Female Founder Festival


Level 5, E block, 149 Victoria Park Rd, Kelvin Grove Campus, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
7 June, 2023

Turn your passion into your profession!

The Accelerator for Enterprising Women x lady-brains are here to help you take your business idea to the next level.

The Brisbane Female Founder Festival is the best place to start with that great idea you’ve got → Crush your doubts and transform your business idea into a thriving venture with our expert guidance and support.

  • Networking opportunities with experts and peers
  • Exclusive workshops with the founder and host of top-rated podcast, lady-brains
  • Insider tips for Kickstarter Challenge and a chance to meet scouts on the lookout for winning ideas
  • Valued at $250 per ticket, this event is FREE – book your ticket today!


Hosted by Caitlin Judd

Caitlin is the co-founder of lady-brains, a platform dedicated to helping early-stage founders and their businesses grow, so they can live more fulfilling, meaningful and sustainable lives.

She also hosts the lady-brains podcast: one of the Australia’s top-rated entrepreneurial podcasts. Known for getting the story behind the story, Caitlin helps to bridge the gap between entrepreneurial listeners and incredible global founders (founders like MECCA’s Jo Horgan and author extraordinaire Cleo Wade).

As a brand coach and strategist, Caitlin has over 10+ years experience in the leadership, community, wellbeing and positive psychology space. She’s helped to build multimillion-dollar businesses across Australia, US, Canada, Singapore and Europe.

Ellie Degraeve
Founder of Go For Zero

What started from a mom wanting to discover why her newborn got rashes from mainstream products led to launching Australia’s largest toxin-free and waste-free store, exclusively supporting Australian & NZ brands.

Today, Go For Zero is a trusted online platform where conscious shoppers come to learn about and get inspired by changes they are keen to make.

Since launching four years ago, Go For Zero has gone from strength to strength, becoming a courageous catalyst for bold and effective climate action. Their commitment to education, honesty, and sustainability has earned Ellie being recognised as the #1 person in E-commerce in 2023 and winning the State Telstra Best of Business award for Promoting Sustainability in 2022.

Together with their impactful donation program, Ellie aims to set the standard for the future of sustainable business.

Elly Desmarchelier
Writer, Speaker & Disability Rights Advocate

Elly Desmarchelier is a proud disabled woman. As a speaker, writer, event facilitator and disability rights advocate, Elly’s fierce advocacy has led her to being the national spokesperson for the Defend our NDIS campaign during the 2022 Federal Election, and speaking at the Prime Minister’s 2022 Jobs and Skills Summit.

From appearing on national TV on shows such as The Project, ABC’s The Drum, Q&A and 7:30, to speaking at the Sydney Opera House for the 2023 All About Women Festival, Elly shares her insights and experiences on being a disabled woman in modern society. Her writing has been featured in national publications such as Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and the ABC. She was also a finalist in the Marie Claire’s 2022 Women of the Year Awards.
Fuelling her advocacy, Elly is determined to create change for the 1 in 5 Australians with
disability and believes that’s only possible if people with disability have a seat at the table.

Hailey Brown
CEO & Founder of Vacayit

Recognised as one of Australia’s nine most influential female entrepreneurs, Hailey Brown has become a catalyst for change within the tourism industry. Upon recognising that blind and low-vision tourists were precluded from traveling as tourism marketing is visual, she created the world’s first sensory audio tourism app. She is highly experienced in the field of accessible tourism, universal design, inclusion, and diversity and aims to drive positive societal change around how destinations and operators market their experiences.

Hailey was also the winner of the inaugural Accelerator for Enterprising Women Kickstarter Challenge!

Ami Bateman - Pleasant State

Ami Bateman
CEO & Co-Founder of Pleasant State

Ami loves solving problems that no-one else is willing (or silly enough) to take on. She’s never accepted the status quo and always fights against injustice. 

Ami looks after all the business side of things and ensures our team is moving together in the right direction. She holds an MBA and has a long history in big business (Ernst & Young, McDonald’s, Australia Post, NAB), including over 16 years in sustainability, and knows there’s a better way of doing things. She’s not one to sit around and wait for the action to come to her – on weekends, you’ll catch her patrolling the beach in her bold reds and yellows, or blazing down the street on her motorbike or skateboard. 

Mundanara Bayles
Co-Founder & Managing Director of Black Card

Mundanara, a proud advocate for First Nations people’s, she draws strength from her
Wonnarua, Bunjalung, Birri Gubba, and Gungalu roots. Growing up in Redfern, surrounded by
activism, she now serves on committees and boards while co-founding BlackCard Pty Ltd—a
100% Aboriginal-owned business offering cultural training and consultancy services. She also
hosts a popular podcast called “Black Magic Woman” where Mundanara shares empowering
stories. Mundanara inspires female entrepreneurs to embrace their cultural heritage and pursue
their dreams, exemplifying Indigenous leadership in her journey.

Event Program

Arrival and registration

Arrive nice and early to grab your car park, check in, get your free professional headshot and refuel before the event kicks off.


Welcome and opening

Caitlin Judd, co-founder of  lady-brains, will welcome you to the Female Founder Festival. Hear about her path to becoming the host of one of Australia’s top-rated podcasts and what being an entrepreneur means to her.


Workshop #1

Caitlin Judd shares her coaching experience to help you discover your strengths and how to play to them as you start your own business.


Short Break

Take a break, network some more and grab a drink to freshen up before our next session begins. 


Panel Discussion

Caitlin will facilitate a panel discussion with four leading female-founders. Listen to each of them speak about the challenges and rewards of being an entrepreneur. Get your questions ready for the panel as we move into the Q&A section of the Festival.


Networking and supper

Enjoy a light supper and warm drink while you connect with like-minded women and industry leaders. Book in to experience Archer’s Lab, our virtual reality experience designed to increase your confidence in pitching your business idea.


Workshop #2

Get your bite-sized version of lady-brains ‘Base Camp’. This toolbox will get you laser focused on nailing your purpose, vision and offering, plus must-hear advice regarding branding.



After a group photo, we will highlight further opportunities for involvement in the Accelerator for Enterprising Women program including how you can get the upper hand with your Kickstarter Challenge submission.


Event Videos

Couldn’t make it to one of the Accelerator for Enterprising Women Summit Events? Fear not…we’ve got you covered! Catch up on all the amazing advice, tips and entrepreneurial expertise from our guest panel by watching the event videos On Demand.