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Venture studio BlueChilli has opened applications for the tech accelerator designed specifically for female-led startups


Australian venture studio and innovation group BlueChilli has opened applications for round three of its award-winning SheStarts program, the country’s only venture-backed tech accelerator designed specifically for women.

Launched in 2016, SheStarts offers women with a disruptive business idea – regardless of their experience in tech – the funding, technology, product development and networks to launch their own startup in just six months.

Applications for the program, which is backed by ANZ, MYOB, Google for Startups, Microsoft and LinkedIn, are now open at SheStarts.com and close April 23, 2019.

What does this initiative mean for female-founded startups?

The founders selected for the program will each receive a package, which includes a unique combination of seed funding, tech development services, world-class start-up training, and access to a global network of advisors and mentors.

Alumni from previous cohorts – including BindiMaps, Talkiplay and Neighbourlytics – have gone on to secure major partnerships and pilots, international deals, and additional investment capital for growth.

SheStarts Director Natasha Hooper said the program was designed to create a community of diverse female leaders in the startup economy and provide a platform for corporate Australia to encourage women into senior leadership and technology roles.

Currently, less than a quarter of Australia’s startups are led by women, and only 14 of the 200 CEOs of the ASX200 are women.

“Australia’s economic prosperity depends on an accessible, diverse and inclusive startup ecosystem,” Hooper said.

“We need more women and more non-technical entrepreneurs in the startup ecosystem who can identify opportunities and develop solutions based on their unique perspectives.”

She continued, ” “SheStarts was designed to inspire women to embrace their curiosity and take a leap, empowering more women to become the adaptable, resilient and tech-driven entrepreneurs and leaders Australia needs to remain competitive globally.”

What are the startups getting from this year’s program?

The startups selected for 2019 SheStarts program will receive a package of cash and services, including:

  • $38K pre-seed capital, with up to a further $500K in follow-on funding available
  • A team of software developers, ui/ux designers, product managers and hardware engineers to build a minimum viable product, ready for launch
  • Placement in the SheStarts accelerator program, which will run from June to November 2019
  • A world-class team of startup advisors and mentors, including an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, market-proven curriculum and access to customers to validate the idea
  • Investor-readiness training followed by introductions and presentations to investors and VC partners when raising growth capital
  • Co-working space in BlueChilli incubators in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne

The founders’ journeys, from living room to launch day, will also be captured by BlueChilli’s award-winning SheStarts web documentary, aimed at redefining what it means to be a tech entrepreneur and inspiring other women and girls to get started.

What exactly does BlueChilli do?

BlueChilli is an Australian venture studio and innovation group, empowering people anywhere to solve society’s greatest challenges with technology.

BlueChilli has built over 130 startups and delivered innovation programs to some of APAC’s leading corporations.

Last year, 50 per cent of the startups it created were led or co-led by a founder identifying as female.

In 2017, BlueChilli was the first Australian accelerator provider to receive a private ruling by the ATO granting all accelerator graduates ESIC status enabling capital tax exempt investments to investors.

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