Female Digital Leaders Roundtable

Female Founders on Challenges and Opportunities in the Startup World

Hannah Helmke, Founder and CEO, right. based on science, and Laura Behrens Wu, CEO, Shippo, speak about the role of startups in digitizing society on both sides of the Atlantic and the challenges and opportunities that female founders face.

After hearing from both speakers about their experiences, the attendees discussed what needs to change in Germany for female founders to thrive. The participants came up with the following ideas and identified political requirements that should be put in place to better support female founders:

  • German society is somewhat more risk-averse than in the United States, which is also reflected in the way investors operate. This risk-averseness makes raising capital challenging – especially for female founders. We need to enable a more risk-taking culture.
  • It’s easier for men to raise venture capital than for women. It is not enough to encourage women to become startup founders, there also should be more initiatives to increase the number of female investors, so that there are women on the capital side, who can better support female founders.
  • The accessibility of loans for female founders needs to be improved.
  • Daycare should be made more readily available so that mothers can more easily rejoin the workforce.
  • Another way to expressly encourage women in the startup world could be to offer tax benefits for female founders.

The discussion, which was part of the Female Digital Leaders Roundtable, was chaired by Angelika Gifford, Vice President Central Europe, Facebook; Member of the Board, Atlantik-Brücke. The Roundtable is co-hosted by Atlantik-Brücke and The GroUp.

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