Female Founders Award 2024

Pictured: Awardees and Honorable Mentions of the Female Founders Award 2023 Ceremony in Berlin.
Photo credit: Christian Kruppa.

Award Ceremony in Berlin on March 20, 2024

About the Female Founders Award

On March 20, 2024, the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham Germany) will present its Female Founders Award for the fifth time in Berlin. Two female (co-)founders will receive the award to celebrate and honor their achievements and to empower them by increasing their visibility and extending their network. They serve as an inspiration and motivation for other women across Germany to become entrepreneurs. Launched in 2019 by AmCham Germany, 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 the American entrepreneurial spirit, German entrepreneurship as well as the activities of AmCham Germany under the context of entrepreneurship and diversity.

Plesae note: The application and nomination period for the Female Founders Award 2024 is now closed. We thank all applicants and nominators for their submissions and will notify recipients in February once this year's winners have been decided!

Award Benefits

The award recipients will become part of AmCham Germany's network and will be granted a free Associate Membership for three years. Furthermore, recipients will be introduced via e-mail to three top-level representatives from AmCham Germany’s corporate members, gain visibility for themselves and their businesses through our communications channels, and become a part of our Female Leaders Platform, which provides an outstanding opportunity to connect with high-level female leaders and founders. For more information on the detailed benefits see below.

Selection Process

Together with our cooperation partners, AmCham Germany publicly called for the nomination of candidates for the Female Founders Award 2024 until January 28, 2024.  In February, an independent selection jury will select the award winners who will be announced and honored at the Award Ceremony on March 20, 2024, in Berlin

Selection Criteria

  • You are the female (co-)founder of a company or start-up (innovative technology or business model)
  • Your company has been successfully positioned on the market for 2-5 years and is not older than 10 years
  • Healthy growth and a solid and growing customer base is shown
  • The turnover of the company was at least 100,000 Euros in the last business year or your company can account for an equivalent turnover relevant engagement (e.g. paid pilot) or the company raised public funding/investment of at least 500,000 euros
  • You have a well-defined market in your segment
  • Your team is comprised of at least 5 people
  • There are leading media and established blogs that have already reported on you and speak for your visibility
  • You are currently well funded and you have a clear vision for the future and growth of your company for the next 5 years

 

Sponsoring Opportunities

Is your company or organization interested in partnering up with us for our Female Founders Award? Click here to view our special sponsorship opportunities exclusively available for AmCham Germany members.

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"

Visibility

  • 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)

 

Winners 2023

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

Natalya Nepomnyashcha, Founder Netzwerk Chancen

About Natalya Nepomnyashcha

Born in Kiev in 1989, Natalya Nepomnyashcha grew up in a socially deprived area in Bavaria. Without ever having obtained her A-Levels, she got a Master's degree in Great Britain in 2012. After studying international relations, she worked for one of the world's largest management consultancies and an NGO from West Africa, among others. In 2016, she founded Netzwerk Chancen as a side hustle. Since its foundation, Natalya has been running the company on a voluntary basis alongside her full-time job

About Netzwerk Chancen

Netzwerk Chancen is a social start-up that improves career opportunities for people from disadvantaged social backgrounds. We provide free career support for over 1,800 young adults incl. coaching, workshops, mentoring and jobs. We also push for social change and campaign for equal opportunities for children, youths and adults from underprivileged families. Additionally, we support companies in their endeavours to internalize social diversity.

Irene Selvanathan, CEO & Founder, NEUROSPACE

About Irene Selvanathan 

As project lead at a satellite company, she developed the tracking system based on remote sensing data and GROOVE, a CubeSat designed for fast on-orbit verification of hardware in space. From 2015 to 2020 she was the Project Lead at a launch providing company responsible for a separation system for small satellites, which was successfully launched on multiple missions for Soyuz-Rocket. For more than two years she worked at the aviation company as a project manager for multiple projects and has a scientific background in the field of GaN-Electronics working at a scientific institute. Irene holds a Dipl.-Ing. degree in electrical engineering from the TU-Berlin.

About NEUROSPACE

NEUROSPACEis a NewSpace company based in Berlin. NEUROSPACE was founded in 2020 by a group of experienced engineers in the fields of software, hardware, physics, and space engineering. Our approach is to keep up the NewSpace approach by standardized and cost reducing technology. With HiveR we created a novel concept of a modular, affordable, and adaptable rover platform for Moon and Earth application.

