Mary McKenna MBE
An exited entrepreneur and pro-active angel investor, Mary was awarded UKBAA Angel of the year 2023-24. She left her professional career as a corporate accountant in 2006, to co-found Northern Ireland- based Learning Pool, an online learning platform and community. Since selling her Learning Pool stake in 2014, Mary has focused on being an active Angel investor and innovation expert and has made 21 investments to date, focusing on areas including EdTech, HealthTech, CareTech and SportsTech. She has a strong focus on women founders, with all of her 2021/2022 investments being in female-led businesses. She recently exited Elemental Software, co-founded by two Northern Irish female founders.
In 2020, Mary co-founded AwakenHub, along with four other women, as a community for Irish female founders. It provides a learning and mentoring environment for women who are starting businesses that they intend to scale from day one. She has also set up a community of Irish women business Angels called Awaken, and launched a new Women Angels investment syndicate in 2022, now with over 80 women investors across Ireland and the US diaspora. Mary was also awarded European Woman Business Angel of the Year in July 2023.