Guest post from our Contributor Kalie Moore.
Kalie writes a blog, Berlin Startup Girl, that documents her personal experiences in the international startup scene from Armenia to Tel Aviv to Paris, and to share all things hot in Silicon Allee.
Follow her on twitter at: @KalieMoore
About the Berlin Startup Scence: Guide for Women
The startup world isn’t known as being pro-women, and Berlin is no different. A report called The Startup Revolution: The Global Rise of Startup Ecosystems and How They Compare used data collected from more than 50,000 startups using its proprietary benchmarking tool and ranked ecosystems based on numerous factors. Of the European cities ranked, Berlin had the lowest percentage of female entrepreneurs with a mere 3%, compared to 7% in Paris and 9% in London. In contrast, Santiago, New York City and Toronto had the highest percentage of female entrepreneur with 20%, 18%, and 18% respectively. I, personally, have issues with some of the methodology of this report, and it is worth noting that it came out in 2012, which is about a century ago in the startup world. However, this report served a purpose – plenty of organizations for women in tech began to sprout up in Berlin around this time. If you are a woman interested in building a startup in Berlin, here are resources you should know about, plus a look at women-owned startups in Berlin that secured funding in 2014.
The Berlin Geekettes are a community of women dedicated to helping aspiring and established female tech innovators. They believe that the more women get involved with tech design, development and leadership, the more successful and diverse our companies and products will be in the future. They are now a global organization with chapters in Hamburg, NYC, Twin Cities, London, and Portugal.
I joined the Geekettes right after I moved to Berlin, and in addition to meeting tons of women who would become friends and collaborators, I took part in their five month long internship program (in partnership with Google). The goal is to connect participants with inspiring women who lend their support while you are advancing your career, setting goals, and expanding your skills. I was paired with serial entrepreneur Chanyu Xu who co- founded Customer Alliance, EatÜber, and is now the founder of EatFirst, a Rocket Internet company. She gave invaluable advice and opened plenty of doors.
Last year, the Geekettes hosted their first European Demo Day, in cooperation with 500 Startups and sponsored by Google & Hub:raum. Ten startup founders were selected and given the exciting opportunity of pitching in front of a room of VCs, angels and investors.
They also host numerous hackathons and workshops on skills including negotiations.
Witas Berlin is a more casual and social environment that aims to bring together women working in tech, media and startups in Berlin. They do meetups and events like the Girl Geek Dinner (where men are welcome as plus ones).
WEFOUND, also known as World Women Startups & Entrepreneurs Foundation, combines personal development and business. They host a variety of different workshops about how to start up your venture, as well as networking events like after work drinks and founders dinners.
Female Owned Startups that Raised Money in 2014
I prepared a 2014 Funding Analysis of the Berlin Startup Scene, and it was turned into an awesome infographic that you can check out here. It includes a comprehensive list of the 134 Berlin startups that announced funding. I scanned the data and pulled the startups where I knew the co-founders were women (this method obviously isn’t perfect; if I missed your startup let me know in the comment section).
- Outfittery, which has two female co-founders, raised a €13M funding round led by US-based VC Highland Capital Partners. Existing investors Holtzbrinck Ventures, Mangrove Capital Partners, High-Tech Gründerfonds, RI Digital Ventures and IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft’s VC fund, Kreativwirtschaft Berlin, also contributed to the round.
- Amorelie received a seven-digit seed funding round from Partech Ventures, Paua Ventures, Simile Ventures, Taishan Invest and business angels.
- Career Foundry raised a seed round from Passion Capital.
- Clue App raised multiple rounds led by business angel Christophe Maire, with Joanne Wilson, New York-based Luminary Labs Ventures and existing investor Thomas Madsen-Mygdal also contributing.
- Kisura announced a six-figure funding round from Singaporean VC Brilliant Heights Pte Ltd.
- Bloomy Days, Edition F, Junique, RetentionGrid, and Videopath also raised funds in 2014.
Berlin Women to Follow on Twitter
Jess Erickson, founder of the Berlin Geekettes, created this extremely handy public list of Female Tech Founders in the EU to follow on Twitter. While the list includes women in other startup ecosystems, the majority are based in Berlin.
Send us your tips on other great things happening in the Berlin Startup scene and we will be glad to share them here!
Photo of Brandenburg Gate by Raul DS, on Flickr