The Franklins: Facing up to the funding gap

The Franklins: Session II (Fundraising)

Why Fundraising?

One of the most challenging aspects of being a founder is fundraising. In particular, female-founded companies face a significant funding gap. In Silicon Valley in 2016, companies founded solely by females accounted for only 3% of the total dollars raised by startups. This is a not a unique issue for the Valley, but is systematic across startup ecosystems around the globe.

A simple search online will deliver copious amounts of information on the subject of fundraising, but the information available is often quite generic or US-oriented. Much of the available resources also focus on the challenges of raising, and can be quite disheartening to founders.

MAP is helping The Franklins to cut through the noise and negativity on the issue of fundraising, by sharing with our founders how it can be done, and how to do it well. By selecting ‘Fundraising’ as the topic of our second Female Founders Leadership Dinner, we provided some much needed Australian and Melbourne-specific advice to our Female Founders seeking to raise.

The Mentors

We all need champions and advocates who support us when we’re feeling low and are the first to celebrate our successes. For startup founders, straight talkers are equally essential. Mentors who can look at you and your business and tell you the truth (versus what you want to hear), while sharing the benefit of their experience, are rare gems. We’re thrilled to welcome two fantastic mentors to The Franklins: Session II:

Kate Morris, CEO & Founder, Adore Beauty

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Kate Morris, founder of Adorebeauty.com.au, started Australia’s first beauty e-commerce site in 1999 from a garage in Melbourne at the age of 21. Starting with just $12,000 and two little known cosmetic companies on board, Adore Beauty has grown to more than 160 brands, 12,000 products, and annual turnover of $24m. A university job on the cosmetic counters led Kate to realise that most women found department stores intimidating and unpleasant. Kate was inspired to create a disruptive beauty shopping experience that empowered consumers.

Kate was awarded the Business Innovation Award for Victoria at the Telstra Business Women’s Awards in 2014, and was inducted into the Australian Businesswomen’s Network Hall of Fame in 2015. Adore Beauty has also been awarded places on high performance lists such as Deloitte’s Tech Fast 50 Australia, Tech Fast 500 Asia-Pacific and the SmartCompany Smart50.

Kerri Lee Sinclair, Chief Investment Officer: Technology & Innovation, Kin Group

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Kerri Lee has over 15 years experience working across the high-growth eco-system, from co-founding her own startup, to working with some of Australia’s leading tech businesses, including Intelematics and Aconex.

She recently has moved into leading technical investment/venture capital in a family office. An alumnae of the Springboard program in 2000, she has been involved since the early days of the program being in Australia, and sits on the Board.

Kerri Lee is a MAP mentor and is also an Innovation Expert on the Victorian Government’s Innovation Expert panel.

Host Partner

MAP is proud to partner with One Roof Melbourne to deliver The Franklins: Session II (Fundraising).

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One Roof is Australia’s leading co-working space dedicated to women-led businesses and is currently home to 78 businesses at different stages and across an extensive array of industries. One Roof provides everything a woman-led business needs to thrive including office space, tailored business support and a daring, disruptive and passionate community, all under one roof.

sheree-rubenstien.pngJoining us from One Roof is co-founder, Sheree Rubinstein. Inspired by the difficulties she faced when making the decision to leave a stable and financially secure job, Sheree subsequently co-founded One Roof Coworking, a place where she can now provide other aspiring entrepreneurs with the professional support and inspiration women in business need to thrive. Driven by her ambition to close the gender gap in entrepreneurship, Sheree curates and facilitates One Roof’s mentoring programs that support other female entrepreneurs to succeed. She was recently a Victorian finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.


Participation in The Franklins is by invitation only. If you would like to be considered, please contact Lisian Teh, Development Manager.

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The Franklins: Growing pains and pleasures

The Franklins: Session I (Growth)

Why Growth?

A defining characteristic of a startup (as opposed to a small business) is the focus on scalability, and inevitably, growth. The exact conditions and steps taken to achieve growth, however, are a common challenge shared by many startup founders. Once a startup has achieved product-market fit, what comes next?

For the first session in The Franklins, MAP’s Female Founders’ Leadership Series, we set out to address this topic with our founders – many of whom run established startups with international reach, but who may be considering how to sustain their growth in the long run, or how the decisions they make today, impact on the future of their business (and personal life) in years to come.

In the startup ecosystem, women in the middle can sometimes feel left out – but it as this point that they’re often in the midst of tremendous growth as leaders and as business owners. There is incredible support for businesses that are just starting out, and recognition flows steadily to a select number of female leaders in technology or media sectors, so we have made a conscious effort to acknowledge, support and share our learnings with the women doing the hard yards between ‘startup’ and ‘success’.

