Five years ago Tamworth midwife Edwina Sharrock had a dream, on Saturday that dream became a reality, as her startup was picked up, and delivered to millions.
In 2013 Mrs Sharrock began delivering face to face birthing classes, offering Tamworth locals an alternative to the hospital classes.
As her reputation grew so did her ambition, and late last year Birth Beat launched online, essentially delivering a digital midwife to anyone who owned a computer.
Less than six months later the entrepreneur was scouted by the HCF Catalyst, a 12 week intensive business Slingshot Accelerator, with the opportunity of investment at the end.
As it turns out HCF invested, and as of Saturday June 1 they are offering Birth Beat to their 1.5 million customers through the brand new My Family product range, which will see members get a full rebate on the Birth Beat program.
“It has been a complete whirlwind since we went online, but I am super excited about the deal, and have had a great experience in the Slingshot program,” Mrs Sharrock said.
“The whole reason I started Birth Beat was to give as many women in Australia as possible access to classes, and access to choices and a better birth experience for all Australians – now I can do that.”
After returning from the program with the good news, Mrs Sharock has had to resign from her full time role in Disaster Management at the Tamworth Hospital to throw herself full time into Birth Beat, although she has no plans on leaving town.
“I am going to continue doing face to face classes in Tamworth because that’s what I love doing, offering my services to the community,” she said.
“I am really proud that this business has grown out of the Tamworth – I would never have got anywhere near this stage if it wasn’t for the support of the Tamworth community.
“Until now it has been a bit of a side hustle, or a part time passion project, but now I can go full time – and I love my job.”
The extra attention and investment has also allowed Mrs Sharrock to add to the digital Birth Beat experience.
“There is 12 hours worth of antenatal content, but we have also sourced the best teachers in all areas to provide prenatal yoga, relaxation and stretch courses, while I also do breast feeding, sleep and settle advice as well,” Mrs Sharock said.
“Having the program reviewed by top obstetricians and midwives through the program has given me great confidence that I do have a good product.
“It has been challenging at times, but also really rewarding and a great experience.”