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women in vc and startup ecosystem by vestbee
31 January 2022·12 min read

Aleksandra Wirth

Vestbee

Top Women From VC and Startup Ecosystem In Czech Republic

The European startup and venture capital ecosystems are full of many inspiring women, ready to take on new challenges and add value to the existing community. In this series, we will present you most recognizable women entrepreneurs, investors, market experts and activists that contribute to European startup & VC ecosystem growth. Firstly we have put on watch Czech Republic and its amazing representation of female market players.

So, without further ado let’s meet the Top Women from Czech VC and Startup Ecosystem! 

Simona Kijonkova

CEO & Founder, Zasilkovna

Simona Kijonkowa, known as the first lady of Czech e-commerce is the Founder and CEO of Zasilkovna company, which now operates within the technology and logistics holding- Packeta Group. The company was founded in 2010 with a strong will to offer unique outsourcing services on the market. Since then it has become a leader in the sector, offering its logistic services to more than 30 countries and cooperating with more than 30 000 shops. Simona has graduated from the Faculty of Social and Economics in Ústí nad Labem as well as from the University of Economics in Prague. Over 10 years of presence on the Czech business scene and huge experience in the e-commerce field resulted in numerous awards - she became the winner of the business category in the 17th edition of the TOP Women of the Czech Republic survey 2021 and was listed in the Forbes overview of the most influential 150 women in the Czech Republic 2021

 Eva Pavlikova

Founder & CEO, Česko.Digital

Eva Pavlikova has a huge experience in the business area. Previously she has been working in CETIN as a Project Leader, where she had an opportunity to lead several business and sales growth projects. After 20 years of presence on the business scene, she has decided to co-found Česko.Digital, is a non-profit organization that focuses on supporting non-governmental and state institutions in digital transformation. As an entrepreneur, Ewa Pavlikova was featured on the list of Top 20 Innovators in the Czech Republic in edition 2020/2021.  

Katerina Vackova

Founder & CSO, Loono

When Katerina Vackova was 22 years old she was diagnosed with cancer. Based on her experience, she decided to raise awareness among people about the importance of preventative treatment by founding her own company with such a mission. Loono is a platform run by a team of doctors and medical students, which aim to educate people on health and prevention matters by organizing workshops, panel discussions, and educational projects. In 2016, Katerina was included on the Forbes 30 under 30 list.

Dita Formankova

Founder, Czechitas

Understanding the high importance of empowering the women community, Dita Formankova, a software engineer, has founded the Czechitas. It’s a non-governmental social enterprise that provides technical education and networking possibilities in the IT vertical mostly for women by organizing workshops on programming, web development, data analysis, as well as computer graphics or security. Currently, Dita is also working as a Director Diversity & Inclusion and Communities at Avast. 

Petra Hudeček Končelíková

Founder & Partner, Nation 1 VC

Petra Hudeček Končelíková is a founder and partner in Nation 1 VC, which is both a VC fund and accelerator. Her presence in the business scene for over 20 years allowed her to take responsibility for acceleration programs for startups all around the Czech Republic. She is also a founder of Universal Startup Centre, and in the past, she was a Co-owner of Node5, a co-working space dedicated solely to tech startups and digital entrepreneurs. 

Andrea Ferancová Bartoňová

Chair Of The Board and Founding Partner, ESPIRA Investments

Andrea has over 20 years of experience in the emerging markets and finance sectors. After graduating from  Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program as well as the University of Prague, she became a Co-owner of the Wood & Company, a leading Central European investment bank and brokerage firm. Currently, she is a Founding Partner and a Board Member at ESPIRA Investments and a Board Member of the Charter 77 Foundation, the largest NGO in the Czech Republic. She was also ranked several times in the list of the top 25 businesswomen in the Czech Republic.  

Silvana Jirotkova

CEO CzechInvest

Since 2002, Silvana Jirotkova has been connected with CzechInvest, a state contributory organization subordinate to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, focusing on attracting foreign investment and developing Czech companies. Until June 2019, she assumed the CEO duties of the company; however, in the past, she was focused on the development of industrial properties as a Regional Manager. Silvana used to work in the private sector as well; in 2007-2009, she took the role of Business Development Manager at PSR Brownfield Developers.

