Ambition Female Pre-Accelerator


Watch our ambitious alumni...

Ambition Programme 2022 Closing Date Wednesday, 7th September 2022 at midnight.

Open Night

Register to attend the Ambition Open Night on Wednesday, 24th August 2022 at 18.30hrs (Online)

Register Your Interest


Growing Ambition Article

It has been a year of discovery for the Ambition 2021 cohort. Read about their experience.

Ambition, what it is...

Ambition is an exciting pre-accelerator programme of Local Enterprise Office Donegal. The programme focuses on early-stage female entrepreneurs and promotes the skills and resilience needed to develop globally scalable ventures, attract investment and create jobs.

LEO Donegal has appointed Alinea to bring ideas from concept to pitch, following in the footsteps of local role models such as Gillian Doyle (Cerebreon), Larissa Feeney (Accountancy Online) and Sharon McDaid (Silver Birch Gallery). Up to twelve business ideas are selected to receive mentoring and support through a series of workshops.

Who is eligible?

The Ambition programme is open to:

  • Any Female Founder or Co-Founder
  • Residents of County Donegal or anyone part of the Donegal Diaspora within Ireland or worldwide
  • With a concept for a new product or services across any sector with a particular focus on technology and digital solutions
  • Global scalability potential
  • A team (preferably more than one person)
  • Should be at the pre-seed investment stage
  • With a commitment to grow a business from Donegal, no matter where in the world you live at the moment

General Guidelines

  • Applicants should preferably be part of a team (more than one person). There are no limits on each team's number of members; however, teams may only select up to three participants to complete the workshops.
  • The competition is open to residents of County Donegal or anyone part of the Donegal Diaspora within Ireland or worldwide.


Ambition Selection

We are looking for innovative new business ideas amongst Donegal's early-stage female entrepreneurs. Convince us that your business idea is the next big thing, and you will receive support to develop your business idea from concept to pitch.

Up to twelve businesses will be selected to participate in twelve half-day workshops. These will be chosen based on criteria including: the scale of ambition, the size of the problem to be solved, early market understanding, a clear competitive advantage, feasible business model and strength and diversity of the team.

Teams must be available to participate on all programme days as outlined. At the end of the programme showcase, a Judging Panel comprising leading entrepreneurs, executives and investors, will evaluate progress.

2022 Timeline


Applications open


Open Evening (Online - 6:30pm)

07/09/22Closing date for applications
21/09/22The final shortlist of ideas will be announced
04/10/22Workshop 109.30hrs – 16.30hrsOrientation + Problem Framing (IP)
11/10/22Workshop 209.30hrs - 13.00hrsProblem Framing Applied (O)
18/10/22Workshop 309.30hrs – 13.00hrsCustomer Discovery (O)
25/10/22Workshop 409.30hrs – 13.00hrsCustomer Discovery Applied (O)
08/11/22Workshop 509.30hrs – 13.00hrsValue Proposition (O)
15/11/22Workshop 609.30hrs – 13.00hrsValue Proposition Applied (O)
22/11/22Workshop 709.30hrs – 13.00hrsMarket Sizing (O)
29/11/22Workshop 809.30hrs – 13.00hrsMarket Sizing Applied (O)
06/12/22Workshop 909.30hrs – 13.00hrsPresentation Skills (O)
13/12/22Workshop 1009.30 – 13.001-1 mentor sessions (O)
10/01/23Workshop 1109.30 – 13.00Practice Pitch (O)
17/01/23Programme Showcase (IP)

(IP) In person sessions | (O) Delivered online

Teams must be available to participate in all sessions on the dates outlined above.

What they said about Ambition 2021

Ambition Cohort

  • “Clear schedule communication, excellent planning, very well organised and quality speakers’.
  • “I really enjoyed learning from and with other women. It was a constructive and safe learning environment”.
  • “The content was well structured and each module built on the previous one. I now have good tools that I can continue to use in the future”.
  • “The support and experience from mentors was invaluable, the belief in each of our businesses was really nice and encouraging”.
  • “The ‘Ambition Buddy’ was a wonderful support and the suggestion of weekly catch up calls with participants”.
  • “The genuine challenge and the generosity of time, energy, effort and opinion”.
  • “Loved it!”


Alinea collaborates with enterprise agencies to accelerate new business opportunities. Providing start-ups with a comprehensive pre-accelerator programme that offers integrated knowledge, experience, and expertise, the goal is to help ventures become investor-ready faster, more successfully and more efficiently. To date, 148 start-ups of some 950 participants have completed this rigorous technical entrepreneurship experience, with 60% moving to next-stage supports and €40m+ raised.