Re-thinking Gender in Born Global Startups – Female Founders on the Rise


This week Google for Entrepreneurs kicked off their monthlong #40forward campaign, committing $1 million in aggregate to 40 startup-focused partner organizations, challenging them to increase the representation of women in their respective tech communities.

The campaign is a great reminder for everyone to gather and amplify the work being done by women in tech, consider new ways to advance female entrepreneurs and learn from the ways in which they already drive startup success. Globally, we’re seeing an increasing number of female founders enter the tech scene. This year alone might just be the tipping point!

Blackbox Connect, our 2 week immersion program in Silicon Valley for foreign tech entrepreneurs, will have 50% female founders in this upcoming March program powered by Google for Entrepreneurs. These results were unintentional; we selected the best of the best founders nominated by our partners, who did a great job encouraging female founders to apply. We’re excited to see the female talent we continue to attract in 2014.

Vladan Petrović, co-founder of Pubsonic and Blackbox Connect October ‘13 graduate, reflected on the vitality of having female co-founder, Ivana Gadjanski, to the success of their company.

“Ivana’s female perspective contributed to Pubsonic’s complete business image and strategy. Our female-male cooperation enabled us to be complete as a team and it gave rise to our personal qualities. The truth is that we wouldn’t be where we are now without our female co-founder.”

We want to highlight a new mother Julia Szopa, original “Captain Ivanova” of Blackbox Connect, now co-founder of her own company, Wellfitting, a Blackbox Accelerated company. What’s more, Julia launched Wellfitting three months after giving birth to her first child (photo above)! Wellfitting makes hand crafted lingerie accessible to women of all shapes and sizes, helping boost their confidence in return. Her motto is “live the well-fitting life,” meaning that the world should fit “you” versus “you” fitting the world. Read her post about 5 Things Being a Mom Can Teach You About Startups.

We’re inspired by founders like Julia and Ivana and look forward to helping others across the globe accomplish their dreams despite the challenges they face as entrepreneurs, gender aside. Who are the female role models challenging the gender gap in your community? Tweet us at @blackboxvc.

By: Jarrett Neil Ridlinghafer
Chief Technology Analyst & Consultant
Cloud Consulting International