A novel approach to technology commercialisation and a commitment to flexible work has earned Sydney entrepreneur Natalie Chapman a finalist listing in the 10th annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business.

Chapman, the co-founder of technology commercialisation consultancy gemaker, is a finalist in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Asia, Australia or New Zealand category. A commercialisation and business development specialist, Chapman has been instrumental in negotiating the pathway to market for a range of novel Australian inventions since the company’s launch in 2011.

“Natalie is passionate about Australian innovation and about creating new pathways that will bring Australian innovation to the global market, and this awards nomination really acknowledges her immense talents in this sector,” says gemaker co-founder and commercial director Athena Prib.

“She has been the driving force behind the commercialisation of a number of novel ICT technologies, and has also worked with numerous Australian research organisations to help them develop more effective strategies to manage, promote and license their intellectual property assets.”

Chapman has also made her mark by building gemaker on a flexible  model that provides unique opportunities for women working in the technology sector. All gemaker staff work from home, choose their own hours, and opt in for specific projects that are a good match for their skill sets, allowing female staff to juggle the demands of their professional and family lives. It’s a unique approach within the sector – and one that’s already paying off.

“Technology remains a male-dominated sector that works along very traditional 9-5, five-day-week lines,” Prib says.

“Natalie was really interested in building a company with a focus on life around work, rather than work around life, and that’s a premise that is currently paying off for all our employees, whether they have children or not.

“She was also keen to demonstrate that being passionate and willing to work hard, as well as being committed to supporting your staff through the challenges of balancing work and personal responsibilities, is a recipe for success.”

Prior to joining gemaker, Natalie led commercialisation and marketing activities at a range of high-profile Australian technology organisations, including ANSTO and the University of Wollongong. In her role at gemaker, she has developed long-term relationships with clients across the mining, technology and engineering sectors. Her expert advice and thorough knowledge of Australian and international commercialisation practices led to an increase in company revenue of over 350% in the first year alone.

The Stevie® Awards for Women in Business is one of the world’s highest profile awards schemes, honouring the achievements of female executives, entrepreneurs and employees in over 90 categories.

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner in New York on November 8.

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