Post product-market fit, as a startup transforms into a business, culture changes, new processes are required, and hiring and firing challenges present themselves. This transition can be tough on the business, and especially taxing on the founders. By giving The Franklins some positive role modelling and a reference group of fellow female founders at similar stages in their businesses, we hope to make a small contribution to their journey. We felt it was critical to provide these women on the front line with some timely growth advice, and in turn, we hope that they will share their learnings within their own networks, as we share it here with you.


Our Mentor

For the first session in our Female Founders’ Leadership Series, we wanted to introduce The Franklins to an experienced founder who would share their advice for growing a sustainable business (and global empire), but who has also balanced aggressive growth with a consistent vision, a desire to create true impact, and a commitment to quality and leadership. Encouraging everyone to play to their individual strengths and stay focused on their own game, the delightful Amanda Coote shared her learnings with our lucky founders.

Amanda Coote, Entrepreneur & Angel Investor, Co-Founder, Forever New

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Amanda is the co-founder of Australian fashion retailer Forever New. She led the company for the first seven years as Managing Director – from conception of vision and business plan in 2005, to start-up in January 2006, then through prolific growth into 8 countries with 2,500 employees and over 300 stores.

In 2013 Amanda established Forever New’s corporate responsibility programme and philanthropic foundation, supporting YGAP and Save the Children. In 2014 she established the Forever New Scholarship at RMIT University, awarding one scholarship in 2014 and two in 2015.

Amanda exited Forever New in August 2015 to complete her Masters degree and pursue her interests in social enterprise, start ups and angel investing. Together with the Wade Institute, Amanda established the first Impact Entrepreneurship Scholarship for candidates entering the Master of Entrepreneurship degree at The University of Melbourne. Amanda has been a MAP mentor since 2014 and is a leading advisor on MAP’s Impact Entrepreneurship initiatives.


Host Partner

MAP is proud to partner with Scale Investors to deliver The Franklins: Session I (Growth).

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Scale helps investors and entrepreneurial women to connect, invest and succeed. Founded in March 2013, Scale is a female focused angel investor network. The founding members of Scale are women, but they welcome and include men who share their vision of maximising returns by supporting early stage businesses that value gender diverse leadership.

amanda-derham.pngRepresenting Scale Investors is Amanda Derham, Co-CEO (Interim). Amanda is an experienced director, business owner and investor of more than 30 years having worked in mining, dairy manufacturing and financial services who believes in the power of innovation. Amanda has a background in marketing and communications and is currently a director of Anglicare Victoria Inc. and a Life Member of the Museum of Victoria. Amanda’s previous directorships include VLine Pty Ltd, Burra Foods Australia Pty Ltd, Golf Victoria Inc, and the Scotch College Foundation.


From The Franklins

“I just wanted to say a big thank you for inviting me to the dinner. It was so lovely to hear from Amanda Coote and Amanda Derham and to be surrounded by so many like-minded female entrepreneurs!” – Valeria Ignatieva, DCC Jobs

“Amanda Coote said “to succeed you need to be a little bit scared and a hell of a lot excited about what you’re doing”. I’ve just put that on a post-it note on my wall” – Christie Downs, Handdii

“A HUGE thank you for tonight’s event – truly inspirational and it was so great to meet so many talented women, and also to hear insights from Amanda Coote and Amanda Derham!” – Anna Reeves, That Startup Show


Participation in The Franklins is by invitation only. If you would like to be considered, please contact Lisian Teh, Development Manager.

Welcome to The Franklins: Female Founders on the front line

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MAP’s Female Founders’ Leadership Series (The Franklins) offers mentoring, introductions and practical entrepreneurial education for up to 60 high-potential female entrepreneurs each year. The series is designed to motivate, inspire and connect Australia’s ambitious female founders, helping them to address the challenges of scaling and sustainability.

The Franklins is for women who are disrupting industries, thinking BIG, and making an impact.

We look forward to sharing the stories of our female founders (#FF) in the next few months as we bring together an incredible group of women to support each other, learn and reflect across a series of intimate dinners.

By sharing success stories of female founders, we can encourage other women. By discussing our challenges, we gain perspective, solutions and solidarity.

Stay tuned for more content from direct from The Franklins founders. We hope you’ll share their stories and encourage more female entrepreneurs to get in touch with MAP and apply for the next round of programs.