Congratulations to the finalists!
The Accelerator for Enterprising Women invited young women from around Australia to submit their entrepreneurial or business ideas into the Kickstarter Challenge for a chance to turn their passions into their professions!
We are delighted to announce the five finalists who each won their relevant category and competed in the Kickstarter Challenge Grand Final. They pitched their ideas to expert judges in Canberra on 16 February 2022 and shared in $60,000 seed funding and was paired with a business mentor in order to accelerate their business ideas.
Elaine Kwong | Escollate
Aussie’s first health tech to engage staff, understand their problems and collate ideas together.
I am a frontline hospital clinical pharmacist with 6 years of diverse local and international experience. In recent years, I was awarded Monash University’s Mathew Peck Travelling Scholarship and co-authored a published systematic review.
Additionally, I have built a 2000+ member community to share new pharmacy job opportunities. My unique experience in Digital Health has helped me identify critical communication gaps within large organisations.
Working amidst COVID, I noticed that healthcare staff felt incapable of solving problems as individuals and were daunted by publicly challenging the status quo. Many ideas and frustrations remained unheard due to fear of scrutinisation.
Founding Escollate combines two of my greatest passions – to create an innovative culture and improve health systems. I believe in the power and wisdom of the community, where people can play active roles in shaping their work environment. Through Escollate, we can build a safer healthcare community to freely escalate problems and collate ideas together.
This journey would not be possible without attending Accelerator for Enterprising Women. Mentors Hanna and Janine have given me honest actionable feedback. AEW’s program gave me the courage to validate problems, launch a minimal viable product and join other programs like Monash’s Validator and Startmate’s Founder Fellowship.
Amy Silver | The Dough Co.
Ready to bake cookie dough that allows you to make fresh cookies on demand.
Mursal Azadzoi | Nana Pad
Sustainability & Impact
A bio-degradable sanitary pad that aims to reduce student absenteeism in island nations.
My name is Mursal Azadzoi and I am an early-career professional and International Business student at RMIT. I come from a global business development and marketing strategy background with a strong interest in humanitarian innovation and a passion for gender equality and education.
Being the daughter of a refugee mother who had established her independence through entrepreneurship, I am aware that that women-owned businesses hold a very special social license that equips them with the power to drive feasible change. With respect to this, I started NanaPad. My mission through NanaPad is to ultimately stop a normal biological process from becoming a barrier to gender equality by tackling period-related school absenteeism and removing the stigma around a woman’s reproductive cycle.
I also believe that the mainstream representation of women in leadership roles is critically important to build a more equitable society. And so, by having the opportunity to represent myself through my founding role within the Kickstarter program, I hope to pave the way for young girls from similar backgrounds.
Hailey Brown | Vacayit
Capturing imaginations without images, so blind tourists can make informed decisions, independently.
My name is Hailey, I am a Tourism and Psychology graduate from UQ and a newly found entrepreneur. In March of 2020 I was talking to one of my close friends who has been blind since birth about travelling. He is an avid traveller (pre-covid!) and takes every opportunity to expand his horizons and experience different cultures. However, he (and many others) has clear frustrations surrounding the lack of experiential information online and how all destination marketing is imagery. So I decided to start tackling this problem and find a tangible solution, which led me to founding Vacayit.
Vacayit is an accessible storytelling app for blind and low vision tourists so that they can make informed decisions, independently before they travel. During this time I have created fantastic relationships with blind and low vision communities, along with Blind Councils around the world.
I have loved being a part of and learning from The Accelerator for Enterprising Women community where I have participated in the three-day workshop, mentoring sessions and networking evenings and now look forward to Vacayit representing the innovation category in the finals!
Ellana Pierce | El Adrift
El Adrift is a sustainable and ethical swimwear brand made from repurposed ocean waste.
When I was 10 I was lucky enough to travel by campervan around Aus with my family for 6 months. As mum was a teacher we were homeschooled through a lot of creative projects! We made dioramas of ocean habitats of a species we chose, created shell art designs on the beach, and studied math on the seaside from our camp chairs. My twin sister and I would earn money for the markets and opshopping by making glass bead jewellery and selling them within our campsites for a couple of dollars.
From this young age, the seaside has been home and I have always cultivated my ideas inspired by the beauty in nature’s art.
This cultivated a fiery passion in me to learn more about the vast and mysterious ocean that takes up over 70% of the Earth’s surface and provides many resources humanity relies on.
I loved my years at uni, that grew my fascination with the ocean and my drive to make a difference in ocean conservation. The detrimental impacts that cause harm on our beautiful ocean environment and species are the driving factors of my business plan.
I desired to create a brand that aligned with my values and vision for the future of fashion, ocean conservation and the movement back to conscious consumerism.
I wanted to do more than just starting to rid the ocean of waste, I wanted to create something beautiful from it. Something reimagined, repurposed, and reloved. Starting this business has meant delving into what I love most, swimwear, passion for ocean conservation, learning & building an online community of empowered young women.
The Accelerator for Enterprising Women Kickstarter Challenge has encouraged all of these aspects. Through the exposure they have given to all these amazing young women with ideas that will change not only Australia but the world!
Kickstarter Challenge TimeLine
These Enterprising Women have been on quite a journey, take a look. Stay tuned to hear more from us about the Grand Final in Canberra and who our winner will be.
May – August
14 May – 17 OctoberSubmit
14 NovemberVoting closes
March – August
National Summit Events
May – August
14 May – 17 October
Submit your idea
1 August – 14 November
Share your submission in socials to be in to win the popular vote, while a panel of expert judges will select the remaining four finalists.