Sydney accelerator BlueChilli has selected the startups for its anticipated $1 million SheStarts accelerator, which will not only involve 10 women launching new global businesses but will expose the world to each of their journeys.
Following an intense “rapid validation boot camp”, the startups were announced at an event emceed by SBS TV reporter Janice Peterson and attended by special guests Lucy Turnbull and InDigital founder Mikaela Jade.
“SheStarts is more than just a program, it’s more than an opportunity for the 10 women who are going to be starting their businesses,” SheStarts director Nicola Hazell tells StartupSmart.
“It’s about how to we bring together the whole community around gender equality and innovation.”
With $100,000 each in pre-seed capital and access to BlueChilli incubators in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, the founders will kick off the nine-month She Starts accelerator in January next year.
Australia and the world will be able to watch their journeys through a 32-week web series documenting their progress. The series will highlight the realities women face as entrepreneurs on issues like gender-imposed obligations to caring, conscious and unconscious bias, and access to investment and financial security.
HUGE thanks to our incredible #shestarts panelists @LucyTurnbullGSC @sallyannw @jade_mikaela @smaks – an honour to share the stage w you all pic.twitter.com/0CRldTHfcv
— Nicola Hazell (@nic_hazell) December 8, 2016
With corporate partners ranging from ANZ to the University of Technology Sydney, Hazell says the program a unifying effort to drive change.
“We’re able to not only make a huge impact on the lives leading these startups and lives of the people affected by global business created, but we will really showcase to young boys and girls what leadership can look like when we have diversity.”
Meet the 10 accelerator participants.
Vetchat co-founder Dr Claire Jenkins
Jenkins has been a veterinarian for over a decade and she co-founded Vetchat with Matt Hall to provide a tele-health portal that lets users make better decisions about their pets sooner.
Vetchat will offer expert advice on pets’ health and online veterinary consultations.
“Our mission is to reimagine the way we care for our pets.”
Refni founder Xiao Han
With a background in marketing and finance, Han is creating a search engine to tackle the “filter bubble” problem where users only see content platforms like Facebook and Google think they want to see.
“Refni lets you break out of your own information bubble and rediscover the world through other people’s eyes.”
AudiBle founder Anna Wright
Chartered accountant Wright is building a “navigation and information system for the visually impaired, and beyond” to transform how they navigate public places.
MediText founders Krupa Bhagani, Kruti Balakrishnan and Vikram Balakrishnan
With a surgeon on the team, this trio have founded MediText to provide a central spot for medical teams to communicate.
“It’s a real-time messaging and integration-friendly platform for optimal team collaboration.”
Honey founder Georgina Bird
With a background in non-profits, Bird is creating Honey to empower women with technology.
“Honey is a community finance tool for women – harnessing collaboration to help women achieve their goals.”
Longevity co-founder Carla Harris
Harris, a recent MBA graduate, began her career in environmental science before ending up as the executive manager of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
Her micro-savings app Longevity allows users to link everyday transaction accounts with a nominated superannuation fund so they can start saving a little more for retirement with every spend.
“We hope that being able to make a measurable difference in your super without needing large sums of money will change the way Australians think about and interact with their superannuation.”
Shark Share Global founders Lauren Meyer and Madeline Green
From small country towns, these marine biologists are creating a database that will become one of the world’s first global online libraries for researchers to share and submit biological tissues.
“Currently there is no platform available for research scientists to share already collected tissue samples with each other. This means thousands of samples get thrown out or lost in freezers, wasting resources and research opportunities.”
Brontech founder Emma Poposka Kardaleva
Kardaleva fell in love with technology in high school and has been in it ever since.
With the new platform My Bron, she wants to take personal data out of the hands of big companies and return it to the people it belongs to.
“Brontech want to hand back this power to the people, the ones that actually create it and to enable them to capture its value.”
Habot founder Alex Armitage
Armitage has extensive experience in industry software and fit-for-purpose solutions.
With tools for scheduling and goal-oriented tasks, her smartwatch apps aim to make life better for children with autism and their families.
“Habot will help parents, carers and teachers reduce stress levels in the child’s’ environment and reward success.”
FarmPay founder Naomi Stuart
Stuart is a business professional in regional Australia and comes from a farming family.
She wants to help farmers reduce risks and increase cashflow.
“FarmPay is a secure online platform that enables real time payment for on-farm grain sales.”
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