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26 visionary women elevate their entrepreneurial journey through the Plus Eight Female Founders program

Apr 8, 2024

The Plus Eight Female Founders program has recently ended in Brisbane with the much-anticipated Pitch Night held at The Precinct in Fortitude Valley. This program, specifically curated for visionary women, has provided the cohort with a pivotal platform to build their skills and nurture their entrepreneurial aspirations.

Over the course of the 5-week program, participants were deeply engaged in learning key business principles and invaluable insights. Covering everything from crafting business models to validating customer needs, from product development strategies to innovative marketing approaches, the cohort embarked on a comprehensive entrepreneurial journey, guided by influential mentors, seasoned investors, and industry-leading advisors.

At the Final Pitch night we saw over 80 individuals in attendance, including friends, family, fellow founders, and supporters. The event served as a vibrant stage to highlight the cohort's incredible journey as they presented their businesses and celebrated their achievements.

Facilitating the evening was the program Entrepreneur in Residence, Bel Lloyd, while the esteemed panel of judges included Sarah-Jane Peterschlingmann, Caroline Starecky, Peta Ellis, and Paula Collins.

After the pitches, the judges gathered to deliberate and determine the winners. Taking home 1st place was Imeleta A, who earned a $500 gift voucher (sponsored by Stirling Partners) along with 3 months of coworking at The Precinct. Brooke Berry secured the 2nd place, with Samantha Rowe taking home 3rd place.

When asked what her highlight was in facilitating the program, Bel shared, “the pitch event was definitely the highlight for me, as it showcased the growth and development of the founders in a setting filled with encouragement and support.”

Discussing the incredible growth that the cohort’s businesses have seen throughout the program, Bel shared, “I've witnessed many incredible success stories, showcasing the power of empowering women entrepreneurs and fostering a supportive community.”

“This includes Zoe, who initially couldn't conceive how to bring her business dreams to life. However, through the program she realised that securing her own laser cutter was her next step.”

“Zoe was inspired to start a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $3,300 and exceeded its funding goal by 216%!”

“When you have a clear vision and ask for what you need, the program has demonstrated that it can help make those dreams a reality.” Bel concluded.

We also asked Female Founder program participants, Afrouz and Zoe what their favourite part of the program was, where they shared the following.

The program itself in terms of structure, content, speakers and concepts were so well delivered and implemented, but for me, the favourite part was actually doing it alongside like minded women who were in similar positions with similar passions!” Afrouz shared.

“It was the instant yet gradual connection made with these remarkable women alongside building our ideas and passions into possible realities. This created a safe space which accelerated my thinking and confidence in my idea.” She added.

Zoe added, “my favourite part was meeting the mentors and other women in the program, everyone was so welcoming and patient.”

When asked how she’d been able to scale her company throughout the program, Zoe shared, “my business didn’t exist before the program, so it’s scaled a lot! My Kickstarter has allowed me to purchase a laser cutter which is really amazing.”

Discussing whether she’d recommend the Plus Eight Female Founder program to other local founders looking to grow their skills and network , Afrouz shared, “It was such a positive experience and well designed program and I would recommend it to anyone with an idea who wants to progress it, test it, and further navigate it alongside other women in the same position.”

The Plus Eight Female Founder program was made possible by the Advance Queensland Initiative and Stirling Partners.

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