NDRC LaunchPad alumnus and Irish start-up Pharmapod was announced today as the European winner of The Global Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, an international business plan competition that identifies, supports and encourages projects by women entrepreneurs.

Last June Pharmapod and its founder Leonora O’Brien was selected as one of the 18 Cartier finalists from over 1,200 applicants worldwide.

This week she was invited to France for the final round of competition, which included submitting a detailed business plan and presenting her project in front of the jury. One winner was chosen from each of six regions worldwide with Pharmapod selected as the ‘Laureate for Europe’.

The company will now receive a unique and comprehensive support package of US $20 000 of funding, one year of coaching, networking opportunities and media exposure.

Pharmapod, which facilitates knowledge sharing amongst pharmacists and stakeholders worldwide using pioneering cloud-based software, was one of only three European start-ups nominated and the only Irish start-up on the final list.

“I am honoured to be chosen as the Laureate for Europe, especially considering the high calibre of contestants from across Europe and across the world,” said O’Brien.

“It is such a competitive process and you are up against such inspirational women who have each started powerful initiatives that benefit society. These range from healthcare and manufacturing to supporting indigenous rural artisans and empowering local communities to support themselves. 
 
“I found that the competition provided me with a unique opportunity to network and develop lifelong relationships with such passionate people who are willing to encourage and support one another. Initiatives such as the Cartier Awards are important because they help to support women and raise awareness for their contributions to business, innovation, employment and economies.

“In Ireland, only 7pc of companies that receive funding are female-led but organisations such as NDRC are addressing this imbalance. I would like to thank the entire NDRC organisation for all their help over the years.”