Winners of Female StartAperitivo announced
The Lüneburg-based start-up Hempy Period has won first prize with its hemp tampons in the Female StartAperitivo held in Knust Hamburg. Two Hamburg-based women were among the runners-up. 5pectre Optix won over the audience with the “world’s "smallest broadband spectrometer" while Tœrn had pitched a sustainable logistics solutions. The start-ups were among eight female finalists from north Germany in the scheme, launched by the City of Hamburg.
Founders meet investors
Amelie Harm, Chiara Kracklauer and Agnes Maria Pau, the founders of Hempy Period, are currently developing a tampon prototype made of hemp that can be broken down easily and is thus climate-friendlier. The trio needs around EUR 35,000 to grow their business. The Female StartAperitivo scheme is organised by the Hamburg Investors Network (HIN) to give female entrepreneurs an opportunity to meet investors and business angels and to grow their networks. Female founders accounted for a share of only 18 per cent in 2021 despite rising figures and frequently have less developed networks especially for financing, according to the Female Founders Monitor 2020 (FFM).
5pectre Optix and Tœrn in top three
Dr. Ekaterina Zapolnova, founder of 5pectre Optix, came second thanks to her broadband spectrometer. Its size saves both costs and space, according to the jury. Her spectrometer can be used to examine whether, for instance, a vegan lipstick is actually vegan or distinguish real and fake diamonds from each other. Eva Aumüller, the founder of Tœrn, came third. Her logistics solution could potentially lower the rate of returns in online retail. In many cases, returned items could be sent to other customers without being sent back to the online retailer first thereby saving costs, effort and emissions.
Female StartAperitivo to become national contest
Sustainability was central to the finalists' business ideas and included an app by the Lübeck-based Sustomer Lübeck for sustainable shopping. The Hanover-based company Ecofibr focuses on paper pulp from pineapple waste while the Rostock-based Inova Protein breeds insects for proteins. The founders' funding needs ranged from EUR 35,000 to EUR 20 million depending on their development stage. Workshops and master classes will be held later this year. The event is to become a national competition in 2023 and the finals will be staged in Hamburg.