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Supporting female entrepreneurs and international startups to develop and grow


Mentoring and training will be provided to 300 women to take their startup ideas to the next level, while global technology businesses will be incentivised to set up shop in Sydney, under initiatives announced today by the NSW Government.

The expanded Female Founders Program will be delivered over the next two years by Tech Ready Women, an organisation focused on supporting and growing the network of women in the NSW startup community.

NSW will also have its first International Landing Pad, which will provide temporary desk space in the Sydney Startup Hub for global businesses looking to enter the NSW market.

Minister for Industry and Trade Anoulack Chanthivong said the government is committed to increasing employment opportunities for women in new and emerging technologies.

“Startups and small to medium enterprises generate over 40 per cent of total job creation in Australia, yet the sector is severely underrepresented by women. Just 16 per cent of startups globally are founded or cofounded by women, while only 25 per cent of women are in technology careers,” Mr Chanthivong said.

“We are committed to growing the network of female entrepreneurs and breaking down the barriers for women entering the startup space, recognising the valuable contribution they can make in delivering innovative services and solutions.”

The Female Founders Program will have 300 training places available and guide participants through the various stages of the startup journey, from idea validation through to investor pitching, ensuring they have the skills and knowledge to develop and grow their ideas.

Tech Ready Women first delivered the Female Founders Program in 2021/2022, which mentored 150 women on their startup concepts. Under a new partnership with Investment NSW, the program will double the amount of training places available and reach a wider network of women, including those from regional NSW. 

Danielle Morton founded global technology company Zondii, which provides multispectral verification of food and fibre. After completing the Female Founders Program in 2021, Danielle raised $890,000 in seed capital, grew her workforce from one founder to 10 and was named a finalist in the Australian Technologies Competition.

“The Female Founders Program was a game-changer for me – before I joined, I struggled to articulate my startup business and I was juggling a million tasks at once. I had wonderful mentors who helped me pitch to investors with confidence, and I feel like I’m now part of a network of women who’ve got each other’s backs,” Ms Morton said. 

Mr Chanthivong said a new International Landing Pad at the Sydney Startup Hub will be a place for global technology businesses to establish themselves in NSW and make local connections.

“We want to make it easier for global businesses to set up shop in NSW, and with a dedicated space at the Sydney Startup Hub, we can further enhance NSW’s position as the premier destination for international businesses expanding to Australia,” Mr Chanthivong said. 

“We’ve received positive interest already from companies overseas and we look forward to confirming the residency of businesses when the International Landing Pad opens later this year.”

Applications for the Female Founders Program are now open. For more information and to apply go to female founders program

Fit out works at the Sydney Startup Hub have begun and are due to be complete in the coming months, with the International Landing Pad to be operational by November 2023.

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