NDRC’s Female Founders find a winner

By hban.org
Thursday, 11th September 2014
Filed under: Year2014

NDRC’s Female Founders, a pre-accelerator for new technology startups with gender diversity in their founding teams in partnership with AIB and Enterprise Ireland have announced a winner. The event which took place on 22nd August saw pitches from 9 companies but it was Tara Van Zyl that came out on top and RTE have released this great video explaining why. 

More about the programme

The Female Founders programme at NDRC is particularly relevant to women who have deep knowledge of their relevant industry sector or who have potentially disruptive ideas for new technology focused businesses which they are considering bringing to market.  The programme which ran this summer, 25th July to 29th August, provided expert commercial planning and technology advice, along with the opportunity to build a startup team, plus contributions from experienced mentors and role models. The programme was part time (one day per week) to maximise accessibility for participants.

The specific female focus of this innovative new Irish pre-accelerator programme is based on international research which demonstrates that gender diversity in startup teams has contributed to the success of those companies.  From its portfolio of startup ventures, NDRC has already accelerated a number of successful new high potential businesses with women in the founder team, but thinks that there is further untapped potential out there.

Men and women who have specialist skills that will help get a new venture off the ground can also apply to take part in the initiative and join a startup team.

Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive of Enterprise Ireland said, “Accelerating the growth of high potential technology startups led by women is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland and we’re delighted to be supporting NDRC as a partner in their Female Founders initiative. NDRC is recognised internationally for its approach to enabling the very best early stage tech ventures, and with a number of Female Founders already in the NDRC portfolio, including EventMama, FrockAdvisor, NeuroHero and PharmaPod, it’s the ideal place for a woman to begin her tech startup journey.”

John O’Dwyer, Head of Technology, Media & Telecoms at AIB Bank said, “Business is about identifying opportunities where people with the right experience, resolve and skills can succeed.   NDRC has an exceptional track record in creating high impact new ventures, and we are delighted to partner with them on the Female Founders programme which we believe has the potential to yield disruptive new businesses and provide female entrepreneurs with a supportive and innovative environment to create a commercial proposition around their ideas.”

Ben Hurley, Chief Executive of NDRC said, “The world’s most successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common – they started with an innovative new idea and turned it into a high growth business.  It sounds simple in one sentence like that but the various steps can be difficult and that’s precisely what Female Founders at NDRC is designed to address for women with technology and digital startup ideas.

“Research and commentary from around the world is saying that companies with strong gender diversity yield better results from IPOs and can have higher than average earnings.  Exploring this potential, NDRC will bring potential female founders together with highly qualified team members, mentors and business advisors to validate their ideas and get things moving towards a full business rollout.

“A lot of discussion about women and entrepreneurship is an overhang from decades past.  Society has moved far beyond the concept of female participation in the economy as some form of ‘special case’.  Women are ambitious and focused and it’s important that we tap their entrepreneurial potential when we’re making ventures happen.  Diversity in economic and business life is a powerful and dynamic tool for change and progress that we can’t afford to be without. NDRC’s Female Founders initiative is here to surface that potential, build more strong tech ventures, and ensure we’re not leaving any of our resource pool untapped.”

Women led Ventures

  • Women-led venture-backed high tech companies generate 12% higher annual revenues than male only tech companies, cited in Cindy Padnos ‘High Performance Entrepreneurs: Women in High Tech’.  (Cindy Padnos is a top tech venture capitalist).
  • Companies with more gender diversity delivered 30% better results from IPOs. University of Michigan
  • The average venture-backed company run by a woman uses one third less committed capital. Catalyst 2004: The Bottom Line: Connecting Corporate Performance & Gender Diversity
  • Women-led high tech startups achieve 35% higher return on investment than male led companies, cited in Cindy Padnos ‘High Performance Entrepreneurs: Women in High Tech’.  (Cindy Padnos is a top tech venture capitalist).
  • Companies with the most gender diverse management teams achieve 48% higher earnings than the industry average. McKinsey & Company, Women Matter: Gender diversity, a corporate performance driver

About NDRC

NDRC is an early stage investor in innovation, making ventures happen by investing in innovative early-stage ventures, and improving the environment in which ventures can grow.   NDRC is ranked as the top University Business Incubator for IT in the World by UBI Index, (see here) which is the world’s first Global index to benchmark performance and best practices of University Business Incubators across the world.

For more information you can visit the NDRC website www.ndrc.ie