The Women Smashing STEM – Article by Hannah James & Kate Wills, Elle Australia, April 2019
Dr Anabela Correia, CEO Livac Pty Ltd
Dr Anablea Correia is here to remind you that if you don’t know what you want to do when you grow up (even if you’re already grown up), that’s okay. “When I started my PhD in Medicine at Monash, I had a love of the human body and human health and I wanted to improve people’s quality of life. I was also raised in business, working in my parent’s shops.”
As the CEO of LiVac, an award-winning medical device company she plans to launch into the US this year, and the founder and CEO of Inner Maven, a company that helps technology start-ups get to market, both her jobs rely on her specific skillset of both scientific and business know-how.
Her “aha” moment came during her PhD when medical researchers gave presentations to the students. “They loved the research they were doing,” remembers Correia, “but none of them liked constantly writing government grants and applying for funding. I realised it’s easier to raise money to buy a racehorse than to raise money for research into the next cancer vaccine.”
As soon as she moved into technology commercialisation after her PhD, she wrote a business plan that won $2 million from state governement. “I knew this was what I’m here to do. That funding makes everybody else’s scientific and medical research possible, which ultimately benefits the greater community.”
Correia refuses to see her gender as a disadvantage. “I’ve often been not just the only female in the room, but also the youngest person by about 20 years. But having been raised in business, I was brought up believing everybody’s equal and everybody should have a voice. And I could see I had a valid opinion because I had a different perspective.”
Her secret to sucess? Joining Springboard Enterprises, a business accelerator for females founders. “It’s amazing – I cannot recommend it highly enough,” she enthuses. Her other tip: “I’ve never been afraid to ask questions if I don’t understand something. It doesn’t matter how senior you are, everybody’s always learning.”
Okay, so now we want to be Correia when we grow up.