LaunchVic terminates deal with 500 Startups for Melbourne accelerator

LaunchVic has discontinued its relationship with US-based tech accelerator 500 Startups, following the resignation of 500 Melbourne lead Rachael Neumann.

In July, LaunchVic said it would be putting the 500 Startups project on hold while it waited to see action from the accelerator to improve its culture, including 500 Startups successfully implementing a “remedial plan” to address concerns about a lack of diversity in the company’s culture in light of sexual harassment allegations levelled at it’s then-chief executive Dave McClure.

LaunchVic had set aside more than $2 million from its grant program for 500 Melbourne and McClure travelled to Melbourne in June to officially launch the local operations. Within weeks of the trip, he had resigned from the organisation as a result of the serious allegations of harassment and inappropriate behaviour towards women.

In July, LaunchVic chief executive Kate Cornick said the conversations she had been involved in with 500 Startups chief executive Christine Tsai gave her “hope”, with a successful implementation of the remedial plan required before LaunchVic approved the accelerator’s launch in Melbourne.

However, with Rachael Neumann now stepping down from 500 Melbourne leadership, Cornick said in a statement today she believes the accelerator program can no longer proceed. Read more

Angela Castles – Smart Company – 10 Aug 2017