Shorla’s Sharon Cunningham Wins coveted MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award

17th February 2020

Posted In: So In Demand

Sharon Cunningham, an MBA graduate from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, University College Dublin, has won the coveted MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award (Private Sector) for her company Shorla Pharma.

She received the accolade at a glittering awards ceremony held at the Sheraton Grand, London Park Lane. The event was attended by more than 200 top Business School leaders representing more than 50 Schools across the world, as well as category finalists, judges and members of the media.

Sharon Cunningham is a PwC-trained chartered accountant with an MBA from UCD Smurfit School and a BSc in finance from University College Cork.

She is the Co-Founder of specialty pharmaceutical company, Shorla Pharma, which develops innovative oncology products for unmet needs, with a focus on women’s and paediatric cancers.

Before this, she was Head of Finance at EirGen Pharma, a subsidiary of OPKO Health.

In 2019, Sharon was awarded the title of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, won the Sodexo Women Mean Business Female Newcomer Award 2019 with her business partner, Orlaith Ryan, and led a team of five to win the final pitch competition on the MIT-Harvard Medical School Healthcare Innovation Bootcamp in Cambridge Massachusetts, US.

Sharon Cunningham said: ‘I’m truly humbled and honoured to accept this award on behalf of Orlaith Ryan and I and our company, Shorla Pharma. I know the competition was extremely high and the award is really special. It’s a privilege to represent UCD Smurfit School from where I graduated with my MBA in 2015. My MBA equipped me with the skills, confidence and network to embark on the entrepreneurial journey.

‘Thank you to the organisers and judges of the AMBA Excellence Awards and congratulations to the other finalists.’

‘At Shorla Pharma, we have an innovative pipeline of drugs in the oncology space with a focus on women’s and children’s cancers.’

‘We are a driven and compassionate company with the patient’s needs at the heart of our innovation guided by our vision of delivering more effective, less toxic products providing a major contribution to patient care.’

‘We’re preparing to launch our first product in the US next year.’

Professor Gerardine Doyle, Director UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, said: ‘We are immensely proud of Sharon in terms of the impact she is having on the health and wellbeing of women and children with cancer through innovative therapeutics. The award highlights the breadth and depth of learning within the UCD Smurfit School MBA programme where you can apply a core set of entrepreneurship and leadership skills to various arenas and industry sectors.’