Our second RISE UP 2023 finalist is Gina Urlich, clinical nutritionist and founder of Norish. Norish uses freeze-dried technology and recipes to create baby food that delivers essential nutrients without the use of synthetic vitamins or minerals. Gina's background is in nursing and pathology. Her decade-long work at the Mater Mothers Hospital in South Brisbane sparked a passion for preventive medicine which led to her obtaining a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional Medicine and running a private practice specialising in Women's Health and Infant Nutrition.

How did the idea for Norish come about?  

I knew that the baby food industry was nutritionally poor and hadn't seen any significant innovation in the 16 years I had been a mother. Motivated by this realisation, I set out to develop a product line that ticks all the boxes: rich in nutrients, convenient, sustainable and scaleable. Norish is the first shelf stable baby food that delivers essential nutrients without the use of synthetic vitamins.

What do you love most about being a business founder?

I really enjoy the challenge and excitement of building something from scratch, seeing my ideas come to life, and making a positive impact on our most vulnerable population. I also appreciate the opportunity to work on something that I am passionate about and the potential for financial success and personal growth that entrepreneurship can offer.

What has been your biggest challenge so far in your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome it?

Entrepreneurship can be demanding, both physically and mentally. Juggling a young family and passion for building a new business often feels like there are not enough hours in the day. I have learnt to work smarter, not harder. Connecting with leaders in the industry that can offer guidance and support has also been a huge help in this journey.

What’s a business highlight you’re proud of?

I am really proud of the awards we have achieved in such a short timeframe, but the most humbling highlight is the daily feedback from parents thanking us for the products and the impact we are having on our youngest generation.

What or who inspires you?

My four children. The unwavering confidence and self-assuredness displayed by my children inspires me daily. They fearlessly tackle challenges, embrace their individuality, and believe in their own abilities. Their resilience and authenticity remind me to have confidence in myself and approach life with a positive mindset.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Failure is a part of the entrepreneurial journey. Don't let setbacks discourage you; instead, view them as valuable learning experiences.

Do you have any advice for female entrepreneurs?

Remember, being a female entrepreneur comes with its own set of challenges, but it also presents incredible opportunities for growth and impact. Stay determined, support other women along the way, and celebrate your achievements as you make your mark in the entrepreneurial world.

How do you unwind from work?

I meditate, journal and walk. Nothing beats a good walk in nature.

What three things can’t you live without?

Coffee, nature and family. ...in no particular order ha ha.

If you won RISE UP, what would you use the money for?

Early-stage startups are thirsty and every cent helps maximise business growth. The prize money would go towards expanding into new markets and launching new products. This is a huge step up in our business that will take us to a new level and a very exciting opportunity for our brand.

RISE UP 2023 is proudly sponsored by Callaghan Innovation.

Get your FREE ticket to our RISE UP Pitch Night in Hamilton on 29 August 2023.