Jennifer Holland, the first Australian female to be awarded the Silver Edison Award in New York, is an inspiring Hunter woman whose determination has revolutionised the medical industry. In 2015 Jennifer invented Throat Scope, an all-in-one light and tongue depressor that is used by medical, dental and healthcare professionals as well as everyday consumers at home.
Since receiving the backing of Steve Baxter, tech entrepreneur on Australia TV show Shark Tank, Jennifer has been on a mission to “light up throats around the world and educate people to recognise the signs of oral cancer”.
In her short career she has been named Young Business Person of the Year (2017) and Ausmumpreneur (2017) along with a host of other accolades. She is now set to launch Holland Healthcare Inc in the US.
A genuine local success story, Jennifer was born at the Calvary Mater Newcastle, grew up in Dudley and currently lives in Lake Macquarie. She is an entrepreneur, CEO, inventor, mother to four beautiful children and wife to a marine engineer. Born with innovative prowess and a whole lot of passion, Jennifer has been recognised by the international medical community multiple times for one simple idea that is lighting up the world - Throat Scope.
- Which Catholic Schools did you attend?
- St Joseph’s Primary School, Charlestown
- St Mary’s High School, Gateshead
- St Pius X, Adamstown
- Saint Francis Xavier, Hamilton (only for a week)
- Why did your parents choose Catholic Schools for you?
My mother has a strong Catholic background and she believed in her children being nurtured and educated through the Catholic education system.
- What do you consider to be the main benefits of your Catholic Education?
Belief, faith and a great education!
- Do your children - Ronan, Victoria, Isabella, and Ethan – attend Catholic Schools, and – if so – why did you choose Catholic schools for your children?
No they do not attend a Catholic primary school but they will attend a Catholic high school. Distance from our home played a major factor in deciding where to school our children during the primary school years.
- Being a mum, wife and an entrepreneur must be hard work. How do you manage to balance all your responsibilities?
My number one priority has always been my children; I juggle my work around their activities and needs! Work will always be there but my children are growing up fast and won’t want me hanging around forever!
- What inspired you to start and run your own business?
Since I was 16, I had a feeling that I wanted to do something different and there was more to life than working every day to make someone else rich. At 19 I purchased my first home and worked two jobs while completing university online. It was then I began to realise I had the ability to simplify processes and products. So I started a business journal and started making plans for all my ideas. I wasn’t really passionate about any of these ideas, but I couldn’t help myself, I had this drive to keep searching. A couple of years later I visited the doctor's clinic with my sick 15-month-old baby. He had a sore throat, so the doctor pulled out the wooden tongue depressor and handheld flashlight to look inside my child’s mouth. The doctor struggled to hold my child while opening his mouth with the wooden tongue depressor, and that was the moment that my inspiration + passion + idea hit me!! Throat Scope was born!
- What advice would you give anyone wanting to start and run their own business?
My personal motto along my business journey has always been:
Believe | Act | Persist
BELIEVE in yourself and your ability to achieve it; ACT on your idea, no one will do it for you and; PERSIST because Today’s No is Tomorrow’s Yes!
- 2011 throat scope won “What’s your big idea QLD?” from the Queensland government
- money awarded from this went into refining and developing the device further
- 2015 – Jennifer featured on Shark Tank Australia. Walked away with a deal from tech entrepreneur, Steve Baxter and national exposure which would excel throat scope to market
- 2015 – Sydney design award - gold winner
- 2016 – named Young Business Person of the Year at Lake Mac Business Excellence Awards
- 2017 – Ausmumpreneur “Productpreneur product innovation award” 1st place
- 2017 – named Silver Edison award winner and is endorsed by the US oral cancer foundation
- 2017 – Best Presenter award (Biomedical science section)
- 2018 – Pitch Tank ($110K from Amazon).