1 September 2017, Written by David Simmons


A TRIP of a lifetime is on the cards for 20 female startup and scale-up founders, entrepreneurs, and investors. Startup Catalyst has announced their next mission which will see successful applicants cruising the streets of London.

Participants will visit startup accelerators and hubs, as well as corporate innovation labs, and visit the offices of global tech companies like Facebook.

They will also meet with fellow Australians who are running startups in the UK, and take part in networking and social events.

This is the second-time Startup Catalyst has gone to London but this is their first female-focussed and oriented mission.

The mission is being led on the ground by Peta Ellis (pictured), CEO of River City Labs, Queensland's largest hub and community for technology startups, and will run from November 19 to 25.

Ellis recently went on the last mission to London and saw first-hand the need for more Australian founders to be exposed to,and learn from, more advanced international ecosystems.

Business News Australia spoke to Ellis about the 'slap-in-the-face' this trip will be for some founders, the need for female focussed programs in the startup industry, and what successful applicants will get up to in the UK.

So you're leading the mission to London what will participants be doing over there?

Like any of the catalyst trips we basically take them to a startup hotspot, this time it's London, and we fully immerse the founders into the startup culture there. The outcome is to change their mindset and basically surround them with a level of activity that we're not used to here in Australia so they can shift their thinking up 20 gears. Once we know who exactly is coming then we tailor the program to those participants to make sure that everyone gets the most out of the trip. This one in particular is tailored to female founders, that may involve some meeting with some VCs, it could involve visiting some spaces, it could involve talking to some accelerator program operators or also tapping into some female entrepreneur programs over there.

Why do you think this is an important program for female entrepreneurs?

Women do love going on women led and also women focused programs, it's very empowering. For us to inspire female founders here in Australia, we want to take them to a place where there's a lot of activity. There's a lot of great stuff happening in London and good female entrepreneurs doing some phenomenal stuff globally so we want to showcase that and tell stories and help inspire the next generation of founders here to take part on that level.

What do you think are some of the biggest hurdles or problems for women in the start up world at themoment?

What I think the number one problem is for women is that they don't back themselves. They don't stand up, give themselves what they need, which is a lot of the time it's calling out for help, meaning they need the support network around them. I'm not sure why they don't back themselves 100 per cent but we just need to keep doing it more and support them in that journey and tell stories about how it works for other people.

I hope that this is the start of many trips focussed on women and we will see in the future, the women who go on these trips, it should transform their thinking and they'll do some phenomenal things.

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Business News Australia

Author: David Simmons





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