Entrepreneurial Winning Women Europe Class of 2018
Helping outstanding women entrepreneurs think big and grow rapidly
Congratulations to the Class of 2018
Anelia Kassabova & Genoveva Christova
CEO and co-owner & Managing Director and co-owner
Ligna Group Ltd.
Anelia is the co-owner and CEO of Ligna Group Ltd. She was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and graduated from the Sofia High School of Mathematics. She holds a Master of Science in Industrial Management from the Technical University of Sofia. She was named Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 by the European Commission and was featured on the cover of Forbes magazine in December 2017. Anelia is a co-creator of Createch Sofia 2019 in partnership with The Landing@MediaCityUK.
She loves traveling and discovering the world, reading novels and business books, outdoor cycling and mountain climbing, yoga and watching movies, and is a passionate dog lover.
Genoveva is co-owner and Managing Director of Ligna Group Ltd. She was born in Varna on the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria. She is a Master of Science in International Economic Relations from the University of National and World Economy, Sofia, as well as a Master of Science in Sport Management from the National Sport Academy “Vassil Levski,” Sofia.
Genoveva is the President of the Bulgarian Furniture Cluster and President of the Association of Business Clusters Bulgaria. She has worked as an expert in international cluster development in the EU, Serbia, Croatia, Turkey, Romania and Georgia. She was named Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 by the European Commission and was featured on the cover of Forbes magazine in December 2017. She is a co-creator of Createch Sofia 2019 in partnership with The Landing@MediaCityUK. She loves athletics, football, bootcamp and tabata, music, music festivals, traveling and discovering the world.
Ligna Group is a European company specializing in the hospitality industry, providing hotels with turnkey solutions for the design, production, delivery and installation of contract furniture.
CEO and founder
PURE Spa & Beauty
An engineer and chartered accountant by profession, Becky founded PURE Spa & Beauty after recognizing a gap in the market for accessible spa and beauty services catering to time-starved professionals like herself.
Under Becky’s leadership, PURE Spa & Beauty has grown from one salon to a chain of eight spas spanning four cities, with 150 employees and a natural product brand. Having grown PURE with no funding and through sheer force of will and determination, PURE now has significant opportunities to accelerate growth in both the retail and hospitality sectors by expanding the number of spas both in the UK and internationally, and growing the product brand.
PURE Spa & Beauty provides accessible spa and beauty services with superb client service.
CEO and founder
Carmen is CEO and founder of PPM Coachers. She is originally from Spain and Carmen holds an MSc in Computer Science Engineering. Carmen is a passionate project management and business analysis trainer and coach, a visiting professor at several universities and guest a speaker at specialized events. She is also an active member and Finance Chair of YPO’s Portugal Chapter and a member of the board of and mentor for womenwinwin.com.
She is a family person and a mother of two, and actively supports developing management skills in children, young people and those who are unemployed.
PPM Coachers is a consultancy company that helps its clients to accelerate the implementation of their digital transformation strategy by strengthening the agile culture and adopting innovative organization and work practices, such as Scrum, Kanban and DevOps, that allow them to maintain a competitive advantage in this era of digital disruption.
Director and co-owner
Contracts Engineering Ltd
Catherine is the entrepreneurial co-owner of Contracts Engineering. She is a graduate of Durham University and Columbia Business School. Catherine has launched successful businesses in the UK, Russia and the US. Returning to the UK after working abroad for 10 years Catherine and her husband determined that the manufacturing industry was full of opportunities for growth-focused entrepreneurs. They bought Contracts Engineering as a small company in 2012 and have since invested heavily in technology, machinery and people to triple the size of the business.
Contracts Engineering is a leading technology-driven, customer- focused precision sheet metal manufacturer based in the UK.
CEO and founder
HMG Systems Engineering GmbH
Herna, founder and CEO of HMG Systems Engineering GmbH (HMG), has over 25 years’ experience in developing complex engineering systems. Her expertise is in telecommunications, automation and medical technologies. She has a strong background in IT standardization at ITU, ETSI and IEEE. Herna holds a Master’s degree in Electronics Engineering from the Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas in Bogotá, Colombia and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from FAU in Erlangen, Germany. The entrepreneur has perfected methods such as the “Functional anatomy” to optimize the system development process, particularly system integration and testing. On 29 April 2016, Herna was awarded the German Career Award “Engineer PowerWoman 2016” by HANNOVER MESSE AG.
