2019 Big Idea (New Business) finalists

Leanne Butterworth, LOSE YOUR MIND 

LOSE YOUR MIND is a social enterprise run by Leanne Butterworth that uses virtual reality to enhance human connection by challenging emotions.  The Love Out Loud survey found that 70% of people felt DISMISSED when they first told someone they were struggling with their mental health.  But by dismissing people’s emotions, we miss valuable opportunities for human connection.  Disconnection is at the heart of many social ails such as social isolation, self-harm, drop-out, addiction and suicide.  Using an emotionally-driven, empathy education approach that uses VR, LOSE YOUR MIND provides mental health literacy workshops in schools, workplaces and communities that enhance an individual’s capacity for difficult conversations thereby reducing stigma and the negative consequences of disconnection.



Imogene Whittle, Spree with Me

Imogene is a Brisbane entrepreneur and mother (of two girls, aged 1 and 5).

Spree with Me is a new way to access unique, curated shopping experiences with personal stylists and local shopping guides. It is an online platform that improves the method and process of finding and booking personal shopping services. It increases transparency of information, eases communication, simplifies the booking process and boosts purchaser confidence. Spree with Me is built on with a sharing economy service model where fashion and style experts offer shopping services as their own small businesses. It empowers other entrepreneurial women with new earning opportunities and provides them with marketing, finance and business support services.

Spree With Me is a unique concept; its innovation in business has been awarded by Brisbane City Council for its future valuable contribution to the creative industries in Brisbane.



Karina Lane, Mum Friday

Karina, mum of four, gets the overwhelm and stress that comes with bringing a new baby home. But as a postnatal doula and parenting educator, she’s seen too many women struggling in early motherhood. While readily available, mainstream baby advice can be rigid, unrealistic and rarely focuses on a mum’s journey – on motherhood itself.

And mums matter too, right?

With postnatal depression/anxiety at staggering rates across Australia, she created The Fourth Trimester Program to help new mums survive and thrive after the birth. Different to all the baby books and websites, this online program focuses on mum’s wellbeing and offers the simplest ways to get through the early challenges of motherhood. By reaching more parents with her message of gentle, imperfect parenting, Karina is helping new mums find their parenting feet with less overwhelm and more magic – and she may just help improve new mum mental health at the same time.



Marissa Price, The Literature Factory

The Literature Factory works with children and families across Brisbane to supplement school learning with 1:1 individual tutoring in areas of need. Our business model is based on a blend of pastoral care and academic learning, with children considered from a holistic perspective to make sure they are happy and healthy learners.

We are different from other tutoring models in that we train our people individuals in our method of teaching, we interact with schools to obtain the best outcomes for students and we go to the student, making sure they can work in an environment that is safe and comfortable for them. We work with students from Year 1 to Year 12 and employ a range of people, predominantly women, who are caring, kind and intelligent. We help them provide for their families and give back to the community through learning and employment.



Natalie Hamilton, Ocha Press

Natalie Hamilton is a writer, translator, lecturer in Translation Technology and Mum of a toddler. Despite performing well, she quit Japanese at the end of Year 10 due to ‘kanji overwhelm’ – the sense that learning the characters was just ‘too hard’. It was something she regretted and only rectified when she moved to Japan aged 28 to teach English. She had some insights that helped her improve her reading skills overnight, and led to a job as a Japanese translator when she returned to Australia. On the whole, Japanese language education is still not teaching these clues, and students are still dropping out because of overwhelm. She is on a mission to make the phonetic components and visual patterns globally known. Her study guide The Kanji Code has been making an impact and she has more plans to make learning kanji accessible and fun for learners of all ages.



Judith Viado, Nutricraft

Judith is a highly accomplished Netsuite specialist and global online business entrepreneur. While Judith enjoys her full-time job and managing her global online stores, she and her husband Richard started their own cookware brand with a simple goal of changing peoples’ lives.

On the weekends, Judith and her family teach people healthy food preparation methods without using oil, salt, artificial seasoning, and how to prevent contamination. She promotes keeping ingredients in their purest form, enhancing their natural flavours and maximum nutritional value. Judith strongly believes that since this style of cooking has dramatically changed her family’s lifestyle, it will likewise have a huge impact on others’ lives. She aims to educate more people to learn to eat well, live well and free from metal toxicity.

