Five Women-founded Companies Selected for Unique Scale-up Programme by Endeavor Ireland

Five women-founded companies have been selected to take part in a new scale-up programme delivered by Endeavor Ireland, in conjunction with Philip Lee LLP.

The programme is the first of its kind in Ireland and will see each of the successful applicants receive 10 one-on-one mentorships over the next five months, tailored specifically to their individual needs.

Endeavor is a global not-for-profit organisation with a mission to support and accelerate high-impact entrepreneurs by connecting them with talent, capital and a worldwide peer and mentor network. It runs scale-up programmes around the world and this is the first programme to be offered in Ireland, after the opening of its Irish office in 2019.

Following a call for applications last October, the following women-founded companies have been selected to take part: Chupi; Axonista; inclusio; Orphan Drug Consulting; and Riley.

The programme kicked off with a session in Dublin led by Anne Heraty, Endeavor Ireland Board member and Anna Hickey, Partner at Philip Lee.

Rory Guinan, Managing Director of Endeavor Ireland, said; “Endeavor is a not-for-profit organisation with a focus on supporting entrepreneurs with high-impact potential to scale up, and to ultimately provide a societal benefit for Ireland. We’ve been very impressed with the entrepreneurs we’ve worked with since establishing in Ireland and eleven founders have now come through the rigorous selection process for our core entrepreneur programme.

We’re delighted to confirm that Katie and Philip McGlade of Thérapie Clinic came through the selection process last week. They have experienced phenomenal growth in their business in the last number of years, and we’re looking forward to working with them to build on that even further. It’s great to have Katie on board in particular, because she is the first woman entrepreneur to make it through the selection process since we established in Ireland. We want to work with more ambitious women entrepreneurs and that was the main motivation for establishing this new five-month scale-up programme for women entrepreneurs.

“We had a huge response to the call for applications and we’re excited to get started with the successful founders. When entrepreneurs are asked what had the biggest impact on them as they build their business, two of the most common responses are having access to quality mentors and a network of trust. That is what we will provide in this programme through our global network and our hope is that it will help the founders to build on the significant success that they’ve already achieved,” he said.

Anna Hickey, Partner at Philip Lee, said; “We’re delighted to partner with Endeavor Ireland on this Scale Up Programme. Over the next five months we are looking forward to working with the five successful applicants, to help them realise their ambitions to scale their businesses globally.”

Speaking at the inaugral session of the programme, which was held at the Philip Lee office in Dublin, the founders, which work in a diverse range of industries, made the following comments:

Claire McHugh, CEO at Axonista, pioneers in livestream video commerce solutions, said; “I’m very excited to be taking part in this programme. Endeavor’s purpose aligns with our own ambition to scale quickly and be at the forefront of building an emerging new ecosystem that is innovating interactive experiences and making video commerce accessible to brands across the globe. I know Endeavor’s targeted support will help me realise my goal to make Axonista a world leader in interactive, live video commerce.

Chupi Sweetman, CEO at Chupi Fine Jewellery said; “I’ve been very impressed by what I’ve heard about Endeavor since it was established in Ireland, so I’m excited to take part in this programme. The calibre of the people on the Endeavor Ireland Board is truly inspiring and having access to the Endeavor global network is a great opportunity that I know will be a huge support as we continue growing Chupi globally.”

Sandra Healy, CEO at the science-based diversity and inclusion platform inclusio, said; “I’m looking forward to building my network and learning from the experts in Philip Lee, and from the global Endeavor network. Getting advice from people like Anne Heraty is such a great opportunity, and I’m thrilled that the other founders are at different stages in their growth and working in a varied range of sectors– we’ll have a lot to learn from each other as well as through the 10 one-on-one mentorships that will be organised for us all.”

Evelyn Kelly, Chief Executive of Orphan Drug Consulting, said; “We have ambitious plans for growth – we aim to increase our sales three-fold in the next five years. To do that we are targeting new markets so it’s ideal timing for us to tap into the support of the Endeavor network and the mentorship offered through this programme.”

Fiona Parfrey, Aine Kilkenny and Lauren Duggan are co-founders of Riley, the sustainable period care company. Fiona Parfrey said; “We are ambitious for scaling Riley internationally, so this programme has come along at exactly the right time for us. The one-on-one support tailored to our specific needs, and access to the global Endeavor network, will be invaluable to us as we look to build market share in international markets.”

Aine Kilkenny said; “We’ve seen the calibre of the companies that have gone through the Endeavor selection process and they all speak so highly of it so we’re delighted Riley has been selected for its first Scale Up Programme in Ireland. We are less than two years old so the hands-on support will be really beneficial for us as we work on growing our business.”