startups founded by women to watch


Each year, Amsterdam’s fintech world comes together for an entire week to connect, discuss and learn. While talent, movement and innovation are abundant in Amsterdam’s financial ecosystem, something is still missing. Where are the founding women of fintech?

Founding women of fintech

Women are a minority in the world of fintech. The founding women are even more so. “In general, female founders are under-represented,” says Don Ginsel. He is the founder of Holland Fintech and the initiator of Amsterdam Fintech Week, or XFW. “The financial world is also male dominated, as is the tech world. So combine all of that, and there are very few startups founded by women.

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The talent pool is also not packed with female expertise, suggesting that equal opportunity may still be a long way off. “People who are starting something new in fintech are all experienced in the financial industry. Startups face complex issues such as compliance, connectivity, replacement of banking systems. It’s not something you come up with if you haven’t worked in the financial world for years. And they are still mostly men.

“Assumptions implicit in the system”

The root of the problem, according to Ginsel, lies long before startups are founded. “In general, the work ethic between men and women is unevenly distributed in the Netherlands. As a woman, you still often have to answer questions about how you combine your busy work with your private life. It’s those little things that show the system’s implicit assumptions, and they start at a very young age already.

However, there are shining examples. Ginsel: “It’s really interesting to see different founders of fintech succeed. This opens the way for others. These are examples to consult.

Nx’change – Marleen Evertsz

All the good parts of a financial market, none of the bad. This is what NX’change promises. A platform to connect investors with investment seekers and enables direct securities trading between companies and investors, without the need for banks or brokers. The Amsterdam fintech startup is particularly focused on activating and financing the energy transition.

The company is co-founded by Marleen Evertsz, who has extensive experience in the financial world. Not only as the Managing Director of Optiver, for which she has led over 150 options traders in the United States, but also as the founder of GoldRepublic. This precious metals trading platform was sold in 2013.

Blanco – Bernadette Wijnings

Bernadette Wijnings, de Blanco (image:

Founded in 2015 by Bernadette Wijnings, along with Joost Walgemoed, Blanco aims to be the invisible backbone of wealth management in Europe. To do this, it offers a KYC & Compliance suite to simplify the KYC process, and an investment suite based on the knowledge of teams in the asset management sector.

Wijnings, an entrepreneur at heart, gained experience working, among others, for BinckBank before starting his own business. First CFO at Blanco, she is now co-CEO of the pan-European start-up from Amsterdam.

Without limits – Sara Koslinka

Sara Koslinka and Ka-ming Lim, founders of Limitless (image:

Help Millennials reach their financial goals. Talk about a challenge. Sara Koslinka is on it. Its Limitless app helps millennials invest their money wisely by removing the big barriers to normal investing. At the same time, it helps banks, insurance companies and investment funds connect with this often hard-to-reach audience.

Prior to founding Limitless with Ka-ming Lim, CEO Koslinka gained experience in startup ecosystems around the world. From working for Rocket Internet in Singapore to the creation of Startup Poland in Warsaw. In 2017, Limitless completed the Startupbootcamp Amsterdam Fintech & Cybersec.

The social handshake – Sandra van Beest

Sandra van Beest, The Social Handshake (Image:

Giving to charity is a good thing to do. It’s also easy to forget. The social handshake allows employees to automatically donate a small or large portion of their salary to charity. This fintech for a good start not only offers ease of use for making donations, but also includes tax incentives for employees and reinforces the raison d’être of companies.

The Social Handshake is founded by Sandra van Beest who, according to her profile, is dedicated to doing business and doing good. She has practiced this combination for several NGOs as well as as a strategy consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.

XFW lowers the fintech barrier

The founders are rocking the world of fintech in Amsterdam. There are just not many of them. Ginsel tries to tip the scales as much as possible during Amsterdam Fintech Week. “We are working with Women in European Payment Network. We have also selected for the most part experienced moderators for the debates or panels.

Ginsel is also trying to lower the barrier to make anyone feel included in the fintech community in Amsterdam. “FinTech is full of jargon and complexity, which is why it is not accessible to everyone. But many fintech solutions are tools that serve many people, not just the industry. We want to start with customers and the way their lives change with the help of fintech tools. “

Amsterdam Fintech Week: from June 4

That means avoiding complicated discussions that might scare the average Joe off, Ginsel explains. “Amsterdam Fintech Week is not just fintech for fintech. We also include consumer and SME organizations. Using less complicated language is a good way to attract a larger audience.

Amsterdam Fintech Week starts tomorrow, June 4th. Throughout the week there will be discussions on the most pressing topics of the Amsterdam Fintech ecosystem and beyond, including the consumer side of fintech, the financial world of SMEs, the connection with the European ecosystem. , a look behind the curtain of financial services and ethics, sustainability and the fight against crime.

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