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speaker

Julie
Hirsch

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Innovator & Social Impact Leader

The word “no” is not a stop sign, it’s a fork in the road.
Profile

Julie Hirsch is an award-winning social entrepreneur and innovator, recognised as Telstra’s Victorian Business Woman of the Year and named on the Forbes 30-under-30 list.

A dynamic and uplifting speaker, Julie is passionate about sharing her experience-led knowledge of how innovation, social impact, and entrepreneurial excellence can be embedded into commercial, educational, and government institutions.

Julie's thought leadership and inspiring entrepreneurial journey have been featured in publications such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Herald Sun.

Current Work

Co-Founder, Eloments Vitamin Teas: The world’s first natural vitamin tea, a patented innovation securing shelf space in 1500 stores within a year of launch, raising Series A funding to become part of the only 2.7% of equity capital that goes to female founders.

Co-Founder, Mullin Mulling Spices: a first-of-its-kind spice infuser that makes mulling wine as easy as brewing tea. Launched as a partnership with a Fairtrade cooperative in the highlands of Sri Lanka, this novel innovation was picked up by taste-makers in Australia (Blackhearts & Sparrows) and the USA (Boisson), and is gaining a cult-following of 0% ABV red wine enthusiasts.

Entrepreneur in Residence, AGL Energy: Cofounded ‘Electrify Now’ - AGL’s home electrification solution centre powered by advanced analytics (AI) to create a pathway for electrification in the home. An Australian-first by energy retailers that utilises smart meter data to understand customer usage and provide a suite of personalised options.

Monash Innovation Guarantee Partner: Following her involvement as a Monash Business School Fastrack Coach, Julie is currently an industry partner with the 400 student, cross-disciplinary Monash Innovation Guarantee.

Awards & Recognitions
2023 Most Innovative Companies Award, Finalist for Electrify Now, Australian Financial Review
2021 Most Innovative Company, Victoria; Kochie’s Business Builders
2020 Telstra Business Woman of the Year and the Telstra Emerging Leader of the Year, VIC
2020 Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30 List
2019 Melbourne Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Food and Beverage; Business News Australia

Expertise
Talking Points

Creating Persistent and Radical Innovation

As Co-Founder of the world’s first 100% natural vitamin team, Julie created a product that was described by Telstra’s HR Group Executive as having the potential to ‘disrupt a whole category’.

Beyond product innovation, Julie will discuss how persistent and radical innovation is possible at every level of business and can lead to opportunities for profit and purpose, as well as empowering staff outside the C-Suite.
Julie’s own businesses have proved by creating an ethical supply chain and patent-pending manufacturing process that are the backbone of their product’s success.

Key Takeaways:
- Creating a culture that fails forward (or the Duvet policy)
- Innovative thinking at every level of business
- Building the confidence to become a challenger

Building Impact at Every Level of Business

Fair and ethical decision making is possible at every level of business. Through both of her businesses, Julie realised that it wasn’t just through their certifications or donations that she could have impact.

Every decision was an opportunity for impact, from the warehouse where the goods were stored, the paper in their office to the farms that grew their tea. This creates a powerful environment for staff and leaders to make positive change within the remit of their role.

Key Takeaways:
- Identifying opportunities for impact from the smallest to the largest decisions
- Creating an ecosystem of empowered staff to make ethical decisions
- Every person becomes a change-maker every time we spend a dollar

Building the Next Generation of Innovative Entrepreneurs

An interactive presentation to inspire the next young innovator, entrepreneur, and social impact leader, tailored for VCE Year 11 / 12 Students in Business Management, or Secondary Students building their 21st Century Skills.

Julie represents the 1% of businesses started by a female entrepreneur under 30, having founded a Fairtrade tea company that secured shelf in 1500 stores during its first year trading, and raised over $1million in equity capital funding.

Your students will enjoy a funny, interactive and educational session that brings to life the concepts in core curriculum through real-world stories told by a Forbes 30 Under 30 list member.

Key Takeaways Include
- Nurturing the qualities to become a successful entrepreneur
- Baking impact into your business model
- How to build entrepreneurial bravery by understanding risk
- Managing Change through stories from the Global Pandemic
- How Julie and her business partner became part of only 2.7% of Venture Capital Funding to go to female founders in 2019, and how we can close that gap

World Environment Day 2024: Igniting Innovation for a Sustainable Tomorrow

What if we could extract practical strategies from nature’s 4 billion years of innovation?

Nature is the original innovator - forever iterating its designs to create new inventions that are life-affirming and balanced.

As each of us, individually and through our workplaces, grapples with the impacts we’re seeing from a changing climate, turning back to the practical inspiration that nature provides will help us create solutions for a more sustainable world.

A female founder with three ventures directly supporting climate resilience - from sustainable farming in developing countries to household emissions in Australia’s suburbs - Julie is passionate about sharing her experience-led learnings of how innovation can pivot our globe’s trajectory to a safe climate future.

This keynote has been crafted specially to inspire audiences on the 2024 UN World Environment Day theme of accelerating restoration and resilience.

Your audience will enjoy an interactive and motivating session that brings to life:
- inspiring stories of how nature innovates and how we can harness the inspiration all around us to spark trailblazing solutions for a more sustainable tomorrow
- how your diverse background and experiences can provide the powerful insights needed for the next world-changing innovation
- research-backed strategies to overcome climate burnout by an entrepreneur who has maintained her passion for practical sustainability working with leading environment-NGOs and co-founding a Climate Pledge business.

International Women’s Day 2024: Accelerating gender equality through economic empowerment

What if we viewed every dollar we spent as a vote for a gender-equal world?

As a female founder of two first-of-their-kind businesses that directly support women farmers in developing countries, Julie is deeply passionate about sharing her experience-led learnings of how economic empowerment will pilot us to a more gender-equal world.

This keynote has been crafted specially to inspire audiences on the 2024 UN International Women’s Day topic: “Count Her In: Accelerating gender equality through economic empowerment”

Your team will enjoy an interactive and practical session that brings to life:
- the power that each of us has with every dollar we spend to accelerate gender equality through economic empowerment,
- stories of how working with Fairtrade has directly impacted the lives of women farmers in developing countries
- Strategies to overcome gender-based barriers by an entrepreneur who joined the only 2.7% of equity capital funding that goes to female founders

Tea Tasting Experience

Enjoy a fun, interactive and inspiring tea tasting with Julie while she shares information on the history and rituals of tea, her own business stories of sourcing the cuppa in your hands, and strategies to find energy and focus amid both the disruption and excitement of your personal growth journey.

Experiment with aromas, textures and flavours and across a variety of small-batch Fairtrade teas while hearing a business journey that spans from the tea gardens of Sri Lanka to major supermarkets in Australia. This guided tasting can be customised based on venue and audience size, including:
1. A plenary set up: a tea station will be set up with pre-brewed pots of unique tea varietials. Julie is experienced at coordinating participants to fill their samples by row, so as not to interrupt the flow of content while ensuring everyone is enjoying their tasting at the right time. Requirements include: a small table near seating to hold thermoses, a cup for each attendee (I will bring tea-infuser thermoses, aroma bowls, and samples)
2. A cabaret set up with tables: As above, or 3 teapots will be needed per table. All pots can be filled with hot water prior to the tasting, as temperature is an interesting element to play with alongside flavour. Requirements include: 3 teapots per table, a 5L or 10L thermos of hot water centrally located in the venue, a cup for each attendee
3. A complimentary sample of 4 Fairtrade teas will be included for each attendee to continue their tea tasting journey at home.
Media
Audio
Feedback
Julie gave us some really important and valuable messaging on the importance of having a strong business purpose, especially if you truly want to make a difference. It’s truly inspiring to hear from a self-made business woman, who has overcome numerous hurdles & challenges to establish a brand/business from scratch and deliver game-changing innovation in an extremely competitive landscape. She was outstanding, where their presentation resonated with the whole audience. Mars Australia

The conference was absolutely fantastic, ALGWA were very happy, and the conferees enjoyed the varied speakers we had curated. Julie Hirsch was outstanding and an absolute pleasure to work with. Her workshop was very motivating. Please pass on our thanks.

Baw Baw Shire Council

On behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, I would like to thank you for officiating as our Master of Ceremonies at the 2022 Queensland AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award (RWA). You delivered an engaging ceremony to a diverse crowd with skill and professionalism. Your personal accomplishments in leading a business that is focused on making a positive community impact exemplifies the spirit of the RWA, and I appreciate your sharing your success story with the finalists and attendees.

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Julie Hirsch was a professional, inspiring and charismatic speaker. She was flexible and able to adapt her content easily. She engaged a C-Level audience, answered complex questions and maintained professionalism throughout the day.

Sitecore

What really impacted me was that she treated it like a conversation so I was more willing to listen and it wasn't boring. I was surprised to see the lengths and hardships she went through in creating her business. A major takeaway is to be resilient and to not give up. After hearing her, I know that if you ever hear 'no' that isn't a stop or end to something, just an opportunity to create a different pathway for yourself.

St Aloysius College Student

Julie was absolutely fantastic and covered many critical aspects of entrepreneurship from ideation to development to commercialization of product and services in a very interesting way. I found her a knowledgeable, passionate young entrepreneur with so much energy and positivity.

Deakin University Business School

We had the privilege of hosting award winning entrepreneur, innovator and Cofounder of Eloments natural vitamin tea and Mullin Mulling Spices, Julie Hirsch. Julie was so insightful and inspiring about how we can crack the code for gender equity. By combining innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset we can all build the innovations that are essential in achieving a more gender equal future.

Splunk Software

Julie's wealth of knowledge in [innovation] was evident, and she inspired the young people in the room with examples from her lived experience. We have had very good feedback from our students about the session and would love to have her back for our future iterations.

Monash University

As a facilitator and presenter for a Women's Retreat attended by high profile entrepreneurs, I could not rate Julie's presentation, preparation and commitment more highly. The content and training she delivered was powerful, informative and impactful. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her for other engagements. She is fantastic! Our attendees all rated her 10/10.

The Entourage

Julie was a guest speaker at the Digital Innovation Futures Festival. She brought incredible energy, prose and professionalism. Her deep industry knowledge and obvious passion for what she does shone through and inspired the audience. I’d highly recommend her for future events.

The Startup Network

Julie joined our panel on advancing gender equity and fulfilling personal and professional aspirations. Working with her was an absolute pleasure! Julie is truly professional, and such an inspiration. I thoroughly enjoyed gaining insights from her, and our audience benefited greatly from her incredible perspective. Without a doubt, the panel wouldn't have been as impactful without her.

Future Forte Conference

Julie was a huge hit at our event. She was lively, entertaining, genuine and passionate which made her a hugely engaging keynote speaker. She inspired a lot of women (and men) in the room for this IWD event! Her take away messages we can all apply to our work and life.

Hobsons Bay City Council

Julie was a wonderful presenter, she was knowledgeable, passionate and opened our students' eyes to the realities of entrepreneurship. The students were highly engaged and enjoyed the presentation. Always the worry when bringing guest speakers into the school is that students wont ask any questions; the students peppered Julie with questions which she handled with ease. We would thoroughly recommend Julie as a presenter.

Mount Evelyn Christian School
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