The percentage of female startup founders or cofounders across the global ecosystem varies according to which source you look at, with Crunchbase putting it at 17 percent and the latest Startup Genome survey reporting 16 percent; the same survey found Sydney has one of the highest rates of female founders globally, with 22 percent.
Whatever the exact percentage may be, however, it is a fact almost universally acknowledged that there aren’t enough women in tech and women founding startups.
Looking to provide more support is Tech Ready, an eight week program designed for non-tech female founders.
The program, which will see participants meet for a three-hour workshop each week, was born out of founder Christie Whitehill’s own experiences launching tech platforms Fancy My Friend and Fancied.
With no tech background of her own, Whitehill said she made a number of wrong turns that saw her lose tens of thousands of dollars in development costs and consultancy fees; Tech Ready aims to provide other women with the knowledge and tools to avoid making the same mistakes as they start out.
“Not enough is being done at the beginning of the pipeline, particularly for women who don’t have the support of a big company or want to start something up for themselves,” she said.
“With only 22 percent of startups being run by women, there is an enormous amount of great talent and ideas being lost for no good reason. A large part of that is a lack of confidence from women in their technology knowledge and a lack of time to catch up.”
The program aims to help founders validate their idea and test the market, learn how to build an MVP, understand the basics of software development and how to choose the right tech platform for their MVP, learn how to hire the right developers and understand the risks and benefits of outsourcing, and validate their business model.
Among those leading workshops will be Workible’s Fiona Anson, Shelley Laslett of the Australia Post Accelerator, TheRight.Fit and Wink Models founder Taryn Williams, and Brad Delamare of Tank Stream Labs.
With the early bird fee for the program set at $3,500 plus GST, participants will receive $10,000 worth of hosting and services from Amazon Web Services and an account with legal startup LawPath.
Tech Ready is the latest program to launch for female founders, with SBE Australia last week announcing its new E3 program aimed at female tech founders who are beyond the idea stage, but not quite ready for its mid-stage accelerator program.
To run in Sydney from July, the eight week program will see participants take part in a series of workshops aimed at equipping them with the skills and confidence to build high-growth tech businesses.
Julie Demsey, general manager of SBE Australia, said the E3 program wants to help build stronger female-led tech companies by allowing founders to grow in a welcoming environment with like-minded people.
Applications for the first Tech Ready intake, starting in June, are now open.
Image: Christie Whitehill. Source: Supplied.