Europe’s largest Idea-Hackathon, the Xathon by HenkelX Ventures has been set in motion from November 15th–17th. Its 150 – exclusively female – contestants revealed their entrepreneurial idea to the jury to win.

With the Hastag #unleashingfemaletalents 150 female talents from all over the world were invited to the “Xathon” (a combination of the words Hackathon and HenkelX Ventures, the open innovation and collaboration platform). Led by Dr. Rahmyn Kress and Marius Swart, HenkelX Ventures focuses on cross-industry transformational change for continental Europe. Bringing together an ecosystem of different players means multiplying the potential for a more desirable future for next generations, something Kress and Swart were envisioning from the beginning.

To reach out to new faces and talents all across Europe, the Xathon was initiated. The female-only contest’s aim is to highlight feminine force and entrepreneurial talent by challenging the participants in pitches, ideation sprints and storytelling. The first day of the event was dedicated to inspiration, whilst the other two got everybody to work.

In 2018
... the innovation platform HenkelX was founded by Rahmyn Kress and Marius Swart. This November HenkelX Ventures held its first idea hackaton with 150 female talents as participants.

Lea Vajnorsky, this year’s member of our Forbes “DACH 30 under 30”-list and Head of Development at Platform X, welcomed the participants. The opening speech was held by Dorothee Bär, Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor Government Commissioner for Digital Affairs of Germany. Besides her encouraging words to see the on-going digitalization as an opportunity, Bär added: “Believe in yourself, because I believe in you.”

Partners of the event were, ­besides Goldman Sachs, ESCP European Business School, UN Women, Gründerszene and others also Forbes DACH. In the panel discussion “Social impact, Sustainability and Gender Diversity: How can organizations and individuals drive this forward?” Bettina Metz, Managing Director of UN Women Germany, Arizona Muse, American-British model and sustainability advocate, and Tino Kulow, Director of Corporate Communications of Facebook Germany, got together on stage to find possible answers to this question.

On the very last day, the location changed: After residing in Facebook Germany’s Headquarter, things got busy in the Unicorn Event Space by Sap.io. After the mentors who took care of the participants discussed the ideas and presentations, the top ten talents got announced. After three-minute pitches of the top ten ideas, the jury with judges such as Brigitte Zypries, the first woman to hold the office of Minister for Economics and Energy in Germany, deliberated.

The winner of this evening, that already convinced the judges and the audience with her unconventional start-up idea was definitely Dr. Sandy Glückstein: Her product “PoBeau” is a mask particularly for buttocks. Astonished to discover that beauty products and creams for almost all body parts other than our backside are available on the beauty market, the business consultant did not hesitate to close this gap by herself. Xathon does not withhold of challenging itself either: Next year the event will gather 450 instead of 150 talents to compete against each other.

Text: Chloé Lau
Foto: Carolin Weinkopf

Read more about Sylvie Nicol, Executive Vice President Human Resources and Infrastructure Services at Henkel.

The article was featured in our November edition 2019 „Next“.

Up to Date

Mit dem FORBES-NEWSLETTER bekommen sie regelmässig die spannendsten Artikel sowie Eventankündigungen direkt in Ihr E-mail-Postfach geliefert.