SBE Australia has today opened applications for its 2018 accelerator program, seeking a 10-strong cohort of female-led startups to participate in the intensive two-month program.
Running locally since 2013, Springboard Enterprises was founded by entrepreneur and angel investor Topaz Conway, and Wengeo Group chairman Wendy Simpson. The company is not-for-profit and takes no equity stake in the startups that complete its program.
A number of notable alumnus have emerged from SBE Australia’s accelerator program, including Mentorloop, which has raised over $1 million in two rounds since 2016, and ASX-listed Flamingo, which raised $5.1 million in just 12 minutes last year. Canva founder Melanie Perkins also participated in 2013.
“This is our sixth year of delivering The Springboard Enterprises Australia Accelerator and our 45 alumnae have performed far above the Australian norm. With 85 percent successfully raising capital post-program, we have seen $180m go to these women-led companies, had two ASX listings, and three acquisitions,” Conway said in a statement.
“We know without a doubt that when women are adequately funded and have access to supportive networks they perform well. In fact they outperform. Our program creates an environment that builds confidence, knowledge and connections that is life changing for women entrepreneurs and their businesses.”
Applications for the accelerator close on February 23, with the selected companies to be announced on March 12. The program then kicks off with a three-day bootcamp in early April, followed by an eight-week coaching program to help selected companies access “high-value networks” in the US and Australia.
The program then wraps up with a “Dolphin Tank” pitching session to an audience of investors and business people.
The accelerator program has also just added founder of home services marketplace UrbanYou Noga Edelstein as a board member. Edelstein participated in the accelerator program last year. In the time since, she raised over $1 million in less than two weeks and acquired competitor HomeHello.
“As SBE Australia’s newest board member, I’m looking forward to participating in all aspects of the Springboard Enterprises Australia Accelerator this year, from the interview stage to the bootcamp to being a mentor. I am hitting the ground running!” Edelstein said in a statement.
“For me, joining the board is a way to pay it forward and give back to the community. The ecosystem around female entrepreneurship has been so supportive of UrbanYou and we wouldn’t be in the same position without it. I now have a responsibility to help those coming up through the ranks in the same way.”