Springboard Australia has signed up customer experience expert Dr. Catriona Wallace for its 2014 accelerator program, perhaps in recognition of the growing importance of the relatively new area of study and specifically for the work on her soon-to-be-launched company, Flamingo.
Wallace is the chief executive of four Sydney-based companies, all focusing on customer experience, led by Fifth Quadrant. She holds a Ph.D. in organisational behaviour and has singularly shaped customer experience as a holistic discipline, instead of as a patchwork of customer service, social media management and related functions.
Flamingo is being developed as a Customer Experience Personalisation platform that will provide businesses with a retention, acquisition, co-creation and analytics capability. The company says its system goes beyond crowd-sourcing and ideation techniques offered by rivals, and will help customers and organisations co-create experiences based on a proven customer experience design model.
Wallace, a mother of five, is an author and speaker on philanthropy and women’s advocacy, besides being a business blogger and “customer experience futurist.” In addition to founding four companies, she is the founder of three not-for-profit businesses: Indigo Express funding Indigenous literacy; Kids In Philanthropy providing technology and learning programs for disadvantaged children; and Out and Up, an employment program for women prisoners, asylum seekers and refugees.
Last year, Fifth Quadrant was named 2013 NSW Medium Sized Business of the Year and the overall NSW Business of the Year at the Telstra Business Awards.
More than 100 companies applied for Springboard’s 2014 Accelerator program, which kicked off in early February with a boot camp to hone growth strategies and develop fundraising skills. It is only for the second time that the program is being run in Australia.
Springboard is a self-described “venture catalyst” that coaches, showcases and supports women-led growth companies seeking equity capital for product development and expansion.
Since 2000, Springboard has helped 503 women-led companies raise more than $5.5 billion in equity financing, including 10 IPOs. Eight of the companies are listed on the Nasdaq, two on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and 26% merged, acquired or were acquired. Of the companies, 82% are still in business, generating $4 billion in revenues and creating thousands of jobs.
The group has operated Australia since 2012 May.