Boosting Female Founders Initiative

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What is the Boosting Female Founders Initiative?

The Boosting Female Founders Initiative is grant to help female founders of startup businesses to launch and scale their businesses into domestic and global markets.

Track Record – Ovira

Bulletpoint assisted Ovira to secure $400,000 from Round 1 of the Boosting Female Founders Initiative Round.

Ovira was founded by Alice Williams, a 27-year old endometriosis sufferer who was inspired to create the new device after years of searching for a pain-management option for her own endometriosis. When she couldn’t find a solution that was drug-free or didn’t involve invasive procedures, she looked for an alternative.

Her fledgling company Ovira has just raised $1.5 million from Blackbird Ventures, to help establish its small egg-shaped electrotherapy device in the market, after promising early sales.

 

Track Record – Airrobe

Bulletpoint assisted Airrobe to secure $396,050 from Round 2 of the Boosting Female Founders Initiative Round. AirRobe’s Circular Wardrobe is solving the problem of textile waste by allowing fashion brands to offer their customers a simple way to repurpose their items. The project is building a unique application which captures product data (images, sizing and descriptions) at the time that consumers make a brand new purchase. This enables consumers to return to the application at any time and re-sell, recycle or upcycle their used-fashion in one-click.

 

What is your chance of success?

Round 1 received over 2,200 Expressions of Interest and accepted 130 applications to stage 2. Only 51 applicants were successful at Round 2.

What is your chance of success?

  • Stage 1 – 6%
  • Stage 2 – 23%

So, your chance of success is only 1.38%. So, yeah, very competitive!

See how you can improve your chances here.

 

Background

The Boosting Female Founders Initiative – Round 3 helps women entrepreneurs overcome the disadvantages faced in getting access to finance and support to grow their startups. Targeted support will be on a co-contribution basis.

This program will provide targeted support on a co-contribution basis to female founders of startup businesses to scale into domestic and global markets. The Boosting Female Founders Initiative – Round 3 will also offer expert mentoring and advice to a select number of eligible applicants.

 

Objectives

The objectives of the Boosting Female Founders Initiative are to:

  • stimulate private sector investments into innovative startups led by women
  • help women entrepreneurs overcome barriers to accessing the finance and support necessary to scale their startups
  • enable female founders to scale-up, expand into domestic and/or global markets, and become self-sufficient
  • boost the economy through increasing the diversity of startup founders.

The intended outcomes are:

  • increased number of startups founded by women
  • new products and services are brought to market by startups founded by women
  • increased financial investment in startups founded by women
  • women improve their earning potential through entrepreneurship
  • increased job creation and economic growth.

 

Funding

All eligible applicants can apply for a grant between $100,000 and $400,000. If you meet additional eligibility criteria as detailed in the grant opportunity guidelines, you can apply for a grant of between $100,000 and up to $480,000.

The grant opportunity will be delivered through a two-stage competitive selection process due to the expected high demand for this program. You will first apply via an Expression of Interest (EOI). If successful, you will be invited to submit a Stage Two grant application.

 

Eligible Projects

To be considered a startup which is scalable, at least two of the following indicators of innovation and high growth must apply to you:

  • You are applying to register, or have registered intellectual property rights
  • You have registered for, and are undertaking eligible research and development activities for the Research and Development Tax Incentive (RDTI) scheme
  • You are applying for, or have been granted, required regulatory approval for your product, process or service
  • You have attracted third party investment
  • You have a minimum viable product that has been tested with customers, is ready for market, or for which you have had first sales
  • You have completed or are undertaking an accelerator or incubator program that provides time-limited support for entrepreneurs with a startup
  • You have a written agreement to co-develop and commercialise an innovation with an institution or body listed in Schedule 1 to the Higher Education Funding Act 1988, or an entity registered as a Research Service Provider under section 29A of the Industry Research and Development Act 1986
  • You would meet the early-stage innovation company (ESIC) requirements under the Tax Incentives for Early Stage Investors scheme
  • You have been incorporated or registered with the Australian Business Register within the last five years.

