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Looking back on a successful Female Founders Academy 2024 in Mannheim

Participants of the Female Founder Academiy 2024 Participants of the Female Founder Academiy 2024 MCEI/Charlotte Maw

The Gründerinnen Akademie, or Female Founders Academy, which took place as part of the TRANSFORMA project at the University of Mannheim in March 2024, provided targeted support for female founders and women interested in starting a business regarding their first steps into entrepreneurship under the tagline "Empower Female Founders".

Over the course of four days, the more than 20 participants received a wide range of input on topics such as brainstorming, prototype development, developing competitive business models and pitching. Alices Lottes, Head of Venture Services at REHAU New Ventures, the REHAU Group's company builder, also provided insights into the topic of corporate entrepreneurship. Special thanks go to REHAU New Ventures, who once again supported the Female Founders Academy this year. The event was also enriched by direct exchanges with successful female founders such as Weihua Wang, the founder of myBuddy.

During the visit to the GIG7 Startup Center, the competence center for female business in Mannheim, the participants also gained valuable insights into Mannheim’s startup ecosystem.

Five business ideas were developed as part of this year's Female Founders Academy, which were then presented to an external jury. Special thanks go to KPMG Mannheim, who supported the event and hosted participants on its premises on pitching day.

The business ideas developed over the course of the Female Founder Academy 2024 made it clear why the topic of female entrepreneurship is so important. Solutions were developed by women for women that were needs-oriented and often also socially relevant. In addition to an app that accompanies women through the various phases of their menstrual cycle, a jewellery label catering to women in management positions and a tracking device for children, business ideas such as a sustainable digital travel planner or the development of a platform for connecting single parents show how important the topic is quickly becoming in a female cohort in which the urge for positive impact is loud.

The Female Founders Academy itself also aims to have a positive socio-economic impact. This collaborative project creates access to valuable start-up-specific knowledge and even more valuable networks. It encourages women who are interested in founding their own company to make their own way into the still rather male-dominated start-up scene, for more equal opportunities, diversity, and innovation - and above all for more positive impact, from which we all benefit.


  • University of Mannheim
  • Institut für Mittelstandsforschung
  • Gründerverbund
  • ESF
  • Europäische Union
  • Baden-Württemberg - Ministerium für Finanzen und Wirtschaft
  • Absolventum