Five women set to disrupt their industries
Readers talk back
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Caroline Pidcock, Pidcock: Architecture+Sustainability
Caroline Pidcock's sustainable architecture company looks set to expand in 2013 as Australia comes to grips with increasingly unpredictable weather and natural disasters such as floods and fires.
Pidcock has been committed to green design and development since launching her multi-award winning architecture company in 1992. In 2013, she's increased the scope of her work by producing kit homes. "We are looking forward to getting our House of Parts kit home into production," Pidcock tells Women's Agenda. "This will address the needs of many people looking for flexible, fast and sustainable solutions to housing."
Pidcock's role on the Living Futures Institute of Australia board and the Greening Australia NSW board will continue to inform and inspire her designs.
- Katrina Allen, Social Callout
Katrina Allen has started several businesses during her career but her latest, Social Callout, is easily one of her favourites.
"Social Callout is one of the best ideas I've worked on because it provides such a simple, easy solution for brands wanting to connect with bloggers and the other way round too," she explains.
Social Callout is an online system and network that offers brands the opportunity to post call outs for reviews, and gives bloggers the space to search for goods and services to cover in their blogs. As one of the first Australian businesses harnessing the growing influence of the booming blogosphere, Allen is watching the three-month-old business take off.</>
"I like systems, and this is a system that allows you to achieve coverage that is not humanly possible in traditional PR," says Allen. "We're right at the tip of what will become the next big thing."
Hayley Warren, HALO Medical Devices
Hayley Warren was a physiotherapy student at Curtin University when she entered the medical tech innovation scene in 2010 by creating HALO, a device that uses lasers to measure a patient's range of movement.
Warren found plenty of space for the idea given existing joint measuring devices are manual (meaning significant scope for error) and haven't been updated in 40 years. She hired technical specialists to design the device.
Warren won the Western Australian Innovator of the Year award and the People's Choice Award on the ABC's New Inventors in 2010.
She went on to form the HALO Medical Devices company, of which she is CEO.
Olivia Humphrey, Kanopy
Olivia Humphrey didn't just see a gap in the academic video streaming and DVD market in 2007, she saw space for a whole educational ecosystem of video learning, both in class and online.
So she launched Kanopy to provide DVD and streaming services to help universities, libraries and schools manage the distribution of their content. Humphrey sources content from her contacts built after ten years in rights management in the film and television industry.
Humphrey's collaborative approach has made her business strong. "By having a transparent and collaborative business model with both filmmakers and customers, we are able to identify new opportunities and work with industry to trial new products, applications and ideas," she says.
Kanopy is almost six years old and is now the leading company in academic video, with plans to expand internationally this year. "I feel excited there is an opportunity to break genuinely new ground in terms of improving the way academics teach and students learn."
Wendy Simpson, Springboard Enterprises Australia
Wendy Simpson is set to disrupt the Australian entrepreneurial scene in a big way with the introduction of Springboard Enterprises Australia, a venture capital coaching and connecting organisation for women.
The local version of American-based Springboard Enterprises was announced in June 2012. Applications for "investment ready, high growth companies" were open until 15 December 2012 and five to ten companies are set to be selected in February 2013.
As access to venture capital can be a challenge for female entrepreneurs, Simpson's work as chair of this initiative will be a game changer for female business owners.