To be eligible your project must support your female founded (majority owned and led by women) startup to scale into domestic and/or global markets.

Eligible activities can include, but are not limited to:

  • launching and scaling products and/or services
  • developing and marketing software and apps
  • development and marketing of products and/or services
  • purchase of equipment specific to project to support growth
  • expansion to other markets
  • access to independent management (for example C-suite, advisory board)
  • expanding management teams and/or establishing a board
  • access to relevant professional development.

 

Eligible Applicants

You can apply if you meet the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria are a set of rules that describe who we can consider for this grant. Eligibility is determined at the time of application to Stage One of the program.

To be eligible you must:

  • be a startup that is scalable as defined in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines
  • be a female founded startup that is at least 51 per cent owned and led by women, as defined in the grant opportunity guidelines
  • have a combined annual turnover of less than $20 million for each of the three financial years prior to the lodgement of the application.

You must also have active Australian Business Number (ABN) and be one of the following entities:

  • an entity incorporated in Australia
  • a partnership
  • a sole trader
  • trust or trustee.

You must meet at least one of the following criteria to be eligible for additional funding available to priority groups:

  • your head office is located in a regional area
  • your business is Indigenous-owned (refer to Glossary in section 14 of the Grant Opportunity Guidelines for definition)
  • at least one of your founding team members (owners and leaders) is a person living with a disability
  • at least one of your founding team members (owners and leaders) has migrated to Australia as a refugee or humanitarian entrant.

 

Timing

Stage 2 of Round 3 close 20 July 2023

Need some expert advice on your application and strategy? Chat here

 

More Information

 

Latest News

The Boosting Female Founders (BFF) grant program’s third round, initiated by the Morrison government in 2020, is currently facing notable delays, impacting approximately 700 applicants. Designed to support startups predominantly owned or led by women, the program provides grants ranging from $25,000 to $480,000 to facilitate business expansion.

A crucial aspect of this initiative is the inclusion of matched funding for successful startups, necessitating applicants to have committed funds in place. However, the extended decision-making process for round three has created challenges, with numerous women-led startups experiencing prolonged ties to their funds.

Although there has been a reduction in the number of startups in this situation after the second round opened in mid-2023, dissatisfaction persists among some applicants. An anonymous source described the entire program as “completely useless,” highlighting significant disruptions to their plans due to delays.

The situation has intensified with recent correspondence from the Department of Industry, Science, and Resources (DISR), indicating a further extension of the decision-making deadline. Final approval and contract negotiations are now expected between December 2023 and early January 2024, potentially prolonging the wait for applicants. The email suggests that delays in the process have prompted the extension, raising concerns among those eagerly awaiting the outcome.

As the uncertainty continues, the frustration among impacted startups grows, emphasizing the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in accessing timely financial support to grow their ventures. The government’s commitment to assisting female-led startups is under scrutiny as the BFF program grapples with persistent delays, leaving applicants in a state of uncertainty and financial constraint.

Source

Largest grants from Boosting Female Founders program will be reexamined. Serious questions were raised about eligibility for the scheme. Industry department has outsourced the assessment of eligibility to a private consultancy. Some companies are not majority owned by women, aren’t run by women or haven’t updated their company structures.

Boosting Female Founders was announced in 2018 by the Coalition government. More than $23.5 million has been distributed to 38 companies across two rounds. There are claims that of the 10 largest grant recipients in this round, five are potentially questionable in meeting the scheme’s eligibility criteria.

Source

Application Walk Through

Round 3 Recipients

Achieving global expansion of Credit Risk Management Software PlatformsAccess Intell’s project is developing a credit risk software to protect businesses from bad debts. Businesses struggle to manage debtors ledgers across disjointed systems with limited access to cost effective credit intelligence. Access Intell aggregates data from multiple sources and integrates with business systems to deliver a continuous risk assessment on every customer.

