Two locals chosen for Inspiring 50 NL

Photo credit: Mell Photography

Inspiring Fifty Netherlands 2019 is an initiative to highlight the women who are the driving force behind the tech industry in the Netherlands. It provides more visibility and recognition to these role models.

It aims to increase diversity in technology by making female role models more visible. Recently, 50 winners were selected from over 200 nominations from all over the Netherlands. Two of these women, Nina Hoff and Jalila Essaïdi, come from Eindhoven.

Jalila Essaïdi

Jalila Essaïda

Jalila Essaïdi is the CEO at Inspidere B.V. She is a Dutch artist and entrepreneur based here, in Eindhoven. Essaïdi specialises in the fields of bio-based materials and so-called bio-art. She is best known for her work ‘2.6g 329m/s’, also known as ‘Bulletproof Skin’.

This is a project that achieved bioengineered bulletproof human skin. This project combined in vitro human skin with spider silk from genetically modified organisms. This combination created a material that can stop a slow-speed bullet.

Another of her well-known projects is Mestic®. Here, cow manure is transformed into cellulose-derivatives.

Nina Hoff

Nina Hoff

Nina is the co-Founder & CEO of byFlow. This is a 3D food printing company based in Eindhoven. She is a natural-born entrepreneur. When she was only 14, she started her first ‘company’. She organised workshops for children in the neighborhood, and even started a newspaper.

In 2018, Nina won the Techionista Award for being the best female Tech Entrepreneur. Besides all these responsibilities, she very proudly tells the story about the future of food in relation to 3D Food Printing.

She also shares her ideas about personal nutrition. Nina is passionate about getting more women in tech. She gives inspirational talks and interviews and hosts various Women-in-Tech-events.

Diversity needed

In 2018, research showed that women-led startups are less likely to receive funding from venture capital investors. This data reinforces the importance of increasing diversity in the industry. More female role models are needed to pave the way. Girls and women must be encouraged to enter the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field.

“As a technology sector, we are missing a huge opportunity worldwide. Both from an economic and socio-emotional point of view, gender parity is of great value. Therefore, we must now fight with all our might to achieve it,” says Steven Schuurman, Founder of Elastic.

Joelle Frijters and Janneke Niessen established the Inspiring Fifty initiative. Commenting on the recent nominations, Frijters, says, “Today we are celebrating 50 women that have made major contributions to the Netherlands technology industry. Their courage to push forward against the status quo and hard-fought success that makes them inspiring role models.”

This example will change the industry

“It is important that the industry, government, public, and wider business community understand. The example set by the Inspiring Fifty will help transform the industry’s workforce, improving the sustainability of the Dutch economy,” she says.

HRH Prince Constantijn van Oranje, Special Envoy of StartupDelta, added, “Diverse teams perform better, and female founders often perform better than their male counterparts. It is a missed opportunity that so few women-led businesses receive venture capital. A thriving ecosystem should strongly promote female entrepreneurship and investment opportunities.”

The Inspiring Fifty Netherlands 2019 Awards are held in collaboration with Codam Coding College, Uber, and Career Team. InspiringFifty is active internationally, across Europe, South Africa, Canada, and soon Asia.

Source: Netherlands InspiringFifty

For Eindhoven News: Melinda Walraven

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