Outbox Incubator on its way to Dublin as movement gathers pace

1 Jul 2016

Mary Carty, co-founder, Outbox Incubator

After a sterling beginning in London last year, Outbox Incubator’s influence on young girls has spilled over into a movement, and it’s on its way to Dublin.

“We cap the ambition on girls. It’s societal, but we do it,” claimed Outbox Incubator co-founder Mary Carty, speaking to a gripped crowd at Inspirefest in Dublin today (1 July). “That notion scares me,” she said, before announcing the next running of the well-received Outbox Incubator would be coming to Dublin.

Having welcomed 115 girls from six countries at last year’s first iteration of the project, Carty said a whopping 29 companies emerged over the course of just a few weeks.

Created to encourage young girls to pursue their passions, whether it’s science, blogging, “tutus or coding”, Carty said the success was such that requests from far and wide came for further Outbox Incubators around the world.

“Dublin has everything,” she said. With tech companies everywhere you look and an explosion of interest into all things STEM, “I knew it could be in Dublin, let’s make it happen.” The plans are for the summer of 2017.

Back to the “cap on ambition”, Carty elaborated that “safety” was the reason, claiming parents’ endeavours to ensure a smooth, safe path through life was the reason why areas like engineering, maths, science or technology see few females navigating their way through to employment.

“But nothing is safe, things change,” she said, claiming skills, confidence and belief are the surest way forward in this world. “Knowing people are rooted in your corner, that’s power.

“The girls in Outbox attacked everything with gusto, it was thrilling. I’ve never seen a team of investors smile as much as they did on demo day, the girls queried them, wouldn’t let them leave. The investors were delighted.”

Created following a chance conversation between Carty and Stemettes founder Anne-Marie Imafidon on Twitter a few years ago, the idea of creating an environment to nurture tomorrow’s female founders culminated in Outbox Incubator.

“We need Outbox Incubator because our girls don’t feel like they belong,” said Carty. “Our message at Outbox was ‘you do belong’. If you like marketing, tutus, coding, singing, ukelele, whatever, please come. We’ll help. Inspire us. Help us understand we can be way better than we are now.”

Launched in 2015, with Princess Anne and Irish sci-tech teen sensations Ciara Judge and Émer Hickey, Outbox Incubator tackles the STEM pipeline issue by inviting young women to engage through entrepreneurship.

Judging by the success of those 115 girls, as well the thirst for added incubators, it seems to be working. When asked if further cities would be included in future, Carty said, “that’s the plan”. We’ll probably hear about global domination at next year’s Inspirefest. That’s how things appear to be going.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic