Indigenous Entrepreneurs

Barayamal International Startup Tour

We are excited to announce that one First Nation youth from the First Nations Youth Summit will be joining Barayamal's US Startup Tour on the 3-14 September 2018, which includes attending TechCrunch's Disrupt event in San Fransisco (with over 10,000 other attendees) and visiting some Native American business hubs in New Mexico. 

Valued at over $3,000 (flights, accommodation and Disrupt SF tickets), this is a "once in a lifetime opportunity!". Let your network know about the summit and prize, and we look forward to seeing over 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth at the First Nations Youth Summit (a Barayamal event) later this month!

Limited tickets are still available via Eventbrite -->…


Barayamal raises $13,000 for the International First Nations Startup Tour in September 2018

The Barayamal Family was able to raise over $13,000 at the 10x10 Philanthropy crowdfunding event in Sydney, which will be invested in taking some of the brightest First Nations youth to Silicon Valley and New York for our International Startup Tour in September this year.

This trip will inspire First Nations youth to "think big", learn new skills and grow their networks with the aim of building the future leaders of tomorrow who can help build sustainable First Nations Communities.

We will also be filming the trip and try to create a 'cool' TV show or short film that we can hopefully get on 📺 to inspire more youth... A massive thank you to the people at 10x10 who supported us 🙏🏼

Indigenous startup founders set to make an impact in 2018

Indigenous Australians have inhabited this land for tens of thousands of years and personally, I think that the fact I learned more about ancient Sparta and the Vikings in school than I did about the history of the land on which I actually live is a huge failure of the Australian education system.

Although there still so much work to be done preserving the Indigenous history of our nation and not just acknowledging but celebrating the fact that commerce and innovation in our country can be dated back more than 60,000 years (hello boomerang and didgeridoo), what has been great about the last two years in particular is the way in which the local startup ecosystem has embraced and supported Indigenous founders and their ideas....

First Nations Founders Stories

Phillip Harris_Indigipreneur.png

Name: Phillip Harris

Mob/Heritage: Wiradjuri and Eastern Arrernte

Business concept:
Our short-term platform is a music-booking marketplace, which aims to help connect musicians with customers. In the long run, we will be adding new and improving on existing online features that will assist in setting us apart from the generic marketplace model and our competitors. 

The biggest reward I will get out of this venture is the relationships and connections I build with and between customers, helping me create something they not only want, but also need. I am very excited to see where Aartbi takes me. 

What's your inspiration?
My biggest inspiration would be Brian Chesky and the other Airbnb founding crew. Everything about Airbnb’s journey is inspirational to me. But I also admire how they do not shy away from taking a stance on social injustices and inequalities. I wish that one day, I can help make the same social impact for my mob.

The biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I had to overcome during my entrepreneurial journey, was not having a strong technological background. I really had to dig deep and research all of the tech requirements needed to build such a platform. After spending months of learning, I was ready to bring my idea to life. It just goes to show that you don’t need to be a techy to build a tech company – there’s always ways around it.

Why do you think entrepreneurship is important for Indigenous communities? 
Indigenous entrepreneurship is pivotal towards Closing the Gap on issues concerning economic development and employment. I believe it is up to powerful and wealthy Indigenous leaders to give back by funding real solutions and hiring our own mob. Apart from being gifted footy players, we are also naturally creative thinkers and hard workers – it is time we prove that Australia.

Barayamal Budding Entrepreneurs Program kicks-off in Queensland and New South Wales


Our Barayamal’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program will accelerate your business success by providing free working space at Australia’s largest community of scalable tech startups (Fishburners) and an Entrepreneurship Development Program (mentoring from successful Indigenous and non-Indigenous entrepreneurs, workshops and training by Barayamal) for 3-months in Brisbane or Sydney

3-month Budding Entrepreneurs program kicks off today with four inspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs in the program who have access to Fishburners (Australia's Largest co-working space for tech startups) and an Entrepreneurship Development Program (mentoring from successful Indigenous and non-Indigenous entrepreneurs, workshops and training by Barayamal). 



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Barayamal joins a national panel discussion on diversity

Barayamal's Founder, Dean Foley will join a panel discussion at one of the biggest tech startup events in the world, TechCrunch Startup Battlefield.

So what's the panel about and who else is on the panel? 

Strength in Diversity: How and why to make inclusion a foundation in every startup

In conversation with Greg Moshal (Prospa), Catriona Wallace (Flamingo) and Dean Foley (Barayamal)

[Event Agenda]

A massive congratulations to our Founder for winning the IDX Entrepreneurship Award

Barayamal Founder, Dean Foley was recently announced as the winner of the Entrepreneurship Award at the 2017 Indigenous Digital Excellence (IDX) Awards.

"It's humbling to recognised by the community for the awesome work we are doing at Barayamal, which would not have been possible with my own efforts alone - without the support and mentorship from people who genuinely want to help and make a difference, none of this would have been possible. I cannot thank you enough!

I would like to thank the organisers of the IDX Awards for this extraordinary honor and to the many First Nations Entrepreneurs throughout Australia who are just as worthy of winning this award, I’m so proud to be in your company."