HMG is a top 100 innovative company in Germany that developed a decision support system to enable personalized medicine through the PGXperts Platform. The company was given a grant for R&D in medical technology by the Bavarian Government in 2014 and won the second Innovation Award at PerMediCon, Cologne, in December 2016.
CEO and co-founder
Elvire is the co-founder and CEO of WeAreBrain, a multinational technology company with headquarters in Amsterdam and Kiev. She has been featured on the Netherland’s Women to Watch list twice and, this year, WeAreBrain was voted one of Emerce’s Top 100 Best E-Business Companies in the Netherlands. Elvire finds herself at the cutting edge of tech development and is also a partner in Tur.ai, a robotic process automation venture that is among the 25 finalists in this year’s Accenture Innovation Awards.
WeAreBrain is a technology agency specializing in product design, software development and data-driven creative services for the world’s most progressive brands. The agency helps clients globally with the creation and execution of digital transformation strategies and solutions.
Inés Huertas Freire
Inés is CEO of Datatons and leads different analytics projects on big data platforms: a data dreamer in search of stories! She co-founded Datatons in 2015. Today she organizes the Big Data Madrid group and co- organizes the R-Ladies Madrid group. Datatons has been part of NASA’s Datanauts program since 2017. In 2018 Inés co-founded the Madrid Startup Community Forum, where the start-up ecosystem of Madrid is promoted and supported.
Datatons offers a data-as-a-service platform for medium-sized companies with e-commerce. Copernika is a place to join, converge and show data (CRM, Mailchimp, Facebook, ERP, etc.), applying artificial intelligence techniques without having to invest in infrastructure, equipment or specialized technicians. Datatons is a datalake as a service for all of them.
CEO and co-founder
Prowly PR Software
Joanna is the CEO and co-founder of Prowly PR Software. She’s a mother of a two year old, and a kiteboarding, filming and digital enthusiast.
She’s listed by Forbes and The Hundert as one of the top start-up female founders in Europe. Formerly a PR agency owner, she is now focused on helping the industry embrace new technology in communication.
Prowly offers public relations software for in-house teams and agencies to boost their PR publishing and distribution superpowers. The software comes with online pressroom management and real-time pitch tracking.
CEO and co-founder
Juliana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Management. She decided to create her own business in honor of the memory of her grandfather Joaquim, with whom she spent her childhood and adolescence. From an early age, proved herself to be a dynamic woman, studying abroad, volunteering in Africa twice, setting an institution in her homeland and joining several groups of young entrepreneurs.
Juliana has already taught at the college where she graduated and worked for a consulting firm, where she audited financially large companies, but was ultimately driven by the desire to have something of her own. Olimec has been growing since April 2016.
Olimec is a smart business for smart cities: with young management and an experienced team, the company sells and repairs waste trucks, innovating in a traditional sector.
CEO and co-founder
Urban Connect AG
Judith is the co-founder and CEO of Urban Connect. She is dedicated to changing the way people commute to work: specifically, Judith and her team help big corporates reduce traffic stress for their employees by offering them smart, hassle-free mobility services made up of IoT- based e-bike and e-scooter fleets. Judith has degrees in Economics and Performing Arts, and enjoys spending time with her two children and husband when not driving her business forward.
Urban Connect offers companies IoT-based e-bike and e-scooter fleet solutions — from A to Z, hassle free!
COO and co-founder
Julie is COO and co-founder of Initiafy, an online contractor management company based in Dublin, with operations in the UK, the US and Canada. Julie’s career has centered around marketing and strategy for over
13 years. She started in the software world in 2010 and has been exploring the needs of large corporations ever since. She started Initiafy in 2012 and has since been fine-tuning the contractor management software offering, which now has more than 300,000 users and hundreds of global customers. In 2016, Julie won the one of the Women Mean Business awards and, in 2017, she won the runner-up prize for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.
Initiafy is a software provider with a single-minded focus on delivering a world-class solution to its clients for the safe and efficient onboarding and management of contractors.
Brand It Up
Kamila is the founder of Brand It Up — a digital agency that helps brands develop an online presence designed to boost client acquisition.
Her background in business intelligence is strongly data-oriented. Always striving for versatile experience, she can launch a retail production and read a balance sheet. She has helped several start-ups grow from nothing to having €1.5 million in annual revenue and loves helