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Show me the money: women take on the men in a pitch for investors' attention

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Ann Hunt, Chasing Returns

Ann Hunt, Chasing Returns

Ann Hunt, Chasing Returns

ANN Hunt spent 10 years in the male-dominated and hedonistic world of Wall Street, "mixing it with the boys" as a high-roller in international finance.

The Dublin native gave up a successful career to set up Chasing Returns, a company which specialises in providing "ordinary" investors with money management tools, to trade successfully on the financial markets.

The venture was entirely self-funded and, six months on, it employs four part-time staff.

A "gambler" by nature, she said the "savage" world of Wall Street proved the ideal stomping ground to hone her business skills.

"It's very high energy, it's very high stress, and there's definitely a work hard, play hard mentality," she said.

But while 90pc of traders are men, she insisted the "best traders are women".

"Females are less about the ego," she said.

"Technology is not as male dominated as is finance, although when you put the two together, it can become that way.

"However, this year is all about women and tech - and there is currently a huge amount of females networking in Ireland.

"I have four brothers, I worked on Wall Street, and I've also been working with men since I left college, so I've no problem operating with them.

"Our technology analyses trading patterns, identifies weaknesses, and highlights what an investor should be on the look-out for."

Ann was among 10 of Ireland's most innovative technology business leaders who entered a Dragon's Den-style event last night ahead of the Web Summit to try to woo heavyweight investors.

She was among the hopefuls at the open mic night in Dublin's Odessa Club, hosted by Microsoft and the National Digital Research Centre.

"I'm looking for something in the order of €500,000 to grow the business and take it to the next level," she said.

She expects to have an official launch in six months' time, with the goal of securing a "major investment" to turn the company into a global player.

"The business is aimed at 'retail traders' who don't work for a bank or hedge fund.

"It's you and me at home with a spread trading account, or whatever, trying to make a few quid.

"It's been a massively growing market over the last five years."

Each company had three minutes to pitch their money-making schemes to an audience of investors, followed by two minutes of Q&A from the floor.

Clare Dillon, from Microsoft Ireland, said the three-day Web Summit would play a huge role in promoting the technology sector in Ireland.

Irish Independent