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Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers: Highlights from the Diversity Start-up Night

Diversity Start-up Night

On May 10, 2023, XPRENEURS, Nauta Capital & UVC Partners in cooperation with Speedinvest, Bayerisches Wirtschaftsministerium & Gründerland Bayern hosted the Diversity Start-up Night at the Munich Urban Colab. Founders, investors and other important players in the ecosystem came together to speak about how barriers can be overcome and what needs to be done to foster more diversity in the start-up ecosystem. This time, we focused on the important topic of how to create strong, complementary teams, especially in the ever increasing competition for top talents.

In the afternoon, Women Start-up, Bayerisches Wirtschaftsministerium & Gründerland Bayern already offered a workshop on the topic “Successfully working together as a diverse team” to help founders to learn how to attract and enable diverse talent and steer teams toward success.

The evening evening kicked off with an insightful panel discussion featuring industry experts such as Marie-Helene Ametsreiter - General Partner at Speedinvest, Gyri Reiersen - Co-Founder & CPO at Tanso, Guido Albanese - Co-Founder & Co-CEO at Koralo and Julia Post - City Councilor City of Munich. Moderated by Barbara Mehner Mehner - Managing Partner at XPRENEURS Incubator, the panel discussed concrete actions to foster diversity in the German and Bavarian start-up ecosystem. They touched upon various aspects, including policy changes, investor involvement, and the responsibilities of founders.

Panel Discussion Diversity Start up Night
Panel discussion with Barbara Mehner Mehner (XPRENEURS), Marie-Helene Ametsreiter (Speedinvest), Gyri Reiersen (Tanso), Guido Albanese (Koralo) & Julia Post (City of Munich)

Key insights and recommendations:

  • Creating a political framework that supports diverse team setups through anti-racism and discrimination initiatives, simplifying recognition of qualifications acquired abroad, and lowering barriers for public funding by providing English information and accepting grant applications.

  • Implementing mandatory diversity quotas for public funding and venture capital investments, helping portfolio companies in diverse hiring practices, and building diverse investment teams at all levels.

  • Embracing a growth mindset, developing talents within the team, and creating a family-friendly work environment to attract and retain diverse talents.

  • Encouraging equal distribution of household and childcare responsibilities, offering equal parental leave for both partners, and facilitating a smooth return to work after parental leave for founders.

Guido Albanese from Koralo highlighted the importance of integrating diversity into a start-up's DNA right from its start. By prioritizing diversity in team composition, start-ups can create an inclusive culture that nurtures innovation and success.

After the panel discussion, 4 exceptional start-up teams, MIMBIOSIS, onyo, PARTICULA, and Yngvik, had the opportunity to pitch their exciting ideas in front of a high-class jury and an enthusiastic audience of approximately 120 guests. Following the pitches, the jury, consisting of industry experts Juliane Elsner - Investment Associate at Nauta Capital, Leonardo Martinez - Venture Consultant at XPRENEURS and Jana Petry - Investment Associate at UVC Partners, selected MIMBIOSIS as the deserving winner. Congratulations to MIMBIOSIS for their outstanding performance!

The winners: Gökçe Aydan Işık and Tiago Morelli - Co-Founders of MIMBIOSIS

Throughout the evening, attendees had the chance to connect and engage in meaningful discussions with like-minded professionals and entrepreneurs. The networking sessions provided a platform to exchange ideas, collaborate, and further explore the potential of diverse voices in driving real-world impact.

The Diversity Start-Up Night left us inspired and energized, knowing that a wave of innovative and diverse voices is shaping the future of entrepreneurship. Let's continue to foster diversity, nurture innovation, and create a thriving start-up ecosystem that benefits everyone.

Attendees Diversity Start-up Night

Written by

Charlotte Karsch

Charlotte Karsch

Marketing Manager