Cohort Innovation Space has today announced three successful participants for the 2021/22 Women in Tech Initiative; Amanda Fay, founder of The Pitch Portal, Stephanie Khalil, founder of OnRoute and Louise Teo, founder of The Medical Startup.

Backed by the Queensland Government, through Economic Development Queensland (EDQ), the initiative aims to strengthen participation of women in the innovation ecosystem, who face challenges regarding starting and scaling their business and accessing funding and investors.

Successful participant and female founder Stephanie Khalil said the program has come at an opportune time for herself and startup OnRoute, a social travel platform that makes sharing and adopting whole journeys possible.

“We are trying to “climb the mountain” at the moment, working on the first build and forming our go-to-market strategy. We have passed validation stage and are on our way to a release date which is really exciting,”

“The education and insights, as well as the supportive environment, mentorship and community that is offered by this program, will be instrumental in shaping our focus and momentum as we move toward our product launch” Ms Khalil said.

Amanda Fay founded The Pitch Portal, an integrated tech platform that helps founders and entrepreneurs find skilled support during the critical growth stage of business. In twelve months, the platform has attracted over 1000 experts and almost 400 businesses seeking skills, with 90% connections and 15% resulting arrangements valued between $10k to $100k+.

“Over the last twelve months, the proprietary technology has been built and rolled out in Australia as a means of testing and refining each tool, feature and channel. We have verified market interest, demonstrated traction and tested revenue successfully.”

“This opportunity to connect to others within the ecosystem is invaluable for ongoing product development, testing and deployment. It will open the door to relevant peer support, programs and a community that will personally help me navigate what can be an isolating journey” Ms Fay said.

Founders Stephanie Khalil, Amanda Fay and Louise Teo.
Founders Stephanie Khalil, Amanda Fay and Louise Teo.

Dr Louise Teo is a medical doctor based in the Gold Coast and the founder of, an online portal that began as a blog on medical entrepreneurship and interviews with founders in the medtech space and creative fields to encourage awareness of creativity in medical careers. It has since become a leading resource on digital health and medtech events, careers and career wellbeing.

“The Women in Tech Initiative will help me bring my products to market with more support, having a strong network around me while creating it. It can be lonely being a sole founder; working alongside other founders and learning from other women will be highly beneficial, especially as in clinical Medicine, it’s a very different working world to the tech industry” Dr Teo said.

“Additionally I think it’s really important to encourage cultural diversity in all fields, and particularly in the Gold Coast, I’d be proud to help others of Asian and other diverse backgrounds feel like they belong in this space.”

CoSpaces, an Australian company that specialises in activating, leasing and managing commercial space, is responsible for the management of Cohort Innovation Space in the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct. CoSpaces General Manager Ariana Margetts said they received a strong number of applicants for the program showing the demand for support for women in technology is quite compelling.

“We’re pleased to welcome Amanda, Louise and Stephanie into the program and support them to grow their startups and launch new products by providing 6 months’ coworking space, peer-learning support, mentorship and education” Ms Margetts said.

The three participants are:

The successful applicants receive:

  • An unlimited coworking membership for six months (valued at $2,700 + GST each)
  • Three 1-hour mentoring sessions with a business coach
  • Entry into the 2021 Starters Club, a set of peer learning workshops with likeminded founders (valued at $240 + GST each)
  • Access to Cohort’s Partner Perks including credits from AWS, Airwallex, Hubspot, Stripe and Miro
  • End of program business lunch with a prominent female founder

The Women in Tech Initiative adds to the existing suite of business support programs that Cohort Innovation Space already offers, including the Founders Club, the LuminaX Accelerator and Start up Grind series.