2020-03-13 12:20Blog post

Diversity as default – reflections from Rising Tide Barcelona meeting

Minc – the startup house in Malmö - is working hard to improve the equality and diversity in the startup scene. 

As a part of that, we have set the target 50/50 by 2024 – meaning that as many startups in our programs led by women as by men. The same goes for venture capital – the target for 2024 is that as many startups led by women as by men attract venture capital.

Having in mind the current status this is indeed a challenging target but we are convinced that if you do not push the frontiers the development will be too slow.

Part of the challenge is to get a critical number of women to start companies with growth potential and scalability. Most of these types of companies are based on some sort of technical solution and when it comes to tech companies the women are dramatically few. We need to find ways to overcome this challenge.

Another challenge is the lack of female investors. There is a number of areas relating to eg women’s health that may be overlooked by male investors. Female investors function as role models and have great potential to inspire more women to develop innovative growth companies.

Rising Tide Europe (RTE) is an initiative to get more women into angel investing by offering a co-investment scheme, training and an amazing network of inspiring and successful women from all over Europe and the rest of the world.

I was part of the funding team for Rising Tide Europe 1 (RTE1) where I am also a deal-leader. RTE invests in European startups and has recently set up the 3rd fund RTE3.

End of February I took part in the RTE meeting in Barcelona together with Magdalena Gräff-Risberg. Magdalena is an angel investor in RTE1 and also in our regional investment company Queen Invest.

It was an amazing event with so much energy that you could almost touch it. 

We are very keen to get more women into tech. Sara Ais from from Center of Creative Leadership talked about the retention crisis: Even though more female scientists and engineers enter the work force they tend to leave in droves at mid-management levels.  And even though women outrun men at almost every educational level but hold just 24 % of the senior management roles globally and make up only 3 % of Fortune 500 CEO’s etc etc. We all know that, but I was sad to hear that the progress has been slow or stagnant in all the countries in which benchmarking studies have been conducted. The presentation did not really explain where the women go – if they would enter the startup scene it would be a great contribution. 

I had the opportunity to co-moderate a session with my fellow RTE deal-leader Anna Fedulow with female-led startups in tech and AI. I was really amazed about the three founders: Ainhoa Lete of BuntPlanet , Corinne Versini of GenesInk and Francesca Gabetti of TeamEQ. They lead exciting tech companies, are fully committed to do something good for the world and have diversity as default. Corinne told us that they had ethical principles and green targets long before Agenda 2030 was everyone’s lips. Ainhoa leading Blunt Planet meant that she as an engineer really felt that she should do something that made a substantial contribution to the world and founded Blunt Planet, a startup aiming to reduce the water losses in the piping system. They all meant that they appreciated the investment from Rising Tide and the very professional and constructive support they get from the network.

My final question to the panel was how we could multiply you – we do need more women taking on strong roles as impact startup entrepreneurs. Any ideas?

Finally, I sincerely would like to thank Brigitte Baumann and Candace Johnson for the amazing work to found and take RTE to next levels and enabling so many women to get into angel investing. They are some of Europe’s most experienced angel investors and strong role-models for all of us. 

Looking forward to see you all again at the next Rising Tide Meeting. Or maybe at Nordic Female Investor Meetup in Malmö in October.

Topics: 50/50

About Minc

Startuphuset Minc i Malmö hjälper entreprenörer att bygga snabbväxande, internationella bolag. Minc blev nyligen framröstat som Sveriges bästa coworking space och rymmer i dagsläget Minc Incubator, den prisbelönade acceleratorn Fast Track Malmö, samt Startup Labs, en förinkubator där alla med en innovativ och skalbar affärsidé kan jobba gratis i upp till sex månader. Huset rymmer också Scaleup Workspace, kontorsplatser för växande startups, och Minc Lounge, ett kombinerat café och workspace.


Jeanette Andersson
Jeanette Andersson