Curtin Ignition Raising The Bar For Women Entrepreneurs

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Curtin Ignition has increased opportunities for women entrepreneurs with a rise in the numbers of women attendees this year.

The Curtin IgnIMG_5091ition Program officially kicked off this week with a number of programs such as workshops, mentoring sessions, and networking events. Eagerly attended by the 54 contestants participating in the event as well as mentors and speakers. The event covers a wide range of industries – from IT, to game development, and varieties of innovative inventions.

This years attendees included a number of women entrepreneurs looking to start up and or increase their businesses – with 48% of women this year, compared to last year’s 29%. It was a great increase for women in the industry.

Many of the attendees felt the program was very beneficial and gave them a lot of insights to start up and develop – even if somewhat overwhelming. I caught up with some of the women attendees to hear their view of the event.

Donna Vincent – Hard Hat Bookkeeper

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Donna Vincent

Donna is the creator of an online bookkeeping system in the form of an app; its simplicity lies in the steps of taking a picture of the receipt, submitting it from your phone to the cloud, and helping to automate tax reporting.

Donna started this innovation from experience and observations of the many companies that have had problems in this field – this led her to actually start by partnering with a project manager with experience in this field.

Her entry in the Ignition program was suggested by her mentor, she then received a SBDC (Small Business Development Corporation) Scholarship to take part in the program. Donna highlighted that some of the programs conducted – such as talks about marketing and research, MBAs, and mentoring groups were a lot to take in, but were all very useful.

Jess Watson – Therapy Games for Children

Jess is developing an Ipad game that will help children to increase their fine motor skills, especially for children with disabilities. She has a background in game design and health, and was inspired to get started by a conversation she had with a parent whose child has Cerebral Palsy. She is currently working on a demo and is looking to connect with Occupational Therapists to ensure the quality of support the game offers.

She heard about Ignition from an information night run by FTI, and was able to attend thanks to a scholarship by the Department of Local Government and Communities. From this program, she hopes to gain the knowledge to create a business plan.

Caroline Telfer – Anita Jean Photography

Carol creates Australian farm albums; she takes photographs of farms and presents them in the form of photo books. She was born and raised in a farm, which began her desire to have photographs of the farm to show her children, this then led to small booklet projects for family and friends, which is now evolving into a business.

Her start with Ignition came from a scholarship of the DLGC (Department of Local Government and Communities), where she was fully funded to partake in the program. She said it is a mind-blowing and exciting experience and is truly and amazing opportunity to gain all this knowledge in five days.

Ignition gives proof of the increase in opportunities for women entrepreneurs and so are the participants that are looking to be involved. It is just one program that may help increase this opportunity and seems to be on the right track.

This program – through a number of scholarships, is helping women to take part and develop in this industry – a goal Ignition is hoping to continue.