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Finnish female founders break startup stereotypes

Berlin-based startup media The Hundert lists 100 female founders from 40 European countries in its eight volume. Among the featured founders are first-time and serial entrepreneurs, career changers, new mothers, failed business owners trying again, and more. The Hundert

How many European startups are founded by women? According to the European Startup Monitor less than 15 per cent. Women founders and leaders might be seriously underrepresented in the world of startups but they are certainly not standing in the shadows.

Berlin-based startup media The Hundert lists 100 female founders from 40 European countries in their latest issue. We give you a sneak peek of the listed Finnish startup founders.

Ulla Engeström, ThingLink

Ulla Engeström, founder and CEO of ThingLink set up her first office in her garage in 2008. While taking care of small children, she developed the idea behind ThingLink, raised seed funding and moved to the US. The company supports annotating 360-degree images and videos, and lets anybody create stories for virtual reality. ThingLink is used by more than three million publishers and educators globally.

Ulla Engeström’s company Thinglink lets anybody to create stories for virtual reality. Image: ThingLink

Jutta Haaramo, Stylewhile

Jutta Haaramo, founder and CEO of Stylewhile*, launched the company’s first app in 2013 in cooperation with Saks Fifth Avenue. A Finland-based fashion tech company provides an online try-on-experience that uses existing photos from fashion brands. Haaramo, a mother of two with not much time on her hands, realised that online shopping can be a time consuming task. She wanted to solve this problem and create a tool which helps customers to find the right outfit combinations with ease. That’s how Stylewhile was born.

Emma Huovinen, My Next Run

Emma Huovinen, co-founder and CEO of My Next Run became a founder out of sheer curiosity while doing her studies in Helsinki. Huovinen’s company, My Next Run helps runners to discover their next running adventure by listing over 10 000 running events worldwide. Early on Huovinen was able to get backed by top-tier investors that gave her the chance to quickly scale her business. But no one is a master in the beginning: Huovinen emphasises the invaluable mentoring she has got from experienced investors and entrepreneurs while developing her business.

Emma Huovinen’s My Next Run helps runners to discover their next running adventure by listing over 10 000 running events worldwide. Image: Maija Saarema

Jenny Wolfram, Brandbastion

Jenny Wolfram, CEO of BrandBastion, had been dreaming about creating her own business since childhood. As a five-year old she sold handmade blueberry facial creams to her neighbours and 20 years later founded one of the most promising Finnish enterprises: BrandBastion. The company’s mission is to secure brands’ reputations on social media channels. Growth has been rapid in the past few years for Wolfram and her international team: they recently expanded the service from Facebook to Instagram and YouTube.

Jenny Wolfram’s Brandbastion’s growth has been rapid in the past few years. Image: Brandbastion

The Hundert’s eighth volume presents 100 successful female founders from 40 European countries. Highlighting the accute richness and diversity of the founding stories, the magazine wishes to inspire many women to build their own companies. The magazine can be downloaded on www.the-hundert.com for free.

*Part of Seezona since 2016

By: Sara Vihavainen