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Pre-summit debate: Innovation Ecosystems and Women Investment


Debate on increasing the role and impact of women inside innovation ecosystems in Europe.

The event is organized by Knowledge4Innovation Forum in collaboration with Collabwith Hosted by MEP Lina Gálvez Muñoz on Monday, 16th November 2020 as an Online Event.

Innovation ecosystems are the hub to connect startups, investors and support services for innovation and entrepreneurship. Currently, innovation ecosystems are working in silos, not connecting between them and only selected businesses and professionals are part of it. The majority are led by men and there is a lack of diversity and women in leadership positions or in decision making positions. The type of events and the communication style is very masculine and women are not represented in them. If the majority of woman investors have invested in woman founders, we need to increase the number of women leadership and participation in innovation ecosystems to increase the number of funded and supported woman entrepreneurs. Women and diversity are bringing different perspectives and values to innovation with more sustainability and more positive impact.

This virtual debate pre-summit has the objective to discuss and analyse the challenges inside the innovation ecosystems regarding the women investment and gender lens with the key actors, and understand the current situation and what kind of actions must be taken to change it.

  • Understand the current situation inside the innovation ecosystems with a gender and diversity lens
  • What are the challenges innovation ecosystems are facing to increase diversity and women for innovation.
  • How to increase women investors, women entrepreneurs and diversity in the innovation ecosystems.

This pre-summit (12 European Innovation Summit, 7-11 December) virtual debate has the objective to present and discuss the criteria for increasing the number of women and diversity inside the innovation ecosystems. The session will inform about the status-quo and identify speakers for the relevant sessions at the 12 EIS. As a result recommendations will be formulated and submitted to the European Parliament and European Commission.

  • Host, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Member of the European Parliament.
  • Paola de Baldomero, Mandate Development Manager at EIF.
  • Siwan Smith, Manager Knowledge Transfer Diversity & Inclusion at KTN, UK
  • Natalie Samovich, Chair Steering Board AIOTI, Head of Innovation and Research at Enercoutim.
  • Carol Tarr, Lecture Nyenrode University, Fellow Included VC, business angel and founder.
  • Sabine Stuiver, co-founder, & CMO Hydraloop.
  • Dr. Irene Lopez de Vallejo, Innovation Ecosystem expert.
  • Kinga Stanislawska, Co-founder Managing Director Experior VC, Founder European Women in VC.
  • Dr. Nakeema Stefflebauer, Founder & CEO FrauenLoop, Fellow Included VC and experience business angel.

Moderated by Jara Pascual, CEO Collabwith and Roland Strauss CEO Forum Knowledge4Innovation.

This is our second pre-summit debate about innovation ecosystems, before the 12th Innovation Summit in the EU Parliament on 9th December, we will host one day for women investment.

How to make innovation ecosystems diverse, inclusive, open and well-connected?

// Connect investment with European strategy and values (no more apps for food delivery, more education).

// Apply single market for innovation ecosystems and business angel investment.

// There is a lack of data about the innovation ecosystem performance –> start measuring the diversity and add ambitious targets for women investors and women entrepreneurs inside the innovation ecosystems.

// Innovation is not only technology.

// Reduce inequalities and review selection criteria for investment.

// Redefine leadership, power and success.

// Representation matters –> role models are needed, diverse mentors, diverse leadership, diverse investors and business angels, women led business and women led projects, women led research.

// Conscious diversity, conscious innovation inside the innovation ecosystems.

// Innovation ecosystems should be open, inclusive and connected.

// Reduce complexity and facilitate information about funding and innovation opportunities inside and outside the innovation ecosystems.

Read here the full speech of MEP Lina Gálvez about Innovation Ecosystems and Women Investment.

Read about the pre-summit debate about funds allocation and women investment.


Executive Collabwith is the Collabwith Consulting service for Executives and C-level. It is part of the Collabwith portfolio of products, which includes the platform Collabwith for Collaborative Innovation, Collabwith Academy, the Collabwith Online Magazine and the podcast Business of Collaboration.

Executive Collabwith is a confidential and personalized way of acquiring new knowledge based on your immediate needs. It is an on-demand service, which can be offered ad-hoc, once per month, once per year or on a regular basis.

Our innovative approach for you is to offer you an individual techhour to help you think about the future, to be ahead of the game, and to enjoy the discipline of learning based on a foundation customized for you, and your business needs. You will receive recommendations right after your techhour, and you can use our future framework to structure your executive roadmap.

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