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The Best Tips for Female Founders in Munich

A good network is worth its weight in gold. Because only roughly 16 percent of startups across Germany are (co)founded by women, there are some services that have been specifically created to support and network female founders and make them even more successful. We’ve put together the key tips for female founders in Munich.

There are several networks that support female founders in Munich. And in the tech branch in particular, female founders will also find helpful support across the country.

Networks for Munich-based female founders

The network ‘One Mission’ was started by a group including startup center Werk1. It strengthens female founders in Munich with very specific measures. This includes events, meetups at schools and universities and mentoring. A particularly valuable aspect is access to a Female Investors Network and affordable office space at Werk1. More information is available here or in our interview with ‘One Mission.’

The initiative ‘Women.start.up!’ was launched by UnternehmerTUM. It aims to get women interested in founding and tech and to motivate them to found their own tech startup. Among other forms of support, the initiative provides knowledge transfer and offers access to the large UnternehmerTUM network.

Networks that don’t explicitly reach out to founders can also be of help. For example, the Munich-based ‘Business and Professional Women (BPW) Germany Cluboffers support primarily in the form of mentoring. The BPW does so by bringing women looking for support together with women with professional experience. 
 There’s also the Business Women Society (BWS), which offers education, networking and events through their networking app. The Munich-based women’s network aims to network, educate and inspire women digitally and in person. In our interview, founder Saina Bayatpour explains in more detail. The Messe München women’s network also focuses on female entrepreneurs.

(Global) tech networks for women

And then there are the various tech networks that reach out to women. The Munich organization Female Tech Leaders (FTL) is dedicated to supporting women in MINT professions and in leadership positions in the industry. FTL also organizes hackathons and speaker nights. With the Geekettes, you’ll find a worldwide network for women in the tech sector. There are global, but also local opportunities for exchanging ideas. The same is true for Digital Media Women,’ who – as their name suggests – focus on all things digital and tech in media, and particularly want to increase the visibility of women. The association Women in Tech’ offers, in addition to events, a network of women who work in the tech industry. Another group at the forefront with 50,000 members isGlobal Digital Women. What started as a Berlin-based network, founded by Tijen Onaran, has become an international company. ‘Global Digital Women’ has goals such as increasing the number of women in senior management positions and digital professions, and to also network and increase the visibility of women with a digital focus across industries.

Win prize money in competitions

Participating in competitions is also helpful. In addition to the many startup competitions that we regularly report on, we also have some specific tips to share for female entrepreneurs and founders.

With Lamonachia, the city of Munich has created a business award for successful, innovative female founders and entrepreneurs in Munich. It is generally possible to apply until the end of March or mid-April for 3,000 euros worth of prize money.

Another interesting opportunity, not least due to the 100,000 euro prizes, is the EU Prize for Women Innovators. A special prize of 50,000 euros is also awarded to a ‘Rising Innovator.’ This prize is awarded to a young entrepreneur (30 years or younger) who is at the beginning of her career. The Commission of the European Union offers this award for female innovators to also encourage them to start a company.

An enticing award of 50,000 euros is also offered every other year at the Darboven Idee Sponsorship Prize. The application deadline is generally July 31 – as is also the case this year.

Increase visibility with awards

The Digital Female Leader Award is granted by the mentioned group Global Digital Women. The main goal is to boost visibility. On top of that, award winners also benefit by gaining access to a strong corporate network. The Female Founders Award from the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) also offers female founders visibility and access to the international AmCham network. Especially for startups that want to expand in the US, this can be very helpful. Then there’s also ‘The Spark, the digital prize from Handelsblatt, which has launched a Female Founder Award.

And last but not least: For all female founders in Munich, particularly those who are still very much at the beginning, we recommend the Servicestelle Guide. Guide not only offers startup founders support in the form of seminars, but is also open to answering specific questions, for example about a business plan.

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? You can find more networks here. And additional competitions for women are listed here.