The following founders earned the distinction of Honorable Mention for their participation in AmCham Germany’s Female Founders Award in 2023: 

Dr. Kathrin Goldammer, CEO & Co-Founder, Localiser RLI GmbH 

About Dr. Kathrin Goldammer

Kathrin Goldammer is an electrical engineer and physicist, and serves both as the managing director of the Reiner Lemoine Institute in Berlin as well as the CEO of Localiser. Kathrin is also one of the co-founders of the international Women in Green Hydrogen network and has numerous honorary appointments and council positions. Among other things, she serves as the spokesperson for energy technology in the German capital region and she is the co-chair of the Berlin climate mitigation council. Her favorite topics besides the energy transition are diversity in STEM, leadership and new work.

About Localiser 

Localiser is a tech-startup that develops software for electric mobility infrastructure planning. The company’s full name is Localiser RLI GmbH and it was founded by Kathrin Goldammer and Oliver Arnhold in 2018. Localiser provides the numbers and tools that charge point operators and utility companies need in order to find the best locations for future charging points, forecast their performance and make sound business decisions. The Localiser algorithm is completely digital, data-driven and web-based. Apart from e-mobility, Localiser also applies its data science and platform-expertise to other low-carbon infrastructure issues and developed Germany’s first regional hydrogen marketplace, facilitating projects between partners and making it easys to start building a hydrogen economy.

 

Maxie Matthiessen, CEO & Founder of FEMNA Health GmbH

About Maxiw Matthiessen 

Matthiessen is an internationally award-winning entrepreneur with a passion for women's health & social impact. She has founded two companies, Ruby Cup and FEMNA Health. Next to her entrepreneurial life, she consults and offers pitch training for various startups and companies. The following are some of her clients: VW, Vodafone, Bertelsmann Stiftung, Impact Hub Berlin and GTECH. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, she worked in corporate strategy & development, drafted studies for the UN General Assembly, consulted on micro-finance topics, and organized high-level roundtable discussions at the EU Parliament. Maxie Mattthiessen holds a Master degree in International Business & Politics and Bachelor degree in Business, Language & Culture from the Copenhagen Business School and was a visiting student at the Universidad Autónoma (Madrid) and University of California (Berkeley).

About FEMNA Health GmbH

FEMNA Health is Germany’s leading e-Health platform offering education about and therapeutic solutions for women’s health.  

 

Leitha Matz
finmarie GmbH

About Leitha Matz

With 20 years of successful technology project launches in the US and Germany, Leitha Matz, PMP, now resides in Berlin. She is Chief Product Officer and co-founder alongside CEO Karolina Decker and CMO Rica Klitzke at finmarie: Europe’s first financial platform by and for women. Leitha also co-founded the award-winning German FinTech Zuper GmbH, as well as Mind the Gap (MtG) e.V., a nonprofit community organization focused on advancing financial equality for women. Previous work included launching data products for The Adecco Group’s Global Tech Center, developing online customer service operations for logistics company FedEx, and building ecommerce systems for FreshDirect.com (acquired in 2021 by Ahold Delhaize). Leitha is also a frequent speaker and startup mentor, and was a co-author of “Finanzen Sind Weiblich,” a handbook for women’s financial independence, published in 2022 by Gabal Verlag.

About finmarie

Founded in 2018, finmarie is a B2C financial platform that focuses on helping women launch their journeys in investment and financial strength. finmarie creates a hybrid human-digital model that helps women to get savings, insurance and investment on track with e-learning, a personalised portfolio quiz, a robo-advisor and partner fintech tools. Backed by High-Tech Gründerfonds and Wallstreet:Online AG, the team is working to create gender equality by bridging the financial gaps women face in pay, pension and investment, and was independently rated by Vested VC as a "High Impact Company" (65/100 score) with direct positive impact on 5 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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 2022:

Honorable Mentions 2022:

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

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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

Barbara Biemann-Bennke

Manager, Strategic Partnerships, Regional Coordination & Events

Biemann Bennke
Tidarat Schneider

Manager, Strategic Partnerships, Regional Coordination & Events

Schneider