Some of the most successful women in tech are in Dublin today, to discuss the future of investment in female-led high-potential start-ups in Ireland at Silicon Republic’s Female Founders Forum.
The Forum, which runs from 2-5pm at the Guinness Storehouse, will be followed by a special reception to celebrate 100 Top Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).
Ann O’Dea, CEO and editor-at-large of Silicon Republic, said the role of women in the tech sector is a huge issue around the world.
"International research shows women-led tech companies are more successful than those led by men, achieving 35pc higher return on investment," said O’Dea.
"Despite this, women are still under-represented in tech, and there’s a perception that the sector isn’t female-friendly."
O’Dea pointed out that women have founded and are leading some of the most successful recent start-ups, such as Irish companies Viddyad and Pharmapod, founded and led by Gráinne Barron and Leonora O’Brien, respectively.
"Our events are focused on highlighting the immense contribution women are making to tech and the sciences in Ireland and further afield," said O’Dea.
"We want investors to realise that backing women-led start-ups pays off, and we also want more young women to consider the opportunities offered by careers in STEM."
Keynotes and speakers at the Female Founders Forum
Women will also be delivering the keynote addresses at the Female Founders Forum, namely Julia Hartz and Anne Ravanona.
Hartz is co-founder and president of Eventbrite, the software platform that has raised US$200m in funding. The company’s most recent funding round values Eventbrite at US$1bn.
Ravanona is founder and CEO of Global Invest Her, which focuses on getting women entrepreneurs funded more quickly and on increasing gender diversity at work.
Barron and O’Brien will also speak at the Female Founders forum, as well as Sonya Lennon, co-founder of Frockadvisor; Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland; Dr Helen McBreen, venture leader at NDRC; John O’Sullivan, director, ACT Venture Capital; Geraldine MacCarthy, online sales and operations, Dropbox; Dr Ena Prosser, partner, Fountain Healthcare Partners; and John Kenny, Delta Partners (London).
Guests at the invitation-only evening reception to celebrate 100 Top Women in STEM include Bethany Mayer, HP’s senior vice-president and general manager of Network Functions Virtualisation Business, who will address attendees.
Louise Phelan, PayPal’s vice-president of global operations for EMEA; Regina Moran, CEO of Fujitsu Ireland; Ann Kelleher, vice-president of Intel’s technology and manufacturing group and co-general manager of Fab/Sort Manufacturing; and many of the other women included on Silicon Republic’s 100 Top Women in STEM will also attend the reception.
Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.