This year’s winners will be offered a free place on a trade mission to Dubai or Berlin where they will showcase their business, be introduced to key industry contacts and investors, and build their understanding of how best to target these and other global markets.
Back for their fourth consecutive year, the AccelerateHER Awards are organised by Scotland’s only all-female business angel group Investing Women, designed to inspire and support more female-led companies in Scotland.
Open to entrepreneurial women who play a leading role in companies with strong global growth potential, the awards programme provides an ideal platform for them to connect with Investing Women’s network of angel investors, commercial advisers and other successful entrepreneurs. To date, more than 500 businesswomen have joined the AccelerateHER community.
While the winners of this year’s AccelerateHER Awards will lead companies with immediate high growth potential, the 2019 programme will also feature a new ‘Rising Star’ category which recognises a female entrepreneur with a great early stage business idea.
Entrants will initially be asked to submit a video pitch and executive summary via the Investing Women’s website, outlining their business, its ambitions, growth plans and investment potential.
A panel of highly experienced judges will then review the submissions and draw up a shortlist of 12-15 entrants who will present to a panel on March 20, 2019 at Skyscanner, Edinburgh.
The short-listed finalists will be showcased to an audience of UK investors, entrepreneurs and professionals at this year’s Investing Women ‘The Sky’s No Longer the Limit’ conference, being staged in Edinburgh on April 23.
Up to three winners will then be chosen at the AccelerateHER Awards finals event being held in May.
Launching this year’s AccelerateHER Awards programme, Jackie Waring, CEO of Investing Women said: “These awards provide a fantastic opportunity for aspiring businesswomen to showcase their companies before an audience of angel investors, commercial advisers and fellow entrepreneurs.
“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.
“We are urging all female entrepreneurs who have strong growth aspirations for their companies to enter the AccelerateHER Awards. This includes those whose businesses are only at concept stage who could secure recognition through our new Rising Star category.”
The 2019 AccelerateHER Awards are also being supported by LINC Scotland, the national association for business angels.
David Grahame, LINC chief executive, said: “We are proud to support the AccelerateHER Awards as they enter their fourth year. The programme supports the great work of Investing Women to promote and support Scottish-based businesswomen, helping them to grow their companies and maximise their potential.”
One of last year’s AccelerateHER Award winners was Dr Monika Tomecka, executive director of Falkirk-based life sciences business uFraction8. She said: “Being involved in last year’s AccelerateHER Awards was transformational both for me and the business.
“It connected me to a wide network of fellow entrepreneurs, investors and other extremely influential business contacts, including those I met on Investing Women’s California trade mission. The awards process also put a focus on the strengths of the business and opened new doors to help us build our global market share.
“They provide an excellent platform and can create significant opportunities for any up and coming female entrepreneur and their business.”