The University of Newcastle, Australia

Edtech founder shares her story of empowering teachers and students

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Kylie Burrett shares her startup journey as co-founder of edtech company Design Nuts at I2N's Startup Stories

Kylie Burrett has spent years working with children of all ages as an education consultant in media strategy and product developer. She's an award winning entrepreneur and her innovative products have seen adoption in schools across Australia and the world.

At I2N's Startup Stories virtual webinar on Wednesday 3 June, Kylie shared her journey so far helping students develop their design skills and visual spatial abilities, which she describes as, "one of the top predictors of success in STEM".

Design Nuts are a Newcastle-based startup built to empower all teachers and students to become confident visual thinkers capable of designing a better future for all. They help students embrace the power of design skills with their award winning tool, the Splat. The company has been awarded an Engineers Australia endorsement and sponsorship deal, are recognised as a prestigious Gold Winner as part of the Good Design Awards, and featured as one of Australia’s top innovations for 2019 on Ch10’s Australia by Design: Innovations TV show.

Catch up on Startup Stories with Kylie Burrett.

Design Nuts

Top takeaways:

  • Kylie describes choosing to pursue a startup over your day job as being akin to a break up. You have to be mentally ready to pick one.
  • Look at the problem first and the product second. Kylie had no idea what product she needed to create, but she saw a problem. It was deep research that helped her create the best product to fit that problem. I2N’s Validator program can help at this stage.
  • When boot strapping be sure to have a crystal clear understanding of your customer problem and a transparent and clear business model will illuminate your limited capital needs.
  • Kylie explains, keep your product very simple. The more complicated it is, the more friction your users and customers will have.
  • When needing specialised skills, partnerships with those that have these skills are essential. I2N connect events are a great way to spark these relationships.
  • It's not about agonising over making the right decision; it's about making a decision that is best for you at the time with the current information you have on hand.
  • If you make mistakes, you learn. Kylie says, "some of the biggest failures are the reason for our success!".
  • She goes on to explain that the most important thing is to keep the momentum going rather than getting caught up in the what-ifs and to build systems that scale to avoid bottle-necking.
  • Kylie expresses the need to factor in mental health into your version of success and understanding that projects like these take a long time.

The Integrated Innovation Network (I2N) is an initiative of the University of Newcastle aimed at boosting economic growth and diversity through entrepreneurship and innovation in the Hunter region. We fuel the success of innovators and entrepreneurs, regardless of their affiliation to the University, to build great ventures by connecting them to community, coaching, customers and capital through our Innovation Hubs and programs.

Keep up to date with future I2N events, programs and opportunities by subscribing to I2N's monthly newsletter or visit

Related news