Accelerator looking to springboard female founders

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// Springboard is a program aimed at producing quality female founded businesses and scale-ups. Applications for its latest intake close on Feb 10…

Startups are hard enough, but with Fortune reporting recently that only 2.2% of global VC money goes to female founders, women-led startups seem to endure extra hurdles.

This is despite evidence that startups founded and co-founded by women are significantly better financial investments, with a recent study by BCG finding that businesses founded by women deliver more than twice as much per dollar invested than those founded by men.

Telling the story

Noga Edelstein, Springboard Enterprises (SBE) Australia Director and Springboard alum, said women-led businesses face many unique challenges, from unconscious bias in the capital raising process, to accessing networks which can assist them in building global, sustainable businesses.

Knowing how to pitch a business is also a very important lesson she honed at Springboard. Given that most VCs in Australia are men, it can be particularly tricky for female founders if they are pitching to a room of investors who do not necessarily connect with the problem their business aims to solve.

Though the environment is improving, the essential skill of telling the story in terms of numbers and metrics is one skill that became important to Noga’s skill set and success, as she successfully raised $1M for her on-demand home service marketplace UrbanYou within two weeks of completing the SBE by Springboard Enterprises Tech Program.

“It seems obvious now, but I was going in there pitching an emotional story, about how working women struggled to get things done around the house and needed help,” Noga told Startup News.

“What I actually needed to do was show the investors how I was going to make them money – that my business was addressing a $15 billion opportunity, and was doubling year on year.”

Other Challenges

Some of the other issues Noga found when building her startup was networks.

“Often women have less breadth and depth of networks than their male counterparts, and this can be exacerbated by inconvenient networking hours,” she said.

Being able to reach out to the right mentors and right people isn’t always the easiest task, but Noga says this can be improved by encouraging more female entrepreneurial role models.

“You can’t be what you can’t see, and it is important we increase the visibility of our successful women-led businesses to encourage and support aspiring female founders. SBE Australia works very hard to promote our many successful alumnae, which creates a virtuous cycle of support,” she said.

Boosting women in startups

Supporting women-led businesses is an important gap to fill in the market and that’s where the Springboard Enterprises Tech Program, run by SBE Australia, comes in, helping women led businesses gain the skills and networks they need to succeed.

SBE Australia has an enviable record of success, with over 85% of the 69 companies completing the Springboard Enterprises program going on to raise capital, and a collective $485M being raised by those companies.

With multiple success stories from around the country, including WA’s own Louise Daw of Miplan, Bernadette Olivier of The Volte, and Leearne Hinch of Bard1 over a number of years, SBE Australia has now opened its applications for their 2020 Springboard Enterprises Tech Program, ideally suited to later-stage women-led businesses with proven product market fit, strong customer traction and real potential for global expansion.

Springboard program SNAPSHOT

  • Over $458 million raised in 7 years by 69 alumni companies
  • 85% have raised capital
  • 6 companies have had exits
  • 2 companies have IPO’d

Applications close on the 10th February, the Bootcamp itself to be held in Sydney in May 2020.

Key Dates for the 2020 program:

  • Application Screening Period (17th to Sunday 23rd February)
  • Regional Interviews for shortlisted applicants (23rd March to  27th March)
  • Bootcamp (Sydney) (4th May to 7th May, though participants are encouraged to be in Sydney from Sunday until the following weekend). Session topics include company pitch, milestones and value inflection points, market and go-to-market strategy, partnering, technology, IP, term sheets, financial projections, due diligence
  • Advisory Period (18th May to 24th July)
  • SBE by Springboard Enterprises Dolphin Tank (Thursday 30th July). Entrepreneurs pitch their business and SBE celebrates the end of the 2020 tech program.

Visit www.sbeaustralia.org.au for further details or to complete an application.

If you have any questions, please reach out to:

If life science is more your thing, applications for the 2020 SBE Life Science Bootcamp will open in a month or two.

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