It’s well known that a significant gender gap has persisted through the years, particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields across the world.
However, women have made massive progress towards increasing their participation in these fields through higher education and proper guidance.
According to the United Nations (UN), “Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution not only to the economic development of the world but to progress across all the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well.” To further highlight this issue, the United Nations observes The International Day of Women and Girls in Science every year on February 11th.
To celebrate this day, Silicon Canals have created a list of women founders of Amsterdam-based startups with a background in science, with the help of Smart Health Amsterdam. These are the women in science of the Amsterdam startup ecosystem:
Barbara Koole is a Ph.D. researcher and board member of the CITIES Foundation in Amsterdam. CITIES is an independent organisation that invests its energy in active research, community engagement, and the initiation of locally specific solutions for global urban problems.
She is doing her Ph.D. in the role of trust dynamics in transforming agricultural practises in Europe to incorporate sustainable values.
Marcella Wijngaardan is a Ph.D. student in Mathematical Sciences and co-founder and tech lead of sustainable fashion startup Project CeCe. Project CeCe is a search engine for sustainable fashion. The platform combines all fair and sustainable clothing, and offers them online in one place.
Monalisa Goswami is a Ph.D. Researcher in Chemistry, as well as co-founder of two science-based startups – Spark904, a startup from the University of Amsterdam, and Open Kitchen lab, a lab-as-a-service (LaaS) concept for startups in sustainability & circular chemistry. Goswami has also delivered university-industry research projects involving multinationals as well as startups.
Carolin Glasbergen is a Ph.D. candidate working on ‘Modelling key drivers and prerequisites for Female Leadership. She also founded Fitshe, which she sold to FrieslandCampina in 2020 and later founded New Female Leaders. She has also published a book “New Female Leader,” in collaboration with publisher Lev Bruna.
Madelon Bracke has a Ph.D. in cell biology and co-founded Clear, which has developed a fancy glucose monitor. She is an all-round life science and health professional, with experience in research, education and entrepreneurship.
After her Ph.D., she worked as a scientist in the fields of immunology, haematology, pharmacoepidemiology, regenerative medicine & stem cells in the Netherlands and the UK.
She has also authored many scientific publications, supervised Ph.D. students, acquired grants, and was the principal investigator on strategic alliances between industry and academia.
In the last ten years, she focused on valorisation of research in education and entrepreneurship. She has been an executive and consultant for several startups.
Sandra Rathod has a Ph.D. and is the current CEO of brain training startup NeuroReality, an Amsterdam startup that aims to change the way people approach cognitive training and rehabilitation.
NeuroReality provides VR games that are intended to train a variety of cognitive skills such as calculation, attention, memory, visuospatial abilities, executive functions, and reaction time.
Jana Miniarikova has a Ph.D. in genetic therapy and is CEO and co-founder of AI startup Hypherdata, a B2B Data Solutions platform to help Life Science companies overcome (new) AI/data complexities and obstacles.
She has co-developed a gene therapy for Huntington’s disease (uniqure.com). Miniarikova is the co-author of patented research of uniQure’s AMT130 therapy. She is also a grant writer and consultant to SMEs & Academics in LIfe Science.
Marissa de Boer has a Ph.D. in philosophy and is CEO of SusPhos, a startup that seems to combine chemistry, sustainability, and agriculture. She has studied Science, Business, and Innovation. De Boer’s field of expertise is the sustainable use of Phosphorus and material scarcity.
Claudia Persoon did her Ph.D. on molecular mechanisms of neuropeptide secretion in the brain and went on to found healthtech startup NeuroSpector, a platform that aims to improve drug development for neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Margret Huenerbein is the CEO of Bilihome, a medtech company with a focus on family-centric care for jaundiced newborns and their parents.
She is a trained engineer and marketer with 10 years of global product management and 7 years of international marketing and business development in Asia and South Europe. Huenerbein possesses extensive knowledge in Maternal and Infant Health solutions.
Heleen Willemsen is a co-founder and CEO of Asthmaware, which developed a monitoring device for children with asthma. Before co-founding the startup, she worked as Chief Product Officer in MindAffect, Business developer, and Innovation Manager Medical Devices at AMC (Academic Medical Center).
Eva Rennen is the founder of Nostics, a digital diagnostics platform for instant testing without the need for expensive facilities. Previously, she worked for VSPARTICLE as Sustainable Strategy & Development, and StartupAmsterdam.
Mira Gleisberg is CEO and co-founder of Respiq, an Amsterdam startup that has developed a breathalyser to spot health issues. This breath test is scientifically proven and is currently being used in top hospitals. Previously, she worked in Mira Consulting as Health Entrepreneur & Strategy Consultant, Antler, and Philips.