Elevate your startup with Ventures Empower.

Calling all entrepreneurs who are women and in the early stages of founding their startup to be part of the 2024 UQ Empower Women's Entrepreneurship program. 

This is a transformative 10-week experience to accelerate your startup. You'll join a cohort of inspiring founders and get the support, knowledge, and confidence you need to reach your business goals. 

Applications for the Ventures Empower Semester 2 program are now open and will close Monday 8 July 2024.

Apply for Empower

As part of the Ventures Empower program you will:

  • Experience 10 weeks of engaging content crafted to resonate with the unique experiences and aspirations of women who are innovators and entrepreneurs.
  • Connect with like-minded women, learn from each other's experiences, and form bonds that will extend beyond the program.
  • Learn from successful entrepreneurs and mentors who've navigated similar paths, offering insights, advice, and a supportive network.
  • Polish your pitching skills and showcase your unique vision with potential supporters at the Ventures Empower demo day.

The program will be delivered in-person at the UQ Ventures Studio, Long Pocket.

Program: This program runs on Thursday evenings with two Saturday intensives from Saturday 3 August to Thursday 17 October 2024.

  • Session 1. Saturday 3 August, 9am-4pm 
    Customer validation and product development.
  • Session 2. Thursday 8 August, 5-8pm
    Business strategy and goal setting.
  • Session 3. Thursday 15 August, 5-8pm
    Business models.

    Session 4.  Thursday 22 August, 5-8pm
    Business structure and legal 101 for startups.
  • Session 5. Thursday 29 August, 5-8pm
    Sales and metrics (Review teams’ business models).
  • Session 6. Thursday 5 September, 5-8pm
  • Session 7. Thursday 19 September, 5-8pm
    Funding and Finance for startups.
  • Session 8. Thursday 26 September, 5-8pm
    Pitching and storytelling.
  • Session 9. Thursday 3 October, 5-8pm
    Pitch practise with mentors.
  • Session 10. Saturday 12 October, 9am-4pm
    Pitch practise.
  • Demo day. Thursday 17 October, 5:30-8pm.

Information session: Online

Date: Thursday 6 June
Time: 5-5:45pm
Venue: Online (Zoom)

Register to join the information session

Information session: Morning Coffee with Women Founders

Date: Wednesday 19 June
Time: 8-9.30am
Venue: 308 Queen St, Brisbane City

Register to join the information session


We are looking for passionate and committed women and gender diverse founders who have validated their value proposition, an initial sustainable business model and a solution.

To be eligible to apply, Ventures Empower teams must have:

  • Individual women founders or startup teams with at least 51% women ownership
  • Active founders who are over the age of 18 years and who are committed to the full length of the program
  • A strong connection with The University of Queensland (UQ) as evidenced by one of the founders meeting one of the following criteria:
    • be an undergraduate or postgraduate student of UQ in 2024, including PhD candidates.
    • be an alum of UQ; or
    • be a current UQ staff (research/academic/professional) member.

The balance of the founders who do not meet the above criteria need not have any relationship with UQ.

Terms and Conditions

Semester 2 program

Applications for Ventures Empower will close Monday 8 July 2024 at 12pm.

The selection committee will decide on the final cohort based on written applications and selection interviews.

Apply for Empower

"I highly recommend the Ventures Empower program to all female startup founders commencing their startup journey. I went from developing and starting my business in a vacuum, partly out of fear, to confidently sharing my business on a mic at Demo Day to anyone who would listen! Sitting in a room with your fellow female startup founders week in and week out sharing problems and ideas was the support and inspiration I had been looking for, and the program overall was truly a life-changing experience for me. Put your name down, and you won't look back!" Jenna Donnelly, Founder of Lilo

"Completing the Empower program was one of the best decisions I made to help myself and my startup business grow. The support, mentoring, resources, and networking opportunities have been incredible. I feel more confident about tackling the challenges ahead."  Helena, Founder of Inoya

"A fantastic program with a great program leader, outstanding guest speakers, useful exercises to refine our thinking, and great camaraderie with the other women founders."  Founders of Max & Mel