EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™, Europe Class of 2017

Helping outstanding women entrepreneurs think big and grow rapidly

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EY - Amanda Thomson
Amanda Thomson

Thomson & Scott Limited
CEO and founder

Amanda Thomson is the passionate CEO and Founder of Thomson & Scott and is developing a fast-growing reputation internationally as an entrepreneur.

Having been brought up on a vegetarian, no sugar diet by her health-conscious single mother, she has always had a keen interest in healthy living. After a successful career as an Arts Broadcaster at the BBC, she moved to Paris and studied for her Diploma in Wine at the renowned Le Cordon Bleu School. Amanda’s compelling story of the genesis of the Thomson & Scott Skinny brand has brought her strong contacts in the international wine world along with huge interest across the media.

Thomson & Scott, a specialist in Champagne, Prosecco and sparkling wine is committed to greater transparency about what’s in your bottle and to reducing sugar across the wine industry. It is the brand behind Thomson & Scott Skinny Champagne and Thomson & Scott Skinny Prosecco.

EY - Anita Klasanova
Anita Klasanova

Roo Brands
Co-founder and food technologist

Anita Klasanova, 38, is the co-founder and food technologist at Roo Brands. She is the creative mind and recipe creator behind Roobar and award-winning Kookie cat cookies. Lead by the ambition to change her way of eating by creating simple desserts for her kids, Anita started "cooking" in her tiny organic store (2009). Today, Roobar is the European leader in the organic raw food bar category, reaching 50 countries on four continents.

EY - Asta Meskereviciute
Asta Meskereviciute

CEO and co-founder

Asta Meskereviciute is CEO and co-founder of software development company INVENTI, one of the fastest growing technology companies in Central Europe. In her role she is responsible for business development, sales and marketing activities as well as maintaining a fun, friendly, and positive working environment.

Asta has over a decade of experience in IT business development and sales management and is very passionate about what she does. She has bachelor degrees in Advertising Management and International Business and has just graduated with an International EMBA.

EY - Brigitte Baumann
Brigitte Baumann

Go Beyond Investing

Brigitte Baumann is the Founder of Go Beyond Early Stage Investing, the FinTech company transforming angel investing into a scalable asset class. It provides a unique deal platform, European and US deals, portfolio tools, education and certified deal leaders.

In 2016, Brigitte was listed in Europe’s TOP 50 most influential women in the startup and venture capital space and Top Women in FinTech. In 2015 EBAN named her European Investor of the Year. She is on the Board of CTI start up (Swiss government), President Emeritus of EBAN and past Chair of the Young Presidents Organization’s global Angel Investing group.

EY - Caritta Seppa
Caritta Seppa

Co-Founder and COO

Caritta Seppa is the Co-Founder and COO at Tespack, a company specializing in mobile energy with customers and partners ranging from Vodafone and Defence Forces to TomTom.

Caritta is passionate about technology and supports the local startup ecosystem and youth by mentoring. She has been an invited speaker at EcoSummit and I Am Tomorrow, and she was one of the organisers for the first Women in Tech event 2016 in Valencia. Caritta was named one of the Top 10 Under 30 Entrepreneurs 2017 by YE, Top 10 Women in Tech 2017 by WSC and Craig Newmark, and she is the winner of Women Startup Challenge 2017 in Finland.

EY - Constance Madaule & Clara Hardy
Constance Madaule & Clara Hardy

Constance Madaule - Co-founder and CEO
Clara Hardy - Co-founder and President

Constance Madaule,27, graduated from AgroParisTech, France’s top graduate engineering school for agriculture and life sciences. During an internship in Burkina Faso, she discovered social entrepreneurship through FasoPro, a start-up promoting shea caterpillars as a solution to fight malnutrition.

Clara Hardy, 27, is a designer . and graduate of the École Boulle, a college of fine arts and crafts and applied arts, in Paris, and of ENS Cachan, the prestigious French higher education institution. Clara has worked for well-known design agencies, notably Jean Nouvel in Paris and Ron Arad in London, as well as with craftsmen in Asia.

Together, Constance and Clara created Sericyne, in 2015. The company uses an innovation technique which enables silkworms to directly produce objects in two or three dimensions, instead of their usual cocoons.

EY - Daniela Mariscu
Daniela Mariscu

Aqua Azur SRL

Daniela Mariscu is the founder of Aquatica Experience, a brand that develops theme parks and water parks, a new industry for Romania. Her belief is that everyone deserves to become the very best version of themselves, and Daniela herself does this every moment of her life!

EY - Dessislava Bell
Dessislava Bell


Dessi Bell, a thirty-three year old ex-investment banker, came up with the concept for Zaggora’s signature HotPants™ after struggling to find an effective solution to get in shape for her wedding.

Since launching Zaggora, Dessi has overseen all aspects of production, development and operations, launched over 50 successful products and scaled operations to deliver over one million products to women around the world.

Dessi has been named one of Management Today’s 35 Under 35 and has been shortlisted for numerous awards including Entrepreneur of the Future at the Shell Women of the Future Awards, Online Retailer of the Year in the 2012, Specsavers everywoman in retail Awards and EY’s Winning Women. Zaggora was also awarded E-Commerce Strategy of the Year at the 2012 National Business Awards.

EY - Esther van Diepen
Esther van Diepen

Mom in Balance, SHE Performance

Esther van Diepen, 39, is happily married to her husband Rob and has 4 kids. She is the Founder of Mom in Balance, an outdoor workout program for women and SHE Performance, a complete program tailored for companies to guide their pregnant employees and keep female talent in the running. "My ambition is to empower women all over the world to get the most out of themselves and balance their roles as a fun and loving caretaker, friend, partner and power professional. We train women on 230 locations in 12 countries."

EY - Georgina Nelson
Georgina Nelson


Georgina began her career as a leveraged finance lawyer at Clifford Chance. She then joined Europe's largest consumers' association, Which? where she was responsible for advising the European and UK governments on their technology strategy, as well as advising internal teams on their online propositions. It was in this role that she identified a need for mass, representative, reliable consumer ratings.

Georgina saw how this consumer ratings could serve to improve businesses and also be valuable to consumers. With this vision, she set about realizing the huge potential of TruRating, with the ultimate objective to bring truth back to ratings.

EY - Leone Menne
Leone Menne

Menne Instituut

Leone Menne co-founded Menne Instituut with her sister in 2008.Menne Instituut provides training and teaching materials in math didactics for teachers at primary schools under the well-known brand 'Met Sprongen Vooruit' ('Jumping Ahead'). The company serves over 60% of the Dutch primary schools and is growing quickly, combining profit and charity. Leone earned a Master in Economics and in Psychology and started her career in 1995 in financial services. She has also served as a business consultant and personal coach. Leone is characterized by her endless positive energy and drive.

EY - Leonora O’Brien
Leonora O’Brien

Pharmapod Ltd.
Founder and CEO

Leonora O’Brien is the founder and CEO of Pharmapod Ltd. Pharmapod develops cloud-based software to help reduce medication errors and drive patient safety, cost savings and business analytics across Community Pharmacies and Hospitals worldwide. The system is fast becoming the Global risk management solution for the healthcare sector. Leonora has over 20 years’ experience in pharmacy practice, policy development and regulatory affairs at national and Europe level. Leonora has won numerous national and international awards for pharmacy practice, business and innovation including the Tatler Women of the Year Awards for Entrepreneurship and Top Digital Health Influencer in Ireland.

EY - Mariah Mansvelt Beck & Wendelien Hebly
Mariah Mansvelt Beck & Wendelien Hebly

Yoni (trademark of FIP ORGANIC BV)
Mariah Mansvelt Beck - CEO
Wendelien Hebly - CFO

Mariah Mansvelt Beck obtained her MPhil in International Development at the University of Cambridge and spent seven years working for Médecins Sans Frontières. After finding out she was developing cervical cancer in 2011, a doctor advised Mariah to start using organic tampons and pads to prevent further irritation. This was the first time she ever questioned her choices of products.

Wendelien Hebly has an MSc in Neuroscience for which she set up and conducted research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA). Soon after she transitioned into business, taking on leading roles in setting up new product categories for PVH brands Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. She is a creative thinker with a passion for starting new things and is a firm believer that business can be used as a driving force for doing good.

Together they identified the need to challenge the lack of transparency within the current fem-care industry. That’s why in 2014, Mariah and Wendelien founded Yoni. With Yoni they aim to sharing their story while at the same time making sure the organic cotton option gets on mainstream shelves.

"We believe every woman should know what she’s putting between her legs. So let’s break the taboo, ditch the shame and start talking about periods properly."

EY - Marianna Poletti & Isabella Kuster
Marianna Poletti & Isabella Kuster

Marianna Poletti – Co-founder and CEO
Isabella Kuster – Co-founder and Business Development Director

Twenty-seven year old Marianna Poletti was born and raised in Milan. She studied Art Direction at the Istituto Europeo del Design and holds a Masters Degree in Marketing from Politecnico di Milano. On 17 September 2014 she founded Just Knock, an online platform allowing young talent to submit their job candidacy by “knocking” right on a company’s door with an idea rather than a CV.

Marianna says: "When I am asked what my main features are, I answer the following: courage, creativity and empathy. I always fight for what I love and believe in, to the point that sometimes I can come across as a dreamer. I truly believe that 'If you can dream it, you can do it' (Walt Disney)".

Isabella has a BA in Human and Philosophical Sciences from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano. She worked as an HR head hunter for seven years in Italy and Switzerland before joining the digital recruiting industry with Just Knock.

EY - Miriam Brilla
Miriam Brilla

boutique vegan GmbH & Co.KG

Miriam Brilla founded boutique vegan – Europe’s largest vegan online shop, when she was just twenty-five years old. She was born in Bavaria and grew up in West Africa and Southeast Asia. Miriam studied real estate and finance and worked in the real estate and events sector. During her studies she made the link between the environmental situation and animal, human as well as social welfare. As a consequence, boutique vegan was born. The lifestyle online store makes living a sustainable lifestyle, while enjoying life to its fullest a possibility for everyone in Europe.

EY - Mirjam Terhorst
Mirjam Terhorst


Mirjam Terhorst started her career as an M&A lawyer in 2003, but soon moved on to become an investment professional in private equity with Rabo Private Equity. Eager to learn, she then also completed a 22-month part-time Executive MBA at Rotterdam School of Management in 2010.

In 2014 she decided to transition from the corporate environment and founded FundIQ together with Derek de Broekert. FundIQ provides mezzanine finance to Dutch SMEs. Convinced that mezzanine fills a permanent gap in the SME financing landscape, her ambition is to be the trusted entrepreneurial business bank.

EY - Tatyana Mitkova
Tatyana Mitkova

Co-founder and CEO

Tatyana Mitkova is co-founder and CEO of ClaimCompass - a company that helps passengers get compensated when their flight is disrupted.

During her studies in Berlin, she was involved in a few social entrepreneurship projects that sparked her passion for startups. Her company ClaimCompass is backed by Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups and Tatyana herself was recently selected to be among Forbes Bulgaria’s 30 Under 30.