Founder story: 'You don't need to do anything special to help women succeed. Just open the door'

I've never been draw to women's only events.

I'm tired of Women's Day events where only half the addressable audience is there.

The same people talk about the same issues facing women and how they haven't changed for the last. Blah blah blah...

I'm more inclined to action.

Over the last eight weeks, I've been part of Antler Sydney's first cohort of founders. 

Antler is a startup generator. "A what?," I hear you say.

My husband initially asked me if it was preschool for startups. In reality, it felt more like a bizarre social experiment. Am I going to be the last kid in school chosen to join a team?

The program tests your resilience and determination, but most importantly provides a great framework to test and validate your business ideas to see if they are scalable.

How did it work?

Take 70 highly capable and curated people in a group, provide a deadline and see what happens.

I was doubtful and skeptical. I didn't marry my first boyfriend and finding a founding partner is committing to someone for 5-10 years. Is eight weeks really enough to stress a relationship? Does that really allow you to evaluate the someones values?

When trying to find a co-founder Antler focused on values not personality fit. They were looking for product founder fit, team fit and product market fit. Pulling together dream teams.

The end of the experiment yielded very interesting results: 30 odd teams pitching for funding.

Today, we will find out who made it.

No matter which way it goes 45% of those teams have one or more female founders. There is also 20% of the teams that have women in STEM as founders.

Now, that's actions.

So rather than holding a women's event maybe just take action to help women succeed by holding open the door?

Siobhan O'Toole is a founder in the first Antler Sydney program.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn. Read the original article here.

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