Petra Cihlářová

 Managing Director, UP21

Petra Cihlářová is a project manager and consultant, who gained her experience by working in international and Czech companies in project management. Currently, Petra is focusing on providing development support for promising companies as a Managing Director at Byznys 21 and UP21- a startup accelerator that invests funds in growth projects with high potential and great social benefits. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees at Propolis 33 Foundation. 

Silke Horakova

Co-Founder & Partner, Tilia Impact Ventures 

Silka Horakova has a huge experience in VC, as she used to work as the CEO of the Czech Private Equity & Venture Capital Association as well as a senior professional for private equity funds and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Currently, she is the Co-Founder & Partner of Tilia Impact Ventures and the Co-owner of Albatros Media a.s., the largest Czech book publishing company.

Petra Moravcova

VC Investor, 3VC

Petra Moracvova has started her career as an architecture intern, but then decided to change her professional path and as a consequence started working as a Product Marketing Manager at Avast, a company concentrated on cybersecurity. Currently, Petra is a VC investor at 3VC, a VC fund that focuses on financing high-growth technology companies in DACH & CEE, providing capital, network, and know-how for international expansion. Since 2021, she has become a member of Global Women in VC, the world's largest global network of female venture investors.

Andrea Lauren

 Investment Partner, Rockaway Capital

Since 2017, Andrea Lauren has been an Investment Partner and Member of the Senior Management Team at Rockaway Capital, taking care of ventures portfolio. During her career, she assumes the CEO duties of Fundlift, the first investment crowdfunding platform in Central Europe, Managing Director & Member of the Board at Roklen Fin a.s, and the Chair Of The Board Of Directors at the Czech Fintech Association.

Petra Sokolová z d. Kolouchová

 Investment Manager, Inven Capital 

Since 2014, Petra has been an Investment Manager at Inven Capital, which focuses on investments in innovative and fast-growing cleantech startups in Europe and Israel.
In the past, as a Senior Analyst at ČEZ, she was responsible for the evaluation of investment opportunities in the energy sector as well as the business strategy of the company. 

Kristýna Machová

Investment Manager,  Inven Capital 

After graduating from Finance faculty at Karlova University, Kristyna Machova has started her career in the finance sector at the UniCredit Bank Czech Republic. Later on, she worked as a  Board Observer at Tado Gmbh and currently, she takes an Investment Manager position at Inven Capital focusing on creating long-term value through active support of the companies and their founders.

Anna Palickova

 Investment Manager, MITON

Anna Palickova has been an Investment Manager at MITON since 2019. This VC fund aims to  invest in innovative tech businesses, mainly in the B2C area. Previously she was working as an Associate Director at CORPIN, a corporate finance advisory firm focusing mainly on the companies from the M&A sector. 

Bozena Rezab

 CEO & Co-founder, GAMEE

Bozena Rezhab is an entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in building consumer technology products and entertainment services. In the past, she was working in media, startups, and tech corporations such as PPF Media or Google where she was a Brand Product Activation Lead. She has founded GAMEE in 2014 and continues to develop the platform gaining more popularity among the gamers community. Currently, it has attracted over 30 million users, by creating a high-engagement Play-to-Earn app, which combines a blockchain-based earning model with gaming. 

Klara Losert 

Founder, Talkbase

In 2021 Klara Losert co-founded a Talkbase, the first community operation platform built for teams to help them automize the workflow and simplify the process of creating different kinds of events for its users. Previously, Klara was gaining experience in operations and community building sectors as well as while being an event organizer. 
In addition, since 2018, Klara has been the Founder and Host of the CzechCrunch Shine, where she focuses on helping young entrepreneurs to boost their careers in the newly joined startup ecosystem. 

Eva Hlavsova

 Founder, Fondee 

Eva Hlavsova has founded Fondee in 2017 after graduating from the University of Cambridge and spending several years in Morgan Stanley on carrying out credit risk analysis. Thanks to the business experience, she has created an online platform that enables market players to invest in pre-set portfolios under the guidance of experts. In order to make the whole process much easier, the company acts as an intermediary providing the pre-made portfolios to investors after measuring their risk exposure.

