Springboard Enterprises Australia (SBE Australia) last night launched its 2016 World-Class National Accelerator Program for women-led businesses at an event at Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Melbourne.

The event was part of a series of national launch events held around the country over the last two weeks by SBE Australia to support Australian female entrepreneurs to find growth opportunities through connections to high-value networks of investors and expertise locally and globally. Springboard is calling for applications from women-led businesses seeking equity investments and strategic partnerships for growth.

To mark the Melbourne launch, Corrs partner and CEO John W.H. Denton AO was joined by inspiring leader Leonie Walsh, Lead Scientist, Dept. of State Development, Business & Innovation, to present on the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship. The event also featured a panel interview of SBE Australia alumnae Charlotte Petris, CEO & Co-founder of Timelio, and Georgia Beattie, CEO of Beattie Wines, who provided insights about their experiences with SBE Australia and their own business growth.

Elisa-Marie Dumas, CEO of SBE Australia, lamented the dearth of capital available to female entrepreneurs and celebrated the success of SBE to date, with statistics and success stories underpinning her message. She said, “it's clear that we are serving a purpose. To date, 26 companies have gone through our program and in three years they have raised over $68 million, which is unheard of in Australia, and a third have expanded to the US.”

As Corrs’ CEO, John is passionate about the firm being a leading legal provider to the Australian start-up and entrepreneurial community.

“We have a focus on innovation and a drive that makes our people want to see things differently and do things differently. In our increasingly globalised, hyper-connected world we are always looking for ways to contribute to our clients’ success and further Australia’s economic development and competiveness,” John said.

Corrs is one of SBE Australia’s Cornerstone Partners. The firm has a strong commitment to innovation, entrepreneurship and the start-up community, including as the exclusive legal provider to SBE Australia and also the University of Melbourne and the Wade Institute’s Masters of Entrepreneurs program.

The first SBE Australia program was launched in 2013, as a division of Springboard Enterprises USA (SBE US). SBE US was by founded in 2000 by Kay Koplovitz (US entrepreneur who founded USA Networks and sold it for $4.5Bn in 1997). They have seen exceptional results with 600 companies having completed the program, over $7Bn in capital raised amongst them and have celebrated 11 IPOs.

Click here to read more about Springboard and click here to see a video about applying for SBE’s accelerator program.

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