Our Approach


The Hanger is Victoria University's latest endeavour into the startup space. The stimulator provides students, staff and local business with the expertise and networks of three Entrepreneurs in Residence and access to world class design services. 

The Hanger is the premier entrepreneurial space in the West of Melbourne. In the Hanger the evidence-based experimental approach of lean startup thinking meets the practical nature of business where salaries and bills need to get paid at the end of the month.

The three Entrepreneurs in Residence at Victoria University use the Hanger to run continuous initiatives aimed at creating the next wave of world changing entrepreneurs. Dedicated to making a significant positive impact on the West of Melbourne.

The Hanger unlocks the state-of-the-art facilities and in-depth domain expertise of Victoria University for local innovators. Being part of the Hanger means access to office space, and the significant experience and networks of the Entrepreneurs in Residence. The Hanger is also home to world renowned creative studio Black Lake, with creatives from Black Lake offering up their services to residents of the Hanger.

The Hanger is open to everyone who is keen to address some of society’s biggest, hairiest and most audacious problems. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, academic, staff member, local business owner or if you have no ties to the university or the West. All we require is an inquisitive mind and the drive to talk to customers to identify and analyse their problems.

Meet the team

We are a diverse bunch with a single common defining characteristic: We believe in the importance of developing entrepreneurs. 

But at least as important as our common defining characteristic are our unique characteristics, the qualities and experiences that make us truly diverse, different and representative of the context we work in. 

This is not an average team. We have mixed experience, cultural backgrounds, gender, trajectories and areas of focus, to work on start ups, local businesses and initiatives that matter. Matter to society, matter to education, matter to the economy, matter to the community, matter. We make it Matter.

As with all teams, this is the tip of the iceberg, there is a large network of supporters, affiliates, family and friends that help us be rad. Come get involved and meet them all!

Gus Balbontin. EIR

Gus Balbontin is the former Executive Director and CTO of Lonely Planet. Gus worked with some amazing companies such as Google X, Apple and Nokia to help Lonely Planet tackle the digital revolution and muscle through a decade of disruption.

Gus is currently deeply involved in the start-up scene as a founder, investor and advisor.

When he’s not working on his latest project, Sneaky Surf, Gus can be found travelling with his family

Jordan Gian. EIR

Jordan Gian is a designer and thought provoker - But mostly a creative entrepreneur. Specialising in thoughtful reactions created through design, business and the occasional act of public nuisances to provoke an action of thought or change.

Jordan's time is split between designing things that look and feel nice, like fit-outs of spaces or branding and identities of Companies, And working on his own brands and businesses to make sure the wheels keep turning. 

Thomas Anbeek. EIR

Thomas is a builder with a passion for entrepreneurship and startups. After spending a number of years as a management consultant, the Erasmus University and the Rotterdam School of Management engaged Thomas to aid in establishing the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE). 

After moving to Australia Thomas became the first employee at Startup Victoria. At Startup Victoria Thomas was responsible for growing the community from 3,000 to 11,000 startup enthusiasts, and taking the organisation into sustainability. 

At Startup Victoria Thomas was also involved in co-founding the above all human conference, Australia's premier startup conference. The conference has attracted 1,500 attendees and speakers like Steve Huffman (Reddit), Justin Kan (Twitch), and Waleed Aly (The Project) among others.