Meet Our July Explore Cohort 2021

Meet Our July Explore Cohort 2021

The July 2021 SBE Australia Explore cohort program has come to an end with a talented and ambitious group of women in the cohort. We are excited to see where you will take your business goes and what the future holds.

The SBE Explore program was specifically created to support women founders in the ideation and early stage of developing their business. The program provides advice, skills, resources, and networks to get started. Participants pain confidence to examine, test, prototype and launch business ideas rapidly, resourcefully, and with eco-system support.

SBE is looking forward to supporting these entrepreneurial women as they take their business to the next level

 

Alexandra Duckett
Chance for Chance (C4C)

Alexandra is a Management Consultant with three years of industry experience. She works with clients to transform their business to deliver meaningful outcomes for executives, their teams and customers. She has spent the past year learning about how disruptive technology can be used for social impact, evidenced in her recent certifications from RMIT Blockchain Strategy and the Unschool of Disruptive Design. Alexandra is now seeking to combine these experiences through Change for Change (C4C), a micro-donation app focused on bringing Australian Charities and Not-for-profits into the digital age.

She has chosen SBE as a values-aligned accelerator, as she is passionate about gender equality, having co-founded her own ‘Women in Leadership’ program within her workplace, focused on empowering women early in their career to develop their personal brand, create a network and build a career in professional services.

 

Jessica Getty
Bubble.io

Jessica Getty is a Bubble.io Implementation Specialist working in Sydney.

She specialises in building document management systems and management processes for established businesses. 

Having worked on many client projects, she'd like to turn her attention to providing her own marketing solution for new businesses that are attraction-building stage.

Shawna Dominelli
Chalambar Hops

Shawna Dominelli is a winemaker, brewer and distiller. She and her partner recently launched their wine and spirits brand, Dominelli & Co. as well as recently opened their microbrewery in the Northern Grampians. Shawna has travelled the world working in the wine industry and settled in Australia over 10 years ago. 

 

Shawna is a hop producer at Chalambar Hops, near the Grampians in Victoria. We grow hops in a glasshouse using environmentally sustainable hydroponic watering system and can supply brewers fresh hops all year long. Chalambar Hops it the only hydroponic hop producer in Australia and is committed to minimizing our environmental impact. As a green industry busines, we aim to use as little water, energy and raw materials as possible while cutting carbon emissions and are devoted to find ways to utilize these materials in renewable and eco-friendly ways.

Gracen Hawks
Brow and Lash Co Academy

Gracen Hawk’s began her journey studying Beauty Therapy at Melbourne’s prestigious Beauty Therapy College Elly Lukas, this led her to completing her International ITEC certification and Diploma of Beauty Therapy, since her studying endeavours she has worked as a Skin and Laser Clinician where she developed her passion for client care, and her mission to empower women and enhance their natural beauty.  This drove Gracen to progress in her career and the industry. Gracen is currently the Manager of a luxury Melbourne Beauty Salon, Brow and Lash Co, Prahran. Within the three years of being employed, Gracen has advanced from a Senior therapist to her current role as Manager and Educator for the Brow and Lash Co Academy where she prides herself in quality education, mentoring and providing Client’s with the best service and experience possible.

Jo Agresta 
Team Manager at RACV

Josephine (Jo) Agresta is currently working as a full-time team manager at RACV where she manages a Specialized Services team who work on tasks that come into the business for insurance and emergency assistance related products. Jo has a background in residential real estate where she gained three years' experience working with people from all walks of life and learned about their stories.

The one thing that Jo has always wanted to change was the perception of Estate Agents, where they can often appear as being dishonest or unprincipled. To her, the current prospecting process in real estate seems drawn out and redundant, delivering little results and turnover. From letter box drops, impersonal business cards, and cold calling leave much to be desired. Jo believes that she has the ambition and drive to deliver a product that will help both agents, and consumers, and provide a far more enhanced and profitable outcome.

Hayley Kurz
Lawyer and Gymnast

As a lawyer with a creative side, Hayley is continuously analysing everyday problems and figuring out how to solve them.  This has led her to develop a new approach to the stadium experience, enabling fans to get their most out of the events they attend.

Having grown up as a national level gymnast, Hayley is more than familiar with the relentless pursuit of perfection and applies this to all that she sets her sights on.

Lindy Castan Blashki
Founder of Castan Careers Consulting

Lindy Castan Blashki is founder of Castan Careers Consulting, a company director, lawyer, investor and philanthropy adviser. With over 25 years of board director experience Lindy has served as a director on a range of investment and not for profit organisations including the Koorie Heritage Trust, Stand Up and a diverse range of investment companies. She has been a professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia since 2014 and participated in the Australian Institute of Company Directors course in 2015. Lindy’s three key areas of expertise are 1) investment and family wealth transition 2) strategic career development and 3) leadership in the not-for-profit sector. In 2008, she was a co-recipient of the Fundraisers Institute of Australia major grants award for her work on the Al Gore Climate Project Australia, and she has served as an adviser for the Castan Centre for Human Rights at Monash University.

Amanda Nolan
Founder of Guida

Amanda is the founder of Guida, a developing technology start-up with a mission to guide people impacted by severe health conditions to easier journeys and better health.

Originally a physiotherapist, Amanda is an experienced executive leader and strategic advisor to boards, executive teams, and leaders, delivering business and operational transformation. Throughout the past two decades, she has worked across Australia, the United States, and Europe, primarily in the healthcare industry, at healthcare services and top-tier consulting firms, and has advised organisations across many other industries.

Amy Armstrong
Dry but Wet

Amy Armstrong is a career business administrator, creative, mother and wine enthusiast whose life did a complete 180 in June 2020 when she decided to quit drinking alcohol. Since then Amy has discovered a passion for the non-alcoholic drinks sector and has been able to put her professional skills to good use in developing Dry but Wet, a home for non-alcoholic drinks reviews and Amy’s advocacy work, pushing for more non-alc in hospitality in Australia.

Amy has joined SBE in the hopes of developing her business model further, developing a revenue creating business plan that will allow her to continue to drive the change that has major health and wellbeing implications for Australia.

Bianca Becker
Founder of How To: Survive Death

Bianca Becker has spent the last 14 years working as a hairdresser in some of the top salons in Melbourne. After losing her mum in 2018 - 10 years after her older brother died - she felt the need to use her experiences to help other young people going through similar situations. During lockdown last year, she started studying her Diploma of Counselling through AIPC, with the goal of supporting grieving people and helping them find purpose in their lives again.

A brainstorming session in the shower led to the idea of creating a resource that makes end-of- life planning and grief support easily accessible, especially during the hardest times of people's lives. It's something she is deeply passionate about, as death and grief are such taboo topics in the world today.

Death makes you re-evaluate your life and focus on what's important, so Bianca likes spending her time with family and friends, with self-care and personal development at the core of everything she does.

Sally Osbourne
Property industry expert

Having spent my entire career in different sections of the property industry, I've gained a broad range of skills and knowledge around growing businesses in service and customer centric companies.  I've recently taken up motorcycling and have discovered an amazing connected community that is hidden within all companies and demographics we mix in daily.  I've loved the adventures I've been on and the people I have met.  I was amazed to discover how many women are taking this activity up. I have listened to the challenges and gaps and am excited to be able to bring property industry knowledge into the vehicle space. 

Susanna Weber
Bioplastic enthusiast with a Not-For-Profit passion

Susanna is a not-for-profit team player by day and a bioplastics warrior by night. Driven by the current state of the climate in crisis and a desire to make an impact, Susanna is engaging with the various sectors to do all we can to protect our oceans whilst creating big change in the plastics industry.

Natalie Sarau
Founder of Forkful

Natalie spent the first 15 years of her career in financial services supporting high performing management, working with an award-winning national sales team and driving change through a number of key projects. Complementing her passion for the hospitality industry, Natalie has also worked with a number of small businesses over the last 7 years in a variety of roles from project management, event coordination and public engagement. 

Motherhood was the catalyst for a change in career direction when faced with the realisation if we don’t look after the planet today, we’ll be leaving nothing for our future generations.  A lightning bolt moment came while living in Europe in 2019, when Natalie experienced first hand the innovations and advancements the Scandinavian countries have already embraced in their day to day lives – in particular, their commitment to reducing food waste.

Upon returning to Australia, Natalie has put her newfound knowledge into building a sustainable food waste platform for the Australian market, Forkful.  Natalie, through Forkful, aims to reduce food waste in the hospitality industry by connecting restaurants and cafes with surplus food that would otherwise end up in the bin, to deal-hungry consumers – a win for the venue, the consumer and the environment.

Learn more about the SBE Explore Program here.