Female Founders Award 2021

Innovation Meets Sustainability: Helmke and Piechotta Win the Female Founders Award

As part of the Transatlantic Evening, AmCham Germany presented on April 27, 2021, the Female Founders Award to two female founders who prevailed in the application process with their innovative and successful business models. 

The winners are:

-Hannah Helmke, Founder & CEO, right. based on science
-Julia Piechotta, Founder & CEO, Spoontainable

Right. based on science, founded by Hannah Helmke in 2016, is a provider of climate metrics and software. Helmke and her colleagues can use a specially developed model to calculate, for example, the contribution of a company or investment portfolio to global warming. The start-up's goal is to create more transparency on the topic of sustainability while highlighting the opportunities and risks of climate change. As Managing Director Hannah Helmke explains: "Climate change truly is a global challenge and both Germany and the US have a crucial role to play in making a future below two degrees possible. I feel very honored to receive this award and hope that it will provide opportunities to exchange with business leaders on how to measure and manage the alignment of business activities with the <2°C-target."

Spoontainable has revolutionized eating ice cream with the first edible spoon. Made from scrap cocoa or oat shavings, the spoons are sustainable and environmentally friendly. In addition to the spoons,  Julia Piechotta and her company also offer edible drinking straws and other edible cutlery. “I am incredibly proud to be one of the recipients of this year's Female Founders Award of the AmCham. Together with our team, we do incredible things every day to make the world a little bit more sustainable. I am all the more pleased that we, as a female founding team, can act as role models and serve as an inspiration to all future founders,” explains Julia Piechotta.

Business models for the future 

In addition to the innovative strength of the business model, financing and growth figures were also evaluated in the selection process. "We are very pleased to award this year two passionate founders whose business models are setting signs for the future. With their ideas, both want to actively shape the path towards more sustainability and the business models have the potential to do so. It is precisely such innovative ideas that we need in the fight against climate change on both sides of the Atlantic," says Simone Menne, Executive Vice President of AmCham Germany.

Jury member Torsten Oltmanns, Chairman of the Berlin Chapter of AmCham Germany, emphasizes: "The two winners are role models for women to become entrepreneurs themselves. Far too few women start their own businesses. This has to change and with our award we want to contribute to giving more visibility to female founders."

A Marshall Plan for women

For women to start their own businesses more often, there needs to be a Marshall Plan for their endeavours, recommends Krista Pilot, Senior Vice President for Public Policy, Government Affairs and Communications at PepsiCo Europe, who spoke at the award ceremony yesterday. AmCham Germany's Female Founders Award highlights how many successful female founders there are and how much potential there is in their companies. "We need to take this opportunity to re-construct our approach to women’s economic activity," she adds. A Marshall Plan could include funding opportunities, mentoring programs, further education, and many other measures to sustain women's business ideas. 

Other speakers at the ceremony included Kathryn Harrison, Founder & CEO of Fixfake, Dr. Marianne Janik, Chair of the Executive Board of Microsoft Germany, Simone Menne, Executive Vice President of AmCham Germany

The event was moderated by Chelsea Spieker, Event Host and Podcast Presenter.

The following founders were shortlisted:

-Dr. Sophia Doll, Co-Founder & Managing Director, OmicEra Diagnostics
-Katharina Mayer, Founder & CEO, Kuchentratsch
-Dr. Amelie Wiedemann, Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer, DearEmployee

The independent jury was comprised by:

-Nadine Bütow, Founder of CommsART and member of Digital Media Women e.V. in Berlin
-Dr. Guido Brinkel, Head of Regulatory Policy at Microsoft Germany
-Maria Gross, Managing Director at Germantech
-Carolin Schäufele, Managing Director and Chairwoman at SHE works!
-Andreas Schwaiger, Vice President and Managing Director at Texas Instruments Germany 
-Edith Stier-Thompson, Managing Director at news aktuell

Pressemitteilung auf Deutsch

Heather Liermann

Head of Department

Membership Engagement & Development