Henkel will host Xathon, a business hackathon for early-stage female or mixed-gender co-founder teams, in Berlin from Sept. 1-3; event particularly looking for sustainable innovation, enterprise tech in e-commerce, AI, climate, health or education tech

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DUSSELDORF , June 23, 2022 (press release) –

#ChallengeAccepted at the fourth Xathon

The Xathon is a business hackathon for early-stage female founders, hosted and initiated by Henkel dx Ventures, which will be held on site in Berlin from September 1 to 3, 2022. This will be the fourth time that the Xathon will bring 100 female founders together, connect them with each other as well as with experts and mentors, and support them with knowledge and tools as they work on their business ideas. In addition, participants can win prize money of 25,000 euros. Applications can be made from now on until July 31, 2022, at henkel.com/xathon.

Henkel dx Ventures launched the Xathon four years ago to provide knowledge, expertise, and empower a new generation of female entrepreneurs by inspiring, connecting and accelerating opportunities for growth. Within the Xathon Henkel is looking for early-stage female founders or mixed-gender co-founder teams particularly in the areas of sustainable innovation and enterprise tech covering for example e-commerce, AI, climate, health or education tech.

Co-Host of the Xathon 2022 is Global Digital Women, founded by the well-known German entrepreneur, presenter and author Tijen Onaran. Further partners include Microsoft, Orrick, Unicorn Berlin, Encourage Ventures, Auxxo and Bryck.

Raising awareness for female empowerment
“Diversity, equity and inclusion are of strategic importance to us at Henkel. And I am proud that we do not leave it at the talk but clearly underline our strong commitment with a concrete action plan. Only recently, we have announced our bold ambition of gender parity and now with the fourth edition of the Xathon coming up we set a clear course in supporting talented women in realizing their business models and unfolding their full potential,” says Sylvie Nicol, Chief Human Resources Officer at Henkel.

The Female Founder Monitor 2021 once again showed that targeted support for female founders is still necessary: according to the study, only 16 percent of all founders in Germany are female. “Innovation is built on diversity – this is my strong conviction. Although this figure shows that there is still a long way to go, we know that diversity and female empowerment are key to build a strong tech business and drive growth in the industries we operate in. Therefore, we need to strive for more equity. Our Xathon aims to create equity for female founders supporting them in becoming successful entrepreneurs”, says Michael Nilles, Chief Digital and Information Officer at Henkel.

The Xathon event: #ChallengeAccepted
At the Xathon, Henkel brings together female talents and gives them the opportunity to gain new experience, drive their ideas forward, and network with stakeholders in the industry, laying the foundation for further development. This year, the Xathon has been further developed to an action-driven event and is running under the motto #ChallengeAccepted. Aimed at those with ambition, drive and determination, each attendee will be matched with a relevant, leading entrepreneur within the sector they are looking to disrupt, someone with the background and skillset to offer personalized support, guidance and advice. The focus of Xathon 2022 will be given over to accelerating the businesses of the attendees through intensive individual and group work, as well as dedicated mentor and expert sessions. Those attending will also have the opportunity to meet and pitch to some of Europe's most successful venture capitals and angel investors. After a pitch presentation in front of a jury and the audience, the winners will be announced in an award ceremony and receive, among other things, prize money that will help shaping and realizing her idea.

How to participate
All female founders or mixed-gender co-founder teams who are looking to make a difference and are in the early stage with their start-up are invited to apply until July 31, 2022 at henkel.com/xathon. Participation is free. Participants will be selected based on the innovation power, moonshot and scalability of their business model, market size, their understanding of the market, the company’s value, the applicant’s talent for acting as an entrepreneur and reasons to attend the Xathon. Participants will be informed no later than August 5, 2022.

* The on-site event will take place with the COVID-19 public health guidelines on the dates of the event in September.

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