Programs by the Digital Hubs & the Digital Hub Initiative
Leipzig Summer School for Diverse Start-ups
The Digital Hub Smart Infrastructure Leipzig has been organizing Leipzig Summer School for Diverse Start-ups since 2021. Founders can expect workshops with mentors on topics including financing, marketing, sales, HR, leadership and professional pitch training. There is also time to get to know other founders and talk to experts from the Digital Hub provider SpinLab Leipzig and HHL DIGITAL SPACE network. At the end of the two weeks, Start-ups will present their business idea to the public at a pitch event. Besides female founders, the Summer School supports start-up teams consisting of people of colour and the LGBTQ+ community. SpinLab Leipzig has successfully supported over 100 local and international Start-up teams to secure their first investment enter the market and during their growth phase since 2015. Applications are currently open for this year’s Summer School until May 22. More information here.
Female Founders Days
It’s all about female founders and future women entrepreneurs at the Female Founders Days arranged by the Digital Hub Artificial Intelligence in Karlsruhe. The core of the two-day program is to define and test the potential of digital business ideas. The program focusses on tools to analyse ideas, profile teams, define clients, target groups as well as the business models and pitch training. Networking and the exchange of ideas are an essential part of the program. The Female Founders Days provide excellent preparation for a follow-up start-up consultancy with EXI or the NeuStart Program or prior to application for the Accelerator Program at CyberLab Karlsruhe. More information here.
Female Innovators in Urban Mobility Program and Female Founders Night in Munich
UnternehmerTUM in Munich and European partners have developed an Online Training Program especially for women that offers six modules covering topics like design thinking, sales and negotiation skills and networking opportunities. Target groups are women from mobility companies, cities, academia and start-ups. Female Founders Night brings together founders, investors and other important players to speak about barriers that female founders encounter and what needs to be done to foster more diversity. More information on Female Innovators here and Female Founders Night here.
Start-up Scale Program Female Entrepreneurship
The Start-up Scale Program of the Digital Hub Initiative supports high potential Start-ups from the Digital Hubs. This year sees the second round on Female Entrepreneurship. In joint events, expert events, mentoring and scale-seminars, founders exchange ideas, experiences and talk to representatives of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. Expert events are arranged according to individual interests of 1-2 Start-ups and encourage dialogue with relevant industry experts. The scale-seminars focus on the most important challenges of the Start-ups and are accompanied by a coach. The new batch will start in May. More information here.
Not only tailor-made programs are an important component to increase diversity, also research on the state-of-the-art provides increases awareness in decision-makers. Our Digital Hub Berlin has published a study on gender diversity in German FinTechs. The study determined a considerable backlog in diversity. The percentage of women in founder teams of Germany’s 20 biggest FinTechs only amounts 4%. The underlying reasons are manifold and structural. One of the biggest hurdle is venture capital. Decision-makers in venture capital firms are often not diverse at all and many female founders report about unconscious biases towards their business ideas. The study suggests five fields of action to increase gender diversity in German FinTechs. First, more data and transparency should be made available to the general public. Secondly, gender diversity should be a prerequisite for funding. Thirdly, more commitment of the industry itself is needed. Fourthly, a talent-pipeline should be built consequently and free from discrimination for example by introducing girls and boys equally to coding. Finally yet importantly, networking in the industry and female funds should be further expanded. The whole study can be downloaded here.