The Women in Entrepreneurship Roadshow is a project conceived by the European Young Innovators Forum, one of the leading organisation for youth innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe. WER is a non-profit project powered by the United States Mission to the European Union, Startup Europe, the European Commission and Amazon and its aim is to support and empower women entrepreneurs. The Roadshow consists of a series of 10 events across Europe with the goal of connecting 300 women entrepreneurs with 30 VCs and top players in the European and the US ecosystem in order to facilitate access to finance. The short term goal is to connect entrepreneurs with VCs and ecosystem builders and business angels and identify the main challenges women entrepreneurs face when accessing finance through workshops. The long term goal is to produce a report with our findings to present to the European Union with policy recommendations.
The aim of the workshops is to connect women entrepreneurs with VCs and business angels. During the workshops, VCs will have a chance to share some insights into the venture capital world, share advice and create connections with the WER entrepreneurs. For the WER entrepreneurs, this is a chance to meet the local, European and US entrepreneurial ecosystem, an opportunity to network with mentors, pose questions about your challenges and present your projects. For more information please see the agenda below.
Road to GES
May 8, 2019
Hosted By: The U.S. Embassy to Belgium, The Dutch Embassy to Belgium, and the U.S. Mission to the European Union
Workshop for Women in Entrepreneurship Organized by: European Young Innovators Forum
Location: Whitlock Hall
12:00h | Workshop Arrival (Hoover Franqui).
12:15h | VC Panel: A Transatlantic, regional and local perspective on VC funding.
Leonard Soenen // Principal, Volta Ventures Associate
Mathilde Levy // Investment Manager, Finance.Brussels/SRIB
Claire Munck // CEO & Administrator, Be Angels Network
Fourth VC: TBC
Moderated by: Nicholas Zylberglajt // President, EYIF
13:00h | Ask Me Anything session with VCs
14:00h | Speed mentoring sessions with VCs and ecosystem builders
Nadia Aimé // Founder, She Leads Digital
David Zylberberg // Strategy Consultant
Loubna Azghoud // COO, Women in Business
Wendy Geeraert // Founder, Co-libry
Julien Gelder // Lawyer, Finance.Brussels/SRIB
Emma Fau // Founder, EUcapital SPRL
Jorge Muñoz // Marketing Director, EYIF
Additional mentors: TBC
15:30h | Workshop Concludes
16:00h | “Road to GES Networking Reception”
Ronald J. Gidwitz // U.S Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium
Gordon Sondland // Ambassador US Mission to the European Union
Maryem Van Den Heuvel // Ambassador US Mission to the European Union
The #WER events in Brussels is organized with the support of the US Embassy and in collaboration with the local partners.
As a main partner in the project, Amazon will offer to each confirmed participant:
$10.000 of AWS promotional credits valid for 2 years
$5.000 of AWS Business Support
$1.600 of AWS Training
Confirmation of final participants
Leonard Soenen // Volta Ventures Associate
Prior to joining, Leonard was a senior consultant with PwC in the treasury department, where he advised multinationals on financial instruments, trade operations, transformation and deals. Throughout the various assignments he provided lead-financial and strategic advice to both banks and corporates. He holds a Master degree in Applied Economics from KU Leuven as well as a Master in Financial Management from Vlerick Business School. His mother tongue is Dutch and he is fluent in English and French
Maryem van den Heuvel // Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Belgium
She worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague, was seconded to the European Commission and the Council of the European Union and was a member of the Secretariat of the European Convention on the Future of Europe. During the Dutch presidency of the EU, she was coordinator of the Political and Security Committee at the Dutch Permanent Representation to the EU. From 2010-2015 was Director of the Western Hemisphere Department. In 2015 she was appointed Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Belgium.
Claire Munck // CEO and Managing Director of the Be Angels network – Founder and CEO of WBAC (Women Business Angels Club)
Serves since 2013 as CEO at Be Angels, a 20-year old business angel group based in Belgium, and one of Europe’s largest and most active. Her key responsibilities include business development, recruitment new investors, deal making, and the management of a women angel group she created in 2012. Be Angels proposes several ways to engage as an angel including co-investment opportunities and participation in the growth of companies previously funded by angels through a SCALE I Fund set up in 2017. Claire previously collaborated with Go Beyond, a cross-border platform of services for early stage investors, on business development and product development activities. She spent close to 10 years with EBAN, the European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and other market players, including 5 years as Managing Director. Prior to that, Munck was project manager for EURADA one of the founding members of EBAN.
Gordon Sondland // Ambassador US Mission to the European Union
Gordon Sondland was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 29, 2018, as U.S. Representative to the European Union with the rank of Ambassador. He arrived in Brussels on July 8, 2018, and presented his credentials at the European Commission and to President of the European Council Donald Tusk on July 9, 2018.
Ronald J. Gidwitz // U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium
Ambassador Ronald J. Gidwitz arrived in Belgium on July 3, 2018, and presented his credentials to His Majesty King Philippe on July 4 of that year. Ambassador Gidwitz has had a long and successful career in the private sector, government, philanthropy and civil society.
Nicholas Zylberglajt // President of EYIF
Nicholas is the Co-Founder of the European Young Innovators Forum, the leading foundation for Youth Innovation in Europe. He also co-founded EU Startup Services, EYIF’s consulting company aimed at supporting European startups to secure EU funding having supported more than 1350 Startups in more than 20 EU countries.
Mathilde Levy // Investment manager – Finance.Brussels/SRIB
Mathilde holds a business master degree from the Solvay Business School. She has passed the first 12 years of her professional carreer working for Brussels SME’s as Financial & Administrative Manager. This has enabled her to understand how small businesses work from the inside. Since over a year now she has joined the team of Finance.Brussels, the public Investment fund of the Brussels Region as Investment manager. Among other things, she is in charge of the financing of Innovative startups in a Seed financing stage.
Nadia Aimé // Founder Of She Leads Digital
She is a motivated and driven self-taught technologist involved in numerous social and business projects throughout Europe, Africa and USA. As the founder of She Leads Digital a global-oriented organisation based in Brussels, Nadia is dedicated to addressing the gender & diversity imbalance in within the tech industries by providing workshops and courses on a multitude of trending technologies.
David Zylberberg // Strategy Consultant
David is a bridge maker. He started his career as an intrapreneur, building a public diplomacy unit for a consulting firm and joining deep tech, sentiment analysis and Harvard academia. He then advised the Belgian Vice-Prime Minister before getting appointed Diplomatic Advisor to the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region. More recently he created a start-up in the artisanal food business.
Julien Gelder // Lawyer in Finance.brussels – SRIB
Julien holds a Master’s degree in Law from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in 2015 and a LLM in European Economic Law (IEE-ULB). His professional career began in 2015 as a legal advisor at the public regional investment company of Brussels (Finance.brussels – SRIB). This first experience allows him to become familiar with various topics related to investment and corporate finance, such as banking and finance law, corporate law and private equity investments.
Loubna Azghoud // COO of Women in Business
She is COO of Women in Business, the Brussels Governmental Women Entrepreneurship Platform and the Founder of Women in Tech.Brussel, the first women tech ecosystem in Europe, resulting from a partnership between the Brussels government and the private sector. Its mission is to empower women to create their own startups and increase the female presence in the innovation sector, facilitating their workplace inclusion. Women in Tech.Brussels has been designated by the European Commission as a governmental innovation and Loubna was chosen in 2018 by the US Department of State to participate with 50 others women from all around the world to “Women Entrepreneurship” International Visitor Leadership Program.
Jorge Muñoz // Digital Marketing Expert
He has a strong background in Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations having worked in different European countries such as the UK, France, Belgium and Spain. He is the current Director for Marketing and Communications at Unmanned Life, Jorge was a Key Account Manager at one of the world leading advertising agencies, Saatchi & Saatchi, from Publicis Media Group, where he was responsible for key accounts across different B2C and B2B fields coordinating the work of different departments such as Art Direction, Design, Finance and Executive. He has managed multi-million euro and international campaigns for top Brands such as Nestlé, Nespresso, Perrier, San Pellegrino, Lexus, among others.
Wendy Geeraert // Founder of Co-libry
Ever since university, she strived for innovation and optimization. She kept pushing herself, so becoming an entrepreneur was a natural outcome, even though 4 years ago, she didn’t even know the word startup and nobody in my family was an entrepreneur. She graduated as an architectural engineer, specialized in computational design, which means that instead of designing a building we can build code to design and optimize buildings, based on a huge number of parameters, data sets and AI. Today she is not doing architectural work anymore, but she is the founder of Co-libry and Enginity. Both are startups bringing data driven innovation into their market spaces. Co-libry is active for real estate portals and Enginity in enabling industry 4.0.
Emma Fau // Founder of EUcapital SPRL
She has over 20 years of professional experience in Brussels, including 12 years at the European private equity and venture capital Association. Prior to joining EVCA, Emma worked for over three years at the Spanish bank Banco
Bilbao Vizcaya-Argentaria (BBVA).In 2012 Emma founded EUcapital SPRL, an advisory firm based in Brussels specialized on access to finance and equity financial instruments for startups. Since 2012 Emma has worked for several public and private organisations including among others the European Commission (EC), the European Institute of Technology (EIT), the Startup Europe Regions Network, Business Angels Europe (BAE), Princip.al (international network of family offices and private investors) etc.
Jan Bormans // CEO European Startup Network
Jan Bormans, combines a Ph.D. in engineering with an MBA in international management. He has over 25 years of experience combining innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity to create economic and societal value. Jan has participated in European projects since 1996 and has been active as an early player in setting up the Belgian startup ecosystem. He has been actively engaged in building both Startups.be and European Startup Network brands and communities over the past years. He signed on as ESN’s CEO in 2018.
Karin Maquet // Director Kammco
She is a passionate business catalyst. She has 20-year+ experience as business consultant. After graduation as business engineer from LSM, she worked at PwC Luxemburg as auditor of banks and investment funds. She led major transformation projects in Europe. In 2007, Karin founded Kammco, a consulting company that advises start-ups and growing companies to setting up the right balance between strategy, marketing, finance, technology and organization: from business modelling to “get things done” on a creative but structured and efficient way. Involved as coach/trainer in entrepreneurship programs, Karin won in 2012 the Trends Equiwoman award. She is also member of Be Angels: acting as business angel is a natural continuum of her role as trusted advisor of entrepreneurs and management teams. Karin is also active in female networks.