The grant funding will allow the business to scale-up, expand into global markets, become self-sufficient and create jobs and wealth for Australia.
Scale Pet Supplement & Sustainable Food RangeBestie Kitchen has commercialised intellectual property developed with CSIRO, to make a unique form of nutraceutical gummy chews for pets. This tapped into a growing market for pet supplements.

The key project activities will grow awareness and customer acquisition in Australia, secure distribution with key distributors and retail chains and penetrate key export markets in Asia.
Farming tools driven by dataBlack Box Trading is providing analytics to the agricultural supply chain. The project funding from this grant is key to the product vertical, as Black Box have ambitions to build livestock dashboards to help farmers, feed-lots and processors with decisions derived from their database of 3.5 million animals.

Black Box’s service is aimed at working across the beef supply chain, from the paddock to grocery shelves to aggregate data, apply machine learning, and give each stakeholder insights into their livestock.
Scaling Butter Insurance – Revolutionising Contents InsuranceButter Insurance is revolutionising the way young Australian’s access, purchase and manage insurance. The project will focus on commercialising technology enabling data-lead instant quote and bind processes, flexible single-item policies and cost-effective pricing without lock-in contracts across key distribution channels. Butter’s goal is to bridge the insurance gap for the critically underinsured Australian renters’ market and under 35’s.
Retail Ready Launch of Compassion Creamery’s Award-Winning Oat Creme CheeseCompassion Creamery is looking to scale their Oat Creme Cheese operations by increasing in-house manufacturing capability in Australia, as well as build commercial capacity including increasing shelf life through formulation alterations. Compassion Creamery will allow hundreds of foodservice outlets to contribute to the expansion and acceptance of plant-based alternatives in the market; ultimately driven by the urgent need of creating a more sustainable and ethical food system.
myDRIVESCHOOL® – social & globalmyDRIVESCHOOL® is an award winning road safety program to teach people how to drive online, using simulation, gaming and artificial intelligence (AI). With BFF funding we will develop additional learning modules to address behavioural change and combine all for global markets.
Flohh Assessment Platform Scaling and IntegrationThe project for Education Ontrack will focus on integrating Flohh’s online essay marking platform into School Management Systems (SMS) and Learning Management Systems (LMS) to facilitate student data transfer and eliminate double-handling for teachers. This will also enable the business to scale internationally and enhance product performance.
Accelerating Allyship & Reconciliation supporting Statement of the HeartEvolve Communities is a majority Indigenous owned, female-founded organisation that teaches Practical Reconciliation and Allyship. The project will expand their unique frameworks, educational resources, multi modal delivery, accreditation and licensing programs to make their training and accreditation the gold standard for professionals and organisations in Australia.
Fonz Moto – Australian designed & made EV motorcycles market expansionFonz Moto designs, builds, sells and rides electrifying two-wheel motorcycles & road-scooters for the future of mobility. The project boasts a highly innovative Australian designed and manufactured product that has disrupted the Sydney market, and will continue its rapid growth both locally and overseas.
Future Anything Enterprising Education Applied Learning PlatformFuture Anything’s project will transform teacher-led enterprise education programs into a new student facing applied learning EdTech experience.

The project will create an innovative new standalone product that will enable Future Anything to scale rapidly and sustainably into the domestic and international market.
Liandra Swim International ExpansionLiandra Swim is a premium fashion brand that focuses on sustainability whilst celebrating Indigenous Australian culture. Liandra Swim presents contemporary fashion collections showcasing hand-drawn signature prints.

The theme of each collection links the audience to a carefully considered narrative through the ancient Indigenous art of storytelling. The project will support the expansion and diversity of available swimwear inventory into the domestic and international market.
Givvable – helping businesses reach their sustainability targets, fasterGivvable has developed an artificial intelligence-powered software as a service (SaaS) platform for businesses to discover and track the sustainability attributes of suppliers mapped to widely-used reporting frameworks. The project will leverage existing local distribution partnerships to expand further into the domestic and international market.
Grant’d 2.0: Automating and Scaling The Personalised Grant’d ExperienceThis project will create a subscriber based platform that automates our unique grants service, transforming Grant’d into a scalable tech based business. This investment will boost the scalability of Grant’d by eliminating our current manual processes and removing cost barriers for users through: A purpose-built Software as a Service (SaaS) platform using generative AI to deliver and maintain Grant’ds vision to become the go-to digital solution for grant seekers in Australia and globally.
Scaling-up Lactamo to respond to demand nationally and internationally.Lactamo is a world first in MedTech innovation for breastfeeding. Lactamo uniquely combines temperature, movement and compression to address the common breastfeeding problems. Independently clinically validated and IP protected, Lactamo is both proactive and reactive for breastfeeding.

