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Funding

Victoria is launching a $10 million investment fund to back startups led by women

- March 11, 2021 2 MIN READ
Dr Kate Cornick
LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick
Women-led early stage startups will have access to dedicated investment support from the $10 million Alice Anderson Fund – named after a pioneering Victorian businesswoman and innovator – to open for applications in July.

The Alice Anderson Fund will run over three years as a sidecar investment fund committing between $50,000 and $300,000 into between 40 and 60 startups led by women.

Sidecar funds co-invest alongside private investors and the Victorian government’s $10 million contribution is expected to unlock up to $30 million in private sector investment.

For a startup to be eligible it will either be 50% owned by at least one woman, prior to any investment, or there is a 30% ownership stake by women, including one woman in an executive role – such as CEO or CTO.

The introduction of the fund comes in the wake of findings that just 20% of early-stage funding went to startups led by women in 2019. The Victorian government responded with plans for a dedicated investment fund in the 2020/21 state budget.

LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick the focus of the Alice Anderson Fund is to support Victoria’s leading angel and early-stage investors.

“We urge investors to start reviewing their pipeline for those talented women founders, so we are ready to invest come July,” she said.

Applications for the Alice Anderson Fund open on 1 July. Details are available here.

Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said it was a pivotal time to support women entrepreneurs to drive economic growth and create new jobs.

“At all stages of the startup life cycle, women-founded firms are a significant minority,” she said.

“The Alice Anderson Fund will help level the playing field and ensure more women-led companies have access to the early-stage capital they need to take their startups to the next level.”

The fund recognises a ground-breaking women who defied society’s expectation more than a century ago.

In 1919, aged 19, Alice Anderson opened the first all-women garage in Australia from her workshop in Kew. She was driven by a passion for the high-tech innovations of her generation, and was determined to educate and create employment opportunities for women at a time when female mechanics were rare.

For her efforts in advancing the economic and professional standing of women, Anderson was last year inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women. The new fund and the businesses it supports will build upon that legacy.

More on the Alice Anderson fund is available here.

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