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Mashblox founder makes Foxtel debut

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Being recognised as an industry leader requires a certain edge in business nowadays, but having a for-profit, research-led business model certainly helps.

Local Canberra businesswoman Alix O’Hara features in the Foxtel Series Industry Leaders—debuting tomorrow night—acknowledging her work in infant health. This comes after engaging four universities worldwide to progress self-feeding research, using her infant self-feeding invention Mashblox among a suite of age-appropriate self-feeding tactics.

“A baby knows better than anyone when they’re full, but there’s often a choking risk with solid foods used for self-feeding methods to date. The key that Mashblox provides is to playfully let children feed themselves mush textures, and decide for themselves how much they need to eat.”

Behind the Scenes with Mashblox.

Mashblox are hollow silicone building blocks used for serving “mash potato” consistency foods.

If you’re a Canberra local, you may have seen them before since we originally featured Alix in August 2017 after her first business award with Canberra Women in Business, and her first partnership for pro-bono research with University of Canberra. She’s since been recognised in five awards.

“I base my business philosophy on the idea that if any business is just a scalable solution to a problem, then it follows that our most significant global challenges are also our greatest opportunities,” says Alix.

“I actually see it as business’ responsibility to make impact in these issues, because government cannot do so alone. Capitalism isn’t broken, just misapplied. It’s these values that have really propelled my success. I’m also seeing a number of Canberra start-ups tackling various environmental challenges, which is such a relief.”

Alix O’Hara

When Alix founded Mashblox with Griffin Accelerator in 2016, four of their five teams for the year were female-led, and she credits our own capital city as being a key contributor to her success.

“Canberra Innovation Network has also been a really powerful incubation hub. This was the first place that I found respect for my mind,” says Alix, who also makes case for the benefits of the broader Canberra environment to business.

“We have almost every industry sector besides space exploration within reach here, and a culture of supporting small business. We’re small enough that everyone with the skills you need to grow is within easy reach, and large enough to attract delegates from international diplomacy whose performance criteria include helping your expansion.”

As for Alix herself, she says her next steps for Mashblox are global.

“We already have interest from international distributors. Combining such unique benefits to common challenges like infant fussy eating, with such powerful research, I see unprecedented brand positioning opportunity here, for Mashblox to be a globally-recognised industry thought leader too”

She adds with a smile, “I’m just so proud that it started here in Canberra. I couldn’t imagine a better place for it.”

The Industry Leaders feature premieres 8 pm Tuesday 30 April on Foxtel.

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