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Female Founder Programs Kick off As Sydney Startup Hub Celebrates Third Birthday

The Sydney Startup Hub is celebrating NSW Women’s Week with three events this week and a new Tech Ready Women program to help increase the number of female founder startups.


Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said it’s great to see the Sydney Startup Hub, which this week celebrates its third anniversary, encouraging female entrepreneurship.


“It’s well documented that female entrepreneurs are under-represented in the startup ecosystem, with female founders being represented in about 22 per cent of Australia’s startups,” Mr Ayres said.


“We want NSW to continue to lead the way in innovation and by providing training for female founders, we will be boosting the opportunities open to them on their entrepreneurship journey, creating jobs and investment in NSW.”


Following today’s third anniversary celebration, three events will take place at the Sydney Startup Hub this week:


  • A Supercharging Support for Female Founders fireside chat – with Christie Whitehill, Founder of Tech Ready Women, and Jared Kendler, Executive Director Entrepreneurship & Innovation Ecosystems at NSW Treasury – Wednesday, 10 March at 12.30pm.


  • Looking Forward: Female Entrepreneurship in 2021 – a panel discussion with four female entrepreneurs – CEO and founder of Vitae Shelley Laslett, CEO  and founder Birth Beat Edwina Sharrock, co-founder of Huddle Childcare Millie Zinner and CEO and co-founder of Like Family Jenna Leo, Wednesday, 10 March at 5.30pm.


  • Sydney Startup Hub Female Founder Showcase – hear from eight talented female founders located at the hub, followed by demos and networking, at Fishburners on Thursday, 11 March at 5.30pm.


The Hub’s new eight-week Tech Ready Women program is designed to support employment opportunities for women in new and emerging technologies.


With two cohorts, starting in April and June, the pre-accelerator program will provide 100 women with practical, startup, leadership, and technology skills, support from mentors and access to startup networks to develop their idea.


The program will be free for 50 participants from disadvantaged backgrounds and partly subsidised for the remainder. 


Mr Ayres said the Sydney Startup Hub continues to create valuable opportunities for NSW startups to develop and network.


“Since the Sydney Startup Hub was established in early 2018, there’s been $300 million in combined investment raised by startups within the four anchor tenants and more than 1,000 jobs generated by startups within the Hub,” Mr Ayres said.


“The Hub has hosted close to 100,000 visitors to the communal and events spaces and held 770 events.”


Humanico co-founder Fiona Vale, who is speaking at the Female Founder Showcase, said it’s full steam ahead for her startup after they recently received a NSW Government grant.


“2020 was a foundational year for Humanico and making the decision to move to Stone & Chalk within the Sydney Startup Hub in July changed our trajectory coming out of lock down,” MRS Vale said.


“We’re currently closing out our first round of investment and it includes a key investor from within the Stone & Chalk community that we would not have otherwise met if we hadn’t moved here.”


For more information about the Sydney Startup Hub events go to


For more on the Tech Ready Women program go to


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Stuart Ayres - Member for Penrith

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