Female Founders Award 2024

Congratulations to the Recipients of the Female Founders Award 2024!

On March 20, 2024, the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham Germany) presented its Female Founders Award for the fifth time in Berlin. Two female founders received the award to celebrate and honor their visibility and networking while serving as an inspiration and motivation for other women across Germany to become entrepreneurs.

Watch our event film for impressions from the event.

The winners of the Female Founders Award 2024 are:

  • Viktoria Kanar, CEO & Co-Founder, Re-Fresh Global

  • Carmen Rommel, Co-Founder & COO, BIOVOX

The following shortlisted female founders received an Honorable Mention:

  • Dr. Gesa Biermann, Co-Founder & CEO, Pina Earth

  • Julia Kahle, Co-Founder & CEO, Heynanny

  • Vivian Loftin, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Recyda

    Launched in 2019, the Female Founders Award aims to set an example and honor successful female founders as positive role models, as women are still a minority in the start-up ecosystem on both sides of the Atlantic. The award brings together the values of American entrepreneurial spirit and German entrepreneurship as well as the activities of AmCham Germany in the context of entrepreneurship and diversity/women in leadership

    Sponsoring Opportunities

    For more information on our sponsorship opportunities exclusively available for AmCham Germany members, please contact femalefounders@amcham.de

    Winners 2024

    Congratulations to the winners of this year's Female Founders Award!

    Viktoria Kanar, CEO & Co-Founder, Re-Fresh Global

    About Viktoria Kanar

    As a fashion producer and entrepreneur, Viktoria brings together key experts and innovators from around the world to develop new and circular initiatives that will have a long-term impact on how we manufacture, purchase, sell, and recycle textiles. Viktoria's international experience has evolved through the creation of GeekChicTLV, an agency that specialized in innovative fashion and tech productions in Israel and abroad. In previous years, Viktoria had the pleasure to work around the world with LVMH, Tel Aviv Municipality, Gindi Investments, Tel Aviv Fashion Week, The Strauss Group, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel and found and lead communities of entrepreneurs in that combined the fields of fashion, innovation and sustainability.

    About Re-Fresh Global

    Re-Fresh Global is disrupting the textile industry through its ground-breaking technology which transforms textile waste into new raw materials. Founded in 2019 by entrepreneurs Viktoria Kanar and Revital Nadiv Zivan, the company confronts the global problem of textile waste that affects industries, government and the social sector. Using innovative techniques, we have developed one solution and 3 products which aim to radically change the direction of the existing linear textile industry.


    Carmen Rommel, Co-Founder & COO, BIOVOX

    About Carmen Rommel 

    Carmen Rommel, COO of BIOVOX, founded BIOVOX in 2021 with Vinzenz Nienhaus and Julian Lotz to tackle the plastic problem in hospitals. Her background is in mechanical engineering were she focused on sustainable product development and supply chains. Passionate about sustainability and a better world, she also enjoys the outdoors on bike and foot often accompanied by her dog.

    About BIOVOX

    BIOVOX pioneers medical grade bioplastics for a sustainable and circular healthcare. With a holistic, polymer agnostic approach, BIOVOX provides a safe, convenient, and cost-efficient solution for MedTech, Pharma and Lab manufacturers, maximizing regulatory compliance and customer success. BIOVOX bridges the gap by qualifying non-medical sustainable raw materials for use in healthcare. The unique medical, technical & sustainability expertise enables its customers to implement sustainable materials faster & cheaper than any other way.

    The following founders earned the distinction of Honorable Mention for their participation in AmCham Germany’s Female Founders Award in 2024: 

    Dr. Gesa Biermann, Co-Founder & CEO, Pina Earth 

    About Dr. Gesa Biermann

    Dr. Gesa Biermann is the co-founder & CEO of Pina Earth, a climatetech startup based in Germany and backed by Y Combinator. Her commitment to sustainability has been a driving force in all her decisions. Gesa holds a PhD in Sustainability Science from LMU Munich and a Master's in Sustainable Resource Management from TU Munich. Prior to founding Pina Earth, she co-founded 180 Degrees Consulting Munich and was part of the Management Team at the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM) - a joint research and educational institute of LMU and TUM.

    About Pina Earth 

    Pina Earth develops certified climate projects from local forests in Germany. EU forests are at high risk due to climate change. The projects store additional CO2 by making forests biodiverse and climate-resilient against increased heat, storms, and droughts. Pina Earth’s suite of digital tools allows companies to invest in high-quality carbon credits, locally. With over 20 million m2 of forest adaptation projects under management, Pina Earth is the market leader in Germany.


