Progress is needed: according to Startup Genome’s 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem report, globally, only 16% of startup founders are women.
Progress is happening: compared with just 17% in 1995, in 2015, 29% of all international patent applications filed included at least one female inventor. In Australia specifically, women represent 34% of entrepreneurs and the number of female entrepreneurs is growing at a faster rate than for men.
Here are eight Australian women who are pushing boundaries, innovating and improving lives:
Dr Dharmica Mistry – Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at BCAL Diagnostics
Dr Dharmica Mistry is one of the Australian scientists behind a groundbreaking discovery that will make it possible to detect breast cancer through a blood test. Dharmica holds a BSc(Hons) from Sydney University, majoring in Microbiology, and has completed a PhD at Macquarie University that was based on examining the association of lipids in hair and serum with the presence of breast cancer. Dharmica is an inventor on one of the BCAL’s founding patents and manages the scientific operations of the company.
Penny Stewart – Managing Director & Principal of PETRA Data Science
In June 2015, Penny founded PETRA Data Science to turn data into real-time predictions and optimisation for the resources industry. Penny and her team have developed a suite of highly scalable algorithms for the mining industry to reduce downtime and improve efficiencies.
Dr Michelle Perugini – Co-Founder of Life Whisperer and Presagen
Dr Michelle Perugini is passionate about using artificial intelligence to improve health outcomes, so she co-founded two companies. Life Whisperer uses AI to better select healthy embryos for IVF, and improve outcomes for couples wanting children. Presagen has an AI platform that allows rapid development and delivery of cloud-based products for automating human-like reasoning, decision-making and judgement, as well as improving the accuracy of medical diagnosis.
Jacqueline Savage – Founder & Director of MedCorp Technologies
Jacqueline has developed a wearable, non-invasive, wireless adhesive patch, which measures core body temperature and can deliver drugs remotely. The device is non-intrusive and allows patients to receive treatment in the comfort of their own home.
Sarah McDonald – Founder of Oli™
Driven by her own traumatic birthing experience, Sarah, a PhD student at the University of Sydney, created Oli™, a non-invasive patch for real-time pregnancy and labour monitoring. She has been awarded $1.47 million from the NSW Medical Devices Fund to further develop her device, which moves beyond the traditional measures of contractions and fetal heart rate, enabling women to follow their own pregnancy and labour timelines, and avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach that can lead to excessive or badly timed intervention.
Dr Ilana Feain – Founder and CEO of Nano-X
Dr Ilana Feain leads the Nano-X project, developing an innovative cancer treatment system. The adaptive radiotherapy technology aims to reduce the costs and improve the patient experience associated with traditional cancer treatment.
Deb Noller – CEO and Co-Founder of Switch Automation
Deb Noller is a dynamic leader who brings more than 20 years’ experience in technology, sustainability and commercial real estate to her role as CEO and Co-Founder of Switch Automation. Switch Automation utilises the Internet of Things to collect, process and manage data for portfolios of buildings. The Switch Platform and Engineering Service team helps a range of facilities management, energy management and engineering professionals understand building performance, employ fault detection and diagnostics and execute real-time control and command. This technology helps companies be more efficent and save millions every year. Switch Automation aims to make smart buildings the new business norm.
Dr Jillian Kenny – Founding Director of Machinam and Co-Founder of Power of Engineering
Dr Jillian Kenny’s passion for cultivating creativity and lateral thinking in the STEM profession led her to establish two social enterprises that help students connect what they’re learning in high school to real life and future STEM careers.
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