The latest cohort for SBE Australia’s Springboard Enterprises Australia accelerator has been revealed, with eight female founders across a diverse range of industries set to dive into the accelerator program.
The female-only accelerator consists of a four-day bootcamp in Sydney and eight weeks of coaching, culminating in a Shark Tank-style pitch competition to investors and business people.
Applications opened in January this year and this cohort will be the sixth one ran locally since 2013. Among the alumni from previous cohorts are well-known startups Mentorloop, Canva, and Flamingo.
The accelerator aims to boost female representation and participation in the Australian startup ecosystem. According to SBE Australia, the local ecosystem contributes $164 billion to the Australian economy, but venture-backed female founders represent just 17% of that — a percentage that has not grown over the past five years.
“SBE Australia is committed to strengthening the position of women in the Australian startup economy. In the six years since its founding, the Springboard Enterprises Australia Accelerator program has helped 45 alumnae rise above the norm for Australian standards,” SBE Australia chair and angel investor Topaz Conway said in a statement.
“Because the tech space is heavily led by men, SBE Australia advocates for gender parity in order to give female-led tech businesses more of a voice in the space. The contribution female founders make to the Australian economy is significant and diversity is good for business. We are excited to bring on a new cohort and help these women take their businesses to the next level.”
Newly appointed SBE Australia board member and UrbanYou founder Noga Edelstein said in a statement the extensive coaching and education provided by the accelerator is designed to build new skills for founders, allowing them to test business models and hopefully leading them to more “a-ha” moments.
“The value of the program is not just gaining access to SBE Australia’s network but it is also reaching those ‘a-ha’ moments through the help of a dedicated team of smart and savvy business mentors guiding you and challenging you through every step of the process,” she said.
The eight founders in the new cohort and their businesses are:
1. Anastasia Volkova, Flurosat (NSW) – An agtech company that montitors crops using satellite and drone imagery.
2. Barbara Sharp, Pax Republic (VIC) – An artificial intelligence-powered regtech and HR startup that uses employee responses to get insights and data on company culture.
3. Bernadette Olivier, The Volte (WA) – A startup looking to connect designers and stores with customers to rent or borrow designer dresses.
4. Claire Morris, Prezzee (NSW) – An app that allows consumers to buy, send, and store gift cards from a range of Australian retailers.
5. Georgie Drury, Springday (NSW) – An online wellbeing marketplace.
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6. Kylie Legge, Place Score (NSW) – A service that allows customers to rate and share details about their local communities to better inform government development.
7. Mel Gollan, RIP Global (NZ) – A paperwork and receipt-free expense reporting and bookkeeping startup.
8. Sabrina Bethunin, MadeComfy (NSW) – A property management startup aimed at short-term rentals.