Women Start Ups Land £200k Funding to Propel New Business Idea

  • Six women-led start-ups are to share £200,000 in business grants as part of a Female Founders competition delivered by Women in Business in partnership with TechStart Ventures.

    The women-focused initiative, which this year received over 40 applications, welcomed pioneering projects from the broad spectrum of Northern Ireland’s business and tech communities, with the prize-winning ideas ranging from recruitment solutions to ecommerce and augmented reality.

    All six businesses were among the 400 delegates present at the 2023 Women in Tech Conference, organised by Women in Business and a collective of NI’s leading tech firms.

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    Claire McCaffrey, whose enterprise SEQO was among the winning start-ups, commented on how the Founders Fund will help boost her business idea to the next level: “The TechStart grant will allow us to take our proof of concept to MVP stage and we are extremely excited about the business support and connections Woman in Business will provide.”

    Kathleen Garrett, Head of Proof of Concept Grants at TechStart Ventures, stated: “We were delighted to be able to partner with Women in Business to run the Female Founders Grant Competition for the second consecutive year. This competition encouraged women entrepreneurs throughout Northern Ireland to take a step forward with their novel business idea and apply for funding to help accelerate their business. As before, the quantity and quality of applications was so impressive. Well Done to the six winners – we are excited to see where the funding will take their business.”

    All 40 applicants in this year’s Female Founders Fund will also receive business support delivered by InterTradeIreland. Drew O'Sullivan, Lead Equity Adviser at InterTradeIreland, added: “InterTradeIreland has been helping small businesses in Ireland and Northern Ireland explore new cross-border markets, develop new products, processes and services and become investor ready for over two decades. We look forward to supporting the applicants to TechStart's Female Founders initiative in their entrepreneurial journey.”

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    Now in its 6th year, the Women in Tech Conference was hosted at Titanic Belfast and sponsored again by MCS Group. Under this year’s theme, Climate of Change, the conference brought together role models who innovate, challenge and embrace technology, with a May 25th date announced for the 2023 Women in Tech Awards.

    Lorraine Acheson, Managing Director Women in Business, added: “2023 signals another exciting year for women in tech locally. We’re thrilled to not only showcase the deserving winners of our Female Founders grant competition, but to also announce May 25th for our 2nd Women in Tech Awards, the only ceremony of its kind in Northern Ireland.

    “At Women in Business we see first-hand, every day the appetite for women led businesses here on our doorstep and it is through targeted conferences and awareness that we can carve open opportunities for women in tech to affect tangible change in the industry and help put in place a pipeline of talent to sustain NI’s women enterprise ecosystem. Congratulations to all six TechStart winners and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for you and your innovative start-ups.”

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