    Julia Kahle, Co-Founder & CEO, Heynanny

    About Julia Kahle and Heynanny

    Julia Kahle is co-founder and CEO of heynanny, an award-winning start-up, that uses the platform of the same name to help companies offer short-term and secure care solutions (childcare and elderly services) as an employer benefit. As a former Head of HR Marketing & Recruiting, she has excellent knowledge of benefits and all topics related to employer branding. Together with her co-CEO Anna Schneider, she addresses the problem of balancing work and family and offers care solutions for children and older people throughout Germany and Austria, including in rural areas. Companies benefit from reduced absences, higher employee retention and tax advantages. Julia Kahle, herself a mother of two, emphasizes the importance of genuine employee benefits and sees companies as having a duty to position themselves as attractive employers.


    Vivian Loftin, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Recyda

    About Vivian Loftin

    With a background in International Cultural & Business Studies, Vivian's career has primarily focused on fostering intercultural exchange. Her passion for sustainability sparked during an innovation project in 2019, where she explored the challenges of the circular economy leading her to co-found Recyda. In her current role as Co-CEO, Vivian oversees communications, driving the company's mission to revolutionize sustainability practices within the packaging industry. In addition to her role at Recyda, Vivian serves as a member of the board of trustees for the Value Foundation, where she actively contributes to advancing value-driven entrepreneurship initiatives.

    About Recyda

    Established in 2020, Recyda is a pioneering startup dedicated to developing software for packaging sustainability management. Recyda consolidates international regulatory requirements into a single, user-friendly software platform. By leveraging Recyda's packaging sustainability platform, customers gain the ability to effortlessly oversee and align their packaging with these regulations. Ultimately, Recyda serves as a catalyst for advancing the circular economy of packaging.

    Nadine Bütow, Head of Communications Europe, LONGi Solar; Member of Digital Media Women e.V.

    Nadine is the Head of Communications Europe for LONGi Solar, moderator, consultant and speaker with a focus on diversity, gender equality, leadership and entrepreneurship. At Germany’s largest online network for women, Digital Media Women (#DMW), she campaigns for the visibility of women on public stages as well as giving women a share of voice in the era of digitalization. At the DMW, she is also studying companies with at least 30 percent of female representation in the top three management levels.


    Dr. Guido Brinkel Head of Regulatory Policy and Director Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Germany

    As Head of Regulatory Policy and Director Corporate Affairs at Microsoft Germany, Guido is responsible for the external political and regulatory relations regarding telecom regulation, cybersecurity and data protection. Previously he served as Head of Public Affairs for United Internet in Berlin and Brussels. From 2007 until 2011 Guido served as Head of the Media Policy Department at BITKOM, Germany's largest ICT association. He is member of the board of the German Association for Voluntary Self-Regulation of Digital Media service providers (FSM e.V.). Guido studied law at the University of Göttingen and the Trinity College Dublin and holds a PhD degree. He is specialized in telecom regulation, intellectual property, cybersecurity, e-commerce and data protection law and has published several scientific articles on these topics.”

    Constanze Freienstein, Partner, AlixPartners DACH

    Constanze Freienstein is a Partner in the Retail Practice with AlixPartners in DACH. She has recent substantial experience as CEO and CMO with leading international lifestyle brands and e-commerce and omnichannel retailers as well as having worked in top management consulting for 10 years. Constanze is on the advisory board for refive, a retail tech startup. In 2023, she was in the Jury for the London Retail Technology Show Innovation Award. Constanze is a founder herself and has always supported female founders in her leading industry roles. 

    Maria Gross, Managing Director, GERMANTECH

    Change (and her love for the city of Berlin) is the only constant in Maria's life - that's why she keeps on questioning the status quo, develops new ideas and gets her energy out of the challenge. She started her career at Daimler, studied Nonprofit-Management and travelled the world. Just to learn that everything she always seeked was working in a diverse field. After working for different accelerators & incubators and failing & learning with her own startups she joined GERMANTECH. As the Managing Director she loves bringing together diverse stakeholders to learn from each other and work on a sustainable future.

    Prof. Dr. Torsten Oltmanns, Regional Chair Berlin-Brandenburg, AmCham Germany

    Torsten Oltmanns teaches as professor for economics and economic policy in Berlin and Innsbruck. After several years as a manager in politics, administration and industry and a carreer as consultant in international firms, he founded his own company, the "Center Sustainable Transformation". The center combines the analytical and creative skills of a think tank with the methods of a consultancy and supports companies and NGOs to succeed in their transformations. He is Chair of AmCham Germany's Regional Chapter Berlin-Brandenburg.

