Noga Edelstein, co-founder of on-demand home services marketplace UrbanYou, has joined the board of SBE Australia, coinciding with an announcement from the not-for-profit organisation that women-led tech startups can now apply for its 2018 Springboard Enterprises Australia Accelerator.
[Related: The tech sector needs to start valuing women for their unique skills, says Silicon Valley vet, UrbanYou acquires HomeHello to become leading on-demand home services platform and UrbanYou’s co-founder on the ‘game-changing’ moments in her startup’s ‘rollercoaster’ story]
The program, which is now in its sixth year, has places for up to ten high-growth, female-led companies seeking to build, accelerate and scale their operations.
According to Topaz Conway, Chair of SBE Australia, the program’s 45 alumnae have performed “far above the Australian norm”.
“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,” she said. “We know without a doubt that when women are adequately funded and have access to supportive networks they perform well – in fact, they outperform. Our program creates an environment that builds confidence, knowledge and connections that is life changing for women entrepreneurs and their businesses.”
Edelstein, a 2017 Springboard Enterprises Australia Accelerator alumnus, said the program provides participants with “unmatchable access to a global community of innovators, investors and influencers” as well as “top-tier mentoring and business sessions”.
“If you’re unsure about whether to apply, just do it, you have nothing to lose,” she said. “Even if you aren’t ready, the feedback you’ll receive from the interview process is so valuable. It’s also such a useful marketing tool as people will begin to recognise your name and your business.”
After participating in the program last year, Edelstein’s business – UrbanYou completed a $1 million funding round in under two weeks, before using the capital to acquire rival HomeHello. The acquisition saw UrbanYou double its recurring user base double and establish a presence in Brisbane.
Other Springboard alumnae include artificial intelligence company, Flamingo, career management platform, PlanDo, event planning platform Ivvy, and mentoring startup Mentorloop.
The Springboard Enterprises Australia Accelerator program involves:
- A three-day boot-camp where each the company’s market and business opportunities are assessed.
- An eight-week coaching program where companies are matched with a coaching team to assist them with business strategy, financial modelling, IP, pitch deck, connections and high value networks in US and Australia.
- The ‘Dolphin Tank’ presentation night, which provides companies the opportunity to pitch to an audience of investors and business people, including corporate executives and advisors, who offer actionable insights, connections and access to relevant resources.
Commenting on her appointment to the SBE Australia board, Edelstein said she is looking forward to participating in all aspects of The Springboard Enterprises Australia Accelerator this year, from the interview stage to the boot-camp to being a mentor.
“For me, joining the board is a way to pay it forward and give back to the community,” she said. “The ecosystem around female entrepreneurship has been so supportive of UrbanYou and we wouldn’t be in the same position without it. I now have a responsibility to help those coming up through the ranks in the same way.”
Springboard Enterprises Australia Accelerator program – key dates:
- Launch events across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide: 30 January to 6 February.
- Applications close: 23 February 5pm (AEST).
- Regional interviews: 5 to 8 March.
- Selection announcement: Monday, 12 March.
- Bootcamp: 9 April to 12 April.
- Coaching program: 23 April to 1 June.
- Dolphin Tank: 28 June.