If you are curious about working in a startup, founding your own startup, or investing in startups, the Women Fellowship is for you!
In this six week community-driven program, you will gain the tools, connections and confidence to hit the ground running in the startup ecosystem. You’ll join a community of talented and inspiring women, and will gain backstage access to some of the most exciting startups in Australia and New Zealand.
In addition to weekly sessions and events, you will also receive personalised support from top startup/vc operators, founders, investors and leaders, who will help you navigate the startup world with confidence.
If you’re ready to level up your career, do something you’re passionate about, and make a difference in the world, we’re here to help you get started.
Applications for the Autumn23 cohort are now closed.
The next cohort will run from Sept 4 - Oct 20, 2023. Express interest in the Spring23 Women Fellowship below!
Our mission is to tangibly increase gender parity in the ANZ startup ecosystem by actively creating opportunities for women and non-binary people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to enter the startup world.
The startup/vc sector is taking off, but unfortunately there is an underrepresentation of women in this space.
With so much opportunity ahead, we need all the most brilliant minds to solve the world’s most complex challenges. This especially includes women, non-binary people, and those from other underrepresented backgrounds.
This is what we’re aiming to fix. By running the Women Fellowship, we aim to supercharge the startup ecosystem with incredibly ambitious and talented people who might otherwise get missed.
We’re looking for smart and daring women and non-binary people who want to solve tough problems, have a real impact, and do the best work of their lives. If you’re curious about joining a startup, founding a startup, or investing in startups, this is the program for you.
The Startmate Women Fellowship is for the hungry, not the proven. Whether you’re a corporate worker, designer, shift manager or a mum returning to work - we embrace women from all industries and backgrounds.
Each cohort is made up of around 100 supportive and inspiring women.
To be eligible for this program, you must:
If you're a hungry and ambitious student, we encourage you to check out the Student Fellowship here. Because students now have their very own program, this will be the more appropriate pathway for you.
If you’re already a founder and your main objective is to launch your startup, we encourage you to check out Launch Club here.
The program runs virtually twice a year.
- Autumn23 cohort: June 5 - Jul 21, 2023(with a one week break from June 26 - 30)
- Spring23 cohort: [tentatively] September 4 - October 20 (with a one week break from Sept 25 - 29)
It will be an intense learning and networking experience. To make the most out of the program, we recommend setting aside 3-5 hours per week to fully engage with the content and community. You’ll get out what you put in!
✨ There are typically 3 hours of live content per week. Most of these live sessions will happen outside business hours. Sessions will be recorded and available after the program ends, but you will get the most out of the program if you can attend the live sessions.
In general, the program follows a set operating cadence. Live sessions will typically run:
✨ In addition to the content sessions, there will also be monthly in-person drinks and fortnightly catch-ups with your Squad and Coach.
✨ Depending on your own bandwidth and personal objectives, you can then scale up from there - dive into bonus resources, connect with other Fellows & Coaches, build your network, etc.
Most of our Women Fellows complete the Fellowship alongside full time work, parenting, other personal commitments, etc. There is no expectation that you will quit your job to join the program. However, we encourage you to be realistic about your bandwidth.
To determine if the program is right for you, please check out the key objectives outlined in the program overview.
Week 0: Set up for success
✨ You’ll leave this week with some exciting new connections and the basics in place to hit the ground running.
This week is all about setting you up for success. Take this time to tick through your onboarding checklist and begin connecting with other Fellows & members of the community.
Week 1: Welcome to the Fellowship (and Community For Life!)
✨ You’ll leave this week with a better understanding of the startup landscape and some possible pathways within it.
We’ll kick off the program by walking through some essentials to help you thrive in the Fellowship and beyond. We’ll also begin to explore the fascinating, exhilarating, and sometimes mysterious world that is the startup ecosystem.
Week 2: Find your fit in the startup ecosystem
✨ You’ll leave this week with inspiration and greater clarity around taking your next steps.
