More support needed for female future in tech

Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

More support needed for female future in tech

Lack of support for women in tech could be costing the global economy trillions of dollars.

This is according to start-up mentor Vicki Saunders, who is speaking at City of Sydney’s visiting entrepreneur program.

Saunders is urging local investors and entrepreneurs to launch new global business models that provide greater support and funding for female-led tech innovation.

“We live in a world where women’s innovations sit on the sidelines underfunded, under-supported and under-celebrated, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” said Saunders, CEO of global start-up investment company SheEO.

“The most recent McKinsey report shows there’s a $12 trillion loss to the global economy by not fully engaging women. This is a giant missed market opportunity.

“We need a whole new model to support women. Women have a very special gift of doing business differently — new US university research shows women-run tech businesses become profitable more quickly than our male counterparts, we are highly capital efficient and we tend to focus on revenue first.”

The City’s two-week visiting entrepreneur program will see three influential international experts share their knowledge and provide one-on-one mentoring for local start-ups.

The program’s first event is titled ‘The Future is Female: why women entrepreneurs are changing the world’ and is headed by Vicki Saunders.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the program would increase the global standing of Sydney’s flourishing tech start-up sector and offer new support for female entrepreneurs.

“This a major part of our Tech Start-ups Action Plan, which is designed to create opportunities for entrepreneurs, in particular women, to increase their business skills, get access to mentors and expand their networks,” said Moore.

“The visiting entrepreneur program will bolster Sydney’s culture of entrepreneurship and innovation by providing links with overseas start-up communities and mentoring for local entrepreneurs.

“By giving our tech innovators guidance from experienced global business leaders, Sydney’s budding entrepreneurs will learn how to successfully launch and grow global-ready businesses.”

Saunders will be joined by a panel of entrepreneurial trailblazers, including Jo Burston of Inspiring Rare Birds, Mikaela Jade of Indigital and Dr Chelsea Wise of Hyper Anna in conversation with MC Naomi Simson, who is from Shark Tank and founding director of RedBalloon.

The City’s visiting entrepreneur program is sponsored by the NSW Government.

“We want Sydney to be known as the start-up capital of the globe, so this is a great chance for our home-grown talent to be mentored by the world’s top innovators,” Minister for Innovation Matt Kean said.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with the City of Sydney to deliver this exciting program and I urge Sydney start-ups to jump on board.”

Fellow visiting entrepreneurs Jager McConnell and Marcus Segal will be in Sydney to lead talks, seminars and mentoring sessions for Sydney’s start-ups. McConnell is CEO of Crunchbase, a leading data search platform used by millions of entrepreneurs and investors. Segal is general partner at Upshift Capital and former senior vice president of operations of global gaming platform Zynga.

Image caption: Lord Mayor Clover Moore launches visiting entrepreneur program.

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