Gathar app creator Jodie Mlikota takes chef event idea overseas

When Cairns student Jodie Mlikota received a university assignment to build a start-up company that would solve a problem, little did she know that five years later she would be CEO of a multinational company.

Ms. Mlikota grew up in and around the Freshwater sugar cane fields, attended Cairns State High School and studied at the Cairns campus of Central Queensland University (CQU). Her first job outside of university was working at the Taste Port Douglas Food and Drink Festival.

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While studying at CQU, Ms. Mlikota received an assignment on entrepreneurship and thanks to her faculty’s encouragement, the Gathar app was born.

“The task was to create a scalable concept or to solve a problem that you had previously experienced,” she said.

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“I always had this idea in my head that it’s easy to book a car and book accommodation, but getting someone to come and cook for you, there wasn’t an app for that, so that’s where the idea came from.

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“My university lecturer said it was a really good idea and it might have legs, so that evening I went home and registered the business and the domain name.”

Jodie on a laptop sitting on pillows
Although she now runs an international company, Ms Mlikota still runs the business from her home in Cairns (Delivered: Jodie Mliktota )

In early 2018, Ms Mlikota flew to Brisbane to attend a start-up workshop where she pitched the Gathar idea.

This weekend she won an award to present at a global women’s startup weekend in Paris.

The beginning of an idea

After her presentation in Paris, Ms Mlikota returned to Cairns, quit her job and dedicated herself to starting her business.

“I knew there were home chefs out there and there were chefs who wanted to cook for people in their own homes but didn’t have the money for marketing or the business skills to go out and start a business and find clients,” she said .

“So we created a community of great chefs and cooks and introduced them to people who want them to cater for their small events.”

The first chefs recruited were all from Cairns and Port Douglas.

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