About Us

About Us

Our Founding Story

Illume Foundation was started in 2021 by Ms Laxmi Pun who had first-hand experience of the challenges of navigating a career esp as an international student.

A decade later and with a wealth of experience and network in the startup and venture capital world, she realised that access to talent was the biggest challenge for early-stage startups.

So she built this social enterprise to connect talent with startups, provide entrepreneurial skills and mindset and the network to catalyse innovation entrepreneurship. 

Our Journey So Far


Aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goal

We believe ‘talent exists everywhere but opportunity doesn’t’. Entrepreneurship has the power to alleviate poverty, create meaningful opportunities and create the future we want and care about. 

As a social enterprise, our programs are offered at highly subsidised cost through philanthropic, government and industry support. We also offer fully funded scholarship programs for fellows from the First Nations background and communities surviving hardships. 

Our Values

We seek to build a community of talent and founders and that embody values we believe in.

Intellectual Curiosity

Having a growth mindset & be inquisitive about learning


Doing the right thing in the right way

Pay it Forward

Pave the pathway for the next generation & support one another


See challenges as opportunities and failures as learning experiences

Our Team

Laxmi Pun, Founder & Director

Laxmi led and ran the University of Melbourne’s Accelerator Program, MAP where she supported over 200+ early stage companies. 

As the Investment Director at Breakthrough Victoria (Victoria’s $2b investment fund), she focused on investing in startups and spinouts from universities. At Startupbootcamp, she launched The Talent Institute. 

Laxmi is part of AirTree Angel Network, board of GEN Australia and mentors startups through programs like CSIRO, Startspace, MedTech Actuator.

Dr. Willian Korim (PhD), Entrepreneur In Residence

Willian is a co-founder of two research-related startups in technology serving biotech and construction. 

He has worked as Postdoctorial Research fellow with the University of Melbourne, Florey Institute and Austin Health. He has published over 18 scientific articles and teaches entrepreneurship. He served as a Senior Consultant at Strategic Project Partners.

He holds PhD in  Neuroscience and Masters in Entrepreneurship from the University of Melbourne. 

Prof. Kwang Lim, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Course Advisor

Kwang is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the Melbourne Business School (MBS). His research explores the strategies used by organisations to manage inventors, scientists and the knowledge they create.

At MBS, Kwang co-founded the Melbourne Biodesign course which has successfully spun out Biotechnology companies.

Kwang holds PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

Our Fellows Guild

Our Fellows Guild provides guidance on policies and matters relating to our student and graduate community and are appointed for 2 years.

Pooja Goel

Masters of Information Systems, University of Melbourne

Abhijit Bhaumik

Masters of Information Systems, University of Melbourne

Luminous Akazua

PhD in Analytics, University of Technology, Sydney

Belle Shui

Masters in Marketing & Comms, University of Melbourne

Scroll to Top