top of page
Our Team
Investment Principal
John Dyson

John Dyson is one of the founders of Starfish Ventures. John has personally overseen and managed investments in a range of technologies and industries. John has achieved numerous exits for his portfolio companies including a NASDAQ listing, ASX listings and trade sales to local and overseas companies.


In May 1995, John was appointed General Manager (Australia) of JAFCO Investment (Asia Pacific), a Singapore based private equity manager. In this role John was responsible for establishing the Australian office, recruiting a team of investment professionals and overseeing investments into 24 companies totalling $95M invested and achieving 19 exits. Prior to joining JAFCO, John worked in the investment banking and stockbroking industries for Schroders, Nomura Securities, KPMG and ANZ McCaughan.


John is a passionate alpine skier and is currently Chair of Snow Australia's Victorian interschools Advisory Group and is a former Chair of Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board, which oversees the management of Victoria’s largest alpine resort. John is also a co-trustee of the Dyson Bequest, a $20M Charitable Foundation that provides grants to a range of social welfare, education and environmental causes. John is a board member of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and Chair of Zoos Victoria Foundation Advisory Board. John was the former Chair of Swinburne Ventures Pty Ltd (the entity responsible for the commercialisation of technology for Swinburne University of Technology).


John holds a Bachelor of Science from Monash University, a Graduate Diploma in Finance and Investment from Securities Institute of Australia, Masters of Business Administration from RMIT University and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. John attended the Stanford University Executive Program in 2010. 

From 1997 to 2002, John was a Director of the Australian Venture Capital Association Limited, including Deputy Chairman in 1998 and Chairman in 1999. John is currently a Director of Aktana, Atmail, Audinate Group Ltd, DesignCrowd, Echoview, Hearables 3D and Marp Therapeutics.


Mobile:+61 419 343 364


Investment Principal
Michael Panaccio

Michael has been a Director of numerous technology businesses in Australia and the USA including SIRTeX Medical Ltd (ASX listed), ImpediMed Ltd (ASX listed), Engana Pty Ltd (now part of Finisar Corporation), Protagonist Therapeutics Inc (Nasdaq listed) and Energy Response Pty Ltd (sold to EnerNoc Inc).


Prior to co-founding Starfish Ventures, Michael was a Investment Manager with JAFCO Investment (Asia Pacific) and was the first Investment Professional to join JAFCO's Australian operations after the office was established. Together with John Dyson, Michael established JAFCO as a leading venture capital manager in Australia.


Prior to joining JAFCO, Michael was Head of the Department of Molecular Biology at the Victorian Institute of Animal Sciences where he used his mix of commercial and scientific skills to build a large scientific department (over 20 staff) and raised over $5M from multinational drug companies. Michael is the inventor on numerous patent applications, has authored or co-authored over thirty scientific publications and contributed to five books.


Michael holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from The University of Melbourne, a Ph.D (Medicine) from The University of Melbourne and a MBA from RMIT University. Michael is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a former Chairman of the Australian Biotechnology Advisory Council.

Michael is currently a director of dorsaVi Ltd, MetaCDN, Marp Therapeutics, MarginClear, Hayylo, Cylite and Renerve.


Mobile: +61 407 322 243

bottom of page