Female-led ventures shine at Demo Day

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Nine inspiring female founders pitched their start-ups at the Female Founders Program Demo Day this week.

Patricipants in the Female Founders Demo Day
Participants at the Female Founders Program Demo Day

Marking the culmination of the Hunter’s first accelerator program for female-led ventures, the event followed an intensive ten-week program of mentoring, coaching and hands-on workshops aimed at empowering women to navigate their start-up journey with confidence.

Hosted by the University of Newcastle’s I2N Hub Honeysuckle and proudly supported by the City of Newcastle, the Program aimed to level the playing field for committed female founders to build their businesses and reach their fullest potential.

Senior Manager, I2N Operations and Innovation, Siobhan Curran said the program had helped unearth and accelerate some incredible ideas.

“The City of Newcastle very astutely identified a gap in the local ecosystem for female-led start-ups, which is how this program was born. Now, we’re seeing nine incredibly talented women emerge from this program with solid roadmaps for how they will build businesses that can contribute to significant growth in our region,” said Ms Curran.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle was pleased to support the unique program that encouraged female-led start-ups by providing mentoring and workshops to female founders.

"City of Newcastle is committed to attracting more entrepreneurs to our city and ensuring all members of Newcastle's innovation ecosystem are able to reach their full potential," Cr Nelmes said.

"The Female Founders Program does just that, and I'm looking forward to watching as the nine impressive female participants succeed throughout their start-up journey while providing a valuable contribution to Newcastle's economy."

Founder of Statform, Ebony Ranclaud said the program had helped her connect with impressive, like-minded women in a thriving start-up community.

“I wasn’t aware of what Newcastle had to offer and had feared that it couldn’t compete with larger cities. The start-up ecosystem is well established in Newcastle with all the right components to help any start-up succeed,” said Ebony.

“We all suffer at times from imposter syndrome and confidence issues. The chance to be around other women also taking risks, and to reflect as a group on these shared feelings was very special, and very validating.”

Founder of The HR Equation, Pru Killick said the Female Founders Program had been instrumental in helping her characterise her market and challenge assumptions that had held her back.

“My mentors were so valuable. Their guidance and encouragement helped me debunk a lot of assumptions and develop an evidence-based framework to inform my solution,” said Ms Killick.

“Coming into the program I was unsure what solution to pursue for the problem I am solving. Through rapid iteration and testing I’ve now got a clear path forward and the confidence and theoretical knowledge I need to accelerate.”

More information on Female Founders Program and 2021 participant profiles.


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