AccelerateHER Awards 2023 Live Finals 

Thursday 16th March 

The AccelerateHER Awards are a celebration of Female Founders excelling in business, recognising the variety of Scotland’s most exceptional, scalable businesses. 

Now in their eighth year, the Awards have developed a reputation for providing a springboard to growth for finalists and winners by opening doors to new connections and opportunities through the global AccelerateHER and Investing Women Angels network. 

On the day, we will hear from Scotland’s Chief Entrepreneur, Mark Logan, followed by a drinks reception, all in the spectacular surroundings of Barclays state-of-the-art Glasgow campus.


AccelerateHER Awards Main Sponsors 2023:

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14:00 Arrival and registration 

14:30 Welcome and Introductions - Elizabeth Pirrie, CEO AccelerateHER

14:40  Finalists' pitches 

             1. Technology

             2. Environment

15:20  Break

15:30  Finalists' pitches

            3. Culture

            4. Health

16:10  Rising Star presentation

16:15   Guest speaker - Mark Logan, Scotland's Chief Entrepreneur

16:35  Presentation of the winners

16:45  Closing remarks

17:00  Close of Awards

             Drinks reception



View attendees

AccelerateHER Awards 2023 Finalists




Irina Protasova - BabyReady Finance Ltd

Judy Hornigold - Everybody Counts

Stella Smith - Pirkx


In partnership with




Elaine Galston - The Bettii Pod Ltd

Beena Sharma - Carbon Capture Utilisation Ltd (CCU International)

Alicja Dzieciol - SilviBio





Xann Schwinn, Biiah (The Choral Hub Ltd)  

Monica Camino, Dialexy Ltd 

Katherine Gunderson, Grand Bequest 





Clara Doran - Noggin Braincare Ltd

Caroline Laurenson - TL Tech Ltd

Annabel de Gheldere - Womco 



Rising Star





Penelope Carruthers of Carruthers Renewables was named as this year’s Rising Star, a category which recognises a female founder with a great early-stage business idea. Carruthers Renewables has developed and commercialised the first modern patented waterwheel in over 140 years, designed for low carbon electricity production.

Guest Speaker


Mark Logan, Scotland’s Chief Entrepreneur 

Mark has over 25 years of senior leadership experience in the internet technology sector.  He was instrumental in the success of multiple start-ups, including as COO of Skyscanner, one of Europe's most successful technology companies, where he was responsible for the general management of the business. In 2014, the Institute of Directors named him Director of the Year and in 2016 he won the UK Digital Masters award for Excellence in General Management.  In 2019, he was conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Glasgow. In 2022, he was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh for his contribution to Scotland’s technology industry. 

Since leaving Skyscanner, Mark’s focus has been as a start-up/scale-up advisor, investor and non-executive director in start-ups across the sector in Scotland and internationally. He is also a Professor at the University of Glasgow’s School of Computing Science and a Senior Fellow at Strathclyde University’s Innovation Centre. He was recently appointed as Scotland’s first Chief Entrepreneur by the Scottish Government, leading policy development for the entrepreneurial sector. 




Katherine Morgan, Head of High Growth & Entrepreneurs, Barclays  

Katherine leads a national team of High Growth relationship experts focused on supporting companies from start-up to scale and exit. 

Katherine brings her significant experience in business leadership, strategy & execution, sales management and culture change to supporting Entrepreneurs and SMEs looking to innovate and grow. 

Katherine is Co-chair for the Business banking Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council where she focuses on both initiatives to further Barclays’ ambitions in DE&I, as well as supporting a number of activities to support Diversity in business including: Accelerators for Diverse business owners, Work Experience and Lifeskills programmes promoting Entrepreneurship, and Barclays’ partnership with the Female Founders Forum publishing thought leadership in support of Women leading businesses. Barclays is also a founding signatory of the Investing in Women Code. 

Audrey Opdycke-Barnes, VP of Place, CodeBase 

Audrey brings a diverse background in team and organisational development in aerospace, cyber security, equalities, and human rights. She is a passionate advocate for inclusion, and building more equitable access to support for women and non-binary founders. 

Kerry Sharp, Director of Entrepreneurship & Investment, Scottish Enteprise  

Kerry Sharp is Director of Entrepreneurship & Investment at Scotland’s main economic development agency Scottish Enterprise, responsible for the organisations start to scale services and commercial investment activities working in partnership with Highland and Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise. The Entrepreneurship & Investment directorate supports businesses to start up and scale, providing tailored advice, funding and commercial investment to early-stage businesses with high growth and exporting potential, working in partnership with the entrepreneurial eco-system and private sector investors. We seek to grow Scotland’s private sector risk capital market, ensuring early-stage SME’s have adequate access to growth capital to reach their full potential. 


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