people.
She spent 3 years as Chair of a young professional association in Albury Wodonga supporting the ecosystem of regional young professionals.

Jenny holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing & Management) Advanced Diploma (Events Management) and a Diploma (Marketing).

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