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UZH Innovation Hub

Female Founders - Startup Stories special edition

female founders


Of all company founders in Switzerland, only approximately 20% are female and the percentage for science- and tech-based startups is even lower. We want to show aspiring female founders that there are many inspiring female role models out there.

Who can participate?

Women interested in entrepreneurship and women empowerment who are considering starting their own business; especially motivated and ambitious members of a Swiss university or University of Applied Sciences (students, doctoral students, postdocs, professors etc.).

Fireside Chat speakers

Isabelle Siegrist

Isabelle Siegrist has been helping to build up companies across Switzerland since 2014, first for 2 years at as CIO and then with her own company builder Sandborn. She supports entrepreneurs and corporates from various industries in scaling (from idea validation, product/service development, market entry to growth financing), builds companies of her own and invests in Startups. Isabelle was recognized as one of the TOP 100 Businesswomen in Switzerland 2018, 2019 and 2020 and is a Forbes 30 under 30 Alumna (2019), studied Business Innovation at HSG and majored in Social Entrepreneurship at ESCP Europe. She is a coach at Innosuisse and regularly teaches at various colleges and universities on entrepreneurship topics.

Xiao Jean Chen

As an award-winning business and technology hybrid, Xiao Jean (XJ) Chen builds smart tools to make venture capital faster, better and equitable. Their mission is to end gender injustice in venture capital. They are the winner of the FemBizSwiss Award, ambassador of Google Women Techmakers, juror of the Digital Entrepreneurship Competition at the University of Zurich, mentor at Startupbootcamp, researcher in management, programmer at 13 hackathons, angel investor, and ex-consultant in Hong Kong. XJ founded VenturePole in Switzerland, an AI-powered venture investment platform that is armed with smart tools, including Investment Risk Rating, Valuation Calculator, Company Strength & Weakness Analysis, as well as automated due diligence. VenturePole builds AI-powered tools that help founders get investment-ready and investors make higher returns. Their tools are unbiased and factor in a diversity surplus to level the playing field for female founders.

Belén Bolliger

Belén Bolliger is Co-Founder of OiOiOi, a Swiss-based rental service for children’s clothing, that enables parents to effortlessly subscribe for baby clothes and swap them for the next size whenever needed. Launched in 2020 with the vision to make sustainability easily accessible through an excellent rental model, OiOiOi is now transforming the way parents manage their children’s wardrobe.

Claudia Bolliger-Winkler

Claudia is the founder and CEO of the recruiting platform Lionstep. Before founding Lionstep in 2016, she worked in strategy consulting and completed her Master’s degree in Management and Economics at the University of Zurich. Lionstep helps companies identify, seek and hire new people in a unique combination of artificial intelligence and human interaction. Always committed to create the best candidate- and client-experience, the Lionstep experts are responsible for thousands of new employee-employer relationships. The company has quickly gained a foothold in the European market and employs more than 80 people. Over 900 Companies use the platform on a daily basis.

Innovation Hub

Weiterführende Informationen

This event is orgainsed together with Startup Campus Switzerland.