Eighteen founders will tackle global issues from the future of work to sustainable agriculture, mental health, waste management and more through the six-month venture building program

After a nationwide search, 18 aspiring startup founders passionate about solving some of the world’s greatest challenges with technology have been selected for the third cohort of SheStarts, Australia’s only venture-backed accelerator program designed for women.

The award-winning, six-month program – run by leading venture studio and innovation group BlueChilli – is currently in its third year and is backed by ANZ, MYOB, Google for Startups, Microsoft and LinkedIn. Through the program, selected founders will gain access to BlueChilli’s venture studio to help them build their first product, find their first customer, secure their first investment and establish their first team.

The startups in SheStarts 3 were selected from over 400 applications Australia-wide, and then made it successfully through an intensive two-week bootcamp alongside 40 other finalists. The startups selected for the program:

  • Aggie Global: Co-founders Zoe, Lisa, Meerah and Chaitanyn are connecting farmers to buyers, expertise and the resources they need to improve farm productivity sustainably.
  • Ardea Waste: Hayley Rolfe and Narendran Subramaniam are utilising technology to provide better management of commercial waste.
  • Gheorg: Dr Lousie Metcalf is a psychologist and is utilising technology to improve children’s mental health – in particular helping kids with anxiety and depression.
  • Grasshopper: Co-founders Nicole Marshall and Kern Mangan-Walker created a new way of active play with sensor-enabled silicone tiles for interactive play and an app containing various games and activities
  • LetMeeh: Hitha Raja Vatsavayi is making counselling services more accessible for high school students. The platform will connect students to mental health services, digitising the process of booking and making the communication between student, counsellor and teacher more effective and confidential.
  • Loupe: Susan Beardsley and Suzy Leys are empowering highly skilled parents of young children by matching their transferable skills to jobs that meet their lifestyle needs. This platform will increase women’s participation in the workforce – turning recruitment on its head and leading with the candidate.
  • One Click Childcare: Amber Chapman and Lisa Hollinshead are creating a one-click solution for on-demand daycare. One Click Childcare AKA Parent Portal will provide parents an easy way to enrol their children in credentialed, pre-approved casual daycare facilities.
  • PetiteBeat: Franziska Seehuber created PetiteBeat, a non-invasive bonding device for expecting parents, which helps them to create an emotional connection to their baby during pregnancy.
  • Sid: Annette Jakubowicz has created a virtual buddy for people living with a disability. Sid allows a person living with a disability to build independence and capacity over time by setting small goals.

Program Director Natasha Hooper said SheStarts was created to help women with disruptive business ideas (but without coding experience) build impactful, investible and scalable startups.

“The aspiring founders selected for SheStarts are building products, brands and movements centred around issues they’re passionate about,” she said. “We can’t wait to help these inspiring women turn their bold ideas into successful startups – and grow into Australia’s resilient, tech-driven entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow.”

Alumni from previous cohorts – including BindiMaps, TalkiPlay and Neighbourlytics – have gone on to secure major partnerships and pilots, international deals, and additional investment capital for growth.

The SheStarts 3 program runs from 26 June to 27 November 2019. For more information and to follow the journey of each startup during the program, please visit www.shestarts.com.


Want more inspiration? Watch SheStarts videos here.