Top US consultant in line-up

‘First Lady of Women Angels’ at Scottish event

Susan PrestonA top American female business consultant has agreed to headline a key conference being organised by Scotland’s leading women investors.

Susan Preston, an internationally recognised speaker on global economic development will address the Investing Women Angels inaugural Ambition and Growth conference in Edinburgh.

Ms Preston, the founder of the world’s first ever all-women angel investment syndicate, Seraph Capital Forum, is often described in the US as the First Lady of Women Angels,. She will join First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and other speakers at the event in March.

A vocal campaigner for women in business, Susan Preston was recently awarded the US Women of Valour award, presented by Vice President Joe Biden. She also leads Women First Enterprise, which develops programmes to address the unique challenges faced by female entrepreneurs and encourages women’s participation in high-growth businesses and start-ups.

Also taking the stage at the conference are Lesley Eccles, co-founder of fantasy sport games firm FanDuel; Mei Shui, managing director of Virgin Start-Up; Professor Andrea Nolan, Principle and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University; Lena Wilson, CEO of Scottish Enterprise; and MSP Annabelle Ewing, Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment.

Jackie Waring 2Jackie Waring (right), CEO and founder of Investing Women Angels, said: “Susan Preston is a leading light in the US angel movement and was a big influence on me when deciding to set up Scotland’s first all-female angel group. I am absolutely delighted that she will be joining us from the US for the Ambition & Growth conference.

“Susan will be in excellent company alongside her fellow keynote speakers, a group of truly inspirational women who are ready to share their wealth of experience with the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

The groundbreaking conference, at Dynamic Earth from 7-8 March, will give entrepreneurs and business people the chance to take part in master classes, practical workshops and one-to-one clinics. Standard Life is the headline sponsor of the conference.

Stephen Ingledew, managing director, marketing at Standard Life said: “The Ambition and Growth conference is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who wants to build their own business to hear from and meet with some of the most successful female entrepreneurs and business leaders.”

Applications open for pitching competition

The event will also be hosting the final of AccelerateHER, Scotland’s first ever pitch competition dedicated to women entrepreneurs. Ms Sturgeon, will announce the winner at a dinner at Edinburgh Castle on the first night of the conference. The competition is run in partnership with Bright Red Triangle, Edinburgh Napier University’s entrepreneurial hub.

AccelerateHER entrants have until 31 January to submit a one-minute pitch video, via a dedicated YouTube channel, to persuade judges that their business plans have growth and investment potential.

All those who register to the competition will have access to free professional pitch advice and webinar training. The winner will be awarded a £5000 cash prize sponsored by Chiene + Tait Accountants, who are also offering a comprehensive package of in-kind professional support worth almost £7,000.

Neil Norman, entrepreneurial tax partner at Chiene + Tait, said: “With three weeks left to enter, the AccelerateHER competition has already received a high calibre of submissions, but there is still plenty of time to get involved, and we’re very excited to see what’s still to come.”

An early bird offer is available on tickets until 8 January and delegates traveling from the Highlands and Islands can benefit from a discount of £100 to cover travel and subsistence. This support has been provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

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