Slingshot founder's startup venture supporting women in business

A new business programme aiming to get more women to set up companies has the support of multi-millionaire Annette Presley.

Entrepreneur Annette Presley is helping look for 10 startups that each have at least one female co-founder. Source: 1 NEWS

The founder of our largest independent telecommunications company Slingshot, is helping look for 10 startups that have at least one female co-founder in each team.

The initiative is being run by Creative HQ in Wellington, which helps get new companies off the ground but has struggled to find many being led by women.

The creator of the Lightning Lab XX programme, Laura Reitel, says since 2013, they’ve have had more than 80 graduates but just 10 have been women.

“They see it as a man’s world or an old boys club so to speak so what we're trying to do with this programme is create an environment for and by women,” she says.

Annette Presley told ONE News that she will invest money in the companies and help mentor those in charge.

“Women don’t have as much support as men. When I started out in business there were no female mentors they did not exist,” she says.

Ms Presley says there aren’t as many women in the position that she’s in due to a lack of confidence.

“I believe that men have a lot of confidence and women are more prone to not take an opportunity to not keep going when the going gets tough and that’s what startups are all about,” she says.

Applications are now open at

The programme will kick off on International Women’s Day on 8 March next year.