Conference for female entrepreneurs on funding

Men said to be 70% more likely to gain access to investments than women

One of the biggest challenges for female entrepreneurs at early stage business is access to funding, with men 70 per cent more likely to gain access to funding than women. Against this backdrop, the DCU Ryan Academy and Global Invest Her are holding an event to demystify the process and help women entrepreneurs become investor ready and get funded faster.

Participants will gain practical insights and tips about how to look for funding, with speakers including Pharmapod founder Leonora O'Brien (right) and KonnectAgain co-founder Helen Flynn.

A panel of investors who fund early stage start-ups will be on hand to advise on what they look for and how best to approach them. The investors include Draper Esprit partner Brian Caulfield, Lucey Fund director Ian Lucey, ACT Venture Capital partner Debbie Rennick, Enterprise Ireland female entrepreneurship manager Sarita Johnson and Mary McKenna, angel investor and managing director of Tour America.

This weekend in Mayo, the third annual Congregation Digital Technology Un-conference is taking place. It will include an evening of augmented and virtual reality demonstrations and talks in Ashford Castle on Friday.


Topics to date from more than 80 speakers range from how wearable technology affects health, the potential and issues surrounding drones, the future of content, cyber crime and how social media can be used for social good.

Event organiser Eoin Kennedy says the event has broken the traditional conference format with no charge to attend.

Instead, those who do will produce a 600-word written blog post, a three-minute video post or five-minute audio clip which is posted in advance on

The submissions are then presented in groups of 10 people called Huddles, who will gather at each of the seven venues, with two or three people speaking at each until everyone has presented.

“The ethos behind Congregation is to revolutionise the way people communicate, connect and share information at events,” Kennedy says, “and also to show that a small West of Ireland village can host an sustainable international technology event in the winter without the need for big infrastructure.”