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2018

launchgroup.com.au > Blog > 2018
14 Mar

Girl Geek Academy announces first all-women video game making hackathon

by launch-admin Mar 14, 2018 0 News

MEDIA RELEASE

Girl Geek Academy directly responds to market demand with launch of #SheHacksGames


Mission: to increase women’s participation in the game development industry from 18 per cent to 50:50


Australia, 15 March 2018: Australia’s Girl Geek Academy has responded to market demand and launched Australia’s first all-woman game making hackathon, #SheHacksGames, aimed to increase the number of women working in game development and building tangible products.


Providing a premium opportunity for women looking to hone their skills in game development, #SheHacksGames is a weekend game jam where women will be strategically matched into teams and have two days to create a game of any genre and any platform. Hosted at the home of the video game creation industry in Australia, The Arcade, participants will be guided by key mentors from the game development industry.


The initiative is designed for women who are new or early into their gaming careers and are seeking more hands-on experience, more exposure to the industry, and more opportunities to experience how their skills fit within the game development industry.


Currently, only 18 per cent of employees within Australia’s video game development industry identify as women, yet women are consuming games just as much as men.


Girl Geek Academy co-founder, Lisy Kane, is driving the program based on her dedication to increasing the number of women visible in key positions within the industry, which she believes is a huge barrier to other women seeing themselves as valuable contributors to the gaming community.


In 2017, Lisy was recognised by Forbes in its prestigious top 30 list: Forbes 30 Under 30: Games. Ranked alongside the world’s best game makers, Lisy was the only Australian to make the who’s who of the global gaming industry. Lisy also made this month’s CNET’s International Women’s Day list for her work in inspiring more women into the industry.


“Australia’s video game development industry is worth around $2.96 billion annually. That’s an incredibly lucrative market, so if only 18 per cent of current contributors are women, I would suggest that we’ve not nearly reached our potential. We know that almost half of video game consumers are women, and many want to play diverse games developed by diverse teams. The problem is that there is a lack of opportunities for women to develop their skills in the industry, and that’s exactly what we hope to address with our inaugural #SheHacksGames event”, said Ms Kane.


#SheHacksGames will bring together women with the different skill sets that form the basis of a game development project team. A programmer, who will be responsible for the game mechanics, technology and coding skills. A designer, who will take the creativity lead and be responsible for the look and feel of the game. Plus a producer, who is passionate about game creation and will keep the project on track, on time and oversee that all the elements have been thought through.  


#SheHacksGames is a spin off from Girl Geek Academy’s annual #SheMakesGames program, which runs alongside Melbourne International Games Week and provides an evening of networking and industry education for women who are interested in entering the industry. Last year’s #SheMakesGames delivered key notes and programs from award-winning game developer, Anna Tito, European game developer currently working in Melbourne in collaboration with NASA, Jennifer Scheurle, and the Lead Principal Engineer at Unity Labs in San Francisco, Dio (Dioselin Gonzalez).


Girl Geek Academy co-founder and CEO, Sarah Moran, said: “We are so excited to launch our inaugural #SheHacksGames event, which we curated in direct response to our community who wanted an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get started in game creation. We’ve created the event using the structure of our successful annual #SheHacks event, however with a pure focus on games so we can attract the right mentors and help get ideas off the ground.


“We’re hoping to help produce the next Holly Liu, a Silicon Valley “unicorn” who recently sold her gaming company, Kabam, for $US1 billion. Holly provided the key note at last year’s #SheHacks event and is testament that this industry absolutely needs more women.“


#SheHacksGames is government backed, having received funding from Film Victoria’s 2017 Early Career Skills Development Program (ECSDP).


#SheHacksGames will run from 9:00 am on Saturday 28 April until 5:00 pm on Sunday 29 April.  For more information visit: http://girlgeekacademy.com/shehacksgames/


ENDS

Media Contact:

Sarah Bond, Launch Group: sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au | 02 9492 1041 | 0449 543 181

About Girl Geek Academy:

Girl Geek Academy was founded by five skilled female digital professionals who want to increase the number of women with successful STEM careers. The team work to see an increase of women in tech, women in games, women who make, female designers and female founders. Initiatives include coding and hackathons, 3D printing and wearables, game development, design, entrepreneurship and startups.

Girl Geek Academy also works with teachers, schools, corporates and startups to increase the number of women with professional technical and entrepreneurial skills.





7 Mar

Julie Bishop tops national survey as most inspirational Australian woman

by launch-admin Mar 7, 2018 0 News

Media Release

Julie Bishop tops national survey as most inspirational Australian woman

 Oprah Winfrey number one overall, with politicians and women in media claiming the most votes

Australia, 8 March 2018  Julie Bishop is the most inspirational Australian woman, according to a nationally representative study by global media and technology company Pureprofile, where 1,000 adults were each asked to name who in the public eye was their biggest female inspiration. 

