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Startmate’s Winter cohort supports majority of female founders for the first time

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Top-notch local accelerator and investment program Startmate has supported a majority of startups founded by women for the first time in its history for the newest cohort.

Seven of the twelve Australian and New Zealand startups are led by a woman. Each will receive a $120,000 investment at a $1.5 million hindsight valuation if it is the startup’s first raise or Start mate corresponds to the latest valuation of founders who have raised.

Entrepreneur in Residence Megan Woff said they have consciously selected companies with a focus on big, world-changing impacts, from renewable energy to loneliness among the elderly.

“As we make our final selections for the Accelerator program, we’re really looking for those companies that are ready for a trajectory-changing moment,” she said.

“The Winter ’22 cohort is impressive, not only because the majority of founders are women – we also have some of the youngest founders we’ve ever had, come through the program and apply exciting, innovative thinking to a range of the biggest challenges we face together.”

Woff said Startmate had spent the past three years trying to increase the number of women involved in the ecosystem.

“Our cohort of the first majority of female founders is a real milestone, not just for Startmate, but for the ecosystem as a whole. It takes years of work to get more women into the landscape through programs such as the Women Fellowship, which now has more than 660 women participating,” she said.

“Our female founders in the Winter ’22 cohort show how new thinking can be applied to technology.

“We have Grace from Andromeda who has a human-centric take on the application of robots, Steph and Cassie from Butter revolutionizing insurance for young people, and Kimberley unlocking full VR immersion. And that’s just to name a few. It really excites us for what’s in the pipeline in 2023 and beyond.”

The pendulum in the direction of female founders comes when former CEO Lauren Capelin leaves Startmate for AWS after two years, following its focus on increasing female representation in the startup sector.

These are the startups in the Startmate cohort

Andromeda (AU) is a robotics startup that aims to develop a fleet of universal humanoid robots. Andromeda Robotics’ first prototype, Abi, is an accompanying robot that aims to alleviate feelings of loneliness of elderly residents in elderly care facilities through social interactions and hugs! Andromeda predicts humanoid robotics has the potential to improve quality of life for a large number of people.

Co-founders: Grace Brown and Tasnim Ahmed

Aquila (AU) builds a wireless energy transmission system with lasers and custom solar panels. Aquila’s ambition is: to create a global energy transmission network by bouncing laser energy around the globe with orbiting mirrors, which it hopes will immediately make energy globally transportable and shift the global energy mix towards renewables dramatically faster.

Co-founders: William (Billy) Jeremijenko and Nelson Smith

Butter Insurance Pty Ltd (AU) is an insurtech startup that offers young people and tenants seamless, no-obligation coverage. Through A challenge to a notoriously oligopolistic industry, Butter aims to simplify insurance products and processes so that: young people and tenants (finally) get a cover that was made for them.

Co-founders: Steph Skevington and Cassie Bell

Dennisson (NZ) is a wearable device company that uses smart materials technology to develop unobtrusively and cost-effectively Force feedback platforms for Virtual Reality and Human Capability Augmentation. It currently creates the most low-profile, affordable Force Feedback Haptic gloves on the market; unlock full VR immersion today, with sights aimed at redefining human capacity as a whole in the near future.

Co-founders: Anvil Banez and Kimberley Banez

Dexta (AU) is the Australian production and entertainment marketplace connecting production professionals with creative companies spanning advertising, film, TV and events.

Co-founders: Jack Phillips

Eggy (AU) aims to ‘decipher’ the lives of busy parents through an app that automates life management tasks such as paying bills, remember appointments, save receipts, and collaborate on shared lists. It is intended to connect service providers with consumers and organize billions of busy households around the world.

Co-founders: Kate Morgan and Kirk Reynoldson

Femmi Co (AU) is a fitness startup building a digital app that will host and connect millions of women around the world while they track and train according to their menstrual cycle. It aims to empower women around the world to feel confident and trained in their bodies by the knowledge of women’s health experts and a close-knit supportive community.

Co-founders: Lydia O’Donnell and Esther Keown

SoundSmith (AU) is a creator marketplace designed for musicians to promote their music on TikTok. It aims a important source of income for content creators, power for a music economy where musicians can earn a living wage with their music and build strong network effects with AI matching algorithms to better serve musicians and creators.

Co-founders: David Hartley, Gajan Nagaraj and Michael McSweeney

Storipress (AU) is reinventing how easy digital media is made by giving aspiring publishers the tools they need, from the box, without code. With the ambition to be the world’s most beautifully simple publishing platform, the interface has: a unique workflow management system, intuitive site builder and built-in payment rails. It is designed with scalability in mind, being able to handle millions of requests per day with load times of less than a second.

Co-founders: Alex Pan, Kevin Chang and David Peng

tutero (AU) is an edtech startup that builds a range of products for P-12 educators and students. Tutero connects students with an online tutor, and creates a personal learning path for them. Soon they will launch a free classroom product to help educators execute data-driven classroom planning.

Co-founders: Joey Moshinsky, Sonny Moshinsky and Richard Mathieson

Written (AU) is an edtech startup that uses machine learning to create a ‘bookbot’ that makes it fun for children to search for books they like. Wriveded is on a mission to improve children’s literacy rates and become the number one destination for a book for a child in Australia and other major global markets.

Co-founders: Meena Tharmarajah and Caroline Kinny Lewis

Xylo Systems (AU) is a cloud-based platform that uses artificial intelligence analytics to boost endangered species management. It aims to become the go-to platform for everyone to participate in wildlife conservation through management, financing, impact reduction and compensation.

Co-founders: Camille Goldstone-Henry and Jada Andersen

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