The project will focus on 3 key activities consisting of marketing (domestically and internationally), the expansion of the team, and operational expansion support to facilitate growth, creating a secure foundation for the core business areas.
Tech development of artificial intelligence-enabled virtual health coachLeapForward.ai’s project is an artificial intelligence-enabled application that supports injured individuals to recover from a compensable injury or illness. The minimum viable product’s core function will implement a chatbot (“Virtual Health Coach”), which delivers virtual support and responds to users with scripted responses deployed via basic algorithms.

The project will utilise advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand the user’s expression, tone and sentiment.
Develop an SDK to integrate wellbeing data and tools into web-based systemsLife Skills’ project is a Software Development Kit that allows the integration of existing wellbeing data collection, measurement and analysis tools into third party applications. It is a platform to measure the emotional wellbeing of students.
Penny Black Organic hair products – domestic and global expansionLush Organic Hair trades as Penny Black Organic (PBO) and is the only Certified Green Salon in the Southern Hemisphere. Lush Organic has developed 16 certified organic hair products.

The project will focus on scale manufacturing and organic packaging, product range expansion for direct customer sales both domestically and early international sales, recruitment of skilled management team to implement brand awareness and marketing.
Hodie+: Powering the Great Reconnection in the Digital AgeMaxme’s project is an immersive and digitally-enhanced human skill development learning experience underpinned by a digital learning application, empowering individuals to take control of their skills, careers, and futures, driving retention and engagement in the small to medium sized enterprises market. The gamified solution bridges the gap between employees and their jobs, integrated into daily work life through the application
Commercialisation of tampon innovation to disrupt the FemCare marketThe project will undertake Multi-Cultural Research for the commercialisation of a revolutionary applicator to disrupt the FemCare market. Key activities for the project are to create Go-To-Market brand, web-based education for schools and health practitioners. The project is developing a revolutionary soft applicator insertion solution. The New Zealand market pilot study will refine the go-to-market strategy for the Australian release.
Scaling Thirsty Turtl skincare boosts global Indigenous extracts marketThirsty Turtl is an Australian skincare startup that launched in December 2022 with three products. The project will focus on growing the global market for Indigenous-sourced Australian native plant extracts.

This will be achieved through product expansion, sales growth via domestic and export-focused distributors, more efficient manufacturing and employment of specialised staff to build brand awareness.
MIIROKO’s establishment and expansion into JapanMIIROKO’s innovative vegan hair colour formula is free from ammonia, resorcinol, and paraphenylenediamine, empowering women with affordable access to salon-quality hair colour that is both gentle on their hair and environmentally friendly.

The project will focus on enhancing its digital capabilities, establishing a robust back-end team, and securing investment to leverage existing organic growth within the domestic market to scale into the lucrative Asian market, beginning with Japan.
Mineral Fox National ExpansionMineral Fox exists to help people return to nature and is a supplier of innovative, Australian-made natural plasters and renders that provide a sustainable, healthy a beautiful alternative to conventional wall coatings.

