Ortelia Interactive Spaces keeping art exhibitions ‘open’ during COVID-19 

Joanne Tompkins is the Queensland #FemaleFounder behind Ortelia Interactive Spaces, which delivers exhibition design software and audience engagement applications to the cultural heritage sector.

Joanne founded Ortelia Interactive Spaces in 2013 to address the digital needs of the GLAM (galleries, museums, archives and libraries) sector. Her business started with only a small number of institutions, and now has a large worldwide client base – working with more than 100 local and international cultural heritage institutions. 

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ortelia Interactive Spaces was thriving, helping to keep art exhibitions ‘open’ across the globe through their world-leading 3D interactive online exhibitions. 

We chatted with Joanne to find out more about her business and her journey as a Queensland #FemaleFounder. 

What inspired you to start your business?

There was a clear gap in the private sector of companies willing to actively work with and within the fiscal constraints of the GLAM sector. We recognised that there was not only a need for digital applications specific to the sector, but a viable market if approached through the lens of our clients. We have a strong belief in the importance of digital technologies to the sector and recognise the importance of cultural heritage to society. 

What milestones have you reached?

Aside from specific stats, a major milestone we count is that we have been in business for nearly 10 years. In that time, we have continued to develop new technological innovations for the cultural heritage sector, a diverse sector with a range of needs, technological know-how, and economic strength.  

What business achievements are you most proud of to date?

We are pleased by the range of cultural heritage examples that have found Ortelia’s services valuable, both nationally and internationally. During the pandemic we have been instrumental in keeping art exhibitions ‘open’ around the world through our world-leading 3D interactive online exhibitions. 

Have you participated in any Advance Queensland programs, or received any support from Advance Queensland to date?

Yes! We received an Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund grant in 2018. 

What’s your advice for other female entrepreneurs and businesses starting out on their entrepreneurship journey?

Two pieces of advice: to be bold and don’t assume that your ideas won’t have traction or that someone else’s will be better. 

Last updated 05 May, 2022
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