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Prime Minister visits River City Labs

May 21, 2021 Tech No Comments
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River City Labs on Tuesday hosted the Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison, MP, and Senator the Hon. Amanda Stoker, Assistant Minister for Women for the launch of the Accelerator for Enterprising Women’s $60,000 Kickstarter Challenge.

The Kickstarter Challenge is part of the national Accelerator for Enterprising Women initiative funded by the Australian Government’s Women’s Leadership and Development Program run by COSBOA, the Council of Small Business Australia.

“It was great to welcome the Prime Minister here for the launch of the Kickstarter Challenge and River City Labs is excited to be involved with the program,” said Pauline Fetaui, General Manager of River City Labs.

“We were delighted to be asked by program delivery partners 89 Degrees East, to help launch the Kickstarter Challenge to promote female entrepreneurs, something RCL has been at the forefront of doing over recent years.”

Open to all women (or those who identify as female) in Australia aged 18 – 24 who have a business or entrepreneurial idea, the Kickstarter Challenge offers up to $60,000 in seed capital funding for female entrepreneurs who are looking to grow their business idea.

Winners will also receive mentorship and industry support to bring their business and entrepreneurial ideas to life.

At the launch, the Kickstarter Challenges program delivery partners, 89 Degrees East, released a report finding gender inequality in entrepreneurship and STEM represents a significant missed opportunity for Australia’s economy.

The 89 Degrees East finding was highlighted by ACS’ 2021 Digital Pulse which identified a missed opportunity of $11bn over the next twenty years due to gender inequality. Digital Pulse, prepared by Deloitte Access Economics and released last week, also projected that achieving gender parity in the ICT industry could alone generate 5,000 jobs per annum over the next 20 years.

“I wish there had been an amazing program like the Accelerator for Enterprising Women when I left school!” Continued Fetaui, “programs that provide opportunities to encourage young people to test their ideas and invest in their pursuits, the pathway to an entrepreneurial future is now much quicker.

(L TO R) RCL Manager Pauline Fetaui with PM Scott Morrison and ACS Queensland Manager Holly Bretherton

“We can all benefit from seeing programs like Enterprising Women excel and we at River City Labs and the Australia Computer Society are excited to be here today to launch the Enterprising Women Kickstarter Challenge.”

River City Labs is the Brisbane arm of ACS’ network of startup to scale-up and innovation labs which includes Sydney’s Harbour City Labs and Melbourne’s Bay City Labs.

Since River City Labs’ 2012 founding, more than 700 start-up founders have set up office in the Brisbane space which has hosted more than 1,000 start-up and community events. It has run programs in partnership with some of Australia’s biggest companies, including BOQ, CUA, EY, Federation University, Suncorp and Telstra.

The River City Labs Accelerator has graduated 28 Queensland-based start-ups including Travello, Maxwell MRI and Punta. The Pre-Accelerator Program has seen 34 Startups graduate since March 2020. Startup Catalyst takes start-ups, investors, corporates, tech-savvy youth, and innovation leaders to international start-up hotspots including Silicon Valley, London, Berlin, Israel, and Asia and most recently Domestic AgTech Missions.

Finalists in the Kickstarter Challenge will also win a trip to Canberra to pitch their ideas to an expert panel of judges. Applications for the Kickstarter Challenge are now open at www.enterprising-women.com.au and close at the end of August 2021. Judges will include leading Australian entrepreneurs, politicians and industry leaders.

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