Dean Foley is a proud Kamilaroi man who grew up within the Aboriginal community in Gunnedah, NSW. Dean was never a good academic and after completing year 12 and receiving low grades, he felt he wasn't smart enough to get into university. Instead of further studies, he joined the Royal Australian Air Force which was a dream come true to serve in the Australian Defence Force like his grandfather who fought in numerous locations in World War II and was one of the Rats of Tobruk. 

After reading a book on entrepreneurship and learning about entrepreneurs like Richard Branson who are making a difference in the world, Dean decided to leave the Air Force to learn what it takes to run and grow businesses. Despite working under world-class entrepreneurs Dean wasn't able to get any real support from organisations that were suppose to help Indigenous Entrepreneurs.

Instead of complaining and letting it get him down, Dean continued to work hard and study at university when ilab invited him to Australia's Health Startup Weekend. After attending the event, Dean decided to run his own Startup Weekend to inspire, promote and support Indigenous Entrepreneurs - Australia's First Indigenous Startup Weekend

From that successful event Australia’s Indigenous Business Accelerator was born, Barayamal - now known as a world leader in Indigenous Entrepreneurship.

 Dean Foley

Dean Foley

Dean served five years in the Royal Australian Air Force before founding Australia’s Indigenous business accelerator, Barayamal – now known as a world leader in Indigenous Entrepreneurship. Dean is an action-oriented entrepreneur, Microsoft RAP Advisory Board Member, winner of the Indigenous Digital Excellence (IDX) Entrepreneurship Award, and proud Kamilaroi Man who grew up within the Aboriginal community in Gunnedah, NSW.

Barayamal History

August 2016 - Australia's First Indigenous Startup Weekend, a 54-hour event that had over 40 aspiring Indigenous Entrepreneurs attend to learn how to start a business in a weekend and achieve their self-determination aspirations to break the poverty cycle and help their communities through entrepreneurship.

November, 2016 - Australia's first Indigenous Business Accelerator Program was run in collaboration with Slingshot, which educated and supported five Indigenous startups over a four week period in Fishburners.

April, 2017 - with the help of Australia's leading law firm, Clayton Utz helped Dean to incorporate Barayamal as a legal entity and secured charity status to help Barayamal increase its social impact.

May, 2017 - Barayamal organised Australia's first Indigenous charity hackathon called Give Backathon, which helped four Indigenous charities overcome challenges and increase their social impact by providing tech-based solutions.

June, 2017 - first Entrepreneurship and Coding workshop delivered by Barayamal for 20 Indigenous youth in Brisbane.

June, 2017 - Barayamal’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program is announced to support Indigenous Entrepreneurs, which will provide 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 and Sydney. 

August, 2017 - CoderDojo First Nations is launched to inspire and empower Indigenous Youth with confidence and opportunities to achieve their dreams and create a better world for all who live in it. CoderDojo First Nations is a nationwide network of coding clubs aimed at Indigenous Australians.

September, 2017 - Barayamal Founder, Dean Foley is appointed to the Microsoft RAP Advisory Board to provide valuable insights and advice to help Microsoft achieve its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Objectives in Australia.

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

November, 2017 - Barayamal Founder, Dean Foley is the first Indigenous Entrepreneur to be a Judge and Speaker at TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield in Australia - the world's preeminent startup competition, which features 15-30 top early stage startups pitching top judges in front of a vast live audience.