What's On

December 4, 2015

Applications OPEN – Female High Fliers Programme 2016


Banner 1

Banner 2


Female High Fliers is an accelerator programme for Irelands best early stage start-ups, specifically addressing the challenges facing female entrepreneurs. The programme will fast track your business development and leadership skills.  Your journey of business growth starts with us.

Benefits of participating include: Your business development and growth will be accelerated; access to peer start up founder network and to the DCU Ryan Academy experienced entrepreneurs and investor network; practical workshops and training content designed to be immediately applicable to your business; PR opportunities (locally & nationally); critical challenge on your business plans and assumptions; and in 2016 we are introducing mentor panels.

We are delighted to announce that the Female High Fliers will run TWO cycles in 2016 – Programme 1 starts on February 16th to May 31st and Programme 2 starts on September 6th to December 6th.  We are industry agnostic and our application form is simple to complete – if successful you will be shortlisted and invited to pitch to a panel of industry experts on February 2nd – ONLY 10 places are available on both cycles.


Who Can Apply?

  • Female founders of start-ups which are less than 5 years old.
  • Individuals and teams (max 3 people) may apply.
  • The company must be female led.

To be selected your company must have excellent:

  • Business Idea
  • Growth Potential
  • Export Potential
  • Strength of Founder and Team
  • Market Opportunity

“No Equity taken”


Application Timelines for Programme 1 in 2016:

January 13th                    Closing date for receipt of Application (no extensions)

January 18th & 19th     Preliminary Judging of ALL Applications received

February 16th                  Day 1 of the Programme – 10 companies *


*Please Note:  Successful applicants MUST attend ALL training dates.  So before applying please make sure you are available to participate on of the following dates.


Programme Content:

The focus of the Female High Fliers accelerator programme will be to fast track female-led businesses to achieve scale and create employment.  Every Tuesday for 13 weeks (9.00 am to 5.30 pm) the programme will run a series of modules including: how to rigorously utilise the Business Model Canvas, apply Lean Start Up methodologies, financial modelling, legal structures for start ups, customer validation and journeys, marketing, sales process, investor ready PITCHING and on the Final Day you will pitch to an audience of corporates, mentors and investor in the hope of securing future funding and/or partnerships.


Programme Dates:

Week 1:     Tuesday 16th February                     Week 8:     Tuesday 19th April

Week 2:     Tuesday 23rd February                     Week 9:     Tuesday 26th April

Week 3:     Tuesday 1st March                              Week 10:  Tuesday 10th May

Week 4:     Tuesday 8th March                              Week 11:  Tuesday 17th May

Week 5:     Tuesday 15th March                           Week 12:   Tuesday 24th May

Week 6:     Tuesday 5th April                                 Week 13:   Tuesday 31st May

Week 7:     Tuesday 12th April                               Plus:           Mentor Panels






Fiona - Unipupil The Female High Fliers Programme was a turning point for me personally as founder of an International company.  It helped to give me the confidence, clarity and frameworks from which to progress the business to the next stage.  Launching an international business is very exciting however, also quite overwhelming.  Thanks to The Ryan Academy I now feel confident to take this on! The Ryan Academy had a real sense of making you and any participants that attended from your company for the workshops to feel included and were very welcoming.  I also liked the fact that it is supported by The Ryan Family who themselves are business people.   Fiona Leigh, CEO, Unipupil

Lorraine - Duane I completed the Female High Flier Programme July 2015. To say it has been a rollercoaster of an experience is an understatement.I was overjoyed to have received a place on the programme and I didn’t really know what to expect. The fellow candidates were so welcoming and enthusiastic and everyone is in the same boat we are all on the entrepreneurial road which can be a very lonely one. The programme has turned this around for me so much. It makes you focus on the “Elephant in the Room”. Is your business going to succeed and how far are you willing to go to make it work.

I found the interviews and “Getting out of the Building” the most challenging and satisfying part of the programme it has made me pivot my business and concentrate on the uniqueness of my business. I have made amazing contacts which have created great opportunities for me.  Lorraine Duane, Duane Learning Ltd

Olivia - Stork Thank you so much for such a well organised program. When I started, I had never used powerpoint let alone done any public speaking and while I can’t say I enjoy the public speaking any more than before, I know now I can do it! Moreover, thanks to you all, I’ve been introduced to people I would never have had an email response from before. I got so much support from the programme, and from the people there, and I’ve learned so much, so a very heartfelt thank you for everything – there will be a very large gap in my life now!  Olivia Smyth, CEO, The Stork Exchange

For More Information call:  Niamh Collins, COO, DCU Ryan Academy – (01) 7006762 or email: niamh.collins@ryanacademy.dcu.ie

More About Female High Fliers CLICK HERE


Funded by:

EI - Business Women 4 Int Growth - Web