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CGI sponsored AccelerateHER for the first time in 2019 and this positive partnership, with event founders Investing Women, is a celebration of female entrepreneurs and their potential to build their companies and scale them internationally.

A total of 24 female business founders operating within four tech-based sectors emerged in this year’s semi-finals held on 25 February 2021, highlighting the growing influence and aspirations of women within the sector. 

Three inspirational finalists from each of the following categories presented their pitches on 25 March 2021 representing the categories of CleanTech and Climate, Disruptive Innovation, Medtech and Science and FinTech, Data Science and Cybersecurity.

The winners of the 2021 Awards were:

CleanTech and Climate
Aslihan Penley of Aberdeen-based wave energy technology specialists ZOEX Power.

Disruptive Innovation
Rebecca Goss of pharmaceutical sector technology innovators, XGenix.

MedTech and Science
Kate Cameron of Cytochroma. The Edinburgh biotech company provides a flexible and ethical source of liver tissue for preclinical testing.

FinTech, Data Science and Cyber Security
Sarah Wernér of Husmus, a technology provider supporting tenants and landlords in the private rental market.

The winners receive a mentoring package from Investing Women Angels and Barclays Eagle Labs and secure a place on a market-building international trade mission to Europe, North America or the Middle East, planned for later in 2021, dependent on travel regulations at that time.

The competition has already provided a springboard to growth for finalists and winners by opening doors to new connections and opportunities through the global AccelerateHER network.

Lindsay McGranaghan, business unit leader for CGI in Scotland and judge at the finals, said: “Again we have seen exceptional quality coming through from the participants who represent a diverse range of innovative businesses. CGI is proud of its close association with the AccelerateHER Awards, an initiative that continues to support and promote aspirational female founders from companies in high-growth-potential sectors.”

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As part of the International Women’s Day celebrations in early March 2021, Lindsay McGranaghan joined the founder of Investing Women, Jackie Waring and Elizabeth Pirrie from AccelerateHER for a Female Founders Showcase where four inspirational Female Founders, who were either previously shortlisted or winners of the AccelerateHER Awards, presented an update on the success of their business and spoke of the challenges they had met and overcome along the way. 

Lindsay and Jackie shared their individual stories of how they had “Chosen to Challenge” throughout their career to achieve their aspirations and spoke of the importance of setting personal and professional challenges even those outwith your current expertise or comfort zone. You can watch a video of the event here:


Find out more about the winners of the AccelerateHER Awards 2021 and Investing Women in the following articles:

Innovative winners of AccelerateHER Awards 2021 revealed | The Scotsman

AccelerateHER Awards 2021 winners announced - Business Insider

The main sponsors of the AccelerateHER Awards 2021 were The Scottish GovernmentScotland CAN DOBarclays Eagle Labs and CGI UK.