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"Heads Over Heels is a team of deep specialists who helped provide clarity to my thoughts."

Katherine McConnell is the CEO and founder of Brighte, which started in 2015 and is now one of the emerging stars in the Australian startup scene. Famously backed by Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-brookes, Brighte aims to make it easier for Australians to pay for the latest innovations for their home. We recently caught up with Katherine to see how she has progressed since presenting at Heads Over Heels in March 2017 and her experience as a Portfolio CEO.

What's your company's point of difference?

Brighte is a specialist marketplace and finance provider for home energy improvements. With Brighte, homeowners can find suitable vendors, and get finance on-the-spot for big ticket purchases such as solar and battery. On the flipside, vendors get leads and prompt payment by selling with Brighte.

How did Heads Over Heels provide practical support?

  • Network of great connections to help us move the needle on certain strategies.

  • Guidance from a team of specialists on how to present Brighte.

What is the single biggest thing that helped you grow?

I had a fantastic experience in regards to the preparation for my presentation for the Heads Over Heels Portfolio event. Heads Over Heels is a team of deep specialists who helped provide clarity to my thoughts. This coaching from board members Felicity Waterford, Fiona Boyd and Jason Eisner helped me with future presentations. It was great to be able to access this sort of expertise so early on in the journey to building Brighte.

Who or what were your 'connections for growth'?

There were just so many but a fantastic one was my mentor Melissa Widner who is a General Partner at NAB Ventures and is a Board member of Heads Over Heels.

What one thing would you do differently?

I received so many leads from the presentation and it was at such an early stage of growth – in hindsight, I would make sure I was adequately supported in my business so I could follow up fast on the connections.

What advice would you offer the women following you?

Self-belief is critical. Plenty of people tell you can’t do it or why it won’t work. Ignore it and back yourself.

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