Germany’s First Lady visits Penang incubator, 25 Startups, espoused support for female tech founders

  • Elke Büdenbender champions recognition for women in tech industry
  • Women founders of startups bring a different perspective to tech solutions

Startups presenting their innovative solutions to the First Lady. (From left) Mrs. Blomeyer (German Ambassador’s wife), First Lady Elke Budenbender, Mrs. Casdoff (First Lady’s Office), Hans Brenner (Germany’s Honorary Consul General of Penang), GurKiran Kaur (25 Startups Advisor), Hazlina Hamid (Accom), Sivavenayakam Velayutham (25 Startups) and Jaylee Ong (Aimsity).

Startup community builder, 25 Startups, welcomed the First Lady of Germany,Elke Büdenbender, to promote diversity and inclusivity in the Malaysian tech ecosystem last week.

Her visit to the incubator in Penang included discussions with several Malaysian women founders on the importance of empowering women in the tech industry.

Present during the discussions were Jaylee Ong of Aimsity, Beatrice Leong of Gather Together and Hazlina Hamid of Accom, alongside Sivavenayakam Velayutham, co-founder and managing director of 25 Startups.

As a strong proponent of gender equality, Büdenbender shared her views on the need for consistent support and recognition for women who are coming into the tech industry with innovative solutions. There is a need to have platforms for women-led startups to showcase their innovative ideas and contributions to the tech industry.

“As an organisation supporting the startup ecosystem growth in Malaysia, 25 Startups, launched last May in Georgetown, Penang is committed to empowering women-led startups across the country. We believe in providing the necessary resources and guidance to help women-led startups succeed and reach their full potential," said Sivavenayakam. 

The founders also stressed the need to redefine what it means to be a tech founder. Beatrice highlighted on the importance of broadening the meaning of being a tech entrepreneur from someone who must have a technology or STEM background as a prerequisite.

She points out that there are many who are embracing being founders by focusing on solving societal pain points through enablement of technology. This category of entrepreneurs requires a different pathway to validate their ideas and business models.

Jaylee stressed the importance of nurturing students with the necessary skills to solve problems while Hazlina underscored the role of technology in enhancing the tourism and hospitality sector.

“Our startup is on a mission to enhance the tourism and hospitality sectors through technological solutions that make the traveller's experience more meaningful and impactful," Hazlina shared.

The First Lady’s visit to Malaysia is part of the state visit held by Federal President Frank-Waleter Steinmeier.


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