Diversity is an ongoing issue in the startup and wider tech sector, and while the number of women founders is growing, female founders are still woefully underrepresented in the space making up only 22.8% of founders according to a 2018 report by Startup Muster.
The 8th of March is known worldwide as International Women’s Day (IWD) – it’s a time to celebrate the achievements of women, whether social, political, economic or cultural. IWD is a day to recognise how far we’ve come towards gender equality, and also how far we have left to go. Here we shine a light on seven female founders making their mark within the tech industry.
Marita Cheng – Aubot (https://aubot.com)
Marita Cheng was the 2012 Young Australian of the Year and is a technology entrepreneur and women in technology advocate. She is the founder and CEO of aubot which makes a telepresence robot, Teleport, for kids with cancer in hospital to attend school, people with a disability to attend work and to monitor and socialise with elderly people.
Teleports have been sold to offices, museums, coworking spaces, for kids with cancer in hospitals and for security.
As well as telepresence robots, aubot does research and development in robotic arms, virtual reality and autonomous mapping and navigation.
Melanie Perkins – Canva (https://www.canva.com)
Melanie was only 19 when she first had the idea that drove her to found Canva. Canva makes design simple for everyone. Create designs for Web or print including blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, and invitations. The Canva journey began back in 2007 when Melanie Perkins was studying at the University of Western Australia. Melanie taught students how to use programs such as InDesign and Photoshop — programs that people found hard to learn and even harder to use. The company is now valued at over $1 billion and is the only Australian tech company to achieve unicorn status following Atlassian.
Deb Morrison – Petcloud (https://www.petcloud.com.au)
Listed on Forbes.com for 60 Women-Led Startups that are Shaking Up Tech Across The Globe. Deb gave birth to PetCloud – an online community for pet parents to connect with pet sitters who have been screened and are ready to care for your pet. They are partnered with RSPCA Qld, and now with Greencross & Petbarn, making them one of Australia’s most trusted and convenient pet care service providers. All reservations include insurance, 24/7 customer support, and daily photo updates of your pet enjoying their own vacation, letting you enjoy yours.
Charlotte Petris – Timelio (https://timelio.com.au)
Charlotte Petris is passionate about improving the financial wellbeing of business owners. Timelio is a high growth FinTech company with an online marketplace for invoice finance and supply chain finance. Timelio brings together growing businesses directly with a network of investors who fund their invoices. Charlotte, together with husband and co-founder Andrew, have achieved a capital raise for Timelio of $5.5 million and have funded $100 million of invoices on their platform since their launch in 2014.
Luscheyne Mellon – Veromo (https://www.veromo.com)
A seasoned Strategist with broad experience working at the cross section of UX, business strategy, brand, product strategy, and digital product development who can create insight-based input for strategies that impact the design of products, services, and organizational change. Luscheyne funded Veromo, a platform to get your business off to the ground by streamlining and automating most of the setup process of starting a business.
Robyn Foyster – Sweep (http://sweep.im)
Founder, CEO Robyn is the driving force behind Sweep. Former Editor-in-Chief of The Australian Women’s Weekly, publisher and tech entrepreneur, Robyn has followed her passion for shopping to create an app which will revolutionise the retail industry. Leading a team of developers, UX/UI designers and content specialists, Robyn is driven by innovation and an ambition to make shopping more engaging. Robyn is also the owner and publisher of Women Love Tech and The Carousel and Game Changers. Check out her video on Game Changers, https://gamechangers.com.au/edwina-bartholomew-touches-base-with-robyn-foyster-ceo-sweep/
Dr Liz Williams & Dr Kate Lomas – Hemideina (https://hemideina.com)
Liz has experience in commercialisation and the lean startup methodology. Having mentored early stage startups through customer validation and product-market fit, Liz brings this understanding to Hemideina.
Kate is the inventor of the Hemideina technology, having taken inspiration from the insect world. Kate holds a PhD in biophysics from Auckland University, and is one of only a handful of experts in the field, worldwide.
The mission of Hemideina is to revolutionise hearing for the profoundly deaf, Hemideina takes inspiration from biological systems to deliver solutions in human hearing.
Tell us who you think we should celebrate the achievements of in technology. We’d love to hear from you….