LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick has won the Global Policy Champion award at the annual Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The GEC is a gathering of startup champions from around the world who are collaborating to develop a global entrepreneurship ecosystem. The congress is heading to Australia for the first time in 2023 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, from March 27–30 next year.
The GEN (Global Ecovillage Network) Compass Awards recognise leaders in their fields in the startup community.
Dr Chad Renando, Managing Director of GEN Australia, who accepted the award on behalf of Dr Cornick at the ceremony, said the Policy Champion award is for someone who has made the most significant contribution to advancing efforts to remove barriers to entrepreneurship through new policies, programs or changes to regulations at either the local, national or global level.
Dr Cornick was selected for her exceptional leadership as the head of LaunchVic, the Victorian government-backed startup agency, to accelerate startup ecosystem growth through a range of policy settings
In LaunchVic’s case they include strengthening diversity and inclusion, funding new angel networks, establishing the Alice Anderson Fund to invest in women-led startups and the Victorian Startup Capital Fund(VSCF) to improve the state’s VC landscape, unlocking up to $240 million for investment.
A new Fund-of-Funds VC firm, V-Ignite, is turning $60 million from the state government into $120 million for the VSCF. That, in turn, will then be distributed to VC funds to back early-stage startups on the proviso that they too match the funding, creating a $240 million war chest for Victorian startups.
Dr Cornick said she was deeply honoured to receive the Policy Champion award.
“It’s incredibly rewarding and humbling to receive global recognition for the work we are doing at LaunchVic and particularly the policy outcomes we have driven, which are are novel and world-leading,” she said.
“Since LaunchVic was created by the Victorian Government in 2016, we have seen the value of our early-stage startup sector quadruple in size from $2.21 billion to $10.5 billion in 2021.”