In the Women Fellowship, we challenge you to ask for more from your personal and professional lives. We’ll kick off Week 2 by unpacking what’s really important to you, and how a career in startups might align with your individual values and objectives. We’ll also connect you with some super cool startups to help you get excited about some of the world-changing problems being tackled in the ecosystem.
Week 3: Tackle imposter syndrome and leverage your social capital
✨ You’ll leave this week with the tools and confidence to build your social capital and leverage your networks.
In startups, networks are everything. We recognise that networking and self-promoting is often easier said than done, so we’ll also work on building confidence and tackling imposter syndrome.
There will be no programmed content this week. Take this time to catch-up on any recordings you may have missed, check out some bonus resources, make some more connections, or simply disconnect and recharge for the second half of the program.
Week 4: Explore working for a startup & landing your dream job
✨ You’ll leave this week with a more specific idea of what role would best suit you and how to go about locking it in.
One pathway into the startup ecosystem is to join a startup as an operator. We’ll kick off the second half of the program by diving into how to find (and land!) that dream role. We’ll also help you explore some different startup roles and functions to see what might interest you most.
Week 5: Explore what it takes to found a startup
✨ You’ll leave this week with greater clarity around what it’s really like to found a world-changing startup.
Our mission to ‘make Australia and New Zealand the best place in the world to build a startup’ is at the core of what we do, so we want to help the next generation of ANZ’s most ambitious founders create companies that will truly change our future.
Whether you already have a startup idea, you have founder ambitions but don’t know where to start, or you’re simply interested in learning more, we’re here to help you dive in.
Week 6: Explore investing in startups & pathways into venture capital
✨ You’ll leave this week with a better understanding of possible pathways for investing in startups as well as next steps.
Another pathway into startups is by backing the next generation of entrepreneurial talent. Investors are critical players in supercharging the startup ecosystem. In the last week of the program, we’ll go into exactly how you can learn to be a great investor (including many misconceptions that may be holding you back!).
We’ll wrap up the Fellowship with a bittersweet wrap-up session, which will walk through next steps (including how to stay involved in this Community For Life!).
The Women Fellowship program fee is $1,650 (incl. GST).
(the fee will only be invoiced after program acceptance)
We recognise intersectional disadvantages, and we appreciate that some women are also impacted by additional discrimination (based on age, disability, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc).
While we can't dismantle these systems on our own, Startmate offers full and half scholarships for the program in special circumstances. You can read more about our scholarships here. (Please note that additional eligibility will also be assessed!)
The application consists of 5-short answer questions. Selection is highly competitive, and we'll be assessing applicants on their ambition, motivation and passion for joining our community, as well as their grit and resilience.
While this is a written application, we want the process to be accessible for all. If you'd prefer an alternative format for applying, please get in touch.
The program is mostly virtual. All of the content is delivered in a virtual format (and will be recorded if you can’t attend live). However, we will also be hosting a few in-person events in the major capital cities as we find this helps facilitate stronger connections.
The best way to gauge if the program is right for you is to check out the Program Overview outlined above and have a look at what will be covered. If you believe that content might be beneficial to you, I would absolutely encourage you to apply.
It’s also worth noting that the session content is only one part of the program. The other main component of the Fellowship is the community.
You will be joining a cohort of other ambitious and inspiring women who are here to support you on your journey.
You will also be joining the ‘Startmate Community’, which is a powerful network of some of the best startup operators, founders, and investors in Australia and New Zealand.
If you think you would benefit from being a part of this community, I would also encourage you to apply.
Ultimately, we would not prohibit you from joining the program because of your existing experience in a startup. We've had people join the Fellowship with startup experience in the past (and get a lot of value out of it!).
Whether or not the program will be beneficial to you depends on what you hope to get out of the Fellowship. To see how the program aligns with your objectives, we'd recommend checking out the Program Overview above.