Julie Bishop sits fourth position overall – behind America’s Oprah Winfrey in first place and Michelle Obama in second, and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in third.

It’s clear that women working in, or linked to politics are making a huge impact on the public’s perception of what constitutes an inspirational woman. Julia Gillard, Hillary Clinton, Pauline Hanson and the late Margaret Thatcher also received some of the most frequent nominations. 
 
Women working in the media as presenters, talk show hosts and journalists also made up the bulk of the top nominations, with Ellen DeGeneres, Carrie Bickmore and Ita Buttrose joining Oprah Winfrey within the top 20 most voted for names.
 
Within the performer sector, the top names the public offered as their most inspirational women were actresses Emma Watson, Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie, and singers Pink and Beyoncé. Those best known for humanitarian roles – Saint Mother Theresa and Turia Pitt – also featured within the top 20 list.
 
After 65 years on the throne – the longest reign of any British monarch – Queen Elizabeth II received enough votes to make the number three position, with fellow royal, the late Diana, Princess of Wales also making the top 20.
 
While taking the title of the number one most inspiring woman overall, Oprah Winfrey was particularly popular by those in the mid-age ranges, remaining unrivalled as the top vote by those aged 25-54. The younger audience (18-24 years) found slightly more inspiration from actress and UN ambassador, Emma Watson, while those age 55 and above were the highest-voting group for Queen Elizabeth II.
 
Despite accusations of tall poppy syndrome, it was clear that Australians are being inspired by Australians, with more local names present in the list than any other nationality.  
 

 

Top 10 most inspiring Australian women

 

Top 10 most inspiring women, overall

1

Julie Bishop

1

Oprah Winfrey

2

Julia Gillard

2

Michelle Obama

3

Nicole Kidman

3

Queen Elizabeth II

4

Carrie Bickmore

4

Julie Bishop

5

Ita Buttrose

5

Emma Watson

6

Pauline Hanson

6

Julia Gillard

7

Turia Pitt

7

Saint Mother Theresa

8

Cathy Freeman

8

Pink

9

Olivia Newton-John

9

Margaret Thatcher

10

Rosie Batty

10

Ellen DeGeneres

All data from a sample of 1,000 Australian respondents. Study conducted by Pureprofile in February, 2018.

Pureprofile CEO, Nic Jones said: “The results around Australians most inspiring women have been eye opening and refreshing. There are no reality stars featuring high on the list, which is mainly headed up by strong, vocal women from politics and the media who are clearly making an impact and gaining respect for their work.

“You can see this reflected in the top inspiring performers who are well known for using their public platform to advocate for women’s rights. It’s also great to see Australia supporting its own, with so many Australian women featuring in the votes.”

– ENDS –

About Pureprofile (ASX: PPL)
Pureprofile Limited (ASX: PPL) connects brands with empowered consumers across the world by finding, understanding and engaging them through direct-to-consumer technology platforms. The Pureprofile group is now a global leader in data insights, programmatic media, big data, and quantitative research, as well as consumer lead generation through the recently acquired Cohort group. Pureprofile delivers next generation marketing solutions for more than 700 brands, publishers and research groups worldwide.

Media Contacts

Sarah Bond

Launch Group

02 9492 1041 | 0449 543 181

sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au






30 Jan

Comment from CEO of StartupAUS, Alex McCauley, regarding the Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation report from Innovation and Science Australia (ISA)

by launch-admin Jan 30, 2018 0 News

MEDIA RELEASE

Comment from CEO of StartupAUS, Alex McCauley, regarding the
Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation report from Innovation and Science Australia (ISA)

Australia: 30 January 2018: StartupAUS today welcomed Innovation and Science Australia’s 2030 Plan and its strategy for securing talent for high-growth scaling firms. StartupAUS highlighted the importance of swift translation of the recommendations into tangible policy action.

StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley said the focus within the 2030 Plan on the role of startups and small to medium sized businesses as job-creators and economic stimulators is critical, adding that it was pleasing to see the 2030 plan align with a number of the recommendations made by StartupAUS in its submission.

McCauley cautioned that the largest hurdle was still to come for the government, which now needed to take the advice of industry leaders and the ISA with confidence and achieve tangible, timely policy outcomes for the sector.

Access to world class talent the leading issue for startups:

“Our aim is to foster a world-class innovation system in Australia, which will deliver a huge multiplier effect for Australia’s economy.  We know that young, innovative, high-growth companies account for almost all the new jobs in the economy and providing these firms with access to world class innovators and technologists is currently the number one issue.

