Global not-for-profit Girls in Tech (GiT) will host its first female-only, early-stage startup pitch night in Australia, next week.
Taking place on Friday, 11 August at Australia Post (Melbourne), Amplify is an opportunity for ten female entrepreneurs to pitch live to a judging panel that boasts Susan Brown (MD, Girls in Tech), Val Brown (Executive Manager, REA Group), Georgia Beattie (CEO, Startup Victoria) Stefani Adams (Innovation Partner, Australia Post), Alita Harvey-Rodriguez (Founder, Milk It Academy) and Madeleine Kelly (Partner, FB Rice).
Entrepreneurs have until Friday, 4 August to apply for Amplify, with the ten finalists announced three days later. The winners on the night will receive a cash prize plus consulting services. Tickets to Amplify are available here.
The co-founder of recently-launched fintech startup Finch, Shahirah Gardner, heads up PR for GiT Australia. She spoke to Dynamic Business about Amplify and the support available to female entrepreneurs through Girls in Tech.
DB: How important are women-centric initiatives such as Amplify?
Gardner: The Harvard Business Review conducted research which found that “in venture capital-financed, high-growth technology startups, only 9% of entrepreneurs are women”; however, the gender gap in startup success begins to disappear when ‘women fund women’. Initiatives, such as Amplify, that readily connect VCs and women-led startups, are important for the Melbourne tech ecosystem, which is going through a growth period in terms of awareness and the support from industry and government.
DB: What value is GiT generating for female founders?
Gardner: The point of connection between a newly established startup and a mentor can be a critical factor in accelerating a startup’s growth opportunities. Girls in Tech Australia aims to enable these connections to naturally occur through year-round events, mentorship programs and boot camps that connect the right people with one another.
DB: How will the overall prize assist female founders?
Gardner: While the exact cash prize is still to-be-announced, the consulting services available to winners (including IP and R&D support, mentorship and digital marketing) have been hand-selected to help the winning startups take the next big step in their roadmap. IE Digital (IT consulting), Milk It Academy (marketing consulting), REA Group (mentorship), FB Rice (IP protection) and Academy Xi (training) have all put forward significant opportunities which can be found here: bit.ly/2um8x7Y
DB: What criteria will entrants be judged against?
Gardner: The judges will be critiquing the startups against five major categories:
- ability to solve a real problem;
- market viability;
- uniqueness of idea;
- ability to demonstrate growth capability; and
- alignment to Girls in Tech’s core values.
DB: Has GiT assisted you with your own startup, Finch?
Gardner: GiT provides me with a meaningful support network and community to connect with experienced women in tech and like-minded female founders. Specifically, having access to mentors and a network into women-led VCs in Australia has been a huge help.