New Zealand's universities produce more female founders of startups than other countries, according to a new study - though they top a very under-performing field in gender diversity terms.
Business banking app Tide analysed data on Crunchbase (something of a bible for startups and venture capitalists) for companies that had raised at least US$1 million.
It found New Zealand's universities have the highest percentage of female startup founder graduates in the world - even if it only took a modest 13.4 per cent to top the charts.
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Overall, Tide's "Pioneering Women" study found companies in the US$1m+ capital bracket had 6940 had female founders and 72,200 male.
The survey also highlighted five startup founders who graduated from an NZ university - even if most of them now fall into the ex-pat category:
• Elisabeth Iorns graduated from the University of Auckland where she studied biomedical science. She is the co-founder of Palo Alto, California-based Science Exchange which received US$112.6m of funding according to Crunchbase. Science Exchange is a marketplace for outsourced scientific research and development which connects scientists with a network of scientific research institutions around the world.
• Phoebe Haymangraduted with a BA in fine arts from the University of Auckland. She is the founder of Seedling, which received US$26.3m of funding according to Crunchbase. Hayman - then based in Auckland - got a break when Hollywood actress Jessica Alba showed pictures on social media of her daughter's favourite doll, she name-checked Seedling. Hayman is now based in LA, where her projects have included creating an AR teddy bear that was old exclusively via Apple's website.
• Jen Lim graduated from the University of Auckland where she studied Commerce, Marketing & Management. She is the co-founder of Singapore-based Shopmatic, which received US$8.9m of funding according to Crunchbase. Lim had a regional executive role with PayPal in Singapore before co-founding Shopmatic - a Shopify competitor that aims to make it easy to setup an online store.
• Geraldine McBride graduated from Victoria University of Wellington where she studied zoology & animal biology. She is the founder of MyWave, which received US$6.8m of funding according to Crunchbase. McBride headed North America for multinational software giant SAP and served as a global vice president for Dell before returning to NZ as a director and investor.
• Silvia Hope - now based in Melbourne - graduated from the University of Otago with a degree in economics & management. She is a co-founder of Amazingco, which received US$2.5m of funding from Qantas and other investors according to Crunchbase.