AccelerateHER Awards 2023


Am I Eligible to Enter?

If the following applies to you, you are eligible to apply for the AccelerateHER Awards 2023:

  • My company has at least one female founder
  • My company is UK registered and is trading or intending to trade in Scotland 
  • My company fits into one of the categories: Technology, Health, Environment, Culture. (If you are in any doubt, contact to check)
  • My company has a female founder that will be available to present our pitch at the semi-finals (zoom) on Thursday 9 February and in-person at the Finals on 16 March 2023 in Glasgow. 

I haven’t started trading yet. Can I still enter?

Absolutely. However, you should have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as a minimum.

How do I enter?

Prepare a 3-minute video pitch to upload and complete the short application form by 11.55pm on Monday 12th December 

How do I demonstrate my business is a force for good? 

We recommend that you look at the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals when framing your answer to this question. There are a lot of ways that you can demonstrate it. The very nature of your business may fit with one or more of the goals. For example, if you are a HealthTech business you will almost certainly be aligned with SDG no 3 Good Health and Wellbeing. The way you run your business may also align. If you are committed to being an employer that pays the living wage then that fits with SDG 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth. Make sure you blow your trumpet here, often things that Female Founders just think are the right way to do business, common sense or just plain obvious are actually the things that make them different!

What happens after I have submitted my video?

You will get an automated email from the AccelerateHER team to confirm that your entry has been received. The judges will then review the videos and the semi-finalists will be announced on Monday 9th January 2023. 

Semi-Finalists will be asked to pitch on Zoom on 9th February. Finalists will be announced that day. Finalists will then get an opportunity to attend a full day pitch coaching event with some of the Angels from Investing Women Angels on Thursday 23rd February. 

The finalists will have until Friday 3rd March 2023 to submit an Executive Summary that our judges will read before the finals.

The finals will take place Thursday 16th March where you will deliver a live pitch to the judges who will have the opportunity to ask you questions. A winner from each category will be selected by our panel of judges that day.

What are the judges looking for?

The judges will be looking at the following areas:

  • Market – Your knowledge of your target market and your route to market. Make sure your business model is clearly stated. Who are your competitors and how do you plan to compete?
  • Scale – What is your potential and plan to scale your business? What international markets do you plan to target?
  • Team – Do you have the right team to help you achieve your ambitions? Or do you know what skills you are lacking within your team and how you will source them going forward?
  • Finance – Do you have a clear financial plan? Do you know your funding requirements?
  • Technology – What is the technology behind your business? Do you have it protected? Can you prevent your competitors from copying you?

What should I put in my video?

Your 3-minute video should briefly cover all of the points listed above. It doesn’t have to be an Oscar worthy presentation. You can record it on your phone, just make sure that the sound and picture quality is clear. Keep an eye on our social media channels for more hints and tips over the coming weeks.

Will there be a Rising Star this year?

The Rising Star is not a separate category. The judges will select a rising star from the semi-finalists. This will be a business that isn’t quite ready for the finals but shows potential for the future.

Will I get investment into my company if I am an AccelerateHER Award winner or finalist?

The awards do not guarantee you investment from our own or other angel investment groups. However, one of the objectives of the AccelerateHER Awards has always been to increase the visibility of scalable female founded companies. Therefore the exposure you get during the process may help to you attract investment. Please see our sister organisation, Investing Women Angels, to learn more about the process for seeking investment.

What are the AccelerateHER Awards Categories?


Scotland has always been at the forefront of technological breakthrough; and female founders are continuing these rich traditions with cutting edge developments and research. This category is for companies who are using technology to disrupt their sector and drive innovation. It could be through the use of AI, machine learning, or any other type of technology.  


In a landscape that’s very much solution driven and where new breakthroughs can be transformative for the wider population – businesses operating within health and wellbeing truly operate for the greater good. This category is for companies who are innovating to create medical advances that benefit the mind or body. 


Scotland’s ambitious climate change legislation sets a target of 2045 to have Net Zero emissions of all greenhouse gasses. Innovation and discovery will play a large part in the country reaching this target. This category welcomes applications from companies who are helping to build a Net Zero world by revolutionising their industry, and achieving significant, sustainability results. 


Culture has long been an integral part of Scotland’s economy. Through tourism, history, the arts and the built landscape, Scotland has built a strong economy on its cultural pursuits. Perhaps the most diverse category, Culture welcomes applications from companies who are driving transformation in the cultural and creative sectors. This might incorporate the creative arts, media, leisure, and tourism.


Apply now


If you would like more information or have questions about the AccelerateHER Awards 2023, please visit our FAQ page or contact
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