Linda Sejdova

Co-founder & CEO, Snuggs

Linda Sejdova has gained her professional experience by taking care of marketing activities in multiple Czech startups such as LidskáSíla.cz, Productboard, or BudgetBakers. In 2018 she has established her own company- Snuggs. The startup has developed eco-friendly period underwear, which can fully replace disposable tampons and pads. Thanks to her innovative idea and approach towards a taboo topic- menstruation, she has been ranked on Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2020

Lucie Neumanova

Co-founder & CEO, Femme Palette

While spending years in the United States, Lucie Neumanove gained the needed experience to start her own business. Together with Klara Holikova, she has founded a Femme Palette- a platform aiming to help individuals, teams, and whole companies to boost their business development. So far they have gathered over 2 000 community members and organized over 50 educational and networking events. Previously Lucie was working in UX/UI design, branding, and marketing sectors. 

Tereza Vankova

 Founder, Reactgirls

Due to the fact that the IT industry is still considered as a male domain, in 2019 Tereza Vankova has founded Reactgirls, a company that focuses mainly on educating women how to code through workshops and webinars. Currently, Tereza is also working as a software engineer. 

Gabriela Takacova

Head of Business, Co-founder, Recombee

In the past, Gabriela Takacova was working and living in 6 countries gaining experience to take up new challenges. Since 2017, she become the Co-founder and Head of Business at Recombee- a Saas solution offering the recommendation system, delivering real-time product suggestions to the customers. Gabriela is responsible there for the development and implementation of a growth strategy, market expansion, new customer acquisition, and brand awareness.

Vanda Horáčková Seidelová

CEO & Founder, Twigsee

In 2016 Vanda Horáčková Seidelová has founded the Mom4moms platform to create a community for parents, where they can support each other by sharing any advice or offering childrens’ clothes for sale. Since 2019 she has been also a CEO and Founder of an early education management platform- Twigsee, the idea of which was inspired by her son who attended kindergarten at that time. Aiming to automize the administrative tasks of preschool institutions Vanda has created this app allowing parents and teachers to connect and providing access to educational materials, which can be used during home-based learning.

Johana Sedlackova Vamberska

Co-founder, Poetizer  

Former pianist, Johana Sedleckova Vamberska has graduated from Anglo-American University in Prague and the University of Oxford, where she studied the Master Studies of Philosophy. In 2015, she co-founded a company called Poetizer- a social media platform dedicated to sharing poetry among its community and supporting young artists. Currently, Johana assumes the CEO duties of ELAI - European Leadership & Academic Institute, which aims to support and connect Czech entrepreneurs by organizing educational events and workshops such as the Czech Business Week and the Innovation Week of the Czech Republic. 

Karin Fuentesova

 Founder & CEO, Digitoo

After several years of working in the accounting sector and gaining insights as a Chief of AI Dataset in start-up, Karin Fuentesova decided to set up her own business- Digitoo. The main goal of this platform is to automize all the repetitive, manual accounting tasks that companies face on daily basis. The platform offers services such as automatic invoice approval and recording, seamless reporting, and payments. 
 

Tereza Machackova

Head of Talent, Deepnote

Tereza Machackova has several years of experience in Human Resources in the VC and startup ecosystem. From 2018 to 2020, she was a part of the Porductboard, a customer-centric product management platform, which over the years has attracted more than 5,400 companies, including Microsoft and Zoom. On her career path, Tereza has also assumed the roles of Talent Partners in both Around and Credo Ventures. Currently, she is the Head of Talent at Deepnote, a data science notebook, offering real-time collaboration between employees. 

*If you have any insights about the article, drop me a line!

Related Posts: 

Top 25 Women In VC From Central & Eastern Europe (by Milena Gontarek, Vestbee)

Top VC Funds In Czech Republic To Finance Your Startup (by Ilya Mikhalchyk-Kananenka, Community Builder, Vestbee)

Best Coworking Spaces For Startups In Czech Republic (by Milena Gontarek, Vestbee)



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