AccelerateHER Awards to go ahead online after Edinburgh ceremony cancellation

AccelerateHER Awards to go ahead online after Edinburgh ceremony cancellation

Jackie Waring

An awards ceremony recognising women who have founded innovative Scottish companies will go ahead next week using a technology-led solution.

The AccelerateHER Awards were meant to be handed out later this month at Barclays’ Eagle Lab within Edinburgh’s Codebase, but the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, the awards will now proceed as a virtual event using Zoom’s cloud-based video-conferencing technology to enable finalists to pitch to judges while guests will be able to watch it live on the AccelerateHER YouTube channel.

The proceedings will begin at 11am on Thursday 26 March with the 12 finalists making their pitches. A winner from each of the four sector categories will then be announced online at 2pm.

In total, 12 aspirational female company founders have been shortlisted as finalists in four specific categories: CleanTech and Climate; Disruptive Innovation; MedTech and Science; and FinTech and Cyber Security.

The short-listed finalists are:

  • CleanTech and Climate
    • Jacqueline Morrison of Cedeco Contractors
    • Aslihan Penley of Nomad Engineers
    • Elaine Galston of Tubular Sciences
  • Disruptive Innovation
    • Fiona Gillies of SMASH
    • Chantal Epp of ClicknClear
    • Tersha Willis of Terrible Merch
  • MedTech and Science
    • Diane Harbison of Decipher Analytics
    • Claudia Freigang of Hearing Diagnostics
    • Lise Pape of Walk the Path
  • FinTech and Cyber Security
    • Sheila Hogan of Biscuit Tin Planning
    • Dr Tayyaba Nafees of CyberShell Solutions
    • Kiran Bhagotra of ProtectBox

Each winner will secure a free slot on a market-building mission to Europe or North America to showcase their business to industry contacts and global investors.

Now in their fifth year, the AccelerateHER Awards are supported by global IT and business consulting services firm CGI, Barclays Eagle Labs, Skyscanner, Aberdein Considine, mha Henderson Loggie and the Scottish Government.

Jackie Waring, CEO of Investing Women, said: “While we are clearly disappointed that the coronavirus outbreak prevents us from bringing together our 2020 finalists, sponsors and wider network of investors and supporters, we are pleased that we will be virtually staging this year’s awards finals.

“Our team has worked hard to develop an accessible online format that will bring all the parties together and ensure that the show will go on.

“We have such an exceptionally high calibre of finalists this year and we’re pleased on their behalf that we’ll be able to keep to our proposed timescales despite the ever-changing challenges of the current situation.”

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