Inside the accelerator for women which turns budding businesses into powerhouses

Inside the accelerator for women which turns budding businesses into powerhouses

'It's a well-known fact that women do not have equal access to investment capital to grow their businesses.'

These are the words of Topaz Conway (pictured), co-founder of not-for-profit company Springboard Enterprises Australia (SBE).

Since founding SBE Australia in 2012 alongside Wendy Simpson, Conway's mission has been to support and grow other companies with women in senior leadership positions and connect them to a global suite of entrepreneurs, investors and business development experts.

For six years Conway has also spearheaded the SBE Australia Accelerator, a program which invites up to 10 women-led companies each year to build, accelerate and scale their businesses with guidance from successful mentors.

This week SBE Australia has announced that it has opened applications for its next Accelerator cohort and it is on the hunt for ambitious women who are out to raise some serious capital and make an impact on the business landscape.

The program involves an interactive three-day boot camp, an intensive eight-week coaching program as well as a presentation night dubbed 'The Dolphin Tank' where participating companies are given an opportunity to pitch to an audience of investors and executives.

"This is our sixth year of delivering The Springboard Enterprises Australia Accelerator and our 45 alumnae have performed far above the Australian norm," says Conway.


"With 85 per cent successfully raising capital post-program, we have seen $180m go to these women-led companies, had two ASX listings, and three acquisitions."


The Accelerator has boosted notable alumnae including Melanie Perkins of Canva, Catriona Wallace of Flamingo, Lauren Hall of iVvy and more recently Kristy Chong of Modibodi who went through the program in 2017.

Noga Edelstein is also a 2017 Accelerator program alumna.

As the founder of home cleaning and gardening service provider UrbanYou, based in Sydney, Edelstein managed to raise $1 million in a two-week period after participating in the program.

UrbanYou went on to acquire HomeHello, which saw the company double its user base and instantly expand into the Brisbane market.

Edelstein says the Accelerator program was key in helping her achieve her goals.

"If you are looking to raise capital, make quality connections and gain a deeper understanding of your business, you need to apply for The Springboard Enterprises Australia Accelerator," she says.

"It provides unmatchable access to a global community of innovators, investors and influencers, and top-tier mentoring and business sessions.

"Even if you aren't ready, the feedback you'll receive from the interview process is so valuable."

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