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Nine Female Entrepreneurs EXXCEL at The Rubicon Centre

19 May, 2016

The Rubicon Centre, Ireland's leading business innovation hub today celebrated the graduation of nine entrepreneurs from its second Exxcel programme for females in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) sectors at CIT’s Rubicon Centre.

The programme, which is one of the first of its kind in Ireland provides 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. Led by programme manager Liam Fitzgerald, Exxcel is a six month part time programme which allows participants the opportunity to validate their business ideas while remaining in the workforce prior to launch.

Graduates are targeting emerging markets in the Education, Food, ICT and Healthcare sectors with the companies based throughout the Munster region. Three entrepreneurs 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. Among the fledgling entrepreneurs launching their business was Jemma Redmond, Ourobotics who was awarded Best Business Opportunity at the event. Redmond who has a background in applied physics and nano-bioscience has developed a 10-material bioprinter capable of printing items for use in medicine, including 3d body parts.

Her revolutionary bioprinter which she began building on her kitchen table has the ability to revolutionise the future of medicine and save lives by cutting waiting lists for transplants. Redmond has already made her mark in the industry by being recognised as one of the most influential women in STEM in Ireland.

Speaking at the graduation, Jemma Redmond, said "Being recognised with this award is a huge boost in confidence for me as I look to forge ahead with Ourobotics. The programme has helped me enormously in terms of clarifying my business model and developing my business plan. Setting up and launching a new business is a stressful time but with the support of the Rubicon centre and the other participants it has been a really enjoyable challenge.

I cannot speak highly enough of the mentorship all nine of us have received from the Rubicon team and I look forward to their continued support." Speaking at the graduation, Programme Manager Liam Fitzgerald said “The calibre and commitment of our nine entrepreneurs has been exceptional.

These women have the ability to not only inspire more women to enter the STEM sectors but also inspire other would-be entrepreneurs to pursue their business ideas. The STEM sector employs almost 120,000 in Ireland with females accounting for just 25% of these, with this in mind, the Rubicon Centre will continue to provide new opportunities through Exxcel and New Frontiers Programmes to balance these numbers."

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