The 2017 AccelerateHER Awards, open to entrepreneurial women-led businesses based in Scotland, provided a fantastic opportunity for growth aspiring businesswomen to showcase their companies before an audience, which included angel investors, commercial advisers and fellow entrepreneurs. The competition gave participants a platform for attracting business angel investment with at three finalists securing a trip to California in April 2017.
Rebecca Pick of Pick Protection, Heather McDonald of WooHa Brewing and Polly Van Alstyne of Scottish Biotechnology were all named as winners in the Growth Category at this year’s AccelerateHER Awards. The award winning entrants were unveiled at the Investing Women Ambition and Growth conference in Edinburgh, held in Edinburgh on Thursday, 9 March 2017.
Based on the unprecedented success of the inaugural AccelerateHER Awards, staged earlier in 2016, 2017 was the second year the Scottish-based business angel group Investing Women have run the initiative.
The Award’s winners also benefit through access to US and wider international market opportunities and have been directly connected with potential financiers from across the globe gathered at a summit of investors in San Francisco. The winners worked with Susan Preston, a global business figure who was a keynote speaker at Investing Women’s 2016 Ambition & Growth Conference, and Gwen Edwards a key player in Silicon Valley.
The entrants were initially asked to submit a video pitch outlining their business, its ambitions, growth plans and investor potential. A panel of highly experienced judges reviewed the submissions and drew up a shortlist of 12 entrants who were present to a panel at the end of February 2017. From there six participants were invited to the Investing Women Ambition and Growth conference in Edinburgh on 9 March, 2017 where they made their pitch to an audience comprised of some of the country’s most successful business leaders.