This project will support accelerated national expansion through additional headcount, systems, marketing and training.
Digital Evidence-Based Pain Management Program for FibromyalgiaThis project will accelerate the build of MoreGoodDays pain management digital platform, and help accelerate growth across Australia and internationally.
NeoMorph – An innovative mouldable alternate to the dental-made mouthguardNeoMorph Prodigy is an innovative over-the-counter, re-mouldable alternative to the dental-made mouthguard. The patent pending design, interlocks a dual polymer combination to provide a mouthguard that is securely custom fitting, protective and comfortable, to address the current concerns of end-users and the Australian Dental Association.
Automate carbon footprinting for SMEs to scale in Australia and overseasThis project will focus on automating the process of collecting data from businesses and enhancing the accuracy and useability of the carbon inventory to power decarbonisation and enable Trace to scale. By integrating with technology that companies use every day, such as spreadsheets, accounting and travel management software, Trace can gather data required to measure, reduce and track emissions and establish channel partnerships with third parties already servicing our target customer.
Parking Spotz – Electric Vehicle (EV) charging market expansion and execution of growth planParking Spotz is developing an integrated hardware and software solution that automates parking bay security and optimises usage, turnover, and a return on investment through data-driven insights for electric vehicle (EV) charging bays.

The project will focus on product integration with new EV Charging partners, optimise and automate manufacturing processes for scaled production, execute sales growth plan with the recruitment of specialised management team and launch new data analytic modules to deliver valuable insights and position us as leaders in parking and EV data analytics.
Changing women’s experience everywhere by bringing equality to bathrooms.The project will result in a second generation dispenser for Pixii organic period products being brought to market, including new tech-enabled capabilities for stock monitoring and automated re-ordering. This will enable more building and facility managers to offer period products as part of their fundamental hygiene suppliers to staff and guests, just like soap and toilet paper.
Scaling for Expansion in the Domestic and Export Premium Pet Food MarketsThe multi-faceted project will scale The Paw Grocer in both domestic and export markets. The grant funding will be used to improve our manufacturing capability & production efficiency, implement an inventory management system, and bring new products to market.
The OneTwo domestic and global expansionThe OneTwo creates an easy bra shopping experience with hyper-personalised e-commerce, including a proprietary world-leading fit algorithm and innovative products.

The project aims to accelerate revenue growth in two years through commercialisation into the domestic and international market, as well as investments into intellecual property and technology.
Theratrak: scale-up and market expansion to support the disability sector

Theratrak is developing an innovative online and mobile application based tool for therapists working with children with disabilities.

Theratrak will support a wider cohort of people living with a disability, such as adults living with autism, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy and other physical and mental health challenges.

Innovative AI sewer technology expansion to the USAVapar Innovation is developing artificial intelligence for sewer technology expansion into the United States of America. Vapar will implement a channel strategy to reach early adopter customers and set up sales operations internationally.
Bridging the National Digital Skills Gap: Leave no-one behindVETNexus has developed a Digital Literacy Licence (DLL) which is a suite of online courses with digital badges. These badges can be displayed on a participant’s social media profile and resume to verify their skills when applying for employment.

The DLL takes participants on a journey of discovery and decision making, actively engaging with the concepts covered to ensure they have developed the full range of foundational digital skills by the time they complete their full DLL.

The project will include digital skills roadshows, marketing materials, learning content to promote and raise awareness of digital literacy.
Scaling X-Hemp: Building Homes, Elevating Women, Capturing CarbonX-Hemp uses waste agricultural materials and purpose planted crops to make environmentally-friendly hemp building products.

The project aims to deliver synergistic investments in people and processes, equipment and business enabling infrastructure, new product development, branding, marketing and new market activation.
Zondii Wool Scanning Device + Female Leaders ProjectZondii’s technology goes beyond human senses to measure the true value of food and fibre. The prototype is currently in on-farm beta trials and its application in wool measurement has attracted a growing waitlist.

The Zondii Wool Scanning Device + Female Leaders Project will fund an industrial design and refinement process; product launch in Australia and New Zealand; and professional development for Zondii’s female leaders.

This project will establish Zondii as a financially sustainable female founded startup, with a commercial product in domestic and global markets, and will provide economic growth for wool growers, improved earning potential for women, and job creation internally and within the industry broadly.

What is the #1 grant for start-ups?

12,000+ companies access the R&D tax incentive per year that yields a CASH REBATE of up to 43.5%.
This might be perfect your start up.
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