“The 2030 Plan calls for the continued refinement of immigration rules to improve access to specialist skilled talent and attract entrepreneurs. We believe the new skilled migration regime is an ideal opportunity for the Federal Government to update the list of occupations for which skilled visas are available.

“To put it into perspective, in response to the current IT skills shortage, Australia saw a net inflow of 19,600 IT workers from overseas in 2015, with 13,900 of these workers coming to Australia under Subclass 457 (temporary skilled work) visas. According to Atlassian, around 25 per cent of its approximately 1,000 Sydney-based staff are employed on skilled work visas, a trend which is mirrored in other rapidly-growing Australian startups as well as multinationals performing R&D in Australia.

“Rather than presenting a threat to Australian workers, overseas IT workers are helping Australian startups bridge the skills gap and at the same time providing management and product development experience to Australian tech companies as they scale and begin to enter global markets.

“The focus on STEM and education, while too slow to help in the next few years, is also a critical longer-term step to improve our talent inputs by 2030,” Mr McCauley said.

R&D focus needs to be better align with startup needs

“The 2030 Plan addresses R&D in its Industry component but specifically calls for the Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&DTI) program to be better targeted to increase business R&D investment. From our discussions with the startup community, 87.8 per cent said that receiving the R&D Tax Incentive quarterly rather than annually would make a ‘huge’ (77 per cent) or very large (10.8 per cent) difference to their businesses’ cashflow because many are borrowing against future R&D Tax Incentive payments and – in some cases – incurring hefty interest rates.

“Reversing the fall in R&D spend is important. It is critical the scheme does not focus only on the ‘Research’ side at the cost of ‘Development.’ A clear declaration that commercial development from Australian startups, particularly in the software space, will continue to be covered by the scheme would go a long way to providing clarity and certainty for founders.

“StartupAUS would also like to see the Federal Government change payment of the R&D incentive from annually to quarterly to help early-stage startups with cashflow, as outlined in our Crossroads 2017 report. This would help support one of the other key themes of the 2030 Plan – establishing a thriving and sustainable base of high-growth businesses,” Mr McCauley said.

Other high impact recommendations for startups:
“Helping young firms access export markets by increasing funding for Export Market Development Grants is another important recommendation in the Plan. This grant is an important tool to both bring wealth into the country via exports and accelerate the growth of successful startups as job creators. According to StartupAUS research, while over 90 per cent of large scale-ups claim the R&D Tax Incentive, only 35 per cent claimed the EMDG. Better targeting this scheme to help young high-growth startups access global markets is exactly the right move.

“The recommendation around an Australian Innovation Precincts Statement to help shape Australian Government involvement in emerging localised innovation ecosystems in cities and regions is a valuable way to build on the investment made by individual ecosystems by linking these precincts to a network across the country.

 

“The establishment of secure, long-term funding for national research infrastructure is a vital structural change for Australia which will help move longer-term projects out of the political cycle. This was a key part of the StartupAUS submission to the ISA and is one of many measures that can be immediately put in place to build for the future.

“We also commend the importance of creating more detailed public data around the startup ecosystem and support the development of innovation metrics and methodologies to fully capture innovation and link it to economic, social and environmental benefits.

“Overall we commend ISA for its focus on strengthening Australia’s digital economy to capture the opportunities presented by the ‘fourth wave’ of the internet. Startups are a key player in our economic future and, by definition, if they are to succeed they must innovate intensively. It is therefore critical to make sure Australia cultivates an environment in which startups can attract capital and talent on a large scale.

“Now it is clear that there is broad alignment among innovation experts, within both government and the private sector. But the key measure of success will be the policy outcomes that are born from this plan. This is a great report, but we can’t leave it till 2030 to do something about it. These ideas require action immediately.

“This is a time of critical importance for innovation in Australia. We already have a roadmap established, through the StartupAUS Crossroads Report, to Australia becoming one of the best places in the world to build a high-growth startup. What we need now is rapid action in a number of key policy areas to capitalise on the momentum we have built. This is not only of paramount importance for the sector, it will help secure the economic future of the country,” said Mr McCauley.

ENDS

About StartupAUS:
StartupAUS is a not-for-profit entity with a mission to transform Australia through technology entrepreneurship. StartupAUS believes a strong home-grown tech sector is vital to future Australian jobs and wealth. But getting there will require a national imperative to create the right environment, with a supportive culture and more entrepreneurs with the right skills.

