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Investing Women conference

Pitch winners heading for California

AcceleratingHER

Winners: Heather McDonald, Rebecca Pick and Polly Van Alstyne (photo by Terry Murden)

Organisers ‘blown away’ by entries

Three female entrepreneurs received an all-expenses paid trip to meet US investors in California next month after winning a pitching event.

Rebecca Pick of Pick Protection, Heather McDonald of WooHa Brewing and Polly Van Alstyne of Scottish Biotechnology took the top prizes at this year’s AccelerateHER competition.

They were announced at the Investing Women Ambition and Growth dinner which followed the business angel group’s annual conference.

Pick Protection, based in Glasgow, is behind an innovative personal protection device. Wooha Brewing in Nairn produces a range of bottled conditioned ales and lagers while Scottish Biotechnology operates from Midlothian.  

In its second year, The AccelerateHER Awards competition is designed to give female-led businesses in Scotland a platform to promote themselves and potentially attract business angel investment.

Jackie Waring, chief executive of Investing Women, said: “Congratulations to our three Growth category winners, all of which are highly investable businesses which are run by a female. I look forward to accompanying them to meet an audience of global investors at the Angel Capital Association conference in California next month.

She told delegates that the group’s pitch competition attracted more than 300 responses.

“We were blown away. It tells us a lot about the growth potential of Scotland’s female entrepreneurs,” she said.

Clare Campbell and Jackie Waring

Clare Campbell, designer of the new tartan for Investing Women, with group founder Jackie Waring (photo by Terry Murden)

A new Investing Women tartan, by Black Isle designer Clare Campbell of Prickly Thistle, was unveiled as part of the group’s new branding.

Ms Waring said: “It is symbolic of Scotland’s rich heritage and we want to highlight what we stand for.”

Leah Hutcheon, founder and chief executive of online bookings firm Appointedd, presented on the impact of her success in last year’s AccelerateHER awards and how it helped at a time when her Edinburgh-based company was raising new capital.

Principal speaker at the conference was the influential Silicon Valley investor Gwen Edwards. Former BBC war correspondent Kate Adie spoke at the dinner.

Nicky Marr

Nicky Marr: event host with new tartan (photo by Terry Murden)

> Adie in battle to attend speaking engagement

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