by Byron Connolly

$1.3M to increase female-founded startups

Jan 31, 2017
Technology Industry

Australia’s Girl Geek Academy has raised $1.3 million to launch a hackathon in Victoria dedicated to increasing the number of female-founded startups.

Victorian government innovation board, LaunchVic, has kicked in $300,000 for the #SheHacks Victoria hackathon. A further $1 million has been provided by the GO1 Learning Portal, an Australian-owned tech startup backed by Y-Combinator and Shark Tank’s Steve Baxter.

The #SheHacks online program – which will launch this month – will recruit 1,000 women interested in building a business and finding co-founders. It will specifically target university students.

The hackathon, to be held in June, is expected to attract 200 attendees who will form 60 teams. These teams will build, market test, and pitch their minimal viable product (MVP). They will then have one month to get early users onboard before finalists showcase their business.

The hackathon will host university, corporate and individual teams created from women across Victoria. Each team selects a problem they believe needs solving before testing the market with early stage ideas and their MVP. Finalists will pitch their success or failure to date and their plans for future investment and growth. They will pitch to investors, corporates and the extended Victorian startup community.

Prior to the June event, a series of boot camps and mentoring sessions across Melbourne and three regional locations will help prepare individuals and teams for participation.

Girl Geek Academy claimed #She Hacks is the first hackathon in the world dedicated to increasing the number of female-founded startups by taking their MVP and supporting them for two months after the hackathon.

Girl Geek Academy CEO, Sarah Moran, said it is currently very challenging for women to find fellow founders, which is often crucial to starting and succeeding in a new tech venture.

“The #SheHacks Victoria program will provide multiple touchpoints throughout the year for women to find co-founders and receive valuable support for taking their business ideas to market,” Moran said.