Life & Style

Female Founders Program applications are now open

Do you have a business idea that you've been sitting on, or are you in the process of starting a company?

Now could be the perfect time to take your idea to the next level with applications open for the inaugural intake of the Female Founders Program.

Delivered by the University of Newcastle’s I2N in partnership with the City of Newcastle, the Female Founders Program is a springboard for female founders based in the Newcastle region, empowering them to navigate their start-up journey with confidence.

University of Newcastle
Photo credit - Murray McKean

Senior Manager, I2N Operations and Innovation, Siobhan Curran, said the Female Founders Program's main aim is to level the playing field for committed female founders to build their businesses and reach their fullest potential.

“It takes more than a great idea to launch a startup. Business know-how, a strong and supportive professional network, and confidence in yourself and your concept are ‘must-haves’ to succeed,” Ms Curran said. “The Female Founders Program will provide that network of supporters who will provide the insights and guidance to help founders succeed."

The free 10-week program focuses on supporting majority female-led startups through tailored startup insight workshops, peer network development and ongoing support through mentors and coaches from the I2N community 

Tricia Martin, the founder of Virtual Internal, is already benefitting from mentoring and coaching through I2N. Tricia explains,

"As a Female Founder, converting an idea into a scalable enterprise can be lonely (like scribbling an idea on spare paper on your lunch break lonely).

female founders program university of newcastle

"For me, mentorship was my 'unfair advantage'. My mentors shifted my thinking to see my idea as worthy and to see myself as accountable. When I walked out of my first mentor session, I bawled my eyes out in a parking lot because I realised that the risk was not leaving my salaried job - it was not following through. Feeling accountable and that I had backing was more powerful than any leadership conference or 'Lean In' book could ever offer."

Applications for the Female Founders Program are open until 19 September. 

For more information including eligibility and application details visit

Want to know more? Register for the Female Founders Program Information Session on Tue 14 Sep, 1-2PM.