Female innovators

Semi-finalists named in AccelerateHER Awards

Elizabeth Pirrie
Elizabeth Pirrie: dynamic businesses

Female founders have been named as semi-finalists in this year’s AccelerateHER Awards. The 23 individuals have been shortlisted for their work across the fields of technology, environment, culture and health.  

AccelerateHER CEO, Elizabeth Pirrie said: “The driver behind the AccelerateHER awards is to showcase dynamic female founded businesses with major global growth potential and also business as a force for good, giving back to people or the planet, through innovation. 

“It will be so exciting to celebrate the success of such exceptional talent with our AccelerateHER network at the semi-finals in February.” 

The winners will be announced at the first in-person finals since the pandemic, at the new Barclays campus in Glasgow on 16 March.  

The semi-finalists for 2023 are: 

Technology – in partnership with CodeBase 

  • Clementina Aina, 6C ‘s Skills Exchange 
  • Irina Protasova, Baby Ready Finance
  • Penelope Carruthers, Carruthers Renewables
  • Judy Hornigold, Everybody Counts
  • Nassima Brown, Fennex
  • Stella Smith, pirkx


  • Elaine Galston, The Bettii Pod Ltd 
  • Beena Sharma, Carbon Capture Utilisation
  • Kate Barnard, Enjoy the Air
  • Alicja Dzieciol, SilviBio
  • Aleksandra Czech-Seklecka, VanFill 


  • Xann Schwinn, Bijah (The Choral Hub)
  • Young Joo Yoon, CeeSound 
  • Tanuvi Ethunandan, Data Duopoly
  • Monica Camino, Dialexy 
  • Katherine Gunderson, Grand Bequest
  • Pooja Katara, SENSECity


  • Leigh Fell, Caritas Neuro Solutions
  • Tiffany Chiu, JulieMay Clothing 
  • Clara Doran, Noggin Braincare 
  • Simona Krassin, Nutrical
  • Caroline Laurenson, TL Tech
  • Annabel de Gheldere, Womco

Tech and business experts from the Scottish startup ecosystem will lend their support to female founders by answering questions and advising on key technology challenges at an event being held in Edinburgh on 2 March. 

AccelerateHER will jointly host the “hackathon” with tech startup incubator CodeBase in its Edinburgh campus. The event will help to demystify the technology options available to startups by helping participants determine the best route for developing and commercialising their business ideas.

Participants will be matched with tech experts and successful company founders, including Danae Shell, CEO of legaltech startup Valla, and Julie Grieve, former CEO of traveltech business, Criton.

As well as exploring and problem-solving participants’ real tech challenges, the event also presents an ideal opportunity for founders to network and connect with experts and peers. 

The hackathon builds on the partnership between AccelerateHER and CodeBase, the delivery partner for the Scottish Government’s Techscaler programme. Membership to the Techscaler community offers founders mentorship, education programmes, workspaces, community forum, events, and more, and will be offered to eligible founders who participate in the hackathon.

Eligible founders who wish to tackle and explore specific tech startup challenges are now invited to apply to attend the event. The deadline for applications is Friday 27 January. More details can be found here.

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