Startmate’s summer cohort invests in women cofounders for 60% of the startups

- February 22, 2024 5 MIN READ
startmate founders
The Startmate Summer2024 cohort
The 10 startups in Startmate’s Summer24 accelerator cohort go a long way to addressing a key concern for the sector, with six of them featuring women founders, including two all-female teams.

Support for female founders has been a sore point for the sector, despite recent improvements, such as VC funds pledging to report their investment efforts in women and the 2023 State of Australian Funding report finding that 18% of VC funding goes to women cofounded startups (a figure skewed by a couple of large raises, including $31 million misattributed to the year when the deal was done in 2022 but only reported last year).

More impressively, Startmate has jumped its own bar, having supported an average of 43% women co-founded startups over the last five years. (Last September’s cohort of 13 featured 40% female founders.)

The predominance of women follows on from the Winter 2022 cohort where Startmate backed a majority of female founders for the first time.

The other standout in the Summer cohort, which sees Startmate invest $120,000 in early-stage startups for an 8.5% stake, is the focus on deep tech, with four companies operating in space.

The ideas range from wireless charging technology for industrial devices to regenerative-fibre composite material, scalable early intervention autism therapy, and a “Canva for medicine”.

As usual, there’s a strong showing from Sydney and Melbourne startups, alongside two from Brisbane, one from New Zealand and a regional entry from Newcastle in NSW.

And one has also made the cut after taking part in Startmate’s new pre-accelerator program, Launch Club 

S‍tartmate CEO Michael Batko said that with International Women’s Day approaching with the theme “Invest in women”, they’re proud to be backing a new generation of women founders.

“I’m excited about the latest accelerator cohort, with a 40/60 hardware/software split and 60% women co-founded companies,” he said.

“Despite all doom and gloom of how little funding is going towards women and deep tech, it can be done.

“Most importantly, you have to start right at the beginning and that is the impact Startmate is having – building the pipeline of the most promising and ambitious startups that will make waves in the next decade.”

H‍ere are the startups taking part in the Startmate Summer24 accelerator.


One-liner: AI-powered report writing co-pilot for allied health professionals.

Everbility is here to solve the time-consuming pain of report writing for allied health professionals.

By cutting down report-writing time by a staggering 80%, this AI-powered co-pilot allows professionals to focus on what matters most.

With a mission-driven founder and a team combining years of experience in disability support, occupational therapy, and product engineering, Everbility is the solution to streamline and improve the healthcare system.

Founders: Angela Mariani, Mani Batra

Location: Newcastle

Graphics et al.

One-liner: Software that enables health professionals to create accessible health information diagrams and animations for their patients in minutes, ie. Canva for medicine.

Graphics et al. brings simplicity to healthcare information. With this novel software, health professionals can create accessible diagrams and animations within minutes.

Think of it as Canva for medicine, empowering professionals to improve health literacy and prevent unnecessary hospitalisations.

Founded by an anatomist and graphic designer, Graphics et al. serves the specific needs of the healthcare industry.

Founders: Chris Pymble

Location: Brisbane

Keeyu ‍

One-liner: Keeyu predicts and prevents post-purchase e-commerce customer complaints.

Keeyu is here to revolutionise the e-commerce post-purchase experience.

Their centralised dashboard uses real-time data analytics to predict if an online shopper’s order will arrive on time or not, empowering customer support teams to prevent delayed orders and reduce customer complaints proactively.

With a leadership team that brings together expertise in retail, technical development, and customer support, Keeyu is changing the way we shop.

Founders: Jevon Le RouxTahir RaufTracy Godtschalk

Location: Sydney

Kite Therapy 

One-liner: Kite Therapy is on a mission to make evidence-based therapy for autism more affordable and accessible by combining best-practice therapy with world-class technology.

Kite Therapy’s mission is to reduce the cost of early intervention therapy by a whopping 99%, allowing families around the world to access timely support. With founders who are experts in the NDIS system and a team driven by passion and personal experience with autism, Kite Therapy is on a mission to change lives.

Founders: Rachelle DunstanMatthew MorrisonGregor Whyte

Location: Melbourne


One-liner: KiwiFibre’s composite materials solve technical and ecological problems of global industries.

‍KiwiFibre turns plants into racecars. This is made possible through their regenerative fibre composite material that solves technical and ecological problems across global industries.

From aerospace to sports equipment, they partner with manufacturers to turn KiwiFibre into products that perform better, at a fraction of the CO2 footprint.

Their vision: to build a world where natural, renewable resources solve environmental problems and drive humanity forward.

Founders: Ben ScalesWilliam Murrell

Location: Christchurch, NZ


One-liner: Learna is a microlearning app for people skills at work; it uses the platform data to provide unique insight into an organisations’ workforce.

Learna is the go-to microlearning app for essential workplace skills and creating a culture of learning. By leveraging platform data, Learna provides valuable insights into an organisation’s workforce, enabling individuals and organisations to learn and evolve.

With the solo founder’s impressive hustle and a user-centric approach, Learna is already generating revenue, proactively building its business, and is on a mission to transform how people learn, grow and engage at work.

Founders: Lisa Lie

Location: Melbourne

NOA The Brand

One-liner: Developing next gen wireless charging technology to power up industrial devices.

NOA THE BRAND is disrupting the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) space with its next-gen wireless charging technology.

By enabling wireless charging for industrial devices, NOA aims to reduce cable dependency and contribute to the global e-waste problem.

With a highly skilled technical team and innovative patent-pending technology, NOA THE BRAND is set to transform how devices are powered.

Founders: Arvin BayatChristel Hadiwibawa

Location: Sydney


One-liner: Providing heavy industry customers with real-time data on the condition of their critical infrastructure to increase reliability, reduce cost and improve safety across their operations.

Telemattica is revolutionising the management of critical infrastructure through real-time data. Heavy industry customers can now detect problems early and deploy proactive maintenance immediately, all thanks to Telemattica’s data-as-a-service product offerings.

Their impressive pace, high margins, and customer retention rate make them a true standout in our cohort.

Founders: Tim ValeTom George

Location: Sydney


One-liner: One rewards program for every restaurant, bar, and café.

Venu is simplifying the world of rewards programs for the hospitality industry.

Members link their payment cards directly on the terminal, earning rewards when spending across the network to redeem at their favourite locations.

Venu aggregates customer tastes and behavioural data across the network to deeply personalise deals, rewards, and recommendations for each member – increasing average spend, driving repeat visits, and attracting new customers for businesses.

Founders: Kieran GardinerJames McArthur

Location: Queenstown, NZ


One-liner: Carbonaught uses basalt as a synthetic fertiliser replacement to grow more food, on less land at lower cost with lower emissions.

Carbonaught is revolutionising the global food system.

By utilising basalt as a synthetic fertiliser replacement, they’re making food growth far more efficient, not only growing more food but also doing it on less land, at lower cost, and with lower emissions.

Carbonaught reduces fertiliser costs by up to 50%, and emission intensity by up to 80%. They aim to reengineer the way we grow food while helping farmers deliver profitable, low-emission agriculture.

With a team boasting expertise in data science, engineering, machine learning, and geophysics, Carbonaught is set to make a significant impact.

Founders: Andrew PedleyJames LyonsScott Keenan

Location: Brisbane