Top tech leaders say the future is female

Lord Mayor with visiting entrepreneur Vicki Saunders. Image courtesy of City of Sydney

A world-renowned serial entrepreneur says lack of support and funding for female-led tech innovation is a missed opportunity that is costing the global economy trillions of dollars.

Award-winning tech startup mentor Vicki Saunders is in Australia for a series of talks as part of the City of Sydney’s ‘visiting entrepreneur program’. She is challenging local investors and entrepreneurs to help spearhead new global business models.

“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,” Ms Saunders said.

“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,” added the CEO of global startup investment company, SheEO

“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 startups.

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 startup sector and offer new support for female entrepreneurs.

“This a major part of our Tech Startups 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,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The visiting entrepreneur program will bolster Sydney’s culture of entrepreneurship and innovation by providing links with overseas startup 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.”

Ms 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, 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 startup capital of the globe, so this is a great chance for our home-grown talent to be mentored by the world’s top innovators,” NSW 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 startups 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 startups. Mr McConnell is CEO of Crunchbase, a data search platform used by millions of entrepreneurs and investors. Mr Segal is general partner at Upshift Capital and former senior vice president of operations of global gaming platform, Zynga.

Spaces at the following events are limited and bookings are essential:

The Future is Female, Monday 20 November 2017, 6.30pm to 8pm, Customs House, Circular Quay, Sydney. Vicki Saunders will present a talk, followed by panel discussion.

An Evening of Radical Generosity, Tuesday 21 November 2017, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, at muru’D, Liverpool Street, Sydney. Learn how Vicki Saunders is changing the landscape for female entrepreneurs.

Global Series: The Future is Female – the economic and social impact 24 November 2017, 12 to 2pm, New Space, University of Newcastle. The Sydney School of Entrepreneurship and University of Newcastle host Vicki Saunders for a keynote on the importance of women in leadership roles.

How to Grow Your Startup workshop Monday 27 November 2017 , 9am to 11am, at Fishburners, York Street, Sydney. Marcus Segal shares his experience from over 17 years in Silicon Valley in a two hour workshop with Sydney startups focusing on growth and scaling.

An Evening with Marcus Segal and Jager McConnell Tuesday 28 November 2017, 6pm to 8:30pm, hosted by TechSydney at Canva, Lacey Street, Surry Hills. The international entrepreneurs share lessons on scaling and attracting investors.

The Power of Data in a Thriving Ecosystem Wednesday 29 November 2017, 10am to 12pm, at Blue Chilli, York Street, Sydney. Jager McConnell hosts a panel discussion with leaders in Australia’s tech startup community on the importance of having data on startup ecosystems and how that drives growth.

Source: City of Sydney

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