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Today on the blog, we invited Lena from Female Founders Austria to share some insights from the local startup scene. Read her full interview👇
Hi Lena, thanks for being a guest on our Blog! First of all, can you tell us a bit about your current focus? What are you working on right now?
Hi, thanks for having me! At Female Founders we are currently working on building a European ecosystem for female entrepreneurial minds. That means that we are joining forces with all active players in Europe, mostly founders, investors, leaders, and everyone that is also pushing for more diversity in the scene in order to maximize impact.
We cover the whole funnel of female entrepreneurship. From inspiration (online events and more) to acceleration (for existing startups) to leadership (for corporates and entrepreneurial employees).
Female Founders is pushing female entrepreneurship in Europe. What are some up-to-date successes that you’re much proud of?
The COVID crisis was a great challenge but also brought some strong benefits for us. We’ve brought all our offers online: Events, our accelerator program, and our leadership program. What is more, it really kickstarted our internationalization effort. With everyone working from home and with locations decreasing in importance, our international network when it comes to investors, startups and ambassadors have surged!
More concrete, some of my startup accelerator alumni, like myBioma, were able to raise outstanding fundraising rounds in this tough market environment. That always makes me proud and happy.
Female Founders is a fast-growing community for female entrepreneurial minds in Europe currently counting more than 5000 members. Are there any Austria-based entrepreneurs that inspire you at the moment, and why?
Barbara Sladek from myBioma, I’ve just mentioned them, is one that is raising great rounds currently and continuously improving their performance. Nathalie Goldstein from myExpatTaxes has not only recently become a mother but is also pushing her startup to amazing growth rates in the last months. What is more, we can see an increase in fundraising rounds in Austria and also in ecosystem activity in general. It’s great to be part of it.
Reaching product-market fit without funding — yay or nay?
Definitely yay. There are tons of examples of entrepreneurs that have bootstrapped amazing businesses even until exit. Of course, every entrepreneur needs to take a closer look at herself how she wants to grow her business. To take investors in has both potential up- and downsides. Of course, you give up control but they can also bring incredible network and know-how. Besides the valuable capital!
Top 5 books to feed an entrepreneurial mindset — go!
- The Growth Mindset — Dr. Carol S. Dweck (Challenges our attitude towards failure)
- The Lean Startup — Eric Ries (you should read it at the very beginning of your entrepreneurial journey to save a lot of time and mistakes)
- Think Like a Freak — Eric/Dubbner (Shows you how to see the world with different eyes)
- Making of a Manager — Julie Zhuo (If you start to manage a team. It’s super hands-on and amazing advice)
- Homo Deus — Yuval Noah Harari (my all-time favorite, discusses technology trends and sparks ideas!)
We don’t give a gap anymore. What should change for Austria to reach complete gender equality in the workplace / in business?
There are too many things that need to change to discuss them in this format. But the first things to start:
-The political agenda (has a huge impact!)
-The mindset of leaders (especially in the corporate world)
-How the concept of work is realized (to make it fit for the reality of the majority of women)
How can ambitious readers of this interview gain value by joining Female Founders?
If you are interested in joining our quest for more diversity in the European ecosystem, you best sign-up for our newsletter, where we collect all opportunities: http://bit.ly/FF_newsletter_signup
If you have anything that we should share there, feel free to reach out to me personally in order to join our ambassador network, our accelerator, our leadership program, and more.
Looking forward to getting connected and thank you for the amazing questions!