A Lurgan businesswoman has been recognised for her vision and entrepreneurial spirit at the Women in Business awards.
Claire McMullan who runs CliniSport was one of four women honoured at the Women in Business’ Power of 4 Pitch Awards hosted at Belfast’s Merchant Hotel.
The 31-year-old qualified as a Sports Therapist around ten years ago having achieved a 2:1 of her BSc (hons) degree at the University of Huddersfield.
The former Kings Park PS pupil who attended Lurgan Junior High School and Lurgan College, has a passion for helping people.
Having researched into the problem of exercise adherence in her final year of her degree, Claire returned home and set up CliniSport, a Sports Injury Clinic based in Lurgan.
Through CliniSport, she gained first hand experience of exercise adherence and how it might be overcome. This understanding has helped her move forward with the idea and Health Gainz.
Claire was awarded a special prize for innovation for Health Gainz, a business aimed at providing a new innovative technology for the Healthcare sector.
It aims to provide a new solution that gives instructional tools for patients undertaking home based rehabilitation and provides a “virtual physiotherapist” to guide and instruct patients.
The core business product offers a software product that will use real time tracking from a camera to give guidance to patients on how to correctly perform and execute the rehabilitation exercises set by their physiotherapist.
The software will provide a scoring system to feedback on the real-time performance of each exercise against the set targets by using non-contact sensing of the patients’ limb and body movements. Progress of rehabilitation as a result of completing the given exercise regime is tracked by the system and made available to both the patient and their physiotherapist.
Its target sector is Healthcare i.e. Physiotherapy, Sports Therapy, Podiatry Chiropractic etc. The healthcare professionals will use this software for injuries / conditions and give specific exercise programmes per patient.
The business is in its pre-start phase with its current focus on the potential to use high level computer vision to provide movement tracking functions on a single camera. This technology will be then used as the basis of its core product development.
She is currently using an Innovation Voucher from Invest Northern Ireland to continue research of the possible solution.
The Women in Business awards marked the culmination of a hugely successful programme, which was created to support female entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland. The awards offered an opportunity not only to showcase the programme’s success as a business start-up programme, but also to showcase the participants’ businesses.
Power of 4 was created to engage women of all ages and backgrounds. Participants receive exclusive peer and 1-2-1 expert mentoring, both practical and specialist support to take their ideas from concept to launch.
Claire and three others received £10,000 to invest in their business, pitched their business to three leaders, who analysed and reviewed the feasibility and success of their concept.
Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive of Women in Business, commented, “We are delighted that over 70 women to date have benefited from the Po4 programme, and with a success rate of 70% of participants making their business idea a reality, it is more important than ever that we offer women-specific enterprise support programme.
“The level of entries to the Po4 Pitch Awards were outstanding and the judges were faced with a difficult task. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our winners and thank our judges for their participation, especially Angela Moore of Macha Capital Partners, who donated the awards fund.
“As an organisation we are clear in our commitment to supporting and inspiring women - the networking and support created by the Po4 programme will ignite a significant, ongoing legacy and the friendships and alliances the women make will be invaluable.”
The judging panel for the Po4 programme included Angela Moore, Macha Capital Partners; Imelda McMillan, O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors and Chair of Women in Business, and Sorcha Wolesy, Operations Director at the Merchant Hotel.
Women in Business is the largest and fastest growing network for business women in Northern Ireland aiming to equip women with the skills they need to grow their businesses and careers.