The Victorian government’s Alice Anderson Fund has backed its first five women-led startups, funding comfortable breast pumps, a fitness app aimed at Gen Z, childcare support tech and more.
First announced in the state budget in November 2020, the $10 million Alice Anderson Fund is a so-called ‘side-car’ fund.
The state government provides a third of the funding for a startup’s funding round, with the remainder coming from private investors.
Its namesake, Alice Anderson, opened the first all-women garage in Australia, in Kew in 1919, when she was just 19 years old.
Anderson was reportedly committed to educating and creating employment opportunities for women in mechanics and engineering.
When announcing the fund, Victorian Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams said it would back the many “modern-day Alice Andersons” in the state.
The fund offers between $50,000 and $300,000 in funding for women-led startups, and is focused on early-stage funding rounds.
Of each $1 invested, $0.85 is taken as equity. The other $0.15 is provided as a non-dilutive grant.
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It’s not clear exactly how much funding the first recipients have raised through the fund, but the tech includes comfortable breast pumps, tools helping kids to talk and activewear made from recycled fabrics — with pockets.
Here are the first recipients of the Alice Anderson fund:
Founded by Rhianna Knight, Team Timbuktu is a direct-to-consumer outdoor clothing brand, using fabric made from recycled bottles. As an added bonus, the brand’s activewear comes complete with pockets.
Headed up by founder Sarah Agboola, mtime is a platform that matches parents with fully vetted and trained ‘moncierges’ — people who can help out with errands, chores, cleaning and babysitting.
Steppen is a free fitness app offering guided workouts, inspiration and motivation. It’s focused on social interactions and building a fitness and wellbeing community, in a bid to appeal to Generation Z consumers.
Milkdrop was founded by engineer Alex Sinickas, who found breast pumps to be painful and frustrating. The business makes cushions designed to be soft, comfortable and supportive, making breastfeeding easier for new mums.