Jackie Waring, Investing Women chief executive officer

FOUR aspirational women and their companies have shared the spotlight as winners of the 2020 AccelerateHER Awards.

The awards final was staged online, after increasing concerns about Covid-19 led organisers to develop an alternative solution to their planned face-to-face gathering.

From a short-list of 12 finalists, judges announced a winner in each of the four key sector categories: CleanTech and Climate; Disruptive Innovation; MedTech and Science; and FinTech and Cyber Security.

The CleanTech and Climate winner was Elaine Galston of Tubular Sciences Ltd,an Aberdeen-based business which is developing the next evolution of metal to metal, permanent pipe connection technology for the oil and gas sector.

Tersha Willis of Terrible Merch, an online music merchandise platform, was winner of the Disruptive Innovation category, while Lise Pape of Walk With Path won the MedTech and Science category. Her company has created Pathfinders, a laser shoe attachment that helps people with Parkinson’s overcome walking problems.

Finally, Sheila Hogan of Edinburgh-based Biscuit Tin Planning Ltd took honours in the FinTech and Cyber Security category. Her business has developed a secure digital storage vault for important documents that can be posthumously released to family members and other loved ones. 

Each of the winners has secured a free slot on a market-building mission to Europe or North America to showcase their business to industry contacts and global investors.

At last month’s awards semi-finals, Monika Ohashi, CIO of Edinburgh-based fintech business PolyDigi Tech, was named as this year’s AccelerateHER Rising Star. The award recognises a female company founder with a great early stage business idea.

Now in their fifth year, the AccelerateHER Awards’ Main Partners are Barclays Eagle Labs and Barclays Ventures, CGI, Scottish Government and Scotland CanDo, and supported by Aberdein Considine, MHA Henderson Loggie and Skyscanner.

Jackie Waring, Investing Women chief executive officer, said: “Huge congratulations to this year’s winners who competed in our strongest-ever field of female founders within technology, life sciences and environmentally-focused companies. The winners will now have an opportunity to further profile their businesses as we will take them abroad on trade missions later this year to meet with investors and advisors from within our global network.

“This initiative continues to support Scottish-linked female-founded companies. So far, AccelerateHER Awards participants have gone on to secure over £25m of investment since getting involved in the programme.”

Lindsay McGranaghan, CGI in Scotland business unit leader, said: “CGI is delighted and proud to be once more associated with this fantastic competition. The exceptional quality of the participants across the sectors has been truly inspirational. I would like to congratulate the winners, who are a group of highly driven, talented women running amazing companies with real investment potential. They represent a hugely positive future for not only Scotland but Scottish women in business.”