Woman in Innovation: Alix O'Hara
"Exploring your potential is the most fulfilling thing you can do."

Each Wednesday we interview women in our community about innovation and what drives them to make a difference in their industries everyday!

What are you currently working on?
I’ve just returned from setting up Mashblox UK to replicate the model I’ve tested in Canberra: partnering Universities with childcare centres to run trials of the product’s hypothesised benefits to infant obesity and fussy eating. There’s opportunity to collaboratively develop an app to track trial nutritional data that I think offers potential to replicate and / or scale trials multi-nationally, which is quite exciting.
The five steps beyond that I cannot tell you about ? But I’m looking forward to a workshop in Singapore next month to plan a merger that may serve as investor exit, if desired.

Why is innovation important to you?

There’s a lot that’s dysfunctional in our world that it’s too easy not to question and accept by default. The world moves so fast now, and if they even recognize a problem, the government is simply far too slow moving a machine to effect meaningful change. I believe responsibility for making the world a better place belongs to the individual, to the innovator.

What drives you to make a difference?
I’m driven to make impact. I’d like to be remembered by people I’ve never met for things that have helped their lives. In particular, I’m driven to create solutions for unnecessary struggles, such as weight management and relationships with food. I believe Mashblox® is core to a very simple set of tactics that will help prevent such issues ever developing.

I find that if you’re creative and a bit flexible about it, such solutions are often about speaking to the right people, finding out what makes them tick, then partnering along aligned values and objectives. I just connect the dots, and it’s wonderfully fulfilling.

Do you have any advice for getting more women into the innovation ecosystem?
If you’re interested and you haven’t made a move, the biggest obstacles are probably nothing more than your inhibitions and self-doubt. They’re inventions of your mind.
What are you really interested in? Just start exploring it: read up online and reach out to anyone working in that space. Don’t worry if you don’t know how the project is going to turn out or if you think you don’t know enough: nobody does when they start. But if you really pick something you really love, you’ll learn what you need as you need it.

And CBRIN is the most supportive, engaged network of positive, knowledgeable and diverse people I’ve ever found. If you’re passionate about anything, you’ll fit right in.

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