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CommBank names first five businesswomen for Silicon Valley tour

Friday, 8 March 2013 | By Michelle Hammond

Queensland businesswoman Yvette Adams will take part in a study tour in Silicon Valley along with nine other women, two years after appearing in the 2011 StartupSmart Awards Top 50.


Adams, who won two awards at the 2012 Women in Technology Awards, is the founder of The Creative Collective, a digital media and training agency servicing clients around the country.


Based in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, Adams started the business from her home in 2007 after the birth of her second child.


In 2011, The Creative Collective appeared in the StartupSmart Awards Top 50.


Now Adams has been selected as one of 10 women to participate in a study tour in Silicon Valley through the Women in Focus network, an initiative of the Commonwealth Bank.


From May 13-17, the bank will take 10 Australian businesswomen to Silicon Valley for the opportunity to meet start-ups and entrepreneurs.


The tour is aimed at female entrepreneurs with a high growth, high potential, innovative business with global or disruptive business models and growth plans.


Applications for the program closed today, so the list of participants is still being finalised. However, StartupSmart can confirm the following businesswomen will join Adams on the tour.


Pascale Helyar-Moray, Style Rocks


Style Rocks allows consumers to create jewellery exactly as they want it. With a date reminder system, the business promotes itself as the perfect gift solution.


Fiona Anson, HireMeUp


HireMeUp describes itself as Australia’s best part-time job site. It helps people find part-time jobs, casual work, project jobs and temp jobs.


Louise Curtis, Lollypotz


Lollypotz is an award-winning supplier of chocolate bouquets, hampers, baskets and gifts. Consumers can order online, over the phone or by visiting a Lollypotz store.


Natalie Chapman, Gemaker


Gemaker specialises in commercialising new inventions for SMEs and research organisations in the renewable energy, mining, nuclear/radiation and new materials sectors.


The focus of the study tour is on learning from the innovative workplace practices, business models and emerging technologies applied by businesses and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.


“The trip will challenge you to devise new applications of learnings to existing business models; with both an Australian and global application,” the CBA website says.


“All delegates will be asked to share their learnings and experiences from the trip, and the changes it has made to your business thinking, back to our broader community.”


Adams says the trip represents a “dream come true”.


“Over the New Year period I set myself some goals and one was to go to Silicon Valley in 2013,” she says.


“I didn’t know exactly who I was going to go with, or how I was going to make it happen, but for some time I’ve had a burning desire to go there. Now it has come to fruition I am naturally very excited about it all.”


Adams says she is in the process of figuring out how to best utilise her time in Silicon Valley.


While visiting the offices of tech giants like Google and Facebook “would be really cool”, Adams says she is trying to think laterally about the challenges and opportunities Australian tech businesses are facing.


“I want to home in on what will make the biggest difference to Australia’s digital future,” she says.