First Nations Founders Stories

Jesse T Martin, Founder of The Streets Movement Organisation


I started TSM due to a number of circumstances both in my personal life and circumstances
of the community and environment I grew up in. In a community context the place I grew up
in had a number of socio-economic challenges with little to no places for youth to partake in
if you had no money. I was given a home at a local boxing club where they did not charge to
attend. Once this closed the local youth who attended this facility along with myself where
without a place to call home, train or occupy our time in a positive way. Hence the reason
TSM was founded, to provide a place and path in the community particularly for those with
little opportunity or for those with nothing. TSM was born out of necessity as a response to
lack of opportunity and support within our community.


We have faced many challenges as a organisation. Some of the major ones include;

1). Knowledge and Education. In the initial stages lack of knowledge and know how in a
professional context of how a organisation is supposed to operate i.e. meetings, minutes,
departmental forms, administration etc. Being young and with little support in this regard we
were oblivious to many things that make a organisation operate efficiently day to day. This
was a major hurdle to overcome however with greater knowledge, education and
understanding we were able to remedy this fault to build ourselves into the national
organisation we are today.

2). Lack of Finance and Funding. A major hurdle which in many ways is a ongoing challenge
of any organisation. Particularly in the stages of our organisation when we have operated
community spaces and centres ensuring funding for rent, electricity and gear has always been
a struggle. For any organisation to grow and be truly effective finance is essential as it gives
your org and its staff the capacity to expand and work beyond its parameters and does not
leave you in a position of relying wholly and solely on handouts or volunteers (whom are
fantastic and fundamental to community success however still have drawbacks in that it is
only limited in what they can work towards for the org i.e. times around work, weekends etc).

3). Legitimacy and Respectability is a major challenge to overcome. Being a young org in the
beginning our greatest struggles came from any businesses, organisations or even the
community taking us seriously. Particularly a problem faced for young orgs (and young
people in general) is the stakeholders seeing the enthusiasm but not taking yourself or the
organisation in any serious way. This in turn impacts the org in a major fashion as you are
unable to acquire the support or funding necessary to drive forward your programs.

4). Keeping staff/volunteers motivated. A challenge faced for many orgs is keeping your staff
and volunteers motivated and excited for the cause they are representing. We found that
although volunteers are in abundance keeping set individuals for a prolonged period of time
in tackling major community issues (many of which require constant and consistent attention)
is a challenge. As many people have lives outside of this volunteerism and give only set
hours or pieces of time when they can. Due to this being a secondary priority volunteers and
staff can lose motivation, focus or even interest in dealing with issues which impact the
community and org.

5). Consistency. A major hurdle to overcome is consistency, which can encompass a vast
array of different aspects. Consistency in program outreach, staff/volunteer approach,
organisational quality, community action etc. Consistency is key in building a solid
reputation as well as having a meaningful and ongoing impact within the community.

6). Belief in the oneself and the organisation. It is all too often to find yourself asking why
you are doing what you are doing? Within the organisational context this holds true with at
times a hard and bumpy road ahead. At these times when you are alone, isolated and without
a dollar to your name these are the trying and testing moments which as an individual must
be overcome so as you can embody what it means to be a leader and an individual who stands
for your org and cause no matter the cost. I faced too many of these moments to count being
at times without a home, bed to sleep in or even where the next meal was coming from?

However during these times it is important to remember who you are and why you are here.


Belief and Attitude. Whether the challenge was possible or impossible was irrelevant. It was
necessary to overcome.


TSM is currently in a expansionist phase having now grown from a local grassroots
organisation with a regional impact to now having its first national program with an
international focus. Being able to offer a program which engages on the local grassroots level
to communities across the nation whilst being able to bring in international networks and
partnerships for these individuals is what we hope to hold. The utilisation and knowledge of
both worlds is fundamental to ensuring a successful outcome for our latest venture the
Mulumulung International Scholar Initiative.

Future growth for the organisation will encompass greater community development projects
and impact. With greater expansion through Asia poised to centre stage over the next 12 to 18
months we will deliver our initiatives and opportunities not only on the national stage but
through providing pathways to the international community. Through utilisation of
educational institutions and companies worldwide we look to frame our programs to have a
holistic impact upon individuals and community. Through the utilisation of education this is
truly the way forward for not only us as an organisation but for us as a species.

Favourite Quote

"Veni. Vidi. Vici"
"I came. I saw. I conquered".
Julius Ceasar.

CoderDojo First Nations is helping close the digital divide by teaching Indigenous youth how to code

In a recent interview with Caama Alice Springs our Founder, Dean Foley was asked to talk about the exciting collaboration opportunity with CoderDojo to teach Indigenous youth how to code because of the digital divide.

Also included in this podcast is Minister Nigel Scullion, who discusses the push to see more pre-settlement Indigenous history introduced into Australian primary schools.

Interview -

CoderDojo First Nations -



Meet Dean Foley, a 27-year-old Kamilaroi man and the founder of Australia’s first Indigenous Startup Weekend and Barayamal an Indigenous startup accelerator to showcase Indigenous entrepreneurs.

After finishing Year 12, Dean left his hometown of Gunnedah in rural NSW to join the RAAF.

“The RAAF was an awesome experience but when I learnt about Richard Branson and entrepreneurship I discovered my real interest is in business. So I decided to pursue my dream career of becoming an ‘Entrepreneur.’”

“I rushed into the business world with a ton of enthusiasm, I was fortunate enough to run into a business guru who gave me greater clarity about what I wanted to achieve, which has allowed me to enjoy the process/journey,” Dean said. [Read More...]