DCU Ryan Academy puts call out for female founders

1 Mar 2017

Image: loreanto/Shutterstock

Female founders are in high demand as DCU Ryan Academy continues its female-led start-up accelerator programme.

Having already helped 35 female-led businesses garner €7m in funding to date, the Dublin City University (DCU) Ryan Academy’s Female High Fliers programme is back on the lookout for entrants.

10 places are on offer in the start-up accelerator for 2017, which has helped in the creation of 115 jobs in recent years.

Female entrepreneurs

The 13-week programme aims to address challenges facing female entrepreneurs across all industries, and support Ireland’s top early-stage start-ups in fast-tracking their business to achieve scale.

Those selected will gain access to a wealth of other start-ups, as well as experienced entrepreneurs and investors through DCU Ryan Academy’s network.

Workshops will be delivered on a series of business areas, helping the cohort of 2017 attendees to understand the particular needs and challenges facing their individual business.

“The Female High Fliers programme has a proven track record in supporting businesses achieve objectives and deliver tangible results,” said Niamh Collins, COO of DCU Ryan Academy and director of the programme.

“We are extremely proud to have been part of this journey with some of Ireland’s leading female entrepreneurs and we look forward to working closely with those selected this year. I would encourage any female founder or co-founder of an innovative start-up that has international growth potential and ambition to get in touch.”

Good support

The application process is open to female founders or co-founders of Irish or international start-ups less than five years old.

All companies must be female-led and participants will be selected based on their growth and export potential, as well as business idea and team strength. The closing date for applications is 21 March.

This is just one of a number of initiatives aimed at encouraging more women to enter the start-up sector.

For example, late last year, Enterprise Ireland – which also supports this initiative – allocated €500,000 for a competitive start-up fund for female entrepreneurs. It was the fifth consecutive year that such an initiative was undertaken.

Ten separate funds of €50,000 were available, aimed at female-led start-up companies that “have the potential” to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1m in export sales within three years.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic