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Launch of AccelerateHER

Businesswomen urged to pitch for angel backing

Alex Feechan of Findra (Photo by Terry Murden)

Alex Feechan of Findra (Photo by Terry Murden)

Scotland’s only pitch competition for women entrepreneurs is launched today.

Organised by Investing Women, the AccelerateHER Awards offer businesswomen the opportunity to showcase their companies before an audience which includes angel investors, commercial advisers and fellow entrepreneurs.

Six participants will be invited to the Investing Women Ambition and Growth conference in Edinburgh on 9 March where they will make their pitch to an audience comprised of some of the country’s most successful business leaders.

At least two finalists will secure a trip to California next April.

There is an opportunity to work with Susan Preston, a US based business figure who was a keynote speaker at Investing Women’s 2016 Ambition & Growth Conference, and Gwen Edwards a key player in Silicon Valley. 

Jackie Waring 2

Jackie Waring (photo by Terry Murden)

Jackie Waring (right), CEO of Investing Women, said: “We are delighted to be launching our second annual AccelerateHER Awards programme and would urge all aspiring female entrepreneurs to consider putting their businesses forward.” 

The 2017 AccelerateHER Awards are also being supported LINC Scotland, the nation’s national association for business angels.

LINC’s executive director David Grahame said: “We are keen supporters of the AccelerateHER Awards which help uncover and promote some of the great female entrepreneurial talent in Scotland.

“While the Scottish business angel market continues to be more buoyant than most, the efforts of groups like Investing Women in encouraging and supporting more businesswomen to thrive provides a huge benefit to both the individual entrepreneurs and the wider Scottish economy.”

Alex Feechan, chief executive of sportswear firm Findra, was a finalist at the 2016 AccelerateHER Awards and will be on hand to help launch the 2017 programme.

Her company, which designs, manufactures and sells bikewear and outdoor apparel for women, has since gone on to secure £200,000 in angel investment from TriCap and Investing Women.

she said: “We have not looked back since being involved in the AccelerateHER Awards and I’m therefore delighted to be involved in launching the 2017 programme.

“These awards gave me a great platform to showcase Findra and put me in front of so many inspiring people offering great advice and financial support to help realise my growth ambitions for the business.

“Meeting so many fellow businesswomen was also hugely beneficial in extending my support network, something I believe is crucial for female entrepreneurs.”

The 2017 programme will be launched at Edinburgh Napier University.  

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