F-LANE ventures pitching live at the re:publica in front of investors’ and the wider public

F-LANE ventures pitching live at the re:publica in front of investors’ and the wider public

The F-LANE teams presented their disrupting social tech ideas to investors and the greater public at the re:publica in Berlin

Alice Deißner, Vodafone Insitute (Photo: Amin Akhtar/ Vodafone Insitute)

After six weeks of intensive work and mentoring, the five ventures of the female empowerment accelerator F-LANE pitched their business ideas in front of investors at the re:publica. More than 9000 visitors from different backgrounds and industries join the biggest digital conference in Europe each year. The main goal of the pitches was to attract the investors’ interest for in order to further develop their ideas. Alice Deißner, Director of Strategy and Programmes at the Vodafone Institute started the session: “We still have too little women in tech – the consequence could be that women wake up in a digitised world that hasn’t been made and developed by and for them. We want to change that.”

Miriam Wohlfarth/ RatePAY (Photo: Amin Akhtar/ Vodafone Institute)

Before the pitches started, Miriam Wohlfarth, founder and managing director of financial supplier RatePAY, held an inspiring keynote. She appealed to the audience asking them to be brave and find their own ways to start a business: “The first thing is the idea: burn for it and get money in; the second thing is to work with diversity and to make your people successful.”

David Mwesigwa/ breastIT (Photo: Amin Akhtar/ Vodafone Institute)

The first pitch of the day was delivered by breastIT from Uganda. Co-founder David Mwesigwa stressed the massive need for an accessible solution to affordable breast cancer screening in his home country. With their piezoelectric glove, they want to give everyone the chance to be screened – even in remote areas, saying: “We are more than B2B, we are more than B2C, we are B2Human!”

Kamila Danilowicz-Gösele/ FinMarie (Photo: Amin Akhtar/ Vodafone Institute)

David’s pitch was followed by FinMarie, Germany’s first wealth management platform for women by women. “FinMarie is there for women who want to be financially independent. We provide them with an individualized long-term portfolio that takes into account their higher life expectancy and the career breaks women take, for example to raise children”, said Kamila Danilowicz-Gösele, co-founder of the young fintech start-up.

Katherine Prescott/ Free-D (Photo: Amin Akhtar/ Vodafone Institute)

Next up was UK-based Free-D, which provides women at risk in India with an educational program specialized in 3D printing and CAD skills to find long-term employment. Co-founder Katherine Prescott emphasized: “These women have so much to offer and it is our mission to support them into long-term, high value employment by using 3D-Printing.

Talha Naveed & Maliha Khalid/ Doctory (Photo: Amin Akhtar/ Vodafone Institute)

Fourth in line to pitch was the venture Doctory, which has developed a search engine to give people in Pakistan access to medical services which they don’t have access to. Maliha Khalid, CEO of Doctory, unfolded the start-up’s story: “As a young woman, I had to go through five different healthcare experiences with five different doctors ending up in five different diagnoses, before getting to the right one. Doctory is eliminating 80 percent of these experiences.”

Eugine Maseya & Thomas Lauzon / MamaBird (Photo: Amin Akhtar/ Vodafone Institute)

The demo day was then closed by the start-up MamaBird, introduced by founders Thomas Lauzon (USA) and Eugine Maseya (Malawi). Their drones allow for a more efficient transportation of medical supplies into remote African villages. “There is rare access to good sanitation while giving birth in Malawi. With one flight we can already provide enough kits for 15 births – this is a true game changer”, said Thomas Lauzon.


Discussion during the session (Photo: Amin Akhtar/ Vodafone Institute)

Since the wider goal of the demo day was to gain the interests of social impact investors, the following weeks and months are going to be exciting for each of the teams – after returning to their home countries, it is now up to them to use the skills and learnings they acquired at F-LANE to furtheir develop their ventures.