Women to the front #2
Anna Wright | CEO & Co-Founder | BindiMaps (Canopy Founder)
We’re putting women to the front throughout March (and beyond) in honour of Women’s History Month. There are so many wonderful women in the industry doing amazing things that we think should be celebrated!
Today we’re thrilled to be shining the spotlight on BindiMaps’ CEO & Co-Founder, Anna Wright. We stole a quick chat with Anna this week to get some insight on how BindiMaps came to be, what future changes she hopes to see in the industry, and who and what keeps her going.
BindiMaps are currently looking for a Senior Account Executive to join their team. More details >> here.
Name, Role, Company, founded?
Dr Anna Wright, CEO and cofounder of BindiMaps, founded 2017
What does BindiMaps do?
BindiMaps is a smartphone app that helps anyone find their way around a complicated indoor space like a hospital or shopping centre. BindiMaps is now for everyone, but we started as an app to help those who are vision impaired as navigating unfamiliar buildings is particularly difficult if you have low or no vision [the next time you see a Braille sign somewhere, ask yourself — “if I couldn’t see, how would I find that sign, or even know that it was there?”]. After working out a solution for those with low or no vision, we realised that everyone gets lost inside of complicated unfamiliar buildings, so we released a map view for those who could see, wheelchair routing for those who prefer that, and we are currently working on autism spectrum routing.
What moment has brought you the most joy looking back on your journey to date with BindiMaps?
Definitely working with my team, and with users! My team is a group of super talented geniuses and it is a joy every day to watch them do their thing. I also love working with our users. User testing is so incredibly important in all things, and when you are working on an outcome for someone with a disability it is absolutely imperative to include those voices with lived experience in the design and build. I have also been witness to any number of tears of joy when those users realise that they can navigate a building on their own — often for the first time in their lives. Bindi is short for “Be Independent” and that is something that we want to give everyone in our built environment.
What’s something you think all founders should know about the ‘startup’ journey?
I think that everyone here says how hard it is! But I would rather say that there is incredible joy. I was a solo founder when BindiMaps started, and to see it grow as other people realised what we were doing and how important that work was is a real buzz!
Prior to starting BindiMaps what were you doing?
Prior to Bindi I was an academic in the Business School at The University of Technology Sydney and I had my own consulting practice where I worked on the finance and business side of start ups.
Name a woman that inspires you?
Oh there are so many! But to name a couple — Melanie Perkins at Canva, and the way that she has been able to build a team and a culture; and Jennifer Doudna (scientist) for her ground breaking research and navigating the balance of very tricky ethics, scientific findings and business.
As a female founder, what changes would you love to see in the industry?
More females! But that is an easy answer. What I would really like to see (especially in Australia) is more founders who are in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. There are plenty of university based entrepreneurship schools for younger people, so they are well taken care of. But it is once you have some lived experience and skills under your belt that there could be some awesome ideas for new businesses — and I would love to see those!
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Connect with Anna Wright