#bytevaria Sep 08, 2021

Female founders in Bavaria: all about career planning and entrepreneurship for women from the start-up scene

Women are still represented relatively rarely in Germany’s start-up scene. The “Female Founders Monitor” study by the Bundesverband Deutscher Startups association calculated that just 15.7 percent of start-up founders were female in 2020. But the trend is improving and there are a lot of organisations and successful female founders already, who in turn want to consciously promote and support other female founders in Bavaria. Find out here which networks Bavaria has to offer and which female entrepreneurs you should definitely get to know.

Promising initiatives for more girl power in Bavarian start-ups

Female founders are underrepresented, especially in the tech sector. Promising talents often do not even dare think about starting up a company or do not know how to successfully gain a foothold in the start-up scene. There are initiatives such as Women Start-up at UnternehmerTUM  or “One Mission” at the WERK1 start-up centre to support precisely these potential female entrepreneurs in their plans and ideas. Initiatives like these provide a diverse community of inspiring female founders and female  stakeholders to share ideas and offer advice and support at networking events, workshops and more. The following support opportunities and events, among others, are on the agenda to promote the Female Founders scene in Bavaria:

  • Coaching and female mentoring programmes
  • Access to female investor networks
  • Pitch events and training at companies
  • Talk formats with successful female founders
  • Workshops on financing options

With “One Mission”, WERK1 has set itself the goal of becoming a regional and national pioneer for gender diversity in start-up founding teams and increasing this in-house to 35% by 2025. The initiators of this mission are Marlene Eder, Vanessa Provenzano and Maike Wursthorn, who combine their expertise in project and start-up management as well as event & service planning.

The essential importance of women for the German start-up ecosystem

The „Female Founders Monitor“ study aims to focus on the significant importance of female start-up founders in Germany and to stimulate a deeper awareness of the position of women in the German start-up ecosystem based on facts and figures. Female founders often have a harder time gaining access to necessary resources, potential investors or growth financing. The data clearly show that women are an essential link between the economy and society, as they focus largely on sustainable and social models of society and also drive many medical and educational innovations.

Raising the profile of female

McKinsey and the Handelsblatt business newspaper came together for the first time in 2019 to give female founders from the tech sector the recognition and attention they deserve with the Female Founder Award. In 2020, successful female founders from the digital industry were once again called upon to nominate their companies for the award and to impress as digital pioneers. Among the finalists were Katharina Kreitz from Vectoflow and Catharina van Delden with her company innosabi. The capital city of Munich has also produced a number of female founders who are setting an example and motivating other women to set up their own businesses:

  • Lena Jüngst, co-founder of the Munich-based start-up Air up, which produces drinking bottles with flavour capsules.
  • Christina Polleti has already co-founded two successful start-ups: Easyautosale, which it sold to Autoscout24 in 2015, and mobility start-up Cluno, a car subscription start-up that has since been acquired by a UK online car retailer.
  • Günes Seyfarth, who is already a true serial founder in the social and eco sector with the founding of Next Entrepreneurs, Fruitiverse, the Astronaut and many more business ideas.
  • Veronika Riederle founded the start-up Demodesk together with business partner Alex Popp. This is a screen-sharing platform for virtual customer interaction.
  • Dagmar Schuller started her start-up Audeering  back in 2012 and has gradually expanded her team over the years. The company deals with using AI in a meaningful way in everyday life, making it useful to as many people as possible and in a wide variety of application areas.
  • Delia Lachance founded Westwing along with four other partners. The online retailer for home & living products is now on the market in 11 European countries and generated 267 million euros in sales in 2019 alone.
  • Mareike Wächter is co-founder of Banovo, one of the leading companies in the bathroom renovation market in Germany.
  • Zarah Bruhn is co-founder of the start-up Social-Bee, the first temporary employment agency that aims to actively integrate refugees into society and the job market. 
  • Marie Sievert founded inveox GmbH together with her husband. The company specialises in the development of automation systems designed to digitise and better connect pathology labs. Especially in cancer diagnostics, this should reduce misdiagnoses in the future and promote patient safety accordingly.
  • Lisa Gradow is founder and CMO of Usercentrics. The start-up is one of the market leaders in the field of Consent Management Platforms (CMP) and enables companies to obtain and manage user consent across digital channels in a privacy-compliant manner using SaaS.
  • Michelle Skodowski, founder and COO at Botfriends, developed a software solution together with her team that allows employees of companies to operate AI applications such as chat and voicebots independently and without any programming knowledge at all, thus contributing to the automation of customer communication.

Targeted career planning for women

Around 33 percent of visitors to the 2018 herCAREER fair harboured the desire and idea of setting up a business in future. This year, the leading fair for female career planning will once again help interested women to share their ideas with experts and insiders, to build up a network with the herCAREER community and to find out about attractive offers for further education, job exchanges, financing opportunities and much more. The fair will take place in Munich on 16-17 September 2021, making it the perfect event to reflect ambitious female entrepreneurship in Bavaria first and foremost In addition, visitors, exhibitors and speakers will be represented from a variety of sectors, so that women, will be able to expand their networks purposefully, whether they are just starting out in business or already founders.

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