Introducing the SheStarts 3 Cohort

Written by Filipa C. Araujo on the 31st of May, 2019

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From the future of work and mental health to sustainable agriculture and waste management, 10 incredible women-led startups have been selected to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges through SheStarts, the only venture-backed accelerator program designed for women.

The aspiring founders were selected from over 400 applications Australia-wide, and last week were handpicked at a Showcase event in Sydney after an intensive two-week bootcamp with 40 other finalists.

Read about the selected startups below.

The selected SheStarts 3 startups:


  • Aggie Global: Co-founders Zoe Paisley, Lisa Paisley, Meerah and Chaitanyn are connecting farmers to buyers, expertise and the resources they need to improve farm productivity sustainably.
  • Ardea Waste: Hayley Rolfe and Narendran Subramaniam are utilising technology to provide better management of commercial waste.
  • Gheorg: Dr Lousie Metcalf is a psychologist and is utilising technology to improve children’s mental health – in particular helping kids with anxiety and depression.
  • Grasshopper: Co-founders Nicole Marshall and Kern Mangan-Walker created a new way of active play with sensor-enabled silicone tiles for interactive play and an app containing various games and activities
  • HandUp: Hitha Raja Vatsavayi is making counselling services more accessible for high school students. The platform will connect students to mental health services, digitising the process of booking and making the communication between student, counsellor and teacher more effective and confidential.
  • Roundly: Susan Beardsley and Suzy Leys are empowering highly skilled parents of young children by matching their transferable skills to jobs that meet their lifestyle needs. This platform will increase women’s participation in the workforce – turning recruitment on its head and leading with the candidate.
  • One Click Childcare: Amber Chapman and Lisa Hollinshead are creating a one-click solution for on-demand daycare. One Click Childcare AKA Parent Portal will provide parents an easy way to enrol their children in credentialed, pre-approved casual daycare facilities.
  • PetiteBeat: Franziska Seehuber created PetiteBeat, a non-invasive bonding device for expecting parents, which helps them to create an emotional connection to their baby during pregnancy.
  • Sid: Annette Jakubowicz has created a virtual buddy for people living with a disability. Sid allows a person living with a disability to build independence and capacity over time by setting small goals.
SheStarts 3 cohort of selected founders

SheStarts 3 cohort founders with the SheStarts team at the SheStarts Selection Showcase in Sydney.

It’s just the beginning

All the founders who participated in the bootcamp deserve credit and praise: they’re building businesses, brands and movements centred around issues they’re passionate about, bringing people along for the journey and growing into become Australia’s next leaders. To the founders that were not selected for spot in the SheStarts 3 cohort, we wish you well continuing in your endeavours and encourage you to keep chasing your dream and pushing boundaries.

The entire BlueChilli team have been humbled by the work ethic, dedication and enthusiasm that each of these founders has demonstrated over the last two weeks. We’re looking forward to working with selected founders in the accelerator program, and we’ll be following the inspiring stories of each of the founders.

Daring Greatly

Each of the selected founders were gifted Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly. We chose this book as a selection gift as Brené was encouraged to write this book after having a ‘vulnerability hangover’ following her first TedTalk on The Power of Vulnerability. Brené read the following quote from Teddy Roosevelt in 1910 and realised her power of vulnerability:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

In a few weeks, the SheStarts 3 accelerator program will start and the founders will be deep diving into their customer research, product development and the startup process so together we can build new technology that will change the world.

Thank you to our wonderful partners

The SheStarts program is backed by partners who believe in the importance of gender equality, diversity and belonging. Thank you to our community for your continued support and to our partners for empowering the third cohort of SheStarts women entrepreneurs: ANZ, MYOB, Google for Startups, Microsoft and LinkedIn. And a big thank you to our event partners for creating spaces where we can support these entrepreneurs: UTS and HSF.


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Want more inspiration in the meantime? Watch SheStarts videos here.