Female Founders Award Ceremony 2024

AmCham Germany hosted its fifth Female Founders Award Ceremony. This year, two female founders have distinguished themselves with innovative solutions spanning various industries.
Photo copyright: Kathrin Leisch/AmCham Germany

AmCham Germany’s fifth Female Founders Award Ceremony took place at the Microsoft Berlin Office, spotlighting the inspiring narratives of five female entrepreneurs and honoring the achievements of their business endeavors.

Dr. Marianne Janik, CEO of Microsoft Germany and the Award's Patron, kicked-off the event. In her address, she underscored the award's significance in AmCham Germany's mission to cultivate a diverse and innovative business landscape while spotlighting female entrepreneurs. Dr. Janik stressed the importance of the award as more than mere recognition, but as a proactive initiative to elevate the visibility of brave, successful female business leaders. She highlighted the notable disparity in the ratio of female founders in Germany and advocated for collaborative efforts across transatlantic communities to nurture conducive environments for entrepreneurial success, recognizing the need for substantial progress from the current 20% representation of female founders among the start-up ecosystem.

Delivering the keynote speech, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Dr. Amy Gutmann, emphasized the pivotal role of empowering women as an investment in democratic success. She emphasized the imperative of instilling values that champion innovative and diverse thinking, particularly through educational platforms. Ambassador Gutmann elucidated on the value of the Empower Her Initiative, originated by the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the AmChams in Europe Network (ACE), aimed at bridging the funding gap between women-led and men-led startups, currently at a ratio of 6:1. She stressed the necessity for more female representation in decision-making processes, advocating for inclusive innovation as a priority. Ambassador Gutmann highlighted the transformative potential of diversity in driving corporate innovation, underscoring inclusivity as a critical driver of success.

Prof. Dr. Torsten Oltmanns, AmCham Germany Chapter Chair Berlin-Brandenburg and Managing Director at the Center for Sustainable Transformation at Quadriga University hosted the award ceremony and, together with Dr. Marianne Janik, announced the two winners of this year:

  • Viktoria Kanar, Co-Founder & CEO, Re-Fresh Global
  • Carmen Rommel, Co-Founder & COO, BIOVOX

Re-Fresh Global is disrupting the textile industry through its ground-breaking technology which transforms textile waste into new raw materials. The company confronts the global problem of textile waste that affects industries, government, and the social sector. Using innovative techniques, the company has developed one solution and three products which aim to radically change the direction of the existing linear textile industry.

BIOVOX pioneers medical grade bioplastics for 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 and sustainability expertise enables its customers to implement sustainable materials faster and cheaper than any other way.

In addition, the following founders were shortlisted:

  • Dr. Gesa Biermann, Co-Founder & CEO of Pina Earth
  • Julia Kahle, Co-Founder & CEO of heynanny
  • Vivian Loftin, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Recyda

To conclude the award ceremony, a short panel discussion took place between the award recipients and moderator Xenia Scholl, Co-Founder & COO, Aitonomi AG, and Female Founders Award Recipient 2019. Together, they gave insights to their respective views and experience in their entrepreneurial endeavors, the background of their businesses, and their goals as female founders. Alexa Gorman, Deputy Chairperson of The Supervisory Board at High-Tech Gründerfonds and Co-Founder of encourageventures e.V., also delivered a brief talk on "The Power of Networks to Scale Startups" and actively participated in the subsequent discussion. In her address, she emphasized the significance of networks such as encourageventures and AmCham Germany for female entrepreneurs, highlighting their pivotal role in fostering support and opportunities for startup growth.

We wish to thank our cooperation partner, Microsoft Germany, and especially our Award Patron, Dr. Marianne Janik for the generous support and commitment to the Female Founders Award. We also thank the Empower Her Initiative for their support of our award.

A warm thank you goes to our platinum partner AlixPartners, our gold partners Coca Cola Germany and Texas Instruments, our silver partner, Lilly Deutschland, as well as our media and network partners Digital Media Women, SHE Works!, Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie, encourageventures, Grace, GERMANTECH, GreenbergTraurig, herCAREER, Transatlantic Female Forum, and think.speak.transform.

Last but not least, a heartfelt thank you goes to our jury and to all the inspiring women who applied to this year’s award with their unique stories and business models.

For more detailed information please contact:

Heather Liermann

Head of Department

Membership Engagement & Development