Aussie women in the startup scene

February 16th, 2017

Ahhhh the safety of a 9-5 job.


Ain’t nothing like it – right?


For some, the creative dreams of an entrepreneur spirit sit by the wayside while the regular paycheck rolls in.


But for a lot of people, including these badass Aussie women, bringing an idea to life and starting their own biz was a dream come true.


The truth hurts

The harsh truth is that as of November 2016, only 14-24% of all Aussie startup founders were women and of that, only 4% of those startups were funded.


Why is that? Well, there’s a few reasons why women aren’t represented well enough in the startup space.


Thriving in a male-dominated industry with the perception of a ‘boys’ club’ investor circle is pretty scary.


Anna Reeves is the producer of That Startup Show and says that funding was the biggest obstacle she faced as a newbie. One way to combat that is to develop a support network and not to be afraid to ask for help if you need it.


Adopting a more straight-forward approach to your business can also help you navigate the waters. Things like learning how to be an effective negotiator, being clear about what you want and believing you really can have it all are other helpful mindsets for any founder new to the startup game (female or otherwise).


Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook acknowledges in her book Lean In that internal demons and the little voice that says ‘I can’t do this’ might go a little way into explaining why women are underrepresented in the startup scene.


Many would-be entrepreneurs have incredible ideas, but feel as though their lack of tech skills prevent them from furthering the idea…but you certainly don’t need to be an expert.’


Diversity is key

The good news is that organisations are realising the value women bring to the tech and startup world.


There are a number of businesses and influential people who are super motivated to change the face of the tech and startup industry.


Not just because Australia has a skill shortage in this area, but because a huge number of women have the skill set and qualities perfect for the startup culture.


And as Sandberg also says in her book, ‘diverse teams make better decisions’.


Need some inspiration a bit closer to home?

These women are killing it in the Aussie startup scene:


Lauren Trlin – founder of Buzzy Tasks

Leaving the corporate slog and cashing in on the sharing economy, Lauren’s biz Buzzy Tasks is online marketplace that helps you outsource your to-do  list. You can also complete other people’s tasks too. Super handy for parents who are doing it all!


Cyan Ta’eed – co-founder and executive director of Envato

JobAdvisor named Cyan’s business the ‘coolest company for women’ – no wonder, considering its co-founder is one of the most sought-after speakers in the tech and entrepreneurship scene. After launching the biz with her co-founder (and husband), the pair packed up and went travelling for 18 months while growing Envato from ‘anywhere that had wifi’.


Emma Lo Russo – founding director and CEO of Digivizer

Founded in 2010, Digivizer uses social media analytics to tell businesses what exactly their customers want. They’ve recently changed their brand to new product-focused, after landing global data and clients following the first round of investment in 2015.


Nicola Hazell – director of SheStarts and BlueChilli

Dedicating her work to bringing other people’s dreams to life, Nicola is passionate about engaging women in the startup scene. She believes it’s the perfect place for women to showcase their entrepreneurial side. SheStarts offers mentoring, funding and practical support for 10 female-led startups – with the process being documented in a web series.


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