Going for Growth: As Andrea Doolan’s Atlantia Clinical Trials business scales, she wants to help other women entrepreneurs on the rollercoaster journey of building a business.
Award-winning business development scheme for women entrepreneurs Going for Growth is accepting applications for the 16th year of the programme.
The programme, which is supported by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG, helps ambitious female entrepreneurs to achieve their growth ambitions – helping to build stronger companies, create new jobs and increase revenues.
“I recognised I had gaps in my knowledge, and also in my network. Going for Growth filled these for me in a unique way – the sharing of experiences and perspectives, all of us in the same boat although running very different businesses – was eye opening”
The 15th cycle of Going for Growth reported significant results for its 69 participants. Combined turnover increased from €80.6m at the start of the cycle to almost €92.3m by the end, almost a 15% increase in just six months.
The deadline for applications for the 16th cycle of Going for Growth is Friday 17 November 2023.
Up to 60 places will be available and applications are sought from female entrepreneurs across all sectors who are strongly focused on growth. There is no charge for those selected and the six-month initiative will begin in January 2024. To learn more, click here
Atlantia Clinical Trials
Andrea Doolan is founder and CEO of Atlantia Clinical Trials and has over 25 years’ experience in food, health supplements and pharmaceutical human clinical studies for global companies worldwide.
With a BSc in Microbiology from the University of Galway, Andrea worked as Clinical Trials Coordinator for the Harvard AIDS Clinical Trials Group at Massachusetts General Hospital, before returning to Ireland as Clinical Trials Manager with APC Microbiome Ireland, University College Cork.
Andrea and her fellow scientists in APC identified a growing need from food companies for clinical trials.
“While the pharma sector needs for clinical trials was well serviced in Ireland at the time, we noticed that food companies were regularly approaching APC to run food clinical trials which was not its primary remit” says Andrea.
And so, led by Andrea, with the full support of her colleagues in APC and UCC, Atlantia Clinical Trials was established to specialise in clinical trials in foods, supplements, beverages and live-biotherapeutics to ICHGCP standard. The company moved out of UCC in 2015 but quickly outgrew that facility, and in 2017, moved to Blackpool, Co. Cork, where the company remains today, working with global clients including a significant number of the top ten global food companies. With a team of 100+ of medical and scientific professionals, nutritionists, business development and operational personal, Atlantia provides an end-to-end service, managing all elements from protocol design, regulatory support, recruitment, and study execution to sample and data analysis, statistics, and report/dossier preparation.
“We strive to make it as simple as possible for our clients with our end-to-end solution” says Andrea, “we are uniquely positioned in the marketplace as we operate our own clinic sites, thereby giving us full control over all elements of the studies”.
In 2019, Atlantia opened its first international office in Chicago, with front and back-office support provided from Cork. The US facility undertakes similar work to Cork but using US populations to conduct studies in foods, beverages and supplements, a key demand from Atlantia’s major clients, many of whom are large multinationals.
Andrea participated in the 9th cycle of Going for Growth with Aine Denn as her Lead Entrepreneur. Andrea says “I recognised I had gaps in my knowledge, and also in my network. Going for Growth filled these for me in a unique way – the sharing of experiences and perspectives, all of us in the same boat although running very different businesses – was eye opening.”
She also feels strongly about giving something back and participates in the Inspiring Women Entrepreneur initiative. “I remember the early journey of Atlantia, the rollercoaster of highs and lows and so if other aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from my story, I’ll keep telling it!” says Andrea.
Winner of the Matheson WMB Female Entrepreneur Award in 2018, Andrea is both passionate and ambitious about the future for Atlantia.
With the US a very significant market for the company, the addition of the Chicago-based office, positions Atlantia as a world-class partner for its clients through the provision of multi-centre, multi-national clinical trials. Andrea is also looking to grow the company into other sectors including medical devices and community-based diseases, such as pain management and metabolic disease, as well as conducting more remote and hybrid trials, thereby allowing for greater reach to study participants and reducing the necessity to travel to the clinic sites for study visits.
The deadline for applications for the 16th cycle of Going for Growth is Friday 17 November 2023. To learn more, click here