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AccelerateHER Awards

Women offered chance to join overseas trade mission

AccelerateHER screen

Winning women (from left): Lina Gasiunaite; Corien Staels and Rachel Jones (pic: Terry Murden)

Scottish female business founders are once again being offered an opportunity to raise their company’s profile and win a place on an international trade mission with the launch of the 2020 AccelerateHER Awards.

This year’s awards programme is seeking applications from businesswomen whose companies fit into one of the following four categories: MedTech and Science; FinTech and Cyber Security; CleanTech and Climate; or Disruptive Innovation. 

A winner will be selected for each category and announced at an awards final event in March 2020. They will all secure a free slot on a market-building trade mission to Europe, North America or the Middle East to showcase their business to industry contacts and global investors. The 2020 programme will also include a ‘Rising Star’ award for the female founder with the best early stage business idea. 

The AccelerateHER Awards, which celebrate and support aspirational Scottish-based female founders, are running for their fifth consecutive year. Organised by all-female business angel group Investing Women, the awards are designed to inspire and support more female-led companies in Scotland.

They are open to ambitious women who play a leading role in companies with strong global growth potential, providing participants with an ideal platform to connect with Investing Women’s network of angel investors, commercial advisers and other successful businesspeople. 

Entrants will initially be asked to submit a video pitch via the Investing Women’s website, outlining their business, its ambitions, growth plans and international potential. 

A panel of highly experienced judges will then review the submissions and draw up a shortlist of entrants who will present to a panel in February. Up to 12 companies will then be short-listed with winners announced at the AccelerateHER Awards final being staged in March 2020. Deadline for entries is Friday, 20th December 2019.  

Last year’s AccelerateHER Awards winners were Rachel Jones of SnapDragon; Lina Gasiunaite of Biotangents; and Corien Staels of Staels Design. Dr Carla Brown, the founder and Director of Game Doctor, won the ‘Rising Star’ award. To date, more than 2,500 female business founders have joined the AccelerateHER community.

Launching this year’s AccelerateHER Awards programme, Jackie Waring, CEO of Investing Women said: “These awards celebrate both the achievements and future potential of many female founded businesses in Scotland. This year’s focus on technology, life sciences and environmentally-focused businesses is designed to dovetail with the appetite of the global investment community which is keen to support such enterprises. 

“I would urge any ambitious female founder who wants to raise her company’s profile on an international stage to enter the awards. This includes those whose businesses are only at concept stage who could secure recognition through the Rising Star category. The competition gives participants an ideal platform to promote their companies and attract initial or additional investment to help them grow their business on a global scale.” 

One of last year’s AccelerateHER Award winners was Lina Gasiunaite, Director of Science at veterinary diagnostics company Biotangents. She said: “Getting involved in the AccelerateHER Awards was an immensely positive experience which opened a lot of doors for me and also benefitted the business.

It provided access to a very supportive and inspirational network which included fellow company founders with whom I could share my experiences and learn from theirs. 

“As a winner I was also part of the Investing Women trade delegations to Berlin and the US which resulted in a number of high-level global connections for Biotangents with inspiring entrepreneurs, mentors and investors.” 

Further information on the 2019 AccelerateHER Awards is available at: https://www.investingwomen.co.uk/accelerateherawards2020/

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