DCU Ryan Academy propels Female High Fliers into the start-up spotlight

17 Apr 2015

Aislinn Enwright (left) and Dervilla O'Brien (right) from HealthBridge Technology

Addressing the challenges facing female entrepreneurs today, 11 start-ups have been accepted in to the 13-week Female High Fliers Programme accelerator to hone their skills, achieve scale and create employment.

The programme, which was launched last year, proved to be a major success and received more than 135 high-quality applications from female-led businesses, which were whittled down to 18 participants from 12 companies.

Starting on 21 April, the 11 start-ups selected cover a wide variety of different sectors, with examples including Feels Right, a reward and recognition SAAS platform that works with companies to improve and enhance their health and wellness offering to employees; Mint Tek, which aims to help makers, developers and inventors by giving them an easy choice of affordable printed circuit boards, and Unipupil, which connects international students and agents with international educational institutions around the world.

Once the 11 start-ups have completed the 13-week Female High Fliers Programme in July, they will take part in a showcase event day at which each company will pitch to a network of investors, mentors and corporates.

Speaking in March of the reasons for hosting the Female High Fliers Programme, chief operations officer of the Dublin City University (DCU) Ryan Academy, Niamh Collins, spoke of the challenges women face in starting a business.

“Females are still more risk-averse than our male counterparts and while female-led technology companies achieve 35pc higher return on investment, new research in the US and the UK shows men are still 40pc more likely than women to get approval for a bank loan,” Collins said.

With additional reporting from Colm Gorey

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.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic