Innovators Magazine Special Edition, European Innovation Summit Dec 2020

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European Innovation Summit, Brussels December 2020

EUROPEAN INNOVATION AREA ON THE HORIZON Inside the EUTOP50 Equality and the ‘new normal’




wel c o m e

f rom our hosts


eq u a l i t y c h a l l en g e w omen need capital f ari n es s


fem a l e fo u n d ers EUTOP50 candidates


m eet t h e s p ea ke r s changemaker insight


Innovators Magazine is a OnePoint5media publication



2020 will leave an indelible mark in the history books of human civilisation. But it is where we step next collectively that will decide if the arc of history can still be bent towards a better future for all. One which is sustainable for people and planet and delivers societies that view themselves as part of nature, rather than detached owners free to exploit it. In Europe, those steps are well underway. The EU Green Deal and goal to be climate neutral by 2050 - with an economy contributing netzero greenhouse gas emissions, are cornerstones of Europe’s blueprint for that better future. Realising it though will require a strong culture of innovation - and current plans for a European Innovation Area can help nurture this - and turn soundbites like ‘build back better’ into a reality. To that end, this week’s European Innovation Summit from Knowledge4Innovation (K4I) will be another stepping stone towards growing a European Innovation Area. And your debates and discussions can play a vital part in making the summit a milestone moment in the journey towards creating it. At the heart of it will be changemakers like those in the EUTOP50 startup community, some of whom are featured in this special edition, produced in collaboration with K4I. The world needs good leadership now more than ever: from policymakers, entrepreneurs, big business and across society. Here in Europe, we have an opportunity to show that type of transformative leadership and become the progressive and sustainable global capital of a ‘new normal’ that leaves nobody behind. | Editorial Team: Innovators Magazine accepts no responsibility for any effects from errors or omissions. All material is copyright and reproduction is not permitted without permission. All rights reserved.





Mariya Gabriel

EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth Why we need a European Innovation Area Europe has world class entrepreneurs and innovators. And we must do everything we can to match their ambitions so more go on to become global innovation leaders. I want us to do that by building a pan-European innovation ecosystem of support on their doorstep that accelerates their chances of thriving and making an impact on the international stage. In echoing the growing calls for a European Innovation Area, this year’s European Innovation Summit, organised by the Knowledge4Innovation Forum, is shining a spotlight on exactly the type of big idea we need to deliver for our brightest minds: ‘Towards a European Innovation Area’ is the Summit’s theme. It is an idea that is very close to my heart and a solution that is being co-created with stakeholders from all Member States and the Members of the European Parliament. In our discussions to date we have envisioned a new European single space for innovators and entrepreneurs that will not leave any of the 27 Member States behind, and that will have a specific focus on supporting regions and women and that will provide a pivotal role for Higher Education Institutions to connect innovation ecosystems across Europe. With a truly pan-European innovation ecosystem we can create the conditions for new business ideas to grow like never before. We can also increase our fair share of global tech leaders increasing the number of unicorns that come from Europe, 12% of the global unicorns as of today. Because in their current form our local innovation ecosystems, though vibrant, are too fragmented and disconnected to bridge the gaps that exist. It is time to raise the bar now and go much further in forging a cohesive, interconnected system, where we no longer have a situation where it is easier to contact an investor in Silicon Valley than in Europe. By taking a decentralised co-creation approach we can develop a European Innovation Area that is built by innovators for innovators. One which offers equal access to funding and where startups in one country can easily bid for public contracts in another. Where startups and corporates work more closely together and where there have strong European associations bringing together all the actors of the European innovation ecosystems. I want us to achieve this and to nurture a networking culture fit for the 21st century, where all players are able to easily connect at a local and European level. And I also want to see the increased participation of women-led startups. On the last point, it is great to see the successes being achieved by this year’s EUTOP50 female founder finalists. Among the most exciting entrepreneurs working in Europe today, they are living proof that with self-confidence we can do anything. I am truly inspired by their stories, which have given me the energy to work even harder to empower women in Europe and beyond. They are the positive role models we need to help motivate and attract more girls and women to innovation and entrepreneurship. I urge these female founders, and all involved in this year’s European Innovation Summit - as well as those in the wider innovation community, to reach out to me and share their actionable ideas for how we continue to take European innovation forward together.





Maria da Graรงa Carvalho, MEP

Chair of the Knowledge4Innovation Forum in the European Parliament

The European Innovation Summit reaches its 12th anniversary and represents again the perfect opportunity to speak about research and innovation, together with the friends of Knowledge4Innovation and its wide community of partners. We always try to keep up with the times, but this year is a special one, given the increased digitalisation of our activities. For the first time ever, we are having a virtual Summit, all online. The pandemic and the need to recover from all its impacts show once again how innovation must be a central element in the European answer. Doctors, researchers, teachers, business owners, and many others, have seen how innovation was the main resource they had to fight against an unprecedented situation. It is about the discovery of a vaccine, but also about how to palliate the symptoms or to help those infected by the virus. It is about finding new ways to communicate with our loved ones when we could not leave our homes, how teachers could make students engage from the other side of the screen, or how companies could step up in the digital transformation to be able to maintain their businesses in a changing ecosystem. Innovation is the cornerstone of the European plans, but also of the national measures to implement the recovery package. Innovation is the main driver to achieve the targets to ensure that we move to a greener and digital society and economy, whilst ensuring a strategic and open resilience. Less than one month ago, Knowledge4Innovation organized one of the first events launching the idea of a European Innovation Area, which will be developed under the guidance of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel. On that occasion, we stressed together how investing in innovation means investing in the European way of doing things. We can then be more resilient, autonomous and set our standards worldwide when it comes to emerging technologies. The 12th European Innovation Summit is devoted to finding the proper ways to boost the European Innovation Area and make our European innovators worldwide champions. We will touch upon the role of innovation in the recovery plan, but also the need to boost it to achieve the targets to reduce fossil emissions in the proposed timeframe. The construction of an ecosystem where innovation can flourish is a precious objective that a European Innovation Area can contribute to. We need to attract talents, to nourish their efforts and protect their rights to work. Women are particularly disadvantaged as women innovators face even more hardship to get funds or access to resources and this is why I am glad that this year we give voice to awarded innovators and other experts that together with Commissioner Gabriel can explore ways to increase the institutional attention towards women-driven initiatives, investments and initiatives. The summit is also about Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, focusing on their impact on society and developing a positive narrative towards these new technologies that promise to change our habits but still hold a certain level of skepticism among European citizens. The topic is very wide and will be tackled in events with specific angles on health, green transition and competitiveness, but it is through platforms like the K4I European Innovation Summit, that we can show how artificial intelligence can have a constructive tangible impact on our daily lives, on our society and on our overall competitiveness.


Roland Strauss Founder Knowledge4Innovation

QUESTION: QUO VADIS INNOVATION IN EUROPE? ANSWER: TOWARDS A EUROPEAN INNOVATION AREA Now is the time to rethink our relationship with nature, putting climate, environment and natural resources at the heart of future policies. Protecting and restoring nature is the greatest long-term investment we can make for present and future societies. To create the impact needed, we must develop and deploy innovative solutions resulting in a sustainable and circular economy and society. Covid-19 is a great wake-up call. Not only does it give us an example of what a health (or climate) emergency can be like. It also shows us it is an opportunity to rethink our way of life and our economic model. Most importantly however, the crisis showed that we can mobilize citizens and resources in an unprecedented way to face a common challenge. The Corona crisis also made clear how obvious the link is between policy and science, research and innovation. No doubt, economic and political strength will depend more than ever from leadership in technology and innovation. The US and China are the benchmarks. Having organized more than 500 debates around innovation related topics, aiming to make innovation the top priority for Europe and Chefsache, we have seen encouraging developments in recent years, like one pillar in Horizon Europe being entirely dedicated to innovation. While this is a step in the right direction it is not enough. For a long time, we have been thinking of constructs such as a single market for innovation or a European innovation ecosystem, something that we do jointly across Europe and that helps to increase Europe’s innovation performance. Now we finally have it: ‘A European Innovation Area’. While it is still a nice idea and only put forward very recently by the EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, it has already gained traction. During the 12th European Innovation Summit we identified many barriers and actionable ideas to strengthen the European Innovation Area. And we will continue this conversation for years to come. Europe is a knowledge superpower. It has a unique knowledge base developed by almost two million researchers and an annual investment of 200 billion euro that translates very successfully into high numbers of patents and scientific publications. Unfortunately, the great knowledge produced is not sufficiently turned into innovative solutions and fastgrowing, world-leading companies.



If we want to overcome Europe’s innovation deficit and improve the impact from our wealth of knowledge and ideas, we need to improve our support on the journey from knowledge to innovation and market creation. There are many best practice examples, such as turning campuses into innovation ecosystems, and connecting students and PHDs with entrepreneurship centres. However, if we want to tap into the full potential, we need to do more: we must overcome the innovation divide in Europe which is still very significant. The other huge potential lies within an increased investment in women-led VC funds, startups and businesses. I am very proud that we could dedicate our EUTOP50 initiative which started a few years ago with a pitching competition in a plenary hall of a Parliament, the Hemicycle of the European Parliament, to demonstrate during a whole day, the power of women in business. Together with our Chair, Maria da Graça Carvalho, and our political members , the European Partnerships, EIT KICs, universities and other innovation accelerators, we are keen to work with Commissioner Mariya Gabriel to make the European Innovation Area a success story for the benefit of Europe, our citizens, enterprises and common values.

Jara Pascual Founder & CEO Collabwith, Board Member Forum Knowledge4Innovation, Co-founder Managing Director TWOO The Wominvest Observatory

We need a stronger Europe with better innovation, with mission-led innovation. We need innovative and diverse innovation. We are missing opportunities and talent by excluding women and minorities from the innovation conversation. The current situation today that only 2% of women led companies are receiving funding is unacceptable. We need to have open, connected, inclusive innovation ecosystems and need to accept innovation to be not only technology-driven. We need women and diversity in all levels of our European innovation ecosystems, in funds, VCs, business angels, mentors, industry

leaders, academic, innovation managers, business developers, and other ecosystem supporting organizations. The type of communication should be considered neutral, and code of conducts should be mandatory to increase respect for everyone working in innovation. We have the responsibility to balance the unbalance, to bridge the gap of investment of innovation, because money is power. If we invest in women, we empower women. Everyone is creative, and every voice counts to create a better society and a positive future in Europe.


Women innovators being short-changed The fact that women are less involved in entrepreneurial activities is well known, as is the fact that women are less likely to take up technical education, which feeds much of our entrepreneurship and innovation. A wide range of policy actions have been developed and deployed over the years to address the inequality: in the form of awareness campaigns, community building, networking, highlighting role models, nominating ambassadors, as well as direct facilitation and support. Some of these initiatives have been more effective than others, but what is worrying is that it seems to always come in spurts, when a continuous and consistent action is needed. It is telling that the most recent large statistical studies date back to before 2016. While the broader topic of women entrepreneurship is on the radar, the blatant inequality in investment in women led startups and scaleups is much less so. It took a talk show on Dutch national tv in 2018 to make me aware of the extremely low levels of investment in women lead startups and scaleups. Much quoted is the 2% venture capital


investment allocated to women led companies. It was a shocking eye opener, and after doing some research, I began engaging in more discussions on the topic. The first push for sustained action came at the K4I AI and Big data summit at the end of 2019, which was followed up by an excellent debate at the European Innovation Summit in February 2020, which mobilised strong political support in the European Parliament. The more the topic was discussed the more the complexity became clear, and at the same time the lack of general awareness as well as the limited and highly fragmented information and knowledge were painfully prominent. These are the main reasons why we founded the Wominvest platform and its observatory, together with Jara Pascual and Carol Tarr. The main goal is very ambitious: to start a movement for cultural change leading to equal opportunity for investment. The main activities are to build a cross stakeholder community – entrepreneurs, teachers, investors, policy makers – to boost broad awareness, and reduce fragmentation by bringing together ongoing activities

and policies, mobilise decision makers to foster change, and develop a comprehensive knowledge base. At the moment the work is done entirely pro bono, with the help of volunteers. We hope to attract sufficient sponsoring to scale and further professionalise our activities. It is good to see that we are certainly not the only ones actively engaged in addressing the investment inequality. Across the board in Europe, change is happening. In terms of policy, the European Commission is making headway; while in politics, the European Parliament is doing likewise; and within finance, the EIF and EIB are taking much needed action. So we are seeing this increased attention, with concrete actions and studies appearing, and the momentum definitely picking up. Most activities are what I would call downstream, developing





support mechanisms, setting up specific funds, as well as incentivising and facilitating investment in female startups and scaleups, both from the investor and investee perspective. These are all good initiatives, but by themselves they are insufficient. As we have seen in the past with comparable actions, the moment the support or incentive stops, everything goes back to ‘business as usual’ and limited lasting effects are visible unless real cultural change is achieved. Setting cultural change in motion is complex, and although role models, networks, good examples and good practices certainly contribute, they don’t properly address the root causes. These root causes are a difficult beast, they are only partially known and understood, and they are multifacetted. It starts with the

culturally defined position of women in society, and includes diverse elements like education, schooling – including technical curricula, acceptance, perceptions, dreams and equal possibilities – such as regulation and policies that either hamper or foster female entrepreneurship. It also includes the fundaments and criteria for doing business and being successful, and the related financing decisions. Hence, all stakeholders, women themselves, teachers, policy makers, financiers, politicians, need to go through that change. The ultimate goal should be that the ‘business as usual’ is real equality, without specific support and incentives. A careful balance between shorter term downstream actions and long-term actions addressing cultural change and the root causes is needed. The complexity,

lack of deep knowledge and understanding, together with the long term considerations, are some of the reasons policy makers and politicians tend to focus more on the downstream actions. Wominvest does not have the illusion that it can single handedly take away the root causes, but by creating broader awareness, building deeper knowledge and reducing fragmentation, we are committed to making a serious contribution to putting the change in motion. The inequality is not only ethically wrong, it also means that a very large part of our economic capacity and productivity is not used, which is neither acceptable or efficient. The debates at the upcoming 12th European Innovation Summit will certainly be a big next step. After that we need to put the words and good intentions into action.









FEMALE FOUNDERS ART A S H EH U Z A I MI Labbox is a subscription box service that delivers electronic kits on a monthly basis with new projects that kids love to build, that inspire kids for engineering (of ages 7+). The box offers an innovative STEM curriculum and proprietary designed and produced electronic kits that enable kids to build a wide range of hands-on projects. Designed as a subscription learning plan or distinct projects, LabBox teaches kids the fundamental concepts in technology and engineering, powered by gamification mechanics and hands-on practice. As opportunities to actually learn technology hands-on are in scarcity with only 1% of schools offering a STEM curriculum, Labbox is shaping kids for the future.

BĂ RBARA BUADES AI-powered metasearch and guidance in photonics. MEETOPTICS is creating a central point of reference for the photonics industry. Using MEETOPTICS online platform, engineers can learn, discover, and find what they need to create technologies based on photonics, in minutes instead of weeks, while photonics manufacturers can advertise their products centrally. MEETOPTICS has created a search engine for photonics products, listing over 30,000 one year after launch. This search engine is highly customizable and specialised to deal with the technical details of the products, allowing users to quickly find the products they need to build their photonics technology. MEETOPTICS' next steps are to reduce the search complexity by leveraging machine learning, among others, making MEETOPTICS the go-to place for all things photonics.




EUTOP50 C A R ME PLA SENC I A AROMICS is a biotech company committed to the discovery and development of novel drugs and diagnostic methods to target relevant human diseases and improve patient’s quality of life. AROMICS is centred on the development of innovative products, services and science. Our strategy is focused on identifying, selecting and validating novel molecular biomarkers and applying them to: develop novel therapies against identified therapeutic targets; develop diagnostic tools to predict and monitor drug response; predict efficacy, toxicity and safety profiles of novel and existing drugs with greater accuracy. AROMICS offers pharmaceutical and biotech companies partnerships for discovering, validating and developing biomarkers in the context of drug development and diagnosis.

BI AN CA RAN GEC ROF T Whering is a digital wardrobe app that allows you to see everything in your wardrobe from your phone. From there, you can swipe through the ‘Dress Me’ function, which shows you outfit combinations with your clothes. Our other outfit building function is ‘Canvas’, where you can make flatlays and build whole outfits with your clothes. From there, you can add these outfits into your collections for various occasions. Whering also releases weekly capsules based on your style personality, this will be a capsule wardrobe, which you can shop directly through our app. We have automatic cropping and tagging of items in under 15 seconds, and we are working with an AI company to identify wardrobe gaps and give product recommendations accordingly.


16 BETH MASSA Ozarka is a complete system that replaces single-use food containers with high-quality reusable dishes, custom-designed for takeout. Using an innovative system, they make reusable food packaging easy and cost-effective. As an established leader in the reusable food container industry—they offer a lot more than dishes. The “Reusables as a Service” offering means you get a complete solution that slots right into your existing business. They also provide the infrastructure to keep the waste in circulation through allocation, collection, washing, and redistribution. By eliminating one of the biggest sources of plastic waste, the single-use food containers, Ozarka offers customers a great experience in the process.

C H RISTIANE GROS S LactApp is the first mobile app dedicated to breastfeeding and maternity that gives research and evidence based answers to new mothers and questions in a personalised way by applying AI technology. This traction was through entirely organic acquisition of our freemium version and builds the base of our unique data set and knowledge in the field of human lactation. They generate income through B2B collaborations with related products, with health insurance providers and employee benefit programs, but also through optional in-app payments. Currently, they are now looking for the next funding round to further develop their unique technology, R&D projects and international expansion.


Christina will also give a keynote at the Summit.


Autheos is a video intelligence platform that applies artificial intelligence techniques to help brands to systematically measure and improve performance of their video marketing towards consumers. As our product evolves, it becomes increasingly important to clarify and ensure accountability of AI-based systems, such as Autheos. From a product perspective, the focus is on core technical and ethical risks, such as explainability of model results or biases in system decision making. More generally, with the pace of AI adoption accelerating across geographies and industries, so does the urgency to evolve our legal system to address the resulting accountability gap. That said, we must strike the right balance between speed and inclusivity in executing this foundational step towards creating accountability for AI systems.


CRISTINA MARTĂ?N LORENZO eCustoms disrupts and tackles the problems of the traditional sector with the application of blockchain technology which guarantees inviolability and traceability of all transactions in an international proceeding. Due to its cloud solution, scalability is guaranteed, allowing to each a wide spectrum of customers, with different roles and interests in the platform.

CLAUDIA NASSIF & SYLVIE BASLER Our first product is an innovative IoT plant care system which helps people to keep their indoor plants alive and directly connects them to our e-commerce eco-system. This affords our business a significant edge in customer retention and repeat sales, creating high barriers to entry for competitors. Our goal is to promote an environmental mindset and inspire sustainable lifestyle through a positive interaction with plants.








Holiday Sitters is an online babysitters platform designed specially for tourists and expats travelling with their kids, created to fill a need for quality, dependable childcare whilst on vacation. Ela and Galit, the founders of this platform, and parents themselves, have always focused on setting impeccable standards for choosing highly qualified, experienced babysitters and best leveraging technology to connect parents to the sitters. Not only are all sitters certified in first-aid training, they are musicians, artists and athletes. And they are multilingual because at the heart of what Holiday Sitters does, they strive to help you find the best possible fit in terms of a babysitter who shares not only your language but the same cultural values. Eva & Galit will also give a keynote at the Summit.

The Emotions LabÂŽ offers a new and innovative concept not seen until today. Harmonizing your emotional field with one clear objective: getting to the cause of eye bags, redness, winkles, tiredness, loss of light and other pathologies which share their origin in emotions that are disharmonized or stagnant. We are using Bach Flowers essences. Scientific evidence endorses the topic and local application of floral essences as they act over the energetic campus of the body, bringing vibrational energy at a high frequency. The Emotions Lab offers a range of holistic treatments in 6 different emotional fields. All ingredients are natural. and without preservatives. No testing in animals.





Dime Digital is a SaaS tool that automates social media posting and brand creation for small businesses and solopreneurs, which was created by Careful Feet Digital Agency, a digital agency with over 80 years of combined digital marketing experience in-house. Dime Digital is a SaaS solution that offers end-to-end automation of social media posts and brand creation for micro- and small businesses. Addressing the challenges business owners and founders typically face: where to post, what to say, how to design posts, when to post, etc., Dime Digital uses AI (with a human touch!) to generate content and post to increase brand awareness, partnership opportunities and revenue. Khaleelah will also give a keynote at the Summit.

LAURENCE FONTINOY Plan Reforma is the platform that digitalizes and helps to professionalize residential renovation and construction works, making distribution channel relations more fluent, safe and efficient. They create value added services so that suppliers, distributors, professionals and homeowners are more connected by digitizing processes that occur during renovation and construction works. Plan Reforma has two main services: the marketplace, where they put homeowners in contact with professionals in the safest and most efficient way for both parties, and an online estimating software and sales tool for professionals connected to distributors and suppliers so that they can online manage budgets, purchases and increase their conversion rate.

Laura will also give a keynote at the Summit.

WOOM is a data science technology company focused on women's health. Supporting women during all stages of their reproductive life, from prevention to pregnancy, all the way to menopause. With its first fertility product, WOOM uses biometric parameters based on women’s cycle and lifestyle to predict their chances of getting pregnant and provide them with personalized content to help them get better informed about the process. WOOM has 1,3 million users, the app has helped over 75,000 women get pregnant. In Spain, 5% of the women giving birth already use WOOM. Since then, WOOM has established a solid position in the Spanishspeaking world, with a presence in nine countries: Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, USA and UK.



FEMALE FOUNDERS MARCELLA HANSCH Our flexible and AI-supported garbage collection boats are able to purify garbage hotspots in a larger area – even in hard-to-reach places. The waste is then recycled and processed into new products using mechanical, thermo-chemical and biotechnological processes.We make our existential dependency, but also the inestimable value of the oceans tangible, and show ways in which sustainable action can be achieved in everyday life. An important component is environmental education, because our younger generations determine the future.

M A RI A L UQ UE A saas enabled on demand wellness service marketplace. It provides a saas solution to their service providers to help them monetize their own communities in one simple place and also, they provide high quality and convenient wellness services to users.



EUTOP50 M A RI A M A TE O I B O RRA IBISA is tackling the problem of uninsurability of millions of farmers and breeders worldwide by enabling the next generation to get agriculture insurance. It is a tech platform for mutuals and insurers to unlock this market and provide cost-efficient and automated weather index microinsurance using earth observation and blockchain technology. Its main market today is India, scaling from 5K to 35K farmers onboarded and Niger with 10700 breeders pre-onboarded. In 2021, they are expanding to the Philippines and Senegal with 82K farmers committed. Overall, IBISA contributes to building resilience, reducing poverty and improving food security. It lso provides access to insurance results and to credit.



MARION FORSTER In 2007, Marion Fรถrster founded New Tone Business Innovation, an advisory firm specializing in strategic innovation, working with a group of highly professional freelancers in the fashion and lifestyle field. New Tone supports companies in translating the newest trends and in realizing innovative concepts and products geared towards future growth. Answering the exceptional demands of an international client list, it has launched departments in New York and Amsterdam. New Tone is focusing on making Europe independent on innovative medical products and establishing a great textile industry again.







Neha is an Investment Partner at Joyance Partners and Social Starts. She is a medical doctor in London and spent years as a General Practitioner before transitioning to the Life Sciences industry, where she held various roles in pharmaceutical companies. She holds an MBA from London Business School, where she fell in love working with entrepreneurs and startups. She has since worked with a startup med-tech company, as well as several accelerators and VCs in the healthcare space, most recently with a global venture builder with a focus on early-stage tech companies. Neha is an angel investor, loves tennis and dance, and is a strong advocate for personal fitness and nutrition. She also has a soft spot for wildlife and conservation.

An omnichannel platform designed to support and promote independent and sustainable brands within the fashion, beauty and lifestyle sectors. The aim is to offer an alternative to the traditional wholesale model, giving brands a direct route to consumers, focusing on community and the stories behind each of their incredible brands.

4.5.6 is the world’s first customised skincare solution skin phototypes IV, V and Vi on the Fitzpatrick scale also known as melanin-rich skin. 4.5.6 performs dedicated research, development and testing for Melanin-rich skin as these skins have different dermatologic principles which are not addressed by the skincare industry today. 4.5.6’s products are made with biocompatible, clean ingredients that are calibrated for the specific needs of melanin-rich skin by skincare experts, scientists and dermatologists who have the same skin and truly empathise with their conditions.





Hydraloop is a game changer. Hydraloop’s system not only reduces tap water consumption, but also halves the wastewater flow. But… the world didn’t know about it yet... But after hundreds of presentations and 27 international trade fairs in 2 years time, our worldwide breakthrough came in January during the CES. Best of the Best. Through guerrilla marketing, CES and the documentary on Netflix, Hydraloop has become a world trademark.Hydraloop is a certified innovative in-house water recycling system which collects bathroom and washing machine water and cleans and disinfects it, saving water by recycling 85% of the total in-house domestic water used. Hydraloop water is clean, clear and safe and meets international standards. It can be utilised for several purposes which you can choose.

SOLVITA K OSTJ U K OVA ALINA is a company that uses innovative zero waste technology to manufacture products, available for interior and exterior architectural paint and coating producers to reduce and substitute hazardous chemicals and heavy metals in readymade products. ALINA produces state-of-the-art clay mineral materials, by challenging how things are made. By putting people’s health first, they take responsibility not only for humans, but for the environment as well. The company uses innovative production technology to manufacture clay mineral materials, available for building product manufacturers to substitute use of hazardous chemicals and heavy metals. Reducing environmental pollution, ALINA is improving people’s health and their wellbeing. Solvita will also give a keynote




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KEYNOTE SPEAKERS ALESSIA CENTIONI Italian, mother of two children, co-founder and president of European Women Alliance, she has ten years of experience in European affairs in the field of industry, internal markets, trade and foreign policy. She is a graduate in Political Sciences from the University of Rome La Sapienza and holds an M.A in European studies at the ULB of Brussels. Alessia is a pro-European and feminist activist passionate about EU integration and women empowerment. In 2018, she established the Women’s European Council, WEUCO, the pre-summit held ahead of the European Council gathering Heads of State and Government, Ministers, European Commissioners and MEPs to provide a gender perspective on all EU public policies. She regularly contributes on the Huffington Post blog with comments on Italian and European politics.

S I LV I A MAN CA Silvia is responsible for the social impact programmes within the Strategy Business Development team at the European Investment Fund (part of the European Investment Bank Group). She joined the EIF in 2008 as project manager, and has been working in the design and implementation of new programmes between EIF and other institutions to support access to finance for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, with a particular focus on microfinance, social entrepreneurship and impact investing. Silvia holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Management of Arts, Culture and Communication from Bocconi University in Milano.



CAROL TARR Carol was born on the Southside of Chicago, Illinois, USA. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. And has a master’s degree in theological studies (MTS) from Harvard University, where she specialized in World Religions and was a researcher for the Pluralism Project. Carol is currently a.b.d. (all but dissertation) from a PhD program at the University of Chicago. She has worked at The Next Women where she was the architect behind the Fempower Your Growth training, working alongside the major Dutch banks and policy institutions to offer an intense program to train female entrepreneurs on growth strategies while addressing the biases of bankers and investors. Combining these interests, Carol is shifting her focus onto impact investing. As president of The Wominvest Observatory, she wants to increase awareness of intersectionality and the need to ensure equal access to financial and network capital for all women and their businesses as we shift towards gender-smart funding practices. Carol is an Included VC Fellow (inaugural class), mom to 3 sons and founder of Atomic Spices. She’s also the President of the Harvard Alumni Club of The Netherlands and an avid amateur soprano and rower.

S HIVA DU S T DA R Shiva Dustdar has over 25 years of experience in the financial industry working for large private and public institutions in New York, London and Luxembourg. Since joining EIB in 2003, she has worked in risk management, lending and investing in innovative companies and currently heads the Innovation Finance Advisory (IFA) Division in the EIB which she was tasked to set up in 2013. IFA has 2 units covering project advisory and thematic finance providing access to finance advice to public and private entities, performing market studies and developing new financial products to meet the financing needs across the innovation spectrum to support smart, green and healthy growth.





Helena Torras

Hadewych Cels

Helena Torras, Managing Partner at PaoCapital, an impact investment fund with a focus on the Blue Economy. It promotes the tech startup mindset to society, and ensures that women are not left behind (she has co-founded WERockCapital to invest in women entrepreneurs). Helena is a serial entrepreneur and investor, connecting the dots between the ecosystem, startup-corporate-investor. She belongs to the Governing Board of BarcelonaTechCity, to the Ambassadors Council of The Collider (TechTransf initiative from the Mobile World Capital) and she serves as independent board director on several Boards. Among others recognitions, she has been considered one of the 30 people to follow on twitter in the tech ecosystem and Top100 leaders in Spain.

Hadewych Cels is one of the three female founders of Karmijn Kapitaal, a private equity firm investing in Dutch SMEs that are led by a gender-diverse management team. Karmijn started in 2010 and closed its second fund (EUR 90M) in 2016. Currently, Karmijn has 11 companies in its portfolio in a variety of sectors. Recently, Hadewych was named one of the 40 future Diversity & Inclusion leaders in private equity (RealDeals/PER). Before Karmijn, Hadewych was partner at Plain Vanilla, a turnaround investment firm. She has a background in hands-on private equity, consulting and entrepreneurship. Hadewych studied economics at Erasmus University, and applied mathematics at Southampton University and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.



Jara Pascual, MBA and Master of Telecommunication Engineering,

is founder and CEO of Collabwith, an author and an entrepreneur focused on innovation. Collabwith is an online platform bringing people together and encouraging collaborations online and offline. As a board member of the Forum Knowledge4Innovation, her voice is heard regularly at the European Parliament discussing the topics of female investment, digitalization, from Lab to Market and academia-industry collaboration. She is also the host of the Innovation Podcast “Business of Collaboration”. She writes about innovation and collaboration management for different online magazines, is a telecommunications engineer and has worked for 15 years in Innovation Management doing transformational innovation culture and projects in a number of Fortune 500 Companies and R&D Labs.

Ilse Bakker is one of

the keynote speakers at the Women Investment Debate. She was born in the Netherlands and studied both Business Administration at the Rotterdam School of Management as well as Law at the Rotterdam School of Law (Erasmus University Rotterdam). She is the Investor Relations Manager for the Nordic Secondary Fund, the first fund in the Nordics that exclusively invests in secondaries, where she is also part of the investment team. Ilse believes this area in Europe is for a large part well emancipated. However, there are still not many women in the investing world. Ilse sees that sometimes women are not taken seriously when they are fundraising because they are seen as less analytical. Another problem is that women sometimes feel limited because of the traditional family model values to become an investor or entrepreneur. To tackle this problem, it’s important to identify these root causes, to change this stigma and educate more women about investing and entrepreneurship. This way, we can accomplish that more women are hired as part of the investment team and we can empower women to become more successful entrepreneurs.

Elianne Oei has always wanted to make the world a better place, and

she spends her time helping people increase their impact in the world, developing creative solutions and getting stuff done – no matter what the odds are. Elianne’s career started in strategy consulting at Deloitte in the Netherlands. Since then, she has worked across countries, cultures, continents and industries on complex (think big and hairy) problems and major turnarounds, requiring organisational insight, strong analytical skills and stakeholder engagement. An adventurer at heart, Elianne lives to explore and travel. Her latest exploration has been in the investment space. There are many issues with investment practices and perceptions and Elianne’s focus is to create a world where there is enough for all. She started EPIC - Exponential Positive Impact Capital/ EPIC with a mission to democratize investment and accelerate impact. EPIC brings impact driven startups and investors together for long term and sustainable impact-funding and development, in a collaborative, constructive way, leveraging the revenue based financing instrument, much better suited for more start ups than just the 1% which gets venture capital funding currently. Elianne encourages everyone to make an exponential positive impact together!




Kelly Keenan

Kinga Stanislawska

Kelly Keenan is an active angel investor, venture capitalist, and producer based in the United States. She funds women-led startups and films through her portfolio company, ‘See Jane Invest’. In addition, Kelly has served as a founding venture partner at NextGen Ventures, a board member of the Baltimore Angels, and mentor to over 50 companies. She is also a recurring panelist on CNBC’s Power Pitch. As a speaker, she has presented at President Obama’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative, the Japan American Society, Dubai Internet City, Crowdfundx, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and UC Berkely. Prior to See Jane Invest, Kelly helped women run for public office through the nonprofit Running Start and the Women Under Forty Political Action Committee. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, St. John’s College, and the University of Detroit Mercy, Kelly holds a Masters in Business Administration, J.D., Masters in Liberal Arts, and a B.A. in English Writing and History.

Kinga has nearly 20 years of experience in investments and finance. She is founder of Experior VC, investing in scale ups and growth, pure software with strong ML/AI in SaaS, including software deep tech, and ecommerce, big data driven companies across all verticals. She is active in supporting women-led companies as mentor and investor. She established the European Women in VC platform with the aim of increasing the number of female partners at venture funds across Europe from the current low single digit percentage number it is today. Kinga is advisor to European Innovation Council. And was named one of the TOP 50 of Europe’s most influential women in the start-up and venture capital space by EU Startups and top 50 women in tech in Europe by Forbes.



Lisa Liu

Marina Andrieu

Lisa Liu is Investment Associate at Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners (UVC Partners), an earlystage venture capital firm investing in European B2B technology startups in the fields of industrial technologies, enterprise software and mobility. Lisa acts from a deep conviction that empowering visionary founders who never give up on tackling the biggest problems of our world is one key ingredient to leave a lasting, powerful impact. She draws from her diverse background combining venture capital, consulting and corporate innovation. This expertise gives her unique insights into the drivers and challenges of both the new and old economy and how to bring them together. Lisa has a multicultural background as she is fluent in German, English and Chinese and has spent her academic career studying Economics and Management across Europe, Asia and the US.

Marina Andrieu is the Co-founder and Director of WIDE (Women in Digital Empowerment), a non-profit based in Luxembourg supporting girls and women to get into tech. Her organisation focuses on education, coding and entrepreneurship. Marina was also EU Code Week Ambassador for Luxembourg (2013-2017) and is currently the coordinator for the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Luxembourg. She is also an ambassador for the OECD Better entrepreneurship tool. WIDE is also involved in many European projects and collaborations, mainly thanks to the Erasmus + programme of the EC.




Dr. Nakeema Stefflbauer

Ana Suarez

Martijn Leinweber

Dr. Nakeema Stefflbauer is a Harvard University MA/PhD, an MBA and a Venture Fellow at Included.VC. A tech digitalisation executive, Dr. Stefflbauer founded the women’s programming NGO in Berlin and the network of racially diverse tech leaders in Europe. Dr. Stefflbauer writes and speaks about mitigating bias in AI and VC and has presented on AI topics at the European Parliament.

Ana is the co-founder of WA4STEAM, Member of the Executive Committee and treasurer of the Association. She has a degree in Business Administration, Masters in Financial Markets from the University of Barcelona. PDD from IESE Business School. Ana is an expert in finance, with 20 years of banking experience in different executive positions. Currently Structured Finance Risk Director at Banco Sabadell. She is involved in diversity, sustainability and inclusive finance policies. Especially engaged in promoting a more relevant role for women in finance and investment. Business Angel.

Martijn Leinweber is a COO of Space Business Innovation Centre Noordwijk, where space based startups are supported in their entrepreneurial journey to become a sustainable business. In his 10+ years at SBIC Noordwijk, Martijn has gained extensive experience in incubation management, designing and implementing development programs, (international) community management and organising events and competitions within the space industry and beyond.Martijn has a passion for startups, hospitality and sports. He is always looking for new opportunities for the community. Has a positive and problem-solving attitude with a focus on service and quality.


33 Patrizia Luchetta Patrizia Luchetta has a 20yr+ international career across a range of industries and economic sectors; in both the private and public sector. After having had the privilege to develop and implement Luxembourg’s national strategy in the field of biomedical life sciences, Patrizia decided to venture back into the private sector and use her international expertise to help start-ups and individuals to refine their strategic goals, especially regarding communication and marketing; but also to pursue her passion for music and create bridges between the entrepreneurial and the musical hemisphere. Currently Patrizia sits on several boards and advisory committees and she has recently co-founded Another Level Creative Group, a music production and artist management company.

Pilar Manchon Pilar has been a leading voice within the AI industry for more than 20 years: as an entrepreneur, driving her AI startup through a successful exit, and as an executive at companies such as Roku, Amazon, Intel and now Google. After building high-performance teams, launching full product lines, raising millions in venture capital and developing leading-edge AI, Pilar believes that having an inspiring mission and a hard-working, determined and diverse team are the key to a successful venture. Pilar’s main areas of expertise range from Natural Language Understanding and Multimodal Conversational Systems to Speech Recognition and Synthesis, Machine Translation and Language Technologies and AI in general. Pilar is particularly interested in Intelligent Conversational Agents, Cognitive Science, Machine Learning, HumanComputer Interaction, User Experience, Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Computing, Ambient Computing and Robotics. She is originally from Spain and holds an MSc. in Cognitive Science and Natural Language and a PhD in Intelligent Dialog Systems. She is also an advisor to several Al companies, academic institutions, NGOs, an investor, a lecturer and a public speaker.



Tina Kleingarn is a co-founder of Westend Corporate Finance

(Frankfurt,Germany) which is an advisory boutique dedicated to exit readiness for IPOs and sell sides. Tina studies business administration and Japanese studies at Mannheim University (Germany) and Hitotsubashi University (Japan). She holds an MA degree (Dipl.-Kauffrau) with the main focus on banking/ finance, organizational management and Japanese studies. Tina has 12 years of experience in Investment banking working for Goldmans Sachs and Barclays. She also holds NED (non-executive directorships) in publicly listed corporations.

C o r i n n e V igreu x

is a co-founder and currently CMO of TomTom, the location technology specialist shaping mobility with digital maps, navigation software, real-time traffic and services for consumers, the automotive industry and leading tech companies. Voted as one of the world’s top fifty women in tech (Forbes) and as one of the most inspirational women in European tech (Inspiringfifty), Corinne champions women in the workforce and passionately advocates for improved social mobility through education. Corinne founded Codam, a not for profit coding college, member of the Ecole 42 network. Codam opened its doors in September 2018 in the heart of Amsterdam and offers a three year software engineering course to more than 300 Students. Corinne is the vice chairwoman of the supervisory board of NV , chairwoman of TechLeap, supervisory board member of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, advisory board member of the University of Amsterdam and of SNCF Mass Transit, and international advisory board member to the Amsterdam Economic Board. She is also chair on the trustee board of the Sofronie foundation. Corinne was made Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in 2012 and Officier in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau in 2016.

Tamara Obradov is Partner VC Tablomonto and Founding

Partner of #FUNDRIGHT mission in the Netherlands.Tamara is a partner and fund manager of Tablomonto Ventures. Tablomonto is a female-led venture capital firm investing in category-creating tech businesses in health-, consumer-, education- and fintech. In the last year, Tamara was one of the founding partners of the #Fundright initiative. #Fundright is a VC industry initiative which aims to equalize the gender funding gap for startup founders. She has made tremendous effort in diversifying their portfolio. Through #fundright the goal is to create equal funding opportunities for founders regardless of their gender or background. She is a Harvard Business School and Rotterdam School of Management alumna. And lives in Amsterdam with her partner and 3 kids.







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