"Starterin" accepting nominations for Hamburg’s best female founders

Deadline for entries: April 15, 2021
22 March 2021

The private Hamburg Startups initiative has launched the STARTERiN contest in a quest to find the city’s best female founders. Proposals can be submitted until April 15, 2021.  Organisers are taking the rallying cry of this year’s International Women’s Day, "Shine the spotlight on more strong women", to heart to focus more attention on women.

Relatively few female founders

A recent study by the Female Founders Monitor indicates the importance of such measures. Women founded only 15.7 per cent of all startups in Germany last year 2020, the study found. This figure was reflected in Hamburg also. Despite the slight upward trend, only 15.3 per cent of nearly 1,300 startups in Hamburg have a female CEO. The gender distribution is at odds with the startup scene, which sees itself as a driver of commerce thanks to innovative approaches. Yet, similar numbers of men and women can be found in STEM (German: MINT) and business studies courses.

Diversity wanted

Valuing and promoting gender diversity leads to more economic success as many different ways of thinking can foster innovation. By increasing the proportion of women in start-ups, cities and other places can realise their potential and ensure that women have an equal share in shaping the future. 

#FemupStartups creating offers

Last autumn, the Startup-Unit Hamburg launched the #FemupStartups initiative in co-operation with startup hotspots in Berlin, Cologne and Munich to raise the share of female founders and investors in the German start-up scene. The four cities regularly host joint events and campaigns to publicise the issue include, e.g., the "Walk the Talk" panel. The hotspots also create and support offers for women keen on starting a business, which are organised by various regional networks.

Hamburg Startups launching contest 

Sina Gritzuhn, Managing Director of Hamburg Startups, noted: "Our competition should create greater visibility for female founders and encourage as many women as possible to start up as well. Our large network of decision-makers from business and investment offers additional support for this!"

Hamburg Invest's Startup Unit among backers

Veronika Reichboth, head of Hamburg Invest's Startup-Unit, stressed: "We are pleased to be a partner to these events. The Startup-Unit provides more support for women founding startups because there are too few female founders nationwide and unfortunately in Hamburg as well. By supporting the 'Starterin' and the 'Gründerinnen' schemes, we wish to give women and potential female founders access to information and reach them through targeted approaches and to strengthen the visibility of female founders as role models."

Nomination procedure

Those who would like to nominate a founder as a STARTERiN can submit their proposals by April 15, 2021 at the latest. Emphasis is on innovative start-ups with scalable business ideas or a social-ecological impact. The startup must have been co-founded by one or more women in Hamburg and should have been in existence for five years at the most.