Earlier this year, I wrote about my plan to donate $10k to Startup Vic if just one female-led team made it into AngelCube’s 2014 cohort.
That happened and the grant was made, and I’ll wait - along with everybody else - to see what comes of it. I know that plans are already afoot (but, I’ll leave it to Startup Vic to make their own announcements when ready).
I outlined my reasons for the grant in this post: http://ow.ly/ANECA
But, it was mainly for two reasons:
1. Out of the 19 startups that we (AngelCube) accelerated through to the end of 2013, only two female founders participated.
2. Founders Institute trumpeted their Female Founders Fellowships (http://www.fi.co/contents/fff) which amounted to little more than some discounts on their fees and a small $1k prize.
So, I went on a bit of a Twitter rampage and tried to stir up some mud, with mixed results …
Fast forward to 2014 and AngelCube had three teams with female-led founders, including one all-female team. Sadly, I can’t take credit; it was just the universe karmically rebalancing.
Brandspot, as Kate and Amanda’s amazing startup is called, won my personal $1k grant, which was in addition to the $10k that Startup Vic also received, but either of the other two female-founder-led teams could easily have taken the prize.
All of which goes to highlight a point that I have been making all along …
Startups should be an equal opportunity sport.
For me, I would never like to see an end-game where there is either affirmative action or negative action - both of which, to me, are just forms of discrimination - when it comes to launching, funding, and scaling Australian startups.
Alas, AngelCube’s current cohort aside, the current gender-unbalanced shape of the Australian (probably the world’s) startup ecosystem doesn’t yet support my dream; hence the grants.
Whilst I failed to get Founders Institute or Scale or any of the others that I hassled to match my donation (yet!), FI did manage to bring me on board as an occasional mentor … I guess Matt Allen’s simply a better negotiator than me.
I’ll do another update when Startup Vic announces their ‘more female founders’ strategy … stay tuned!