Ambition: Female Pre-Accelerator

Ambition Female Pre-Accelerator


Ambition Apply Online

Register your interest for Ambition 2021 by clicking the above icon and providing us with a short explanation on why you would like to take part.


Idea Validation

All finalists will receive detailed feedback on their business ideas and pitches from LEO Donegal and the showcase Judging Panel.


Ambition Diaspora

This course will take place online, meaning we are welcoming applications from all over the World, providing you have Donegal roots.

What it is?

Ambition is an exciting pre-accelerator programme run by Local Enterprise Office Donegal, which 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 aims to bring ideas from concept to pitch following in the footsteps of role models such as Gillian Doyle (Cerebreon) and Larissa Feeney (Accountancy Online). A maximum of twelve business ideas will then be selected to receive mentoring and support from LEO Donegal through a series of workshops starting in September 2021.

Who is eligible?

The Ambition programme is open to:

  • Any Female Founder/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
  • Individuals or a team (of more than one person) may apply
  • Should be at pre-seed investment stage

General Guidelines

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


We are looking for smart 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. Twelve business ideas will be selected to participate on seven pre-acceleration workshop days. These will be chosen based on criteria that includes: 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. At the end of programme showcase, a Judging Panel comprising leading entrepreneurs, executives and investors, will select one winner.

What they say about Pre-Acceleration Programming:

‘Step out of your comfort zone and go talk to the grown-ups in the start-up world!’ Dara Maldrum, Founder, Vertigenius

If you want to stress test your business idea and make an honest go/no-go, this is the right forum for you.Shona D’Arcy, Kids Speech Labs 

The programme made me think about the possibility of having an international business. Having invited speakers who had been through the same process really helped too.’ Daryl O’Regan, Paybolt