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TOP 50: Europe’s most influential women in the startup and venture capital space (2016)

Over the last few weeks we’ve been working on a list of Europe’s most influential women in the startup and venture capital space. In total we screened about 200 potential nominees and did our best to narrow this list down to 50.

As women are still heavily underrepresented in the startup world, we think it’s time to shed some light on all those amazing female entrepreneurs and investors out there. And here are Europe’s 50 most influential women in the startup and venture capital space:

Alice_BentinckAlice Bentinck is a London-based entrepreneur who co-founded Entrepreneur First, one of the world’s leading company builders, as well as Code First:Girls, a free part-time course for female students.

Alice_ZaguryAlice Zagury is the co-founder and CEO of The Family, a Paris-based startup accelerator with the mission to empower entrepreneurs in their quest for a repeatable, scalable and profitable business model.

Alisée-de-TonnacAlisée de Tonnac is a Swiss entrepreneur who co-founded Seedstars World, a global startup competition covering 65+ emerging and developing markets. Alisée now serves as Seedstar World’s CEO.

Alix-de-SagazanAlix de Sagazan is the Paris-based co-founder of AB Tasty – a leading European optimization platform for e-marketers which enables them to modify their website without technical knowledge through AB Testing & personalization.

Anna-AlexAnna Alex is a Berlin-based entrepreneur who co-founded Outfittery, one of Europe’s leading e-commerce startups which aims to revolutionize the shopping experience for men.

Avid-Larizadeh-DugganAvid Larizadeh Duggan is a London-based entrepreneur who co-founded Bottica.com, an online luxury bazaar of fashion accessories, and is now General Partner at Google Ventures.

Brigitte-BaumannBrigitte Baumann is the Founder and CEO of Go Beyond Early Stage Investing. In 2015 EBAN (the European Business Angel Network) named her European Investor of the Year. Born in France, Brigitte and her family live in Zurich.

Candace-JohnsonCandace Johnson is a serial entrepreneur and co-founded organizations like SES and Europe Online Investments. She is also an active investor and serves as president of EBAN (the European Business Angel Network).

Celine-LazorthesCeline Lazorthes is the Paris-based founder and CEO of the FinTech success story Leetchi Group – which includes Leetchi.com, an online money pot (+5M users), and MANGOPAY, the disruptive B2B payment solution.

Claudia-HelmingClaudia Helming is the Berlin-based co-founder and CEO of Dawanda, Europe’s leading online marketplace that trades handmade products from professional artisans, artists, designers, and individuals.

Colette-BallouColette Ballou is the founder of Ballou PR, a European public relations agency that works with high-growth technology and technology-enabled companies, as well as technology investors.

Corinne-VigreuxCorinne Vigreux is a Dutch entrepreneur and co-founded TomTom. As a leader of one of the few consumer electronic companies from Europe to become a global brand in the recent history, she is a champion of European innovation.

Delia-FischerDelia Fischer is a Munich-based entrepreneur who co-founded Westwing, a leading online platform for interior design products. Westwing secured more than $200 million in venture capital and Delia serves as Managing Director.

Diva-TommeiDiva Tommei is an Italian entrepreneur who co-founded Solenica and runs the company now as CEO. Solenica builds smart natural lighting systems with an Italian design that are beautiful, affordable and easy-to-use.

Dörte-HöppnerDörte Höppner is the former CEO of Invest Europe and represented Europe’s private equity & venture capital sector. Today, she’s the Managing Director of P+P, an international law firm which also advices on M&A and private equity.

Eileen-BurbidgeEileen Burbidge is Partner at Passion Capital, one of Europe’s leading early-stage technology VC firms, which is based in London. Eileen is also a member of the advisory group of the UK’s Prime Minister.

Elizabeth-VarleyElizabeth Varley is the founder and CEO of TechHub. The global tech startup community is headquartered in the UK, and operates TechHubs in seven cities around the world.

Fausta-PavesioFausta Pavesio is a Milan-based entrepreneur, board member and advisor who was named IBAN Business Angel of the Year 2015. In addition, Fausta is the Independent Director of the coworking space Talent Garden Milano.

Freya-OehleFreya Oehle is the co-founder and CEO of the Hamburg-based startup Spottster – the first online shopping platform that makes it possible to track your favourite products in numerous online shops.

Geraldine-Le-MeurGeraldine Le Meur is a French entrepreneur who lives in San Francisco. Over the past 20 years, she co-founded the tech conference LeWeb and several successful tech companies.

Ida-TinIda Tin is the co-founder and CEO of Clue, the world’s fastest growing female health app. Berlin-based Clue helps you understand your cycle so you can discover how to live a full and healthy life.

Jessica-ButcherJessica Butcher is the London-based co-founder and Director of Blippar – the world’s leading visual browser, harnessing augmented reality and image-recognition technology.

Judith-CleggJudith Clegg is the founder & CEO of London and New York based innovation and strategy consultancy Takeout. She’s also an investor and advisor in a range of startups including True Office, Onalytica, NSFWcorp and Sofarsounds.

Julia-BöschJulia Bösch is a Berlin-based entrepreneur who co-founded Outfittery, one of Europe’s leading e-commerce startups which aims to revolutionize the shopping experience for men.

Justine-RobertsJustine Roberts is a London-based entrepreneur and the CEO of Mumsnet, the UK’s most popular parenting website, and Gransnet, a sister site dedicated to the over-50s.

