Meet our team

No overblown business coaches with “secrets to success” here.  We have put together a group of business people who have not only “been there, done that”, but are actually still doing it. 

Each of us is running our own small business that we started ourselves, so we directly understand and live through a lot of similar challenges to what you are facing.

The best part is that all of us have also worked in various roles in bigger corporates or the like and so understand their “tricks” that help them seem to find success so much easier.  We have then learned how to apply those tricks in smaller businesses without all of the BS and complications that bigger businesses bring to the world.

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Michael Nolan (BA Comb Hons (Exeter, UK), DipLaw, Dip CoL (College of Law, UK), MBA (AGSM))

Principal - On-Course Business Solutions

Now based back at home in Sydney, Michael has lived and worked in a number of places around the world. His career started in food retail, then hardware retailing, moving over to the supplier side with a couple of building materials manufacturers, and finally a stint in sports admin/marketing, before deciding to found On-Course just over 5 years ago. Since then he has consulted back into the building industry for a number of different large and smaller players, as well as the last 4-5 years working in private health insurance. Outside of work sailing in boats of all sizes has been a large part of his life, from mucking around in dinghies with his daughters, to racing at National and World Championships, to a few Sydney to Hobart campaigns on flat-out racing yachts.

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Christophe Hoppe

Founder - Bausele

Christophe Hoppé is the founder of Bausele, the first ever Swiss Made Australian watch company. Born in France and raised in Saudi Arabia Christophe started his professional career as an auditor and consultant for PWC in Luxembourg and Switzerland. He took his first job in the watch-making industry as Group CFO for TechnoMarine based in Geneva – Switzerland. Being second in charge at the age of 28 was a great learning experience that allowed him to be involved in a lot of different aspects of the business and opened his eyes to the watch-making industry in Switzerland and Asia.

He then started his own company in Hong Kong and Switzerland, manufacturing watch components for customers in Switzerland. Alexandra – his wife, was an Australian professional contemporary dancer working in Basel, Switzerland and it wasn’t easy to live apart. It was at this point that he decided to sell 50% of his shares in this successful company and move back to Switzerland taking the CFO position at Universo, part of the Swatch Group which employs 500 people manufacturing watches in various locations in Switzerland and abroad.

But the entrepreneurial bug had bitten and, after moving to Sydney in January 2010, Christophe wanted to develop his own brand based on an original concept and BAUSELEwas born!

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Steve Woods

Founder - VMCN Telecom

Born in Wollongong, and gainfully employed from 12 years of age, Steve has traversed many and varied roads, careers, as well as “side hustles”, with experience and skills spanning Adult Education, Training, Electronics, Retail, Recruitment, Business Development, Sales, Logistics, and Operations Management as well as really really heavy vehicle operations.

Having served at her Majesty’s pleasure for over a decade, Steve left the rigour and structure of the Defence Forces to pursue his dream of business ownership.  And that’s when things really started to get interesting.

Eventually in 2008 Steve started a successful small business providing bespoke Voice Data Internet and Cloud systems integration services aimed at helping other small businesses leverage the power of technology to improve their competitiveness in a rapidly changing world.

So with 10 years invested, over $10Mil in revenue generated from a lot of blood sweat and tears – and 10,023 invoices raised (as at 1 July 19) it’s time to pass on some of the valuable knowledge and experience gained.  Particularly in the often forgotten category of what NOT TO DO – Never Ever Ever !

Alongisde many years at the school of “hard knocks”, Steve holds a Master’s Degree in International Business, has advanced Diplomas in a range of disciplines and successfully graduated from the Royal Military College Duntroon. More recently though, Steve has passed all certification requirements as a “Lego Serious Play” facilitator – and is looking forward to pursuing the many opportunities this will bring.

When not busy building advanced Lego models with his two young daughters, or taking them to dance, martial arts, netball and footy, he can often be spotted bush bashing his dirt bike or cruising the streets on ‘Fat Bob’ his prized Harley Davidson.

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Mark Burrough

Principal - Burrough Photography & Design

Hailing from the UK, Mark has 20+ years in design and branding, working for clients from small businesses up to major global corporations including The World Economic Forum, UBS Investment Bank, KPMG and John Holland.

He has worked as a senior art director in both London and Sydney-based branding and communications agencies. He now runs his own successful design and photography business on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

Mark’s passion for effective design, teamed with his years of experience working with both big and small companies, has provided him with a clear perspective on what works and doesn’t work when creating a successful brand. He’s seen the shift in print-based communications to digital platforms and helped small businesses harness the power of these new mediums for their own brands.