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Female Founder Series


Empowering women to make more ambitious business choices

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Female Founder Series


Empowering women to make more ambitious business choices

Startup Victoria’s Female Founders committee launched in late 2014 to address the gender imbalance in high risk, high growth startups within Startup Victoria’s broader mission of “More founders, better founders”.

The Female Founder series of events aims to address the “Better Founders” objective. Women make up 50% of all startups in Australia…but only 5% of high growth startups.

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Female Founders Series 2015


Female Founders Series 2015


In 2015, 100 female founders participated in up to 12 hours of learning over 4 seminars delivered by 14 insightful speakers.

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Ambitions thinking & Funding landscape


Ambitions thinking & Funding landscape


Seminar #1: Ambitious Thinking

The seminar series began with Ambitious Thinking where we learnt from business strategist Tristonne Forbes what it took to think big, what a high growth company would look and feel like, and what steps we needed to take to get there.

Amanda Gome then empowered us with more than 50 great tips on how to succeed from her own personal experience at Smart Company, including 5 reasons women think they can't do it but they can! And Jo Burston filled us with hope with stories of the countless women that had been there before us.

Jo Burston from Rare Birds

Jo Burston from Rare Birds

 

Seminar #2: The Funding Landscape


Most high-growth companies need funding to help them to grow and so our second seminar was all about demystifying the funding landscape.
 
We brought the top echelon of funding providers together to give female founders an overview of when and how to access capital for growth.
 

Tristonne Forbes started the session with a broad overview of the funding landscape. 
Amir Nissen from AngelCube then spoke about accelerators
  and Wendy Kozica spoke about angel investing and the female focused investment group, Scale Investors.
Jordan Green introduced us to the grant funding available through Accelerating Commercialisation and
Liza Raynes and Caroline Gowan opened our eyes to banking options and the ANZ $2 billion pledge to fund startups and small businesses.

 
A panel discussion and up-close-and-personal discussions in small groups with each funding provider followed. It was a great session that lifted the lid on the common funding misconceptions and opened pathways to growth.

Tristonne Forbes presenting about Startup Funding landscape

Tristonne Forbes presenting about Startup Funding landscape

 
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Emotional Growth & The essentials of Scale


Emotional Growth & The essentials of Scale


Seminar #3: Emotion and business growth

Usually talk about Entrepreneurship involves sharing success stories and inspirational quotes about reaching further, going where no one has gone before, and daring to make a difference. The reality is a bit different.

We decided it was time to talk about the tough parts of entrepreneurship. To come clean about the emotional struggles so that we could help female founders to come out the other side of hard times feeling stronger. Being a good entrepreneur requires a little more than a great business model or exceptional marketing – you need to personally evolve, change and grow.

Richenda Vermeulen shared her story of starting and evolving the nTegrity agency. Hillary Dixon then explained the tough moments of building and maintaining her $60m company. And then Dave Curtis gave us some really valuable strategies for dealing with tough situations that help to take the edge off.

It was a great seminar with lots of discussion and a great 'we're in this together' supporting mood in the room.

Richenda Vermeulen Founder and Director of ntegrity.

Richenda Vermeulen Founder and Director of ntegrity.

 

Seminar #4: The Essentials of Scale


There’s a point in your startup’s evolution when things get really interesting. After you’ve done all the hard work of understanding your market, customers and profit drivers and you’ve been out there for a while. When you’re starting to feel some momentum; some serious interest in your offer.
 
As things begin to take off you’ll be faced with a completely new set of challenges. What is the most effective way to grow? Do you build your team now, or wait? Do you invest in bigger infrastructure now, or wait?
 
We were extremely lucky to have one of the world's leading experts on entrepreneurial growth Jana Matthews from the Centre for Business Growth and Kauffman Foundation, as well as scale expert Kerri Lee Sinclair from Aconex take us through what we need to do professionally and personally to get to the next level.
 
We now understand the four stages of growth, our role as CEO at each stage, and the importance of letting go by building a team of highly self-motivated employees that you can trust to take full responsibility for growth initiatives. A hugely valuable session.
 

Jana Matthews Director and Professor, UniSA Centre for Business Growth

Jana Matthews Director and Professor, UniSA Centre for Business Growth

News Soon! 

Female Founders are regrouping and designing our 2016 program to bring amazing opportunities for founders across victoria! 

Want to help us shape the future? Share your thoughts here in our 2016 Program Survey