Kaidi-RuusaleppKaidi Ruusalepp is the founder and CEO of Funderbeam, a marketplace where startups get funded and traded across borders. Estonia-based Funderbeam combines startup analytics, investing and trading on the secondary market.

Karen-BoersKaren Boers is the co-founder and Managing Director of Startups.be – a unique organization which supports startups in Belgium. Karen is also a board member and CEO of the European Startup Network.

Karoli-HindriksKaroli Hindriks is an Estonian entrepreneur who founded her first startup at the age of 16. Today she’s the CEO of Jobbatical – a platform where global employers borrow the skills of techies and creatives.

Laura-KohlerLaura Kohler is the founder and CEO of European Innovation Hub which aims to grow tech startups in Europe and beyond. The European Innovation Hub also connects corporates with startups driving their innovation strategy.

Lea-Sophie-CramerLea-Sophie Cramer is the founder and Managing Director of Berlin-based Amorelie – a fashionable online-shop for your love life. Before Amorelie, Lea-Sophie served as VP International at Rocket Internet and Groupon.

Lisa-LangLisa Lang is the founder and CEO of Berlin-based ElektroCouture – the first agency to pioneer bespoke innovative elektronic wearable technology for the fashion industry. She’s also an evangelist of the Berlin Geekettes.

Madeleine-Gummer-MohlMadeleine Gummer v. Mohl is the co-founder and CEO of Betahaus, a coworking space with offices in spaces in Berlin, Hamburg, Sofia and Barcelona. Madeleine is also the co-founder of the accelerator Hardware.co.

Marie-Helene-AmetsreiterMarie Helene Ametsreiter is a Partner at the Vienna-based VC firm Speedinvest. She’s also part of the TV show “2 Minuten 2 Millionen“, the Austrian version of Shark Tank.

Martha-Lane-FoxMartha Lane Fox is a London-based serial entrepreneur who co-founded companies and organizations like lastminute.com, Lucky Voice, Antigone, Go On UK, and Doteveryone.

Mette-LykkeMette Lykke is the co-founder of Endomondo – a super successful social fitness community based on free real-time GPS tracking of running. Since the acquisition by Under Armour, Mette now serves as VP International.

Nancy-CruickshankNancy Cruickshank is a London-based entrepreneur who founded MyShowcase, a personal beauty shopping service, helping clients to discover and try tailored makeup, skincare, bodycare and haircare recommendations.

Natalie-MassenetNatalie Massenet founded Net-a-Porter back in 2000 in London as a website in magazine format for selling designer fashion. Today, Net-a-Porter employs over 3,000 people around the globe.

Nathalie-GaveauNathalie Gaveau is a London-based entrepreneur who co-founded Priceminister (sold to Rakuten for $250M). Now she’s the co-founder & CEO of Shopcade, the style cheat sheet that keeps you updated on fashion celebs.

Neelie-KroesNeelie Kroes is a former Vice President of the European Commission and as a Commissioner she was responsible for the Digital Agenda. Today she’s a board member of Salesforce and on the advisory board of Uber.

Paola-BonomoPaola Bonomo is an Italian angel investor who previously served as Member of eBay’s European leadership team, led the online business of Italy’s largest financial newspaper, and worked as Marketing Solutions Director at Facebook.

Pia-PoppenreiterPia Poppenreiter is the co-founder and CEO of Ohlala – a new kind of online dating platform that instantly connects men who want to pay for a date with beautiful women.

Raffaela-ReinRaffaela Rein is the founder and CEO of CareerFoundry, a Berlin-based startup which today is Europe’s leading online education destination, training the next generation of technical talent and digital leaders.

Reshma-SohoniReshma Sohoni is a co-founder and Partner of Seedcamp, a London-based organization which describes itself as is a first round fund, and is often mentioned as the number one startup accelerator in Europe.

Roxanne-VARZARoxanne Varza is the Director of the Paris-based Station F project, which set out to become the largest startup campus worldwide. Prior to her current role, Roxanne was the lead for Microsoft’s startup activities in France.

Sarah-WoodSarah Wood is the co-founder and CEO of Unruly. The London-based company gets videos seen, shared and loved across the open web for brands that want to move people, not just reach people.

Sherry-CoutuSherry Coutu lives in London and is a former CEO and angel investor who serves on the boards of several organizations, chairs Founders4Schools and is a Non-Executive Director of Zoopla and the London Stock Exchange Group.

Sonali-De-RyckerSonali De Rycker joined the venture capital firm Accel Partners in 2008 and today helps lead the London office as General Partner. Sonali serves as board member at companies like Wallapop, Calastone and IAC.

Steffi-CzernySteffi Czerny is the co-founder and Managing Director of DLD, one of the world’s most exclusive events for topics like digital life, future design and entrepreneurship. Steffi and her company DLD Media are based in Munich.

Stephanie-HospitalStephanie Hospital is the founder of One Ragtime, a global technology investment fund and advisory. Prior to this, she was a Executive Vice President of Orange Digital and served as a board member at Dailymotion.

Tanja-KufnerTanja Kufner is the Managing Director of Startupbootcamp Berlin – one of the leading startup accelerator programs in Europe. Prior to this, Tanja was Country Manager Germany for Wayra – Telefónica’s startup accelerator.

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Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr is the "Editor in Chief" of EU-Startups.com and started the blog in October 2010. He is excited about Europe's future, passionate about new business ideas and lives in Barcelona (Spain).


  1. Nice selection Eu Startups! For those who are looking for twitter profile, here are some of them I’ve found!


    Thanks for sharing this list with our community.

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