What challenges are women facing when launching a start-up? We have discussed with start-up founders and experts in a virtual panel moderated by Caroline Widmer, Director at Pulse Incubator. Our diverse panel consisted of:
- Hanna Borka, Founder of HarpeIMage, professional harpist and visual artist
- Melina Dimoula, Business Development & Strategy at Decentriq SA
- Evelina Georgieva, Co-Founder & Business Development Pryv SA
- Charlotte Broccard, illustrator and media interaction designer, currently developing TÊT, a video game about Vietnamese cuisine
- Patrick Hertzog, Co-Founder & User Experience Officer at Nexthink
In the following, you can find some takeaways from the discussion.
Diversity from the very beginning
Start-ups have a unique opportunity to start from scratch by defining and shaping their culture. Many start-ups take great efforts in building diverse communities from the beginning by promoting diversity inside and outside their organisation, such as Nexthink. The visibility and public image of start ups is often used to spark interest in technology, e.g. at schools.
Compared to organizations that have been established years ago, start-ups have a strategic advantage when it comes to building a diverse culture and community – when they are committed to diversity from the beginning.
Focus on user experience
The tech industry increasingly focuses on individual experiences – rather than the technology used to provide these experiences. Here, women can be a key factor in order to provide a unique and intuitive experience. Typically female attributed virtues such as empathy and emotional intelligence are being appreciated and valued more and more in the tech world.
This also applies to start ups that are developing user-focused products, such as applications like HarpeIMage which is being developed by Hanna.
Passion will pay off
When being passionate about your start up and excitement fuels you every day, whatever you do won’t feel like a job. This is especially important for those feeling stuck in their current projects and jobs.
Do what you’re good at – and it won’t feel like a job.
Explore different cultures
Even though there are many investors and opportunities in Switzerland, the start up community in culture is a tough place. While you are struggeling in one culture, you might be thriving in another. Exploring different places might also be a way to get out of your comfort zone and expand your horizon. Remote work has opened up a lot of doors – also for start-up founders.
Reimagine use cases
Sometimes it can feel like everything has already been explored. Stereotypes have been cemetented over the last years, and it’s almost impossible to shake the ground with new ideas.
As woman, we have a unique opportunity as we can see common technology such as games from a different perspective. This allows us to imagine new use cases with known technology, such as TÊT by Charlotte, a cooking game that lets you explore the Vietnamese cuisine.
We would like to thank our panelists, moderators, and all participants for taking part in the Being A Woman in the Start up World panel! Thank you for providing a space where experiences can be shared, and where we can support each other.
Authors: Emilie Dondelet, Lisa Stähli