The University of Sydney IT Alumni Association (USITAA)

Discussion Forum Start-up Companies


University of Sydney IT Alumni Association discussion forum on start-up companies was held on 24 February 2010.

The panel are:

Matt Barrie MSEE Stanford BSc Hons, BEng InfoSys Hons
Chief Executive Officer of

Jan Bartel BA, MA
Chief Engineer and co-founder of Mort Bay Consulting and Webtide

Benjamin Ranck BE SoftEng
Chief Executive Officer and founder of All Over Geo

Greg Wilkins BSc Hons
Chief Technical Officer and co-founder of Mort Bay Consulting and Webtide

USITAA President Mark Webb is the host.

More information on USITAA.


Matt Barrie

Matt Barrie is a technology entrepreneur with experience building and operating companies from concept to supplying global market leaders in network equipment, hardware, software, semiconductors, consumer software, telecommunications and network security. He is currently Chief Executive of, the world's top micro-outsourcing website with over 1 million registered professionals. Previously, he was founder and CEO of Sensory Networks Inc., the leading developer of OEM high performance network security processors, and prior to this cofounder of Dilithium Networks Inc., the global leader in converged video solutions for mobile and broadband networks with over 60% market share in media gateways in the telecoms market. At Sensory, Matt took the company from its genesis to over 70 employees, operating in four locations worldwide and supplier to vendors of network and security equipment including McAfee, LG, Astaro and others. He is very active with startups and has been a non-executive director or adviser to many technology companies.

He has raised over $37M USD in financing from venture capital, strategic investors and through government grants. For the last eight years has also been an external lecturer at the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of Sydney. He is the co-author of over 20 US patent applications. Matt has first class honours in Electrical Engineering and Science from the University of Sydney and a MSEE from Stanford. In 2006, he was awarded the State Pearcey Award for contribution to the IT&T industry.

Jan Bartel

Jan Bartel is the Chief Engineer and one of the co-founders of Webtide, and Mort Bay Consulting.

She has extensive industry experience as a team leader and consultant, working with java, J2EE, and other key related technologies. She is a contributor and committer to a number of open source projects in addition to Jetty, of which she is one of the project leaders.

During her 20 year career, she has delivered both client-side and server-side applications in industry sectors as diverse as online services, telecommunications, and banking and finance.

Jan received her B.A and M.A (Pass) degrees in Computer Science from Sydney University, Australia.

Benjamin Ranck

Benjamin graduated from the University of Sydney Faculty of Engineering with a degree in Software Engineering. His new venture, All Over Geo, develops mobile applications for the building and construction industry. He returns to Australia after 5 years in the United States which included acting as CTO and co-founding a data-mining technology company, ChatterSpike Inc. Prior to ChatterSpike he worked as a software engineer for a Fortune 100 company, Liberty Mutual.

Benjamin's previous experience includes enterprise consulting and freelance programming. He is passionate about high-growth entrepreneurship especially in the information technology space.

Greg Wilkins

Greg is the lead developer of the Jetty open source servlet server and a member of the experts group for the servlet specification from the Java Community Process. Greg has contributed to Geronimo, JBoss, activemq, DWR and other open source projects.

Born in Sydney in 1964, Greg graduated from Sydney University with an honours degree in Computer Science in 1986. Since then he has worked as developer, designer, team leader and architect on varied problem domains including telecoms and WWW.

Greg is the founder of Mort Bay Consulting and the CTO of Webtide, which was recently acquired by Intalio.