We’ve met Vetchat and Bron.tech, now it’s time to meet three more startups in the SheStarts program. We have a peek into their unique experiences under this accelerator program, targeted to support and grow female entrepreneurs in the tech startup space. We’ve gathered their words of wisdom for those who want a raw and genuine insight into SheStarts, and tips on how to apply. 

Introducing Neighbourlytics

 Co-founder of Neighbourlytics: Jessica Christiansen-Franks
Co-founder of Neighbourlytics: Jessica Christiansen-Franks

Tell us a little about Neighbourlytics.Neighbourlytics is Australia’s first social analytics tool for city-makers. Powered by big data, neighbourlytics gives citymakers real-time insights into the unique social identity of the neighbourhoods they plan, create and manage.

My cofounder Jessica Christiansen-Franks and I are both urban designers and we’ve become increasingly frustrated with the types of cities we’re building. There are so many places that just aren’t working for people at the neighbourhood level. The idea for Neighbourlytics came from the frustration of having to stand on the footpath with a clipboard for hours to interview people about how they were using a space. We knew there had to be a better way!

Big data analyses data from platforms such as Google, Facebook and Instagram, as well as information on the use of local businesses, public transport and other infrastructure. Neighbourlytics puts data behind what makes ‘places for people’. 

 Co-founder of Neighbourlytics, Lucinda Hartley
Co-founder of Neighbourlytics, Lucinda Hartley

How has the SheStarts program developed your startup? But just 11 months ago, Neighbourlytics was an idea and a 5 slide PowerPoint deck. Jessica and I had been talking about the need for better data for a long time, and when I saw She Starts advertised I quickly put in an application. I didn’t even tell Jessica that I’d applied, we never dreamed that we would make the shortlist.

SheStarts has given us the opportunity to take our wealth of industry knowledge and apply it to tech. It’s opened our minds and horizons in ways that we would never have thought was possible a year ago.

Do you have any advice to share with women looking to kickstart their startup?Just start. Don’t wait until you’re ready. Looking back 12 months ago, we didn’t know what a start-up was and I thought an API (which is now one of the underpinning features of our platform) was a type of beer (but that’s an IPA). I don’t say that to be flippant, but to demonstrate that it’s really possible to build a tech businesses even if you’re not from a tech background. 

Introducing FARMpay

 Founder and CEO of FARMpay: Naomi Stuart
Founder and CEO of FARMpay: Naomi Stuart

What is FARMpay? From a farming family, FARMpay’s founding team has lived the experience of many grain growers: selling a large amount of grain with payment delayed for months and limited transparency over the grain supply chain. The industry standard for payment of on-farm grain sales is 30+ days.

Combining a strong understanding of the issues faced by all parties and extensive knowledge of the agribusiness sector, the FARMpay platform was developed to provide a better way to manage grain sales.FARMpay is a supply chain management platform that provides real-time transfer of data and rapid payment for on-farm grain sales. Blockchain ready, FARMpay provides a more efficient, equitable, transparent and secure process for grain growers, traders and buyers.

Why do you think it’s so important to have these types of programs for women in tech? 

Women are under-represented in the tech industry and as founders, unfortunately it is a fact. We need more women leading successful global tech companies to encourage others. You can’t be what you can’t see.

The SheStarts accelerator program provides support for female founders to take their company from ideation through to prototype. This support, including access to some of Australia’s business leaders and a robust program, is essential to ensure that the founders have the greatest chance to succeed. 

For me, it is also about encouraging the next generation of female founders. I’m a mother of three and one day I would love to see my daughters pursuing careers as software engineers or entrepreneurs.Looking back on your journey, do you have any tips for anyone who is looking to apply to SheStarts 2? 

Start with the problem – make sure that you know your customers and that your startup is solving a real problem for them. 

Stay true to your purpose – this will help to keep you on track and ensure that you don’t get pulled in multiple directions. At FARMpay we always go back to our purpose which is to ensure the sustainability of agriculture. 

Maintain resilience both professional and personal – it is a rollercoaster journey so you need to stay focussed and healthy. Find what makes you happy – for me it is running and family time!

It is an immensely satisfying journey both personally and professionally, so enjoy the ride.

Introducing BanjoMaps

 Founder of BanjoMaps: Anna Wright
Founder of BanjoMaps: Anna Wright

What is BanjoMaps and how did it grow under the SheStarts program?

BanjoMaps is trying to revolutionise the way we all navigate space. It aims to empower people with visual impairment to independently navigate the world. It enhances the accessibility of indoor spaces using beacons which are overlaid with other wayfinding technologies. BanjoMaps’ proprietary algorithm calculates a route for the person through visual cues and audio prompts to their destination. 

When I first put my application in for Shestarts I didn’t think it would go anywhere as at the time, BanjoMaps was only an idea. Through the SheStarts program BanjoMaps has gone from idea to unique IP to MVP and now at CVP.

Why do you think it’s so important to have these types of programs for women in tech?

To be able to support diversity in start ups means that we have access to so many more great ideas as well as a larger pool of talent. Women are poorly represented in tech start ups, so it is great to see a program like Shestarts that encourages women into tech.  The Shestarts program also shows that non technical people can also run tech start ups

Looking back on your journey, do you have any tips for anyone who is looking to apply to SheStarts 2? 

Do it!  I never thought that they would choose me, but they did. Jump in, no fear!  

Applications close 6th November, 12pm (midday), apply here now! 

If you’re interested in the startup space but don’t feel like you know enough, come learn from industry leaders at StartCon 2017! Grab your tickets now. Never stop learning.

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