According to Danielle Owen Whitford, the founder and CEO of Pioneera, “stress is the smoking of our generation”. It cost the Australian economy more than $15 billion each year. In the US that figure balloons to more than $500 billion.
It’s no wonder then that Danielle saw a market ripe for someone to step in and tackle his issue. Her solution is Pioneera, a platform that uses everyday language and behaviour for the early identification and reduction of workplace stress.
Danielle has seen this issue repeat itself time and time again. In addition to spending more than twenty years working in large organisations, Danielle also has a degree majoring in Psychology, and a Masters majoring in Communication. It was in the past twelve months however that she started asking people how they felt about a potential solution that combined behaviour and communication.
It was through this process that Danielle began to validate the demand for what would become Pioneera. She also happened to meet Nicola Hazell, the director of SheStarts, a competitive startup program designed to turbocharge female leadership in the innovation economy. Nicola encourages Danielle to apply and that’s just what she did.
Shortly after Danielle found out she had been successful! Coming into SheStarts as a non-technical founder the biggest challenge has always been to make sure the technology works to address what is essentially a “people issue”. That’s where, according to Danielle, the BlueChilli team have been so effective.
“The BlueChilli team, led by Claire Sawyers, and mentors have been wonderful in helping me build a business from the ground up, as well as introducing me to the right people. I couldn’t have done this otherwise.”
By going through the SheStarts accelerator Pinoeera has been able to get their MVP in market. In doing so they have scored a pilot program with one of Australia’s Big 4 banks and are also about to roll out several other pilots. Not only that, but Danielle has also had interest in their product from the US after a recent trip to New York and San Francisco.
As Danielle continues to move forward with Pioneera over the next 12 months she looks to continue their pilot programs, before rolling out the production ready version by year end. They will allow the company to build revenue into early 2019 where they will seek additional investment to expand the company further.
You can find out more about Pioneera on their website.