Almost a year after first launching the Tech Ready Women incubator program out of Tank Stream Labs, Christie Whitehill is taking it online to help women across regional Australia get their startup ideas going.
First launched last May as an eight week program designed for non-tech female founders, the idea for it came from 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.
Having now run a couple of cohorts in Sydney and another coming up, Whitehill decided to also take it online in order to reach and serve women across the country, with those in regional Australia in particular lacking easy, in-person access to mentorship and support.
“Regional Australia has been the birthplace of some of our greatest innovative startups, but is often overlooked when it comes to mentoring entrepreneurs, particularly in helping female tech entrepreneurs accelerate their tech startup journey to success,” Whitehill said.
“We are so thrilled to be launching this online accelerator program so women in any location can be equipped with the skills, education and sense of community they need to empower their tech startup journey.”
Running for 12 weeks, the online program will offer self-paced learning, as well as virtual accountability sessions, taking participants through different tech platforms, how to brief a designer and interview developers, how to sketch their screens, how to prioritise features for their MVP, and how to conduct market research.
Also part of the course is a strategy session with Whitehill, and time with a UX specialist who will work with participants to analyse and appraise their design concept.
Among the graduates of the Tech Ready Program is Hear Us Roar, a marketplace for plus-size or ‘curvy’ women’s clothing. Then taking place in the Hatchery Accelerate program at the University of Technology Sydney, it is on track to turn over $500,000 this year.
Also looking to provide more support for women-led startups is a collective of women working across the Australian venture capital industry, who this week announced a series of events to take place on International Women’s Day.
Kicking off at 3pm at Fishburners in Sydney is a group session to help participants work through a problem they share with their fellow founders, followed by one-on-one office hour slots, and later, networking drinks.
“By collaborating together, we believe that creating a community of women helping women will speed up the pace of change in Australia, for the benefit of all,” the group stated.
Image: Christie Whitehill. Source: Supplied.