For more information visit: www.startupaus.org


3 Jan

Leading finance experts unite to tackle financial literacy for women

by launch-admin Jan 3, 2018 0 News

MEDIA RELEASE 

Female entrepreneurs to prosper through Acceler8 partnership with myprosperity 

Leading financial experts unite with a commitment to boost financial literacy for women 

Australia, 20 November 2017: Australia’s leading cloud-based personal wealth platform, myprosperity has partnered with social enterprise Acceler8 to help female entrepreneurs create a sustainable wealth building program.

The partnership brings together two finance industry experts – awardwinning serial entrepreneur Tanya Titman, who founded Acceler8 based on her 20+ years’ experience mentoring SMEs, and Chris Ridd, former managing director of cloud accounting software Xero, who was recently appointed CEO at myprosperity.

Acceler8 focuses on helping female entrepreneurs to improve their financial literacy and scale their businesses. Titman founded social enterprise Acceler8 as a passion project to educate, inspire and empower women to grow and scale their businesses. To date, Acceler8 has helped hundreds of women achieve their business goals – promising participants a minimum 30 percent lift in profit over the 12-month program.

myprosperity is a one-stop-shop for managing personal wealth, unifying all assets – from property, superannuation and businesses, to personal cashflow, daily expenses and liabilities – providing full visibility over current, independent financial status. 

For Titman, who is also the founder of award-winning SME-focused accounting practice Consolid8, the collaboration provides a critical tool for women to streamline their personal and business finances.

“It’s important that women work on improving their financial literacy, which is often the key factor keeping their SMEs from reaching full potential. Technology is critical to efficient, profitable SME performance and we want to give female entrepreneurs access to the best of breed Australian technology. myprosperity is innovative software with a specific focus on financial and cashflow management, which gives SME owners access to comprehensive financial data. By pulling together data around all their assets, myprosperity reveals the independent net worth of these highly motivated women, unlocking even more potential for them,” said Ms. Titman.

While financial literacy for women has become a high priority for sectors ranging from banking to government, there is still room for growth, particularly when planning for retirement. A 2017 study by The American College of Financial Services, Americas largest nonprofit educational institution devoted to financial services, surveyed an equal percentage of men and women and found that only 20 per cent of women identified as the primary financial decision maker compared to 65 per cent of men.

Chris Ridd, CEO at myprosperity said: “This partnership is an opportunity to support a vitally important program that is inspiring more female entrepreneurs to be confident about their financial acumen. Cloud accounting revolutionised finance for businesses but we’ve yet to see a similar paradigm shift in personal finance, and that’s our aim.”

The partnership will provide Acceler8’s entrepreneurs with a year’s Pro subscription, where participants can use features of the Pro wealth user plan such as monthly updates for online home and motor vehicle valuations, balance sheet/net worth, ASX shares feed and a comprehensive wealth report. The access to Pro saves business owners hundreds of dollars a year, as well as identifying new wealth opportunities for them.

We are incorporating myprosperity into the program for our new intake of female business leaders and see it as another step for them to make strategic and informed business decisions,” added Ms. Titman.

For more information visit: http://acceler8program.com.au

ENDS

Media Contact:

Sarah Bond, Launch Group: sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au | 02 9492 1041 | 0449 543 181 

About Acceler8 Academy:

Acceler8 Academy is for women who want to improve their financial literacy and accelerate their business growth. The 12-month program is designed exclusively for women in business. Delivered by Tanya Titman and her team of specialists, the program is guaranteed to deliver a 30 per cent improvement in your profits over the 12 months, with a mission to ensure women have more money, more time and less stress in their life. For more information: http://acceler8program.com.au 

About myprosperity:

myprosperity is a cloud-based, personal wealth platform that makes it easy for accountants and advisers to help their clients get their financial world – sorted. Available on desktop and as a mobile app, myprosperity is a white-label wealth portal that boasts live data feeds and digital doc signing, as well as budgeting, cashflow and goal setting tools for an integrated all-in-one approach to personal finance. Founded in 2011, the company is now the leading personal wealth platform in Australia, with over 400 adviser partners and 17,000 end users. For more information: http://www.myprosperity.com.au

About Tanya Titman:

Tanya Titman is a passionate advocate for empowering female business owners with theknowledge of the numbersand using this information to create high growth, sustainable business models. Her focus is on providingreal worldadvice and her experience comes from being involved in many successful businesses over the last 20 years.

With a focus on innovation and technology, Tanya is the founder of accountancy firm Consolid8 and assists many businesses in their transition to the cloud. Consolid8 was awarded as a finalist in the 2012 Telstra Business Awards and is widely recognised for its innovation in providing benchmarking and accounting solutions for franchisees.

As a mother of 4 young children, Tanya is passionate about empowering women in business through her Acceler8 Academy. Through this program, Tanya has witnessed the power that numbers can have in changing womens lives for the better. For more information: http://acceler8program.com.au/team/