Woman in Innovation: Jo Flynn
"I love change and I love new ideas."

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 working on?
Last year I made the leap and left my 9-5 job, investigating pharmaceutical crime with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, to pursue my passion for creating innovative ways to get people moving their body. I currently run two businesses and I’m about to leap into a third. So a lot has rapidly changed in the last 8 months.

Joga Yoga is my ‘service’ umbrella, so along with instructing regular yoga classes, I’ve hosted a range of fun yoga events in Canberra (Bend + Beers, Goat yoga, SUP yoga, Float yoga). I’m currently working on my first yoga retreat this coming July in Jervis Bay. This will be a weekend of yoga workshops, vino vinyasa, great food by our private chef (good friend Chris Darragh and former owner/chef of Temporada) and goat yoga! I’m also currently writing a new Float Yoga program to run on the Salti Float at Civic Pool, plus creating an e-book and planning other workshops and events (I live for yoga events!).

Next is Salti Australia, which is a company I created last year with my partner. We developed the Salti Float, which is an inflatable platform for fitness or yoga classes to be held on top of water. I’m currently working on strategies and proposals to gain corporate partnerships so that we can get our Floats into as many pools across Australia and the world as possible. So far we have venues in Sydney and the Central Coast (plus me in Canberra). The goal is to be international by 2019.

And lastly, I was invited to a Healthy Active Canberra workshop with the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) earlier this year. As part of that event, I came up with an idea to develop a social and community based fitness/wellness platform to help Canberra fit in an active lifestyle and took the concept to the CBRIN team. This has now received a grant from the ACT government to develop the concept further. After some gentle encouragement from CBRIN I also applied for the Griffin Accelerator program which will see further funding for the platform and mentoring from some highly talented and knowledgable individuals, which will be invaluable experience if I get into the program.

Along with all of these projects, I’m taking care of all of the day to day things, social media, admin, sales enquiries, the money stuff. All the things. Thank goodness for my super amazing and supportive partner, plus yoga and meditation to keep me grounded.

Why is innovation important to you?
As a business owner, innovation allows me to identify opportunities (or gaps) in the market, to create ideas with a point of difference so they stand out and disrupt the market. In turn, it allows me to grow personally and professionally, to try something new and learn.

I get to be creative and authentically ‘me’ in the way I work and think by finding and creating the opportunities for change and improvement. And really, it’s important for any business owner or entrepreneur to be innovative and forward thinking so they can succeed.

What drives you to make a difference?
I’ve always been a big thinker, looking for the next project, or new ways to do or to create something to share with others. Great challenges excite me. If I come up with an idea and no one is doing it, then my hand is up, waving and I’m making plans to get it happening right now. I move quickly and anything that creates an impact and gives people something new then I’m all for it. I love change and I love new ideas.

As an innovator in my industry I’ve identified and filled a gap that was missing by making available new and fun ways for people to move their body. I’m personally motivated by this because I value health and wellbeing and growing up, I never found my ‘thing’ that made me want to be active. I tried so many sports and activities, but none were for me. So for me to be able to deliver a product, a service and now a platform giving people this opportunity to get active, really lights my fire.

Do you have any advice for getting more women into the innovation ecosystem?
Just go for it and don’t over think it. There’ll never be a perfect time and don’t worry if your ducks aren’t in a row or you don’t have the skills or the knowledge, because you can find the right people to surround yourself with who will support you all the way, or you can learn it yourself! Be brave, believe in yourself and find your people. These people can be found anywhere and everywhere, networks, friends, social media, CBRIN.

If you make a mistake, learn from it, pick yourself up and keep on going. It may feel uncomfortable but you’ll learn to become comfortable with the uncomfortable.

And once you make a decision, know that the universe (and all the amazing people around you) will support you every step of the way. You’ve got this.


Make a connection

Know someone who should be featured?