There’s no shortage of entrepreneurial spirit in Australia – from both men and women. However, I’ve often noticed an imbalance in the founder gender ratio of tech or web-based companies. For a while, I’m been contemplating how to build women’s involvement in technical communities and startup culture. I believe the first step is to acknowledge and recognise successful and courageous people leading by example. I therefore present the first draft of female founders to note in the online space within Australia:
- Carrie Choo, founder, Daily Addict (lifestyle news and social experiences)
- Cyan Ta’eed, cofounder, Envato (a network of sites that let “people learn and earn online”)
- Delia Timms, founder, Find a Babysitter and now What Should I Wear (self-explanatory)
- Denise Shrivel, founder, MediaScope (advertising directory)
- Emily Boyd, cofounder, Remember the Milk (task manager and to do lists)
- Fiona Adler, founder, Word of Mouth On the Web (online customer reviews)
- Kate Morris, founder, Adore Beauty (skincare and cosmetics store)
- Kim Chen, cofounder, Tjoos (coupons)
- Kylie Little, founder, Essential Baby (parenting community)
- Michelle Matthews, founder, Deck of Secrets (bar and travel guides – with a huge mobile component)
- Nikki Durkin, founder 99Dresses (clothes swapping and trading)
- Pip Jamieson, cofounder, The Loop (creative jobs and portfolios)
- Rebecca Derrington, founder, SourceBottle (source connecting service for journalists, writers and bloggers)
- Rebekah Campbell, founder, Posse (shared entreprise for brands and fans)
Please let me know if there’s anyone I’ve missed. I kept it to profitable or promising, growth- and digital-focused companies.
I love the diversity of business areas of the list – and the lateral thinking. I find female entrepreneurs often begin with a problem approach rather than creating solutions first (for problems that might not exist)! It’s the “I need someone to look after my kids…”, “How do I get rid of all these clothes?” or “How can I can I connect these things to save time?”. Imagine if more females had the tools or know-how needed to solve problems faced.
One organisation in the US doing their best to increase the number of females founding startups is Women 2.0. After attending a few of Women 2.0’s events in the Valley last year, I was impressed with the community and results. So, I’ve decided to bring Founder Friday to Australia.
Founder Friday involves a bunch of females (and males if inclined) interested in technology and business getting together for dinner and drinks before a Startup Weekend.
Next Friday 6 May, Melbourne founders will be meeting at Duck Duck Goose from 5.30pm. If continuing on to Melbourne Startup Weekend, they can get a discount of $20 using code ‘Women2’. Full event info here: www.founderfridaymelbourne.eventbrite.com
On a final note, I’ve started the beginnings of a similar community in Australia called Women Hack. It’s a very slow process considering my current workload, but you can connect on Twitter and Facebook in the interim.