This competition’s tackling the male-dominated startup world

Women Startup Competition has entered the fourth year of its crusade to bolster the exposure and predominance of female entrepreneurs. With International Women’s Day just around the corner on 8 March, we’re forced to examine the role women play in the world today. Advances have been made, no doubt, even in the male-dominated arena of technology, with the international prominence of female icons such as IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, HP CEO Meg Whitman, and of course, everyone’s favourite COO Sheryl Sandberg. But there is still imbalance, particularly in the world of entrepreneurship, and this is something that the competition aims to address and rectify.

This competition's tackling the male-dominated startup world

The Woman Startup Competition is a contest with a wholly inclusive aim: to democratise entrepreneurship, opening it up to a more female demographic. Semifinals have been held far and wide all over Europe, from Helsinki to Vienna, with the final of the Women Startup Competition held for the first time in London on 1 July 2017.

Gender parity in entrepreneurship is one of the competition’s core objectives, and it’s easy to see why. A 2016 report by the European Startup Monitor found that on average only 14.7% of startups in Europe were founded by female entrepreneurs. Rounded to the nearest integer, that’s 9/10 European startups founded by men. France and Sweden fared slightly better amongst these, at 26.7% and 33.3% respectively. Still, if that’s the best we can muster we’ve still got a long way to go.


Founder of Women Startup Competition Tamás Müller had to say of venture, “We are surrounded by talented entrepreneurs who create innovative ideas and are keen to leave their mark on the industry; however, many of them need assistance to achieve international growth. We created this programme to help these startups, of balanced and gender diverse background.”

The 14 lucky teams to pass the various semifinal competitions will head to London, where they’ll undergo a five day mentoring program, with the competition culminating in one final pitch. Müller paid homage to London as an enterprising cosmopolis replete with opportunity, energy, and most important, investors. “We are extremely excited to be announcing that the Women Startup Competition 2017 final will be held in London. We believe this fast-moving entrepreneurial environment provides a greater opportunity for our contestants to take the next step towards a successful future and gives them a better chance to engage with startup investors,” she said.


Andrea Lukács, organising partner of Women Startup Competition was similarly enthused. “We are creating great opportunities for women to get noticed and become successful in the constantly growing startup and investor community. Our aim is to attract the attention of business decision makers, highlighting the importance of female participation in businesses – as one of the key players to achieve economic competitiveness – due to their talent, entrepreneurial and professional competence. We encourage all of the teams to conquer global markets by building a gender diverse, entrepreneur and investor community culture, whose members are not only determined, but also actively cooperating, motivating and financially supporting gender diversity in our future.”

Hear, hear. Empowerment through enterprise, what’s not to love? In the meantime, you can keep up with Women Startup Competition here.

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