SIX aspiring entrepreneurs are through to the final of an £18,000 pitching competition organised by Scotland’s first female angel investment group.

Investing Women’s AccelerateHER attracted more than 100 entries with the finalists winning the approval of a panel of judges at Napier University’s Business School.

The winner of the Chiene and Tait-sponsored competition will be announced by Annabelle Ewing, Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment, following a final round of pitching at the Investing Women’s Ambition and Growth conference in Edinburgh next month.

Finalists are online booking specialist Appointedd; Edinburgh-based French macaron maker Mademoiselle Macaron; personal attack alarm designer Pick Protection; online development firm InclusIQ; dementia app firm MindMate; and Borders-based FINDRA which designs performance lifestyle outdoor clothing.

The winner will receive vital assistance in taking their business idea to the next level with a package which includes a £5,000 cash prize, accountancy and legal support, and mentoring assistance from established business angels.

Neil Norman, entrepreneurial partner at chartered accountants Chiene and Tait, said: “The range and quality of the pitches we saw makes me excited about the future of Scottish enterprise and entrepreneurialism. Each person had to pitch their business in great detail to four experienced judges – not an easy thing to do, and yet they all did exceptionally well. I tip my hat to them all, especially our six fantastic finalists.”

Sam McFarlane, business engagement manager at Napier University’s Bright Red Triangle, said: “It’s been a pleasure working with Investing Women to facilitate this stage of the AccelerateHER competition. The quality of the entries and the semi-finalists is testament to the ideas and talents of the female-led businesses who entered and they are a credit to Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The Ambition and Growth conference at Dynamic Earth on March 7-8 coincides with International Women’s Day and brings together 200 emerging female-led businesses with angel investors who can provide financial investment and mentoring.