Media Release: 19th April 2021

Media Release: 19th April 2021

SBE Australia Appoints New CEO


SBE Australia, Australia’s leading program and expert network for scaling women led businesses, announces Nicole Cook as its first CEO. Since launching in Australia in 2012, SBE Australia’s portfolio numbers include over 200 alumnae who have successfully raised over $600 million in capital, had two IPO’s and nine exits, many of whom are still actively involved in supporting the network. 

In her role, Cook will be responsible for leading SBE Australia through its next phase of growth as it continues its mission to accelerate and support women founders through programs, resources and a highly valuable network of global industry experts. Formerly the CEO of Jobs for NSW, Cook remains focused on driving innovation through growing Australian businesses in order to transform industries, create jobs and advance the workforce of the future.  A passionate and experienced thought leader, Cook has held senior executive roles within startups that grew to global powerhouses, is a trusted management consultant and has deep expertise in growing technology businesses. 

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Catholic University of America, studied business at the School of European Business in Paris, France, completed a Senior Executive MBA at Melbourne Business School, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Certified Advisory Board Chair through the Advisory Board Centre. 

“The future for SBE Australia has never looked brighter, and Nicole brings the right balance of leadership, vision and experience to grow our network to reach and support women transforming industries.” said Kerri Lee Sinclair, Chair of SBE Australia.

Notable SBE Alumnae

  • Melanie Perkins from Canva was part of the first program in 2013, and has continued to grow the business which joins Australia’s unicorns, recently valued at  $19 billion.
  • Louise Daw from MiPlan completed the SBE by Springboard Enterprises Tech program in 2014 and went on to sell MiPlan to Hexagon Mining.
  • Sabrina Schwaighofe CEO and Founder, Made Comfy completed the SBE by Springboard Enterprises Tech program in 2018 and has since tripled her revenue, raised $10million and secured an exclusive partnership with Airbnb
  • Jacqui Nelson’s cyber security solution, Dekko Secure, focuses on critical, secure communications and is enjoying strong growth in Government and Public Safety markets. Jacqui completed the SBE by Springboard Enterprises Tech program in 2020.


SBE has grown considerably over the past 12 months and will deliver thirteen programs in 2021 including a new ‘pre-accelerator’ program, SBE Explore.

SBE is currently accepting applications for the following programs via the specific program page on our website:

Ideation Stage - Explore Program:

  • VIC (running July-August)

Post MVP Phase - Evolve Program

  • QLD (running April-June)
  • NSW (running April-June)
  • WA (running June-September)
  • VIC (running July-October)
  • NSW (Armidale) (running September-November)
  • QLD (running September-December)


Advanced and Accelerated Growth Phase: 


About SBE

Since 2013, SBE Australia has run a NFP focused on accelerating women entrepreneurs in globally scalable technology and life-science based businesses. Our programs provide a network of “been there, built that” experts who support the entrepreneurs by sharing skills, knowledge, and building confidence in their approach. These businesses grow and expand in a sustainable manner, with specific emphasis on approaches to business models, capital raising and international expansion. Our programs are selective, highly competitive and only support high-growth potential, women-led businesses, while taking no equity. SBE Australia’s network is built on strong IP and deep operational expertise gained from working with women entrepreneurs in tech and biotech and other STEM-related areas for almost 10 years in this market. Our USA-based sister organisation, Springboard Enterprises, has over 20 years of experience and also connects experts globally to our alumnae when they are ready to expand, providing a unique and compelling advantage.


For more information or interview opportunities contact: 

Anna Beaton | +61 408 521 686