    Carolin Schäufele, CEO & Managing Editor, SHE works!

    Photo Copyright: Sarah Reamaker

    Carolin Schäufele is the founder of "SHE works!", the business and career magazine and platform dedicated to female entrepreneurs. The digital magazine addresses a variety of topics and niche issues relevant to female founders helping them to manage the short and long term challenges ahead.

    Since its founding in 2015, "SHE works!" and its quarterly e-magazine reaches up to 950,000 readers.

    Xenia Scholl, Co-Founder and COO, Aitonomi AG

    Xenia Scholl is a proud awardee of the AmCham Germany Female Founders Award 2019. She is Co-Founder and COO of Aitonomi AG, which operates in Germany with its subsidiary TeleRetail GmbH. Xenia Scholl focuses on transport automation technology developments for vehicles of different sizes and shapes: from large industrial vehicles to small retail robots. The proprietary Aitonomi Autopilot software enables fully autonomous operations of transport vehicles with payloads up to 55t. Xenia Scholl has more than 15 years professional IT experience and a strong passion for the development and implementation of technology innovations. Xenia Scholl successfully completed many national and international innovative projects for Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, LG Electronics, and Kansai Electric. She cooperates with international partners such as NEOM and TK Elevator.

    Andreas Schwaiger, Vice President, Managing Director Germany, Texas Instruments Deutschland GmbH

    Andreas Schwaiger started his professional career at Texas Instruments (TI) in 1997, working in a variety of roles across different functions before being appointed Managing Director of TI Germany and Vice President. He is a member of the AmCham Germany Executive Committee, is wholeheartedly engaged in initiatives like NextGen and a jury member of the Female Founders Award since its start. Andreas Schwaiger is excited to uphold TI’s commitment to STEM development from school through university to a career in Engineering, particularly focusing female development in these areas. As executive sponsor of TI’s CSR branch in EMEA, he is strongly engaged in the team’s efforts, supporting initiatives like Girl’s Day and Female Tech Leaders, and acts as mentor for the initiative #BayFID supporting female talents in digital professions. For him, TI’s commitment to drive innovation and support start-up initiatives matches perfectly to the engagement with the AmCham Female Founders award.

    Previous Winners

    Winners 2023: 

    Honorable Mentions 2023:


    Winners 2022:

    Honorable Mentions 2022:

    • Lara Obst, Co-Founder & Climate Officer, THE CLIMATE CHOICE
    • Anne-Sophie Panzer, Co-Founder & Head of Creators, ZAUBAR 


    Winners 2021:

    Honorable Mentions 2021:

    Watch the video from our Transatlantic Evening 2021


    Winners 2019:

    Honorable Mentions 2019:

    Watch the video from our Transatlantic Evening 2019

    Award Benefits

    The award recipients will become part of AmCham Germany's network and will be granted a free Associate Membership for three years. It includes the following benefits:

    Networking & Events

    • Receive access to AmCham Germany’s global & regional networks to key decision makers from business & politics, U.S. entities in Germany such as the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulates, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AmChams in Europe (ACE) network.
    • Recipients will be introduced via e-mail to three top-level representatives from AmCham Germany’s corporate members.
    • Become part of AmCham Germany’s Female Leaders Platform, which provides opportunities to connect with former award recipients, as well as high-level female leaders and founders among AmCham Germany’s membership and beyond.
    • Receive invitations to AmCham Germany’s signature events (Annual Membership Meeting; Transatlantic Business Conference; Female Founders Award) for free for the duration of three years.
    • Get listed in AmCham Germany’s Online Membership Portal (planned for 2024)

    Member Services

    • Free of Charge publication of a “Member Offer” and/or “Job Offer” on AmCham Germany’s website
    • Get access to basic business services, for example information on market entry into Germany/U.S.; support on visa-or drivers license-related issues
    • Get direct access to AmCham Germany’s publications, such as the Annual Report, the Business Barometer, the TOP50 ranking, as well as position papers evolving around the work of our policy committees
    • Get direct access to AmCham Germany’s newsletters “Chamber News” & The Navigator"


    • Gain visibility for you and your company through our communications channels at the Female Founders Award Ceremony and beyond
    • Enhance your company’s profile through sponsoring opportunities at Signature-& Regional Events (additional fees apply)
    • Get access to promotional spotlights in AmCham Germany’s publications and other media data (additional fees apply)


    Barbara Biemann-Bennke

    Manager, Strategic Partnerships, Regional Coordination & Events

    Biemann Bennke
    Tidarat Schneider

    Manager, Strategic Partnerships, Regional Coordination & Events