Launching a startup is hard. Building it into a successful business is even more difficult. It requires a founder to have grit, resilience and drive. And not to mention, a killer idea.
In today’s economic landscape, founders are grappling with one of the most daunting business climates in recent years. The tech sector has been through a tumultuous period, and the cost of living continues to rise. Women founders face even greater obstacles on the road to entrepreneurship, as a mere 0.7% of early-stage funding finds its way to women-led businesses.
This panel event, presented in collaboration with Antler, is designed to provide valuable insights from accomplished women founders. They will pull back the curtain to reveal the preparation required for the startup journey, share solutions-focused advice and the cold hard truths of the industry’s challenges.
To foster greater representation of women in boardrooms, investor discussions, and their ascent to leadership positions panellists Skye Theodorou, Co-Founder and CEO of Upcover, Margot Balch Co-founder and CEO of The OneTwo and Lottie Dalziel, Director and Founder of Banish will generously share their wisdom with utmost transparency to inspire and motivate.
Join us for this juicy conversation and get involved in shifting the dial on women startup opportunities.
About our speakers
Co-founder & CEO of upcover
Skye is the co-founder and CEO of upcover, recently ranked as Australia’s #2 startup. upcover is Australia’s fastest insurance for small businesses. She also held a position for 2023 as Non-Exec Director of Insurtech Australia. Skye is passionate about helping small businesses manage their own risk having worked in her family’s businesses from a young age. She has worked with hundreds of SMEs at Zurich, across multiple functions and now has helped almost 20k SMEs in 18 months with her technology platform. Skye has a background across commercial lines products, underwriting and claims, risk and compliance. Skye has also worked in government to help SMEs in policy & regulatory reform across NSW. Skye lives in Sawtell in the Mid-North Coast and recently got married and had her first son in 2021 so life is full and busy!
Co-founder & CEO of The OneTwo
Margot is a serial-entrepreneur and experienced digital strategist. Her experience spans over 15 years, as startup founder as well as in corporate roles. Margot is currently co-founder and CEO of The OneTwo, her 5th startup, leading a revolution in creating beautiful, comfortable bras and a uniquely personal shopping experience. The mission: Millions of Happy Breasts and a happier planet.
Previously, Margot has held roles in Venture Capital, as the GM of Folklore Venture’s Grid Fund, Media, as Director of Strategy at News Corp Australia and ecommerce at The Iconic. As managing director at Rocket Internet she saw thehome.com.au grow into a multi-million dollar revenue business and oversaw its sale – within 6 months of launch.
Margot began her career in management consulting at Bain & Company, where she worked in the Sydney and Johannesburg offices primarily focussed on customer experience within large consumer brands.
Margot is passionate about radically integrating start-up and family life and has two young children.
Director & Founder of Banish
Lottie Dalziel is a journalist, podcaster and leading voice for sustainability in Australia.
She is the founder of Banish, an education platform that helps Australians reduce their waste, and the Banish Recycling and Disposal initiative. This program, known as BRAD, has recycled over fourteen and a half tonnes of hard-to-recycle items, such as blister packs, toothpaste tubes, lotion bottles, coffee pods, bread tags and more.
In 2020, Lottie delivered a TEDx talk – The Power of Community in Fighting Climate Change. In 2021 and 2022 she was named as one of Australia’s Top 50 People in E-Commerce and won Business NSW Sydney Metro Young Entrepreneur of the Year with Banish taking out the Sustainable Excellence award and winning overall Business of the Year. Lottie has most recently been named 2023 NSW Young Australian of the Year for her work educating Australians on how to live more sustainably.
Education is at the forefront of everything that Lottie does in order to positively impact the habits of individuals and larger organisations.
Meet the hosts
Odette Barry is a storyteller who loves nothing more than helping businesses share their stories through traditional media. She is a publicist, PR mentor and founder of Odette & Co – a micro PR agency based out of Byron Bay.
Her career spans marketing and communications for Westpac, the Australian Physiotherapy Association, TAFE NSW and Women’s Fitness magazine – so she’s worked all sides of the communications domain.
Since establishing the consultancy arm of Odette & Co, she has worked with small and enterprise businesses across Australia and New Zealand spanning the technology, design, education, beauty, wellness, health and fashion sectors (to name just a few). This diverse portfolio of experience means she has a broad range of experience to support just about any communications challenge.
Odette is committed to helping her clients secure genuine and valuable coverage, and she does that with an intimate knowledge of the media landscape and trusted relationships with media outlets.
Odette is a headline-winning PR mentor, who designed and teaches the popular Hack Your Own PR program, an intimate program designed for small business owners because she knows that every business has a story to tell.
And if you’re looking to upskill and learn a little about the media industry and how to score your own headlines, look no further than Odette’s podcast where she interviews some of Australia’s best journalists, producers, editors and hosts about the commonly misunderstood publicity gig.
Chris is a serial entrepreneur having started her first business in 2008 at 28 years of age — a lifestyle media platform: Honeycombers. It is now the go-to lifestyle resource for locals, expats and tourists alike across Singapore, Hong Kong and Bali. She has also created a parenting platform called HoneyKids Asia. Collectively, there are over 1 million unique readers of Honeycombers content across South East Asia every month.
Chris started coaching entrepreneurs, and from this experience she saw the need for a community for conscious entrepreneurs, so she created Launchpad in 2022. Launchpad is an entrepreneurial community, designed to help small businesses thrive through community, peer mentoring and coaching. Launchpad today has over 450 members from across 6 countries.
Chris now runs 4 companies across 4 countries and hosts a weekly podcast called Good Business where she interviews impact-led founders. Chris spends her time split between Singapore, Hong Kong, Bali and Byron Bay, Australia, where she lives with her husband and three kids.