28 July 2022

With a temperature over 30 degrees on Wednesday, July 20, multiple problems with the U-bahn during the afternoon and some cancellations due to corona, the day could not have started more challenging. Despite this, KPMG and Women Start-up Initiative by UnternehmerTUM successfully brought together strong female founders and start-up supporters for their Date & Dine event in Garching. Due to the fact that there were 100 percent women, the women's quota, for once, was guaranteed not to be a problem.

A friendly atmosphere characterized by optimism, support, and appreciation was the essence of this event. It aimed to give women the space they deserve in the progressive start-up world. More than twenty female founders from different industries participated in the KPMG and Women Start-up event. Women in the start-up scene are not in short supply, as we can see.

The guest list at the Date & Dine was correspondingly diverse. Of course, the start-up faction was particularly well represented, for example by Eirini Psallida, co-founder and Software Engineer Lead at KEWAZO, which digitizes construction with robotics and data analysis, and Tina Ruseva, founder and CEO at Mentessa, which helps organizations transform a workforce into a community. Sandra Paz de Lucas, co-founder and CMO at Empident, and Petra Dahm founder of Stell dir Vor that deals with Immersive VR and AR solutions for healthcare education and training. As a digital break, Anna Hadzelek, showed her innovation of reversible t-shirt printing. Just to mention a few names from the colorful group.

After some short introductions and networking over drinks and snacks, we had a warm welcome given by Petra Sandhaas and Tanja Oswald from KPMG Venture Services, who explained their role in the start-up scene and why they want to support female founders.

Afterwards, Dr. Annette Leonhard-MacDonald, currently working at INC Invention Center, shared her founder story and some insights on how to deal with challenging situations in the first impulse talk.

The first impulse lecture was followed by a culinary highlight of the Cantineria Mr. Lichtenberg, which once again enhanced the atmospheric framework for this successful networking event.

After the main dish we had a second impulse talk by Sina Fraenkle from SAP Foundry. She explained how the SAP start-up accelerator might help the female founders.

Afterwards, Dr. Sarah Theinert, from UVC Partners, gave a last inspiring talk and shared ideas about how unconscious bias leads to gender imbalance in the investment process. This time in the outdoor area of the Cantineria Herr Lichtenberg so our female founders could enjoy some fresh air on this tropical evening.

A flying dessert and a speed dating session followed our dinner, during which these women leaders got to know each other better, shared experiences and laughed together a lot.

So, that was our first Female Founder Date & Dine powered by KPMG 2022! We would like to thank all the women who made it a great evening. We can't wait to start preparing our next edition and meet great women who enrich the start-up world.

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