Nutricraft is a new emerging premium cookware brand in Australia.



Janine Wyborn, LILY ASH Designs

Built on the foundation of strong values, conscience and a love for beautiful bags, LILY ASH is a closed-loop, sustainable fashion label aspiring to transform the current ‘fast fashion’ industry. Born of the desire to forge a new narrative where nature’s legacy shines through classically designed, innovative products, this fledgling brand is carving its own niche; inspiring ethical consumer purchases through radical transparency.

LILY ASH believes that everything in this world begins with care and respect. Our commitment is to the provenance of the planet’s resources and the consumers who wear them. We are proud to be pioneers in the circular fashion movement; shaping a new, ethical industry that is constantly evolving with evergreen inspiration.

LILY ASH is style with purpose – that won’t cost the earth.



Melissa Blumenthal, Interaxcity Children’s Museum

Interaxcity Children’s Museum is Melissa’s newest “baby” but she is the very proud mum of three girls aged 5, 7 & 12 plus a “pawrent” of Cody. Lucky for Melissa’s hubby, Cody helps even up the testosterone in the household.

Melissa has an extensive background in advertising, strategic marketing and consumer research where she gained exposure to iconic Australian and international household brands. She’s combined this experience with her passion for children and education to create Interaxcity Children’s Museum.

Interaxcity invites children to be community heroes and use their imagination as they take on whatever role they wish in a city to call their own – from a builder to pilot, chef to florist & more. Children can explore and engage in purpose-built, hands-on exhibits with their caregivers, stimulating creativity, curiosity and learning through imaginative play.



Justine Atherton, Little Mess Makers

Little Mess Makers provides unstructured, child led sensory play for children aged 12 months to 5 years. We’re for play! Oozy, slimy, squishy, messy play. Play that encourages children to explore, experiment, create, imagine and most of all have fun. We offer weekly sessions at four locations in Sydney’s Upper North Shore and Hills District, as well as messy play parties. We give children the opportunity to freely explore, and parents quality, stress free time playing with their child.

Little Mess Makers launched in February 2018, and is owned and operated by mum of two, Justine Atherton. Justine is passionate about getting children away from screens, and back to the simple joys of play.



Renee Garcia, CRG Creative Networking

Renee is a wife and mum of 2. Running CRG Plumbing & Maintenance with her husband and after realising that she was more than just a plumber’s wife and feeling the need to do more she created and launched CRG Creative Networking.

Offering many things to help both large and sole trader business’s build better business connections by getting their cogs moving and thinking about the best strategies and processes that they can learn and implement to grow their business through genuine customer relationships.



Amanda Walker, WA HomeStay

Amanda Walker is Mum to three children and the founder and director of WA HomeStay. WA HomeStay is an online booking platform for WA Holiday accommodation. From Amanda’s experience as a holiday home owner and user, she believes online booking platforms should be a) fair for both owners and guests and b) care about the local community they are operating in. Instead of charging guests up to 20% booking fees, WA HomeStay only charges guests 5%. Further, property owners can enjoy better cash flow as their money is distributed to them right away. WA HomeStay is also committed to supporting the local community and sustainable tourism. WA HomeStay is supporting Telethon by donating $1 for every booking made. To promote sustainable tourism, Amanda is working with local councils and only allowing registered holiday homes to list on WA HomeStay.



Kathryn De Luca, That Mat is Mine

After studying Accounting and IT at university, Kath De Luca worked as an auditor for a Big 4 Accounting firm. She quickly became disillusioned with the corporate world and for the last decade has loved working in small business. Kath is passionate about empowering women – whether it be through the mortgage brokerage she currently co-owns and runs with her brothers, or her newest solo venture, That Mat is Mine.

That Mat is Mine makes beautiful yoga mats. That Mat is brightly coloured, made of micro-fibre suede, feels oh-so-soft, yet designed to provide an incredible amount of cushiony support. That Mat helps women to reclaim space for themselves; it provides a space to move or be still, or maybe a little of both.

Kath De Luca wants to empower women by helping each one understand how amazingly powerful she is– just as she is right now. Each yoga mat comes with a personally monogrammed mat strap, making it a very special gift – for yourself or someone That Matters.