Technology Start-ups: Women on the rise

The pioneer festival 2019 in retrospect

Female workforce and Gender diversity both remain a current topical issues. It is common sense that a heterogenous composition leads to good performance. Gender-diverse companies have higher returns, are more creative and innovative. However, men still rule most industries, especially the technology one. 


The Pioneer Festival from May 9th-10that Wiener Hofburg offered a chance to learn more about “Women in Tech”. The 1030 Innovation Team took this chance and started the visit off with the “Diversity in Tech” Breakfast. Tiffany Yu and Irene Ryabaya, two powerful women in the Technology industry, inspired us with their insights into Female Leadership. They informed us that only 20% of workforce in Silicon Valley are women. Moreover, there are specific algorithms that disadvantage women in application processes through evaluation tools. The correction of this algorithm is still an issue to encounter in order to give more power to women in the industry, as Tiffany Yu stated.


Highly motivated by the breakfast talk, we further looked for inspiring female Tech Champions. Despite the fact that most speakers and start-up founders at the festival were men, we indeed found several incredible women who rock technology and science:


  • Jane Poynter is a space entrepreneur, author and the co-founder of World View, a private near-space exploration and technology company. Poynter was one of eight people who agreed to live in a sealed artificial world fin the early 1990s to find out whether people on other planets could survive in a similar habitat. Poynter talked about the changes that happened in the aerospace industry over the past decades and how private companies play an increased role these days. She also shared her opinion that humans could become a trans-planetary species in the future
  • Kerry McGuire from NASA shared the ways to improve emergency communication between the space crew and the personnel on the ground as the response time delay is still about 20 minutes.
  • Collete Davis, a 25 year old professional race car driver, car builder and entrepreneur, explained how approaching her motorsport career the same way founders approach growing a startup helped her to become successful.
  • Last but not least, we have met with Annette Mossel, CEO and co-founder of Frameless, an innovative mobile application allowing to transform any place into smart high-quality 3D content. Annette is the tech brains behind the solution. We talked to Annette about Frameless, challenges of running a tech company as a female and her future vision. You can read the interview below.


Our conclusion? There is still a lot of work to be done until we reach full gender balance in many industries. However, determination and hard work pay off. Do not let fear, doubt and challenges stop you. Believe in yourself and your ideas girls, and maybe next year you will be at the Pioneers!


Written by: Gloria Fachinger, 1030 Innovation,