Founders turn mentors: launching a new mentoring program for female founders

Founders turn mentors: launching a new mentoring program for female founders

The 4-month Female Founders Mentoring Program is designed for first-time, Denmark-based female founders that want to transform their work-in-progress ideas into startups with high-growth potential. The initiative is a collaboration between Beyond Beta, Denmark’s top-tier accelerator program operated by Accelerace, Danish Design Center and the Danish Business Hubs, and Symbion, the leading entrepreneurial and startup environment in Denmark.

The Female Founders Mentoring program will help first-time founders to validate their business ideas, create a game plan, and carry out the next steps.

To answer the how: the founders are matched with handpicked mentors, invited to bi-monthly open hour sessions with subject-matter experts as well as safe and structured founders-to-founders sparring sessions, and given access to the online courses and curated tools in Beyond Beta’s pre-accelerator.

The opportunities do not end after four months. The mentoring program is a stepping stone to potentially enter Denmark’s top-tier accelerator programraise pre-seed funding and/or be matched with industry-leading corporates for pilot projects.

Founders we know turn mentors we need 

The mentors are founders that we have worked alongside. Now, they want to dedicate their time, experiences, and first-hand knowledge to help the next generation of female founders build their startups from the ground up. 

Bibi Blomqvist, Cogo: Spent 6+ years at KAYAK and Momondo as VP and Global Head of Sales before co-founding Cogo, which gathers shared rides for frictionless mobility and a better tomorrow. (Accelerace/Beyond Beta alumni 2021) 

Carolin Schiemer, Eat Grim: CMO and Co-founder of Eat Grim, a platform for ugly and surplus organic fruits and vegetables. Built Eat Grim’s brand, comms, and sustainability strategy. (Accelerace alumni 2019)

Stine Kalmer Jørgensen, DreamPlan: CEO and Co-founder of the fintech startup DreamPlan. Ex-Nykredit as the Head of Digital Innovation and Board Member at Copenhagen Fintech. (Accelerace/Beyond Beta alumni 2021 and Accelerace portfolio company)

Eva Steiness, Serodus: CEO of Serodus, a drug development company focused on the treatment of diabetic complications. Biotech entrepreneur with a string of academic and corporate leadership positions in Danish universities and Scandinavian life science companies.

Maria Engberg Refsgaard and Louise Bencard, BeautyBoosters: Met in LA and currently building an on-demand beauty treatments company. Maria’s a well-known makeup artist and hairstylist, and Louise is a former COO/Head of Operations. (Accelerace alumni 2020)

Mary Apostolaki Johansen, Mayo Group: Corporate entrepreneur, external lecturer, and CEO at Mayo Group, a content agency with customers like WWF, DSB, and BCG. (Ex-Accelerace employee and startup mentor)

Charlotte Rønje, Jamii.one: CEO and Co-founder of Jamii.one, a fintech startup that unlocks the potential of unbanked saving communities. Board Member at Copenhagen Fintech and ex-PwC. (Accelerace alumni 2020)

Nana Christiansen, Go Zebra: Building a kids entrepreneurship movement. Ex-CMO at Accelerace with 15+ years of startup, business development, and marketing experience. (Ex-Accelerace employee and startup mentor)

Jacqueline Ameri, PanCryos: CEO and Co-founder of PanCryos, a biotech company that’s developing a next-generation stem cell therapy for type 1 diabetes. Holds a Ph.D. degree in Functional Genetics. (NOME Alumni 2019)

More mentors are to be announced.

Who this is relevant for

The Female Founders Mentoring Program is designed for early-stage, first-time female founders that are based in Denmark.

We do not expect the founders to work on their startups full-time, have an MVP and/or a complete team when they apply. Instead, we expect them to have work-in-progress business ideas that are innovative and have the potential to address a growing, international market, as well as an ambition to turn these ideas into scalable ventures and full-time jobs.

Why we are doing this

Over the years, we have worked alongside hundreds of startups and while we are confident that we are doing a good job at helping them, we see a lack of gender diversity in the teams that turn to us for help.  

Imagine the money, jobs, and solutions to pressing problems that would be added to our economy and society, if as many women as men built companies and raised funding. 

This is an initiative to change that. 

The application deadline for the first cohort is September 7. Apply here!

About Accelerace:

Since 2008, Accelerace has supported 800+ Danish and international startups, including Trustpilot and Templafy, through our accelerator program, made 70+ pre-seed investments and matched startups with industry-leading companies such as Tetra PakArla, and Elia. Accelerace is also responsible for the management of NOME (Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship), an elite mentoring program for Nordic life science startups.

Our current accelerator program is Beyond Beta, which we run together with the Danish Business Hubs (under the lead of Copenhagen Business Hub – Erhvervshus Hovedstaden) and Danish Design Center. The platform-based approach means that startups can kick-start their journey today by joining the 100% free, online pre-accelerator, which can be used as an on-demand toolbox to build for scale or as a first step into the core accelerator program.