California Mission takes entrepreneurs to new frontier

Sir Richard Branson and Jackie Waring
Sir Richard Branson and Jackie Waring

Five emerging female entrepreneurs who were finalists at this year’s AccelerateHER Awards will travel to California’s Mojave Desert next week to present their businesses to representatives at one of the world’s most innovative companies.

The team of 100 leading females at Virgin Galactic and its manufacturing organisation, The Spaceship Company, will meet the Scottish entrepreneurs to hear about their fledgling businesses and offer them advice and guidance. The day-long session follows an invitation from Sir Richard Branson to Investing Women’s CEO Jackie Waring to jointly chair a Virgin Start Up mentoring event for young entrepreneurs in Edinburgh earlier this year.

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The trip to Virgin Galactic is part of Investing Women’s AccelerateHER Awards California Mission from 10 – 14 September. In addition to their inspiring trip to the Mojave Desert, the AccelerateHER finalists will also meet a number of key US investors and business leaders in California. This includes Ron Weissman, a former adviser to the late Steve Jobs; Bob Bozeman, a leading global business guru who was one of the first people to invest in Google; and Susan Preston, the US’s ‘First Lady’ of female business angels.

The five Scottish-based entrepreneurs, all finalists from this year’s AccelerateHER Awards programme, are Pooja Jain, Cognihealth Co-founder; Ifeyinwa Kanu, Director of Intellidigest; Deborah Wake, CEO and Chief Medical Officer at My Way Digital Health; Carmen Cummiskey, Founder and Managing Director of Teqnox and Monika Tomecka, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at uFraction8

Investing Women’s CEO Jackie Waring said: “The invitation for our AccelerateHER finalists to discuss their businesses with 100 inspirational women at Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Company is a once in a lifetime opportunity which we’re delighted to include on our California Mission. Spending time with key people behind one of the world’s most innovative companies will undoubtedly be a key highlight for those taking part in the programme.

“I had the pleasure of chairing a Virgin Start Up mentoring event with Sir Richard in May which involved some of the AccelerateHER finalists. His support of the Scottish entrepreneurial community and the choice of Scotland as the site for Virgin Galactic’s first UK spaceport underlines Virgin’s close links to our nation. We look forward to building on these ties during next week’s visit to California.”

Jaime Shibley-Nieto, Director of People at The Spaceship Company and host of the AccelerateHER Awards finalists event, said: “We are delighted to welcome this group of Scottish-based businesswomen to Mojave for what promises to be an insightful event where we will exchange ideas and focus on developing great innovation. We look forward to hearing about these inspiring companies in Scotland and meeting the dynamic women behind them.”

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