On International Midwives Day The Leader pays honour to a born and bred Tamworth midwife who has not only introduced hundreds of new faces into the world, but is also revolutionising the industry and experience for regional and rural mothers and families. The Birth Beat business continues to boom as Mrs Sharrock is now in the sights of big business to bring her unique methods of care to the world.
A Tamworth entrepreneur could be on her way to becoming the next Australian mogul of women’s health after her business was picked up by Australia’s leading health tech accelerator.
Five years ago, when the Tamara Private Hospital’s birthing suite closed its doors, local midwife Edwina Sharrock founded Birth Beat, and the company has been going from strength to strength ever since.
The business began as a local face to face prenatal course, before interest grew to a point that Mrs Sharrock launched a digital platform last year so that anyone could access the program remotely, and now it has caught the attention of big business.
What's this Faces of Tamworth all about?
Last year while using the UNE Business Incubator in Tamworth Mrs Sharrock heard about HCF Catalyst, a health tech business program, powered by Slingshot Accelerator.
“The UNE Incubator is great, it is a free work space where you can bounce ideas of other people,” Mrs Sharrock said.
“A lady in there told me about the HCF accelerator a few months ago, and here I am.”
After applying, and proving to be a worthy candidate with a viable business idea she then had to prepare an eight minute pitch in front of the HCF CEO and many others, including four minutes of question time.
“I’m a good midwife but I didn’t know squat about business. They asked me to send them a pitch deck, so after googling what a pitch deck was I made one and pitched to them,” she said.
“It was exactly like being on Shark Tank.”
The pitch worked and the investors bit, accepting the midwife into the Catalyst program where she will now spend four days a week for 12 weeks in the Sydney based accelerator.
“It is face to face business coaching with guest lecturers and Tank Stream Labs,” she said.
“Afterwards I pitch to HCF and other potential investors that are interested in having a stake in the business.”
One possible result is that HCF takes Birth Beat on for its health fund, although the sky's the limit.
“I am really excited at the prospect of what it will allow me to do,” Mrs Sharrock said.
“My vision is strong – rural and regional women should have a choice. I want all women to have a better birth experience.”