Inspiring female founders on the rise: winners announced for AccelerateHER Awards 2021

AccelerateHER Winners Judges and Team

FOUR inspiring and aspirational businesswomen and their companies have shared the spotlight today as winners of the AccelerateHER Awards 2021. The awards final, staged online, unveiled a winner from each of the four key sector categories – CleanTech and Climate; Disruptive Innovation; MedTech and Science; and FinTech, Data Science and Cyber Security – from a short-list of 12 finalists. 

The CleanTech and Climate winner was Aslihan Penley of Aberdeen-based wave energy technology specialists ZOEX Power.

St Andrews-based Rebecca Goss of pharmaceutical sector technology innovators, XGenix, was winner of the Disruptive Innovation category, while Kate Cameron of Cytochroma won the MedTech and Science category. The Edinburgh biotech company provides a flexible and ethical source of liver tissue for preclinical testing.

The final category of FinTech, Data Science and Cyber Security was won by Sarah Wernér of Husmus, a technology provider supporting tenants and landlords in the private rental market.

The winners will receive a mentoring package from Investing Women Angels and Barclays Eagle Labs and once again secure a place on a market-building international trade mission to Europe, North America or the Middle East, planned for later in 2021.*

Last month, Elaine Ford, founder of Electrek Explorer, was named as this year’s AccelerateHER Rising Star. Sponsored by Aberdein Considine and Purpose HR, this category recognises a female company founder with a great early stage business idea.

Now in their sixth year, the AccelerateHER Awards are sponsored by Barclays and global IT and business consulting services firm CGI. The awards are also supported by the Scottish Government, through its Women in Enterprise Framework and Action Plan to help female entrepreneurs prepare for investment and growth. All AccelerateHER Awards entrants are UK-registered companies trading, or intending to trade, in Scotland.

Jackie Waring, CEO of AccelerateHER and Investing Women Angels said: “Once again the AccelerateHER Awards has highlighted the increasing numbers of inspiring female founders behind technology, life sciences and environmentally-focused companies. I warmly congratulate this year’s winners and look forward to further supporting the growth of their businesses as we embark on trade missions later this year to meet with investors and advisors from within our global network.

“The awards programme continues to support Scottish-linked female-founded companies. This year’s participants add to the growing AccelerateHER network which now includes over 5,000 female business founders within Scotland and beyond.”

Lindsay McGranaghan, Business Unit Leader for CGI in Scotland, and judge at the finals said: “Well done to the 2021 winners and all those who took part in this year’s awards. Once again we have seen exceptional quality coming through from the participants who represent a diverse range of innovative businesses. CGI is proud of its close association with the AccelerateHER Awards, an initiative which continues to support and promote aspirational female-founders from companies in high growth potential sectors.”

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