Springboard Enterprises Australia, an organisation which helps women entrepreneurs become investor-ready by connecting them with a network of advisors, investors, and alumni to open up investment and mentoring opportunities, has opened applications for the fourth intake of its annual accelerator program.
With the number of programs focused on women-led businesses continuing to grow, Elisa-Marie Dumas, CEO of Springboard Enterprises Australia, said the program looks to differentiate itself by working to the specific barriers women face in building bigger companies, those both self-inflicted and external.
“The ‘village’ that you join with Springboard is a powerful global network of people who have ‘been there, built that’ and are committed to helping her succeed. This network is forever, as you become a Springboard Alumni. It is an empowering experience, which has helped launch many successful companies,” she added.
The program, which is subsidised by corporate sponsorship and therefore does not take equity, sees the startups selected assigned a personal advisory network of relevant experts to help founders refine pitches and make connections. The network provides advice and consultancy on financial models, trademarking, IP protection, and how to access international markets.
The global Springboard network has helped over 500 female-driven businesses get off the ground since 2000, with these businesses raising over $6 billion.
Four of the ten startups that took part in last year’s program have raised funding since the accelerator wrapped up in October.
Medtech startup Healthkit, which has created a practice management system for private practices, a practitioner directory, and a health management platform for patients, raised $1.6 million in a Series A round earlier this month, while Rebecca Wilson’s Starts at 60, a digital media platform aimed at the baby boomer market, raised an undisclosed sum from Seven West Media, with the media giant acquiring a 33 percent stake in the platform.
Carolyn Mee of SoundScouts, which has created an app that gamifies hearing tests for children, raised just under $1.1 million from the Medical Devices Fund Grant for NSW Health, while Charlotte Petris’ Timelio – formerly InvoiceBid – raised $500,000 to help fund its expansion.
Seventy percent of the 26 companies that have completed the program over the last three years have raised capital, raising a combined $68 million. A third now have overseas sales and offices, and each and every company is still operating.
Dumas said, “Although this is no surprise, based on the 16 year results of the US Springboard program, we are impressed with the calibre of the women led companies in Australia, and their performance.”
Startups interested in taking part in the 2016 program can learn more here.
Image: the 2015 program intake.