Inaugural Programme Celebrates Female Entrepreneurs
11th March 2015
The Rubicon Centre, a business innovation hub, is celebrating the graduation of nine entrepreneurs from its inaugural Exxcel programme for females in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) sectors.
The programme, which is one of the first of its kind in Ireland, provided a platform for females with STEM based business ideas to complete their pre-launch preparation by using the talent and resources of the Rubicon Centre. The Rubicon and Enterprise Ireland, in partnership, are targeting this sector to increase activity in female STEM entrepreneurship for the future.
The six month part time Exxcel programme was launched last September and allowed participants the opportunity to validate their business ideas while remaining in the workforce prior to launch. The first output of graduates are targeting emerging markets in the Education, Agriculture, ICT and Healthcare sectors and the companies are based throughout the Munster region.
Programme Manager Kathleen Fitton who provided the daily support and encouragement to participants on the inaugural programme said “The calibre and commitment of our nine entrepreneurs has been exceptional. The future is bright for these entrepreneurs who will inspire more women to enter the STEM sector which employs 118,000, with females accounting for 25% of these. With these statistics in mind, the Rubicon Centre will provide new opportunities in 2015 with its Exxcel and New Frontiers Programme – the search has already begun for new talent.”
Three companies have already secured initial funding with the help of Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office’s in their areas. A number of participants have also secured sales and are working on developing new opportunities and looking forward to growing their businesses.
The Exxcel graduation and showcase event takes place alongside Innovation Week, a weeklong series of events taking place across Cork Institute of Technology. Innovation Week which runs from March 9-13th will see a number of special events organised throughout the campus including a service design workshop, graduate discussions, seminars, and competitions. Events are free and open to the public. For more details visit www.cit.ie/innovation
(Pictured L-R: Colette Martin, Slurry Slate; Lori Moynihan, Sting-E-Bites; Rebecca Robinson, AllerAid; Kathleen Fitton, Programme Manager Exxcel Female Entrepreneurship programme; Miriam O’Connor, Wes Kids; Norma Dinneen, Bórua Farm; Deirdre Mulgannon, Tea Tree Care; and Fiona Gough, Care Planner at the graduation ceremony.)