Watch here for reports on Female Founders
About Female Founders : http://youtu.be/aWV5-LpKUgM
Female Founders Winner: http://youtu.be/SPA8N5WyQYQ
NDRC worked with 10 tech startups with female founders this summer, as part of an initiative to shine a light on the opportunities for women in the tech startup arena. Run in partnership with AIB and Enterprise Ireland, the ‘Female Founders’ initiative brought female founders together with highly qualified team members, mentors and advisors to validate their ideas and get things moving towards a full business rollout.
The specific ‘female’ focus of this innovative new Irish initiative is based on international research which demonstrates that gender diversity in startup teams has contributed to the success of those companies, in terms of revenue, capital efficiency and return on investment.
The 10 women who took part in the programme came from diverse backgrounds, spanning pharmacy, gaming, research, broadcasting, marketing and accounting. All had deep knowledge of their industry sectors and disruptive ideas for new technology focused businesses. All were at the very start of their startup journey.
At the end of August, the founders pitched to a specialist panel, with representatives from AIB, Enterprise Ireland and Zero-G, and the winner on the day was Tara Van Zyl. The judges commended her for individual passion, and her ability to spot a tangible and large market opportunity.
Winning startup founder Tara van Zyl, who was an RTÉ Costume designer and stylist for 5 years, developed iCostume, an app which enables professionals working in the costume department on films and Television shows to digitally record costume continuity notes on set. The film industry is notorious for long grueling hours, departments like costume, hair and make up remain long after filming has wrapped each day to write and file continuity notes. The current solution involves taking photos with a camera, printing them on a mini photo printer, and taping them to a page of hand-written notes. This long tedious task had to be made easier, digitally. iCostume has been built, sold and used on a number of productions including Love/Hate, Vikings, Penny Dreadful and Hercules – saves a fortune on costs for both the production team and freelancers.
Tara has worked in costume her entire career, in RTÉ and more recently with major series including Moone Boy, Game of Thrones, The Kennedys and the movie Promethus, and is looking to use the iCostume app as the first step to introduce digital tools which simplify manual tasks that currently consume time and budget in the film industry.
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 make sure not leave any of our resource pool untapped.