19th October, 2017
Earlier this year a report by Women’s Agenda found that ‘confidence in my abilities’ was the number one obstacle preventing women from meeting their career goals.
Personally, I can attest to this feeling. Not all the time, but during times of change or growth I’ve been known to doubt my abilities even when all the evidence indicates otherwise.
Startup accelerator BlueChilli picked up on this, as well as the fact that women represent fewer than a quarter of startup founders, and created the SheStarts program in response.
Launched in October last year, SheStarts is the country’s only venture-backed national tech accelerator designed specifically for female entrepreneurs.
The accelerator – backed by foundation partners ANZ and MYOB and supported by tech partners LinkedIn and Google – offers entrepreneurs a unique combination of early-stage funding, tech development services at no cost to the founder, world-class training and a global network of advisors and mentors.
SheStarts Director Nicola Hazell said the program is changing the face of the startup economy.
“SheStarts is all about supporting female founders to start and grow high-impact global tech companies,” said Hazell.
“The women of Australia have incredible ideas, passion and talent – they just need the runway to get started. The SheStarts program provides a proven model for backing ambitious women’s big ideas to turn those ideas into reality.”
The ten startups selected will each receive placement in the SheStarts accelerator program and a package of $100,000 in cash and services, including:
The founders will also feature in season two of the documentary web-series, aimed at redefining what it means to be a tech entrepreneur.
A national search is now underway to find the best ideas and founders across the country to solve major global challenges and tap into disruptive market opportunities.
Worried that you don’t have all the technical and business answers yet? Don’t let that stop you. (Because that’s kind of the point of the SheStarts program.)
“We’re committed to helping businesses succeed across Australia and New Zealand,” said MYOB Marketing GM, Natalie Feehan, “and we’re particularly passionate about SheStarts as a program that encourages women, importantly including non-technical founders, to have the courage to give it a go.
“SheStarts provides an incredible platform for talented entrepreneurs to take their ideas to market. We can’t wait to work with all the successful applicants this year to help them build thriving new businesses.”
The 2017 SheStarts founders created solutions in a diverse range of industries including AgTech, FinTech, SmartCities and ConsumerTech, with technology applications including blockchain, IoT, big data analytics, digital currency, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Their businesses are now solving global challenges in financial security and transparency, environmental sustainability, urban design, accessibility and inclusion, animal welfare and social diversity.
If you or any women that you know have a big idea that will positively impact a global problem, find out more on the SheStarts website.