A new entrepreneurial network for female start-up founders seeks to get more women raising equity capital to fund growth. US-based business accelerator program Springboard Enterprises opened applications for Australian companies last week.
In the US, more than 500 start-ups have participated in the program since it began in 2000, and have gone on to raise $US5.5 billion.
Springboard Australia chair Wendy Simpson said that, anecdotally, peak body the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital
Association suggested women founded 3 to 5 per cent of venture-backed companies. In the US, of the companies that raised venture capital in 2010, 10 per cent had a female founder or chief executive, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.
Successful applicants will be matched up with mentors and coached on how to pitch for capital. The program also seeks to involve local and US venture capital funds.
Only women running businesses with high-growth potential would be considered. Ms Simpson said about 20 companies would be selected in the first round.
One reason women raise less venture capital is they don’t access the right networks, Ms Simpson said