Melbourne Business School News Part-time MBA the perfect fit for techpreneur Leonore

Part-time MBA the perfect fit for techpreneur Leonore

If there’s one piece of advice Leonore Ryan (MBA 2004) wants to give budding women tech entrepreneurs, it’s “do it!”


“If you are interested in it, go for it,” Leonore said. “There aren’t enough of us. The number of programs I’ve done or meetings I’ve been in where I’m the only woman in the room…and that’s crazy. Why should it be like that?”

Leonore is an award-winning entrepreneur who co-founded Cardihab, a cardiac rehabilitation product for healthcare providers that allows patients to share their recovery information with their healthcare provider via a smartphone app for patients and a secure web portal for the clinician.

She recently won ‘The AMP Amplify Award for Best Technology Start-up founded by a woman’ and ‘The Austrade Best Startup Award’ at the Tech23 2016 conference.

“Cardihab is a ‘spin out’ company from CSIRO where I have worked since 2007 in technology commercialisation roles. Our first product is a Software as a Service (SaaS) product that we license to hospitals and it helps them deliver cardiac rehabilitation and chronic disease management programs to their patients, whether the patients are able to come to the hospital or not,” Leonore said. 

With a passion for science, Leonore decided she wanted to take that passion to the next level and broaden her experience into the technology commercialisation sector through a Part-Time MBA at Melbourne Business School – and it gave her the skills, networks and confidence to start Cardihab years later.

“The experiences I was having at work at the time and what we were talking about in class, made it a much richer experience and I was able to apply new skills on the job straight away and also start to think about Cardihab.”

When Leonore started her MBA she was a production manager in the clothing industry. By the end of the course she was a managing industry engagement for Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology.

Leonore and her Cardihab team are currently working to raise seed capital and develop the program’s commercial viability and spending time in places like STARTUP61 Melbourne Health Accelerator, based in the Royal Melbourne Hospital. The accelerator was co-founded by fellow scientist and Melbourne Business School graduate Dr Patricio Sepulveda (Executive MBA 2016).

“I do call on the alumni network to look for someone when I’ve got a technology I am interested in and looking for contacts to take that forward,” Leonore said.

She said it was fantastic to be based at the health accelerator because of the ability to interact with clinicians and have “real life” advice that is so hard to get otherwise.

And now as an entrepreneur Leonore said the skills she learned in her MBA are just as important.

“It’s that ability to understand a little bit about finance, a little bit about HR and know when to get advice and what to get advice on,” Leonore said.

For more information on Cardihab contact [email protected].