Friday, 26 February 2021 09:26

Six Female Entrepreneurs compete for £18,000 AccelerateHER Prize

Investing Women CEO Jackie Waring (centre) with the six finalists of the AccelerateHER pitching event Olga Tyukova

Six aspiring entrepreneurs are through to the final of an £18,000 pitching competition organised by Scotland’s first female angel investment group.

Investing Women’s AccelerateHer event attracted more than 100 entries and the final six convinced a panel of judges at Napier University’s Business School that their businesses each have the potential to be Scotland’s next success story.

The winner of the Chiene + Tait sponsored competition will be announced by Scottish Government Minister Annabelle Ewing, MSP, at a gala dinner in Edinburgh Castle on 7 March following a final round of pitching at Investing Women’s Ambition & Growth conference in Edinburgh.

The six hoping to win the AccelerateHER title include: online booking and management specialist Appointedd (correct), Edinburgh-based French macaron maker Mademoiselle Macaron, personal attack alarm designer Pick Protection, online development leadership company InclusIQ, dementia app company MindMate, and Borders based FINDRA which designs performance lifestyle outdoor clothing.

The winner will receive vital assistance in taking their business idea to the next level with a package which includes a £5000 cash prize, accountancy and legal support, and mentoring assistance from established business angels.

Neil Norman, entrepreneurial partner at chartered accountants Chiene + Tait, said: “The range and quality of the pitches we saw makes me excited about the future of Scottish enterprise and entrepreneurialism. Each person had to pitch their business in great detail to four experienced judges – not an easy thing to do, and yet they all did exceptionally well. I tip my hat to them all, especially our six fantastic finalists.”

Sam McFarlane, business engagement manager at Napier University’s Bright Red Triangle, said: “It’s been a pleasure working with Investing Women to facilitate this stage of the AccelerateHER competition. The quality of the entries and the semi-finalists is testament to the ideas and talents of the female led businesses who entered and they are a credit to Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The Ambition & Growth Conference at Dynamic Earth on 7 and 8 March coincides with International Women’s Day and brings together 200 emerging female-led businesses with angel investors who can provide financial investment and mentoring.

The conference includes a series of masterclasses, advice clinics and talks by leading entrepreneurs including founder of the world’s first female angel group Susan Preston, Scottish Enterprise chief executive officer Dr Lena Wilson, FanDuel executive vice president Lesley Eccles, Virgin StartUp managing director Mei Shui, Napier University principal, Professor Andrea Nolan, OBE, and a team from conference sponsor Standard Life, led by managing director of customer and marketing Stephen Ingledew.

Jackie Waring, chief executive officer of Investing Women, said: “The quality of entries for AccelerateHER was phenomenal and any one of the last six finalists would be a worthy winner of our inaugural pitching competition. The judges have a very difficult job ahead of them and the stage is set for our Ambition & Growth conference which celebrates female business achievement.”

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