This is the Female Founders Monitor


Despite their high skills and entrepreneurial ambitions, women are still seriously underrepresented on the executive floors of most companies. The same is true for the startup sector with currently only 16% female founders. The reasons for these disparities are complex, but women clearly have to overcome a whole range of obstacles on their way to the top. This is not only unfair, but also a major problem concerning economic growth.


The goal of the FFM, which has been published since 2018 by the German Startups Association and Google for Startups, is to learn more about female founders, their motives and challenges and to promote the topic publicly. This way, we want to provide new political momentum for empowering women in the tech sector and in business as a whole.


The study is based on the data collected for the German Startup Monitor (DSM) 2019. The DSM is the most comprehensive study of the startup ecosystem in Germany and is conducted annually by the German Startups Association with the support of PwC. With its specific focus on startups and innovative business models, the DSM distinguishes itself from studies on entrepreneurship more generally.


Startups are the driving economic force of the future. As the representative and voice of startups in Germany, the German Startups Association has been committed to a founder-friendly environment since 2012 and currently represents more than 900 startups. Within its network, the Startups Association enables an equal exchange between innovative young companies, established businesses and the political sphere.

A key concern for the Startups Association is the empowerment of women in the startup ecosystem. With this objective in mind, the Female Founders Monitor has been published annually since 2018. It is guided by the vision of an open, equal and progress-driven society.


More information about the Startup Association

Alexander Hirschfeld

heads the research division at the Startups Association. He is the project lead of the German Startups Monitor and responsible for all studies published by the Startups Association on various topics related to the ecosystem, such as the Female Founders Monitor. He has a doctorate in the field of sociology, with a thesis on changes in the world of work. In his teaching and studies Alex has focused on the relationship between industry and technology at different universities in Germany and abroad. This included one year spent as a visiting researcher at Columbia University in New York.

Jannis Gilde

is responsible in the research division of the Startups Association for the development and relations with the partner network of the German Startup Monitor as well as for data analyses. He is also contributing to further studies on the ecosystem as an author. Jannis holds degrees in political and administrative science from Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen and the Free University Berlin. In addition to his studies, he gained practical experience in the field of political communication in Berlin and Brussels and at a leading strategy consultancy.

Nina Wöss

Active in the European startup community since 2012, Nina got to know the ecosystem from different angles. As a Principal and later Head of Marketing & Community at Speedinvest, a pan-European seed-stage VC fund, she put her focus on portfolio services and knowledge exchange among founders. In 2016 she co-founded Female Founders, an organization that aims to change economy and society by fostering entrepreneurial leadership. Female Founders currently runs different programs, among them a startup accelerator for female-led ventures from all over Europe and a female leadership program for corporate talent.

Partner and Sponsor

Google for Startups supports startups around the world. The mission: to guide founders through crucial phases of their development, to support startup communities and to network them; on the one hand by providing products, resources and best practices from Google, and on the other by mobilizing the global Google network, which includes many established startup organizations, experts and investors. Google for Startups wants to create a level playing field for startup teams and has been publishing the Female Founders Monitor together with the German Startups Association since 2018. The study shows that women continue to be underrepresented in the startup world and have less access to resources (particularly financial) and networks.

At this point, Google for Startups starts a specific mentorship program. The Immersion: Women Founders Programm accompanies female founders through the growth phases of their startups, supports them with mentors and Google experts, connects them within the founder community and investor scene, and gives them more visibility within the ecosystem.


More about Google for Startups and on Twitter @GoogleStartups
Click here for the application page of the Immersion: Women Founders Programms

Mayra Frank

is responsible for the Germany strategy at Google for Startups. She is committed to fostering a more diverse startup community and supports female founders in
Germany and Europe by promoting targeted programs and initiatives. Prior to Google for Startups, Mayra worked on Google’s brand strategy in Silicon Valley and ran global philanthropic initiatives for Mayra has a background in communication, innovation management and design thinking: She studied at the University of the Arts in Berlin and at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London.

Zoé Gadsden

develops content and formats at Google for Startups to educate, connect, and support founders in their careers and company growth. Previously, Zoé served as Head of New Ventures for Tech Open Air, Europe’s largest interdisciplinary technology festival. She is also a founding member of Female Narratives, a creative agency committed to creating a more inclusive media landscape. Zoé’s background is in experiential marketing, and she studied economics, art management, and art history in New York.