Scottish female founders California bound for US trade mission

Jackie Waring (Chair of AccelerateHER)

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 A GROUP of Scottish-based female company founders will be heading west to California later this month to attend a five-day, market-building trade mission. 

Supported by Scottish Government, the event takes place from 28 November to 2 December and is led by AccelerateHER, working in partnership with Gwen Edwards of US-based Golden Seeds, an angel investor group which backs high-potential, women-led businesses. Gwen also serves as the chair of the Angel Resource Institute, an American not-for-profit organisation focused on research and educational activities related to angel investing.

This will be the first in-person AccelerateHER trade mission since the pandemic where the participating founders will showcase their companies and meet with globally-focused venture capitalists, angel investors and industry leaders from Silicon Valley and other regions of the US. The event provides a springboard to growth by sharing current market information and business insights and opens doors to new connections through the global AccelerateHER network.

The six participating female business founders represent companies with global scale-up potential, which are all in the process of raising external investment. They include former AccelerateHER Awards winners Kate Cameron, founder of Cytochroma; Ishani Malhotra (Carcinotech); Lynne Darcey Quigley (Know-it Global); Danae Shell (Valla); and Rebecca Goss (X-GENIX). Also attending are Fiona Gillies and Christine Hartland, founders of SMASH. 

The five-day programme includes a key investors event hosted by Jaclyn Mason, Regional Director for Silicon Valley & Northwest US at the UK Government Department for International Trade. It will feature a session with former Apple and Microsoft adviser Ron Weissman, who is the current Vice Chair of the US’s Angel Capital Association and Chair of the Software Industry Group at Band of Angels. Other speakers include Cal Henderson, the co-founder and CTO of Slack; Michele Colucci, Founder and Managing Partner of DigitalDx Ventures; Duncan Davidson, General Partner and Co-Founder of Bullpen Capital; and Dr Faz Bashi, the Angel Capital Association’s Chair of Life Sciences. 

Jackie Waring, Chair of AccelerateHER, said: “After running virtual trade missions over the last two years, we’re so pleased to be staging this latest market-building expedition on US soil once again. The event, our 10th international trade mission, will deliver valuable insights for the participating female founders and give them direct access to some of the leading figures from the US tech sector and global investment community. 

“We’re grateful to Gwen Edwards in helping deliver this latest trade mission to California, which remains a key centre for global technology innovation. We’d also like to acknowledge the great support of the Scottish Government, which is a strong endorsement of the quality of female founders and the innovative businesses coming through the AccelerateHER programme.” 

Gwen Edwards said: “We’re delighted to be working with AccelerateHER and its sister company Investing Women Angels, organisations which share our commitment towards helping female business founders. 

“The innovation and commercial-focus of the Scottish-based, female-led companies that we have seen emerging from their network is impressive and inspirational. We look forward to getting better acquainted with the six companies attending this forthcoming mission.” 

The AccelerateHER Awards 2023 were launched earlier this month (November) seeking entries from women behind companies focused on being a ‘force for good’, with four new entry categories: Technology; Health; Environment; and Culture. There’s also a ‘Rising Star’ award category for the female founder with the best early-stage business idea. 

To apply for the 2023 AccelerateHER Awards, entrants will complete a short application form, which includes a description of how their business is a force for good, and submit a brief video pitch outlining their business, its ambitions, growth plans and international potential. More details can be found

Deadline for entries is Friday, 9th December 2022. Shortlisted companies will be announced in early January 2023. Winners will be selected for each category at the awards final event being held at the new Barclays campus in Glasgow on 16th March. 


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