Catherine Eibner – BlueChilli
Go Girl Topic:The Lean Canvas – creating viable solutions
Catherine is a leader of innovation and growth in Australia’s startup economy. As General Manager, Startups at BlueChilli, she is responsible for driving development of the fastest growing portfolio of new tech startups in Australia, with a focus on rapid validation and early customer discovery to drive high quality business outcomes.
A computer science graduate with a passion for data and systems integration, Catherine has dedicated the last 20 years to developing tech-enabled business solutions. After working as a developer after university, Catherine then started and grew her own software consulting business, before she was appointed to run Microsoft’s BizSpark program for startups in Australia.
Catherine has been repeatedly named one of the Top Australian Women in Tech and is recognised as one of the country’s leading Startup Mentors, actively advising more than 80 Startups in her role in BlueChilli, building her own startup(s), while also supporting tech entrepreneurs through her outreach work and angel investments across the ecosystem.
What is the most awesome thing about having a career in tech for you?
The variety of experiences and possibilities.
As a child, did you dream of a career in tech?
From the moment I had my first Computer Science class – I knew I’d found my home!
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done, both personally and professionally?
For me, some of the coolest things I have had the opportunity to do have been around the places I have been able to travel to because of my work. From my first OS work trip in 2003 where I was solving server integration issues for my first global customer based in Bristol in the UK (and visiting the picturesque Bath and Oxford for the first time), to presenting at one of the largest global tech conferences in Dubai alongside some of my biggest tech idols (and discovering the mystical alleyways of the gold, spice and textile souks) or receiving a scholarship to learn about Entrepreneurship from global experts in Spain (and experiencing the welcoming and open culture while sharing Pintxos with the locals in Bilbao).
Why are you passionate about diversity in technology?
To be truly innovative and creative we need diverse ideas, experiences and cultures to collaborate.
What would your advice be to your 15 year old self?
You can’t even imagine the possibilities and opportunities that are going to be in front of you over the next 20 or so years! Dream big, Work hard and say yes to the opportunities even if you don’t think you are ready.