The Alice Anderson Fund
In 2019, 104 Victorian startups received Angel or VC investment*. Just 19 had a woman founder.
LaunchVic is helping grow the Victorian startup sector with the Alice Anderson Fund, a $10 million Angel sidecar fund that co-invests in women-led early-stage startups.
Applications are open to local and international investors from July 1 2021.
The Alice Anderson Fund will provide between $50,000 - $300,000 to 40-60 women-led startups by 2024.
Private sector investors will match the government’s contribution by a minimum of 3:1 in a ‘Sidecar’ structure designed to increase participation in angel funding rounds.
This unlocks up to $40 million in early-stage investment over the next three years at a crucial time for the Victorian startup ecosystem, with an estimated $97 million $97 million annual shortfall according to research by Startup Genome.
85% of the Government’s investment will be taken as equity, while the remaining 15% will be provided as a non-dilutive grant to ensure more of the company stays in the startup’s hands.
Who can apply?
Investors apply on a Founder’s behalf for this opportunity.
The fund is open to local and international Angel Networks, Early-Stage VCs and individual investors.
You must meet the criteria of a sophisticated investor or hold a valid AFSL license, and operate independently from the startup.
Investors are being urged to review their portfolios for promising Victorian women-led startups ahead of applications opening on 1 July 2021.
The most comprehensive of its kind in Australia, this free, open-source database makes it easy to search startups by stage and sector, and access quick insights on funding, talent and emerging sectors.
LaunchVic has assembled a team of ecosystem leaders to oversee the $10 million Alice Anderson Fund- designed to drive investment in women-led early-stage startups.
The Investment Committee will be responsible for:
- Reviewing and approving applications to the Alice Anderson Fund.
- Ensuring sound governance, including the management of Conflicts of Interest (CoI) in accordance with LaunchVic Policy.
The Investment Committee has not been commissioned to decide on the soundness or commercial viability of each individual startup investment but rather to use the best judgement of the members to assess the quality of the Investor.
Chaired by Susan Oliver AM, the new Investment Committee will also comprise of experienced investors, Matt Allen, CEO of Tractor Ventures, Kerri Lee Sinclair, Chair of SBE Australia, Aneetha de Silva, LaunchVic Board Director, and Dr. Kate Cornick, CEO of LaunchVic.
Investors apply on a founder’s behalf for this opportunity, so you’ll have to have a relationship already in motion when applications open July 1. Find a full list of Angel investors to reach out to over at findingstartups.launchvic.org. This is a one-stop-shop for data on recent deals, key players and competitor insights. Create a profile today and find the investor that’s right for you.
Ownership of a startup can exist in many different forms. Recognising this, the eligibility criteria for startups follows two pathways. * The startup is 50 per cent owned by at least one woman, prior to any investment; OR * There is a 30 per cent ownership stake by women; including one woman in an executive role such as the CEO or CTO, and if there is a Board, it must have representation of at least 30 per cent women. The startup must be a registered business based in Victoria and meet LaunchVic’s definition of a startup.
LaunchVic defines startups as young technology-based businesses that use innovation to scale rapidly and capture global markets. Examples of technology include: software / app, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, advanced manufacturing & robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, augmented / virtual reality, 3D printing, advanced materials, genomics & life sciences (including BioTech & MedTech) and autonomous vehicles.
Building on Alice’s legacy
The fund is named in memory of Alice Anderson, a pioneering mechanic and entrepreneur who founded Australia’s first all-women motor garage in Kew in 1919.
At just 19 years old, Alice not only built a thriving business in a newly emerging industry, she also employed an all-women crew and ran popular classes to educate women in this new technology.
Alice was part of a generation who conceived of women's advancement through economic and professional equality; a goal that our fund will continue to support Victorian women founders to achieve.
If you have a question regarding The Alice Anderson Fund, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a woman founder wanting some extra information or an investor that wants to know more about investing in women-led businesses, you can book in for Office Hours with Georgia McDonald here.
You can also sign up to our newsletter here to be the first to know when new opportunities go live, and follow us on social to learn more about Alice’s story.
Victorian Startup Ecosystem Mapping Report
LaunchVic’s annual Victorian Startup Ecosystem Mapping Report for 2020 identified approximately 1,900 technology startups in Victoria. Women represented 20 per cent of founders, down from 28 per cent in 2018. The Report also found that at all stages of development, women-founded firms represented a significant minority. As development stages progress, representation of women founders decreased.
While no startup sector show gender parity, some sectors, such as EduTech at 42% and ConsumerTech at 32% demonstrate increased participation by women in Victoria.
A report commissioned by LaunchVic and conducted by globally recognised startup investor expert Prof Josh Lerner, Harvard Business School, states that globally 13 per cent of founders receiving angel investment are women. In 2017, StartupAus reported that only 4 per cent of women founders received funding, indicating a larger issue in Australia. Yet the positive impact of Angels on startup success is well known, with startups that have received angel support 70 per cent more likely to obtain financing, 20 per cent more likely to hire additional employees and 10 per cent more likely to be involved in a successful exit.