Accepting the accolade yesterday in front of a packed room at Bloomberg Sydney, Jade said she had come from a long line of strong women who had propelled her vision.
Mikaela’s app, Indigital Storytelling is helping to ingrain Indigenous stories and history into mainstream consciousness through augmented reality. The technology brings the world’s oldest living stories to people of all ages, allowing users to precisely identify historic Indigenous places, artworks and objects by using nothing more than the camera on their smartphone.
The business was originally based in Kakadu but has since relocated to Canberra to work more closely with policy makers. Jade and her team collaborate with some of the oldest communities in the most remote places to ensure the authenticity of Indigital is maintained and stories of cultural heritage are presented compellingly. The business also seeks to open up job opportunities to Indigenous communities through the digital economy.
Having started her own career as an environmental biologist and park ranger, Mikaela’s passion was fuelled by a love of land and Aboriginal history, despite only learning of her own Indigenous heritage at age 29.
She self-funded her initial idea before securing a government grant to build the concept out further; teaming up with tech experts in the UK who worked on development with her for two years. She now manages a small team off shore.
Indigital has taken Mikaela across the world. She was selected as one of 21 entrepreneurs to attend the PM’s Reception for Indigenous Innovators and Entrepreneurs in 2016, and is a United Nations Permanent Forum Indigenous Issues Delegate.
As winner of the prestigious Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award yesterday, Mikaela will also be adding France to her list of travel conquests. She’ll be flown there, given a tour of the Manoir de Verzy and the House’s Vineyard in Reims.
The New Generation Awards, celebrate emerging female entrepreneurs under the age of 40; correlating with the formative years of Madame Clicquot’s tenure as head of Clicquot Maison.
Taking over this position at just 27 years old, Madame Clicquot was an ambitious visionary, the creator of Rosé and known to her peers as ‘La Grande Dame de La Champagne’ (The Great Lady of Champagne). She was regarded for her tenacity, fearlessness and spirit– a legacy that continues to inspire female business owners globally.
Hollywood actor and philanthropist, Frieda Pinto gave the keynote address at yesterday’s ceremony speaking of female empowerment, and the push for equality–particularly in light of recent, groundbreaking movements.
“Today we celebrate fearless women like Madame Clicquot and this year’s winner, Mikaela Jade,” she said. “They inspire us to take risks, be bold, ignore the rules and move forward towards greatness. In the words of Madame Clicquot: ‘Act with audacity. We must invent the things of tomorrow'”.