Inc. Australia’s 2023 Women Founders

Women founders

You already know that women entrepreneurs are a force to be reckoned with. Need some examples? We’ve got 25, selected by the speakers at our International Women’s Day event on March 7, 2023.

Grace Brown, Co-founder, Andromeda

Grace Brown of Andromeda. Source: Supplied.

Robotics startup aiming to enhance healthcare through the use of assistive humanoid robots. Before becoming a founder, Grace worked at Australian space startups focused on building satellite technology.

Holly Cardew, Founder and CEO, Carted
Raised a $13m seed round to build a universal e-commerce API connecting shoppers to every product on the planet. Cardew previously founded image-editing-for-e-commerce startup Pixc.

“I love Holly’s game-changing vision for Carted. She’s building an exciting company and is a founder I have so much respect for.” – Kim Teo, Mr Yum

Jessica Christiansen-Franks, Founding Director, Neighbourlytics

Jessica Christiansen-Franks of Neighbourlytics. Source: Supplied.

Previously CEO of CoDesign Studio, a social enterprise working to empower local citizens, Jessica has stepped into big data to build a data platform tracking the unique local identity of neighbourhoods.

Lauren Clinnick, Co-Founder and CEO, Lumi Interactive
Announced a record $9.71 million raise for a female-founded gaming startup in Australia in 2022; working on Kinder World, a free mobile game that lets players take care of unique virtual houseplants.

Catherine Bloxsom and Morgan Collins, Co-Founders, Cardigang

Women founders

Catherine Bloxsom and Morgan Collins of Cardigang. Source: Supplied.

After creating a knitwear business as a Melbourne lockdown side hustle, the founders quit their corporate jobs after sales of their custom, colourful-chic knit, and crochet kits hit $1.5 million. 

Tessa Court, Co-founder and CEO, Intelligence Bank

Women founders

Tessa Court of Intelligence Bank. Source: Supplied.

This award-winning SaaS business process management software helps companies reduce their risk and manage compliance. As a former marketer herself, Tessa sought to create an easy-to-use platform.

Hannon Comazzetto, Founder and CEO, AirRobe
A reCommerce platform bridging the gap between brand and customer through a circular economy — customers can sell, rent, recycle, or donate items. Comazzetto raised seed capital just as COVID-19 hit.

Cara Davies, Co-founder and CEO, Steppen
Steppen makes fitness a habit for Gen Z by harnessing the power of habit formation loops to build consistent exercise routines. Davies dropped out of her software course to help build the business.

“Cara’s resilience and unwavering commitment to Steppen’s vision is something I’ve admired from day one. I’m so excited to see where Steppen goes next.” – Christine Nguyen, ReciMe

Camille Goldstone-Henry, Co-founder and CEO, Xylo Systems
Building a cloud-based platform for organisations to easily manage and measure their biodiversity impact, Camille is a wildlife conservation scientist, data advocate, environment activist and Kamilaroi woman.

Rona Glynn-McDonald, Founder and CEO, Common Ground
A proud Kaytetye woman who works to create systems that centre First Nations people, knowledge, and solutions, Rona has deep professional experience working across First Nations organisations and not-for-profits.

Yasmin Grigaliunas, Founder, Circonomy

Yasmin Grigaliunas of Circonomy. Source: Supplied.

Formerly World’s Biggest Garage Sale, Circonomy repairs, refurbishes, and resells a wide range of products, helping corporate clients find a second life for dormant goods to save $2.5 billion worth of goods from wastage.

Annette McClelland, Co-founder and CEO, Tekuma
Developing a control module for drones and robots that reduces the time, cost, personnel, and training required to get jobs done. McClelland bootstrapped to customers in underwater exploration and defence.

Jodie Imam, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Tractor Ventures

Jodie Imam of Tractor Ventures. Source: Supplied.

Her first startup, Occasional Butler, was a marketplace for small jobs around the home and office. It was acquired by Airtasker in 2014. In late 2020 she co-founded Tractor Ventures.

“Getting venture capital continues to be extremely challenging for founders. By providing alternative financing options for early-stage businesses, Tractor Ventures is making a huge impact on Australia’s startup ecosystem.” – Christine Nguyen, ReciMe

Mikaela Jade, Founder and CEO, Indigital
A business that aims to help embed Indigenous stories and history into the mainstream, by using augmented reality technology. Jade believes the majority of Indigenous women are already scientists.

Julia Kay, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Great Wrap

Julia Kay of Great Wrap. Source: Supplied

Weaning us off plastics through material innovation, former architect Lay manufactures stretch wrap from food waste for homes and businesses from their solar-powered factory on the Mornington Peninsula.

Frankie Layton, Founder, Dirt Company
After years of working in marketing and advertising, Layton founded the sustainable laundry liquid brand Dirt to turn her love of the ocean into a household product that cleans your clothes and saves the planet.

Nicole Liu, Founder, Kin Fertility

Women founders

Nicole Liu of Kin Fertility. Source: Supplied.

At age 24, Liu had been incorrectly diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and told she could be infertile: Kin began with an observation that women need to be able to talk openly and take control.

Jane Lu, Founder and CEO, Showpo
After leaving her corporate career to sell clothing and accessories via pop-up stalls at markets, Showpo quickly carved out a strong position, growing to more than $30 million in turnover.

Jane goes by @thelazyceo on Instagram and TikTok and her retail e-commerce empire just continues to grow. She’s made ‘girlbossing’ (and entrepreneurship) accessible and glamorous to a whole generation of young women, and shows that you can have fun while also being incredibly smart in building a business.” – Jeanette Cheah, HEX

Meggie Palmer, Founder and CEO, PepTalkHer
A proud Aussie who now calls NYC home, Meggie is a confidence creator who founded PepTalkHer after her experience of inequality in the workplace. Her app uses AI to coach confidence and negotiation tactics.

Melanie Perkins, Co-founder and CEO, Canva

Melanie Perkins of Canva. Source: Supplied.

Founded in a bid to cure “death-by-PowerPoint”, Perkins was famously rejected by 100 VCs. Canva is now the world’s most valuable startup founded/led by a woman.

 “Melanie is a true trailblazer and inspiration for Aussie startups, proving we can compete — and succeed — on a global scale.” – Kim Teo, Mr Yum

Claire Rogers, Co-founder and CEO, OHO
A cloud-based online verification tool for organisations that require working with children checks: it meets the growing need for continuous monitoring of workers and volunteers responsible for vulnerable people.

Lucy Wark, NORMAL
A sexual wellness brand providing tools, information, and confidence to explore sexuality without stress or shame. Wark started her career in consulting at McKinsey before moving into startups via Startmate.

Ally Watson, Founder and CEO, Code like a Girl

Women founders

Ally Watson of Code like a Girl. Source: Supplied.

Begun in 2015 while studying computing science in Glasgow, Watson set out to close the gender gap within and build a future where women didn’t feel like outsiders in the STEM industries in Australia.

Ally’s a powerhouse advocate and a tireless worker for advancing women’s skills in code, and we share the vision that women should have an equal chance to build the future.” – Jeanette Cheah, HEX

Anna Wright, Founder and CEO, Bindi Maps
A navigation app revolutionising the way we navigate indoor spaces, BindiMaps brings accessibility to people and places currently out of bounds for people who are vision-impaired.