The SheStarts team at BlueChilli is at it again, calling on women across the country to apply for ten spots in their next accelerator program for female-led startups.
We followed the progress of the startups SheStarts worked with this year, from opening applications in 2016 to announcing the ten women selected and the ups and downs that followed. The startups received $100,000 in funding, and a place in the accelerator program.
This year we’ve also watched the impressive progress of some of the women involved, including Carla Harris, who’s building her business Longevity App (and spoke to us about her busy schedule managing a startup with MBA studying and two very small kids at home) and Anna Wright, the founder of BanjoMaps, who was named a finalist in the emerging entrepreneur of the year category of this year’s Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards.
The 2017 cohort graduated in August, and managed to achieve everything from landing international deals to undertaking capital raisings, and securing major corporate partnerships and pilots.
SheStarts director Nicola Hazell said the program provides a “runway” for women to get started on big ideas, and is designed to help move the needle on gender equality in tech. “This is the future of our economy,” she said on the ten businesses she’s already worked with. “Diverse, purpose-driven, tech-enabled, and rooted in a desire to make a positive impact in the world. The results of SheStarts in its very first year demonstrates the power of inclusive design and collaboration.”
Nicola shared a number of insights from her experience with the 2017 program at a “From Idea to Exit” panel session at BlueChill this morning, noting that great founders are passionate about problem solving – but they don’t have to be able to do it all and should aim to work with great teams to make it happen. She also added that we only have “one life” so it’s important to live it with passion.
Farm Pay Australia CEO Naomi Stuart, one of the founders selected for the 2017 program, told the panel it’s essential to, “Surround yourself with great advisors and a cohort of supporting peers to lean on.”
The ten startups selected for the 2018 intake will receive a package of cash and services worth $100,000 each, as well as access to SheStarts’ in-house startup experts, partner network and advisors. They’ll also receive a sponsored trip to Silicon Valley and New York to help open doors to international partners, customers and investors,.
Plus, the women selected will feature in season two of the SheStarts documentary web-series, informing the rest of us how it’s done.
This is an excellent opportunity for women. If you’re sitting on great tech business idea, then put yourself forward.
And I’m also reassured you don’t have to be working in tech – or even have a background in tech – to apply.