Startup Stereo Episode #06 – Female Entrepreneurship – Bettina Engert & Frederike Probert

Written by German Accelerator

Today’s guests are Bettina Engert (CEO of STARTUP TEENS) and Frederike Probert (Founder & CEO of Mission Female).

Screenshot of Zoom Call with Katrin Grunwald, Bettina Engert, and Frederike Probert

In our conversation, we dive into the various experiences as a woman in the corporate, VC, and startup world. We discuss the importance of networking, mentorship, and role models and how they can support female founders. Further, we talk about how an inclusive company culture begins with a mindset of curiosity for each employee independent of their background – Bettina, for example, shares the true story of the Salesforce CEO asking new employees, “What can I learn from you?”

We also address specific options of quotas or enablements that might be useful – or not – to move towards an increasingly diverse startup ecosystem. And finally, both guests agree that if we were to get together again in 5 years, we are hopefully one step closer to turning the vision of a diverse German entrepreneurship landscape into a reality!

For all the German-speakers amongst you: if you’d like to know more from our speakers, check out their books. STARTUP TEENS  has published “Zukunftsrepublik” together with 80 authors from different business areas, education, and backgrounds, sharing their ideas for a flourishing Germany in the year 2030. All proceeds from the book go to the non-profit STARTUP TEENS. Frederike also wrote a book: “Frauen.Macht.Karriere,” offering practical strategies for women in different stages of their careers.

In this episode talk about:

  • Bettina’s path from being employee number one at Flixbus, working for a VC to the entrepreneurship education non-profit STARTUP TEENS
  • Frederike’s goal with Mission Female to provide networking & exchange opportunities, personal development, more visibility for female executives in addition to their “We believe initiatives,” including their fempreneur program
  • Why instead of asking, “How do we get more female founders?” we should be answering, “Why do we need diversity in the startup and VC world?” It’s important to keep in mind that females represent half the potential customers, workforce, and talent pool. We can’t afford to exclude women if we want a flourishing economy!
  • The importance of networking and mentoring – for both mentors & mentees
  • How especially role models with a tech or STEM background can support young teenage founders
  • How having an inclusive and welcoming company culture with equal opportunities for everyone is strongly defined by management 
  • The requirement of openness and curiosity is a mindset needed to set an inclusive company culture
  • How quotas or enablements help advance and support more diverse startups


About German Accelerator’s Startup Stereo:

German Accelerator’s “Startup Stereo” is a podcast with and for founders, innovators, and change-makers. Plug into the stories, experiences, and best practices around startups, expansion, leadership, new work, company culture, and more. Stay tuned for more episodes in the near future! Startup Stereo is hosted by Katrin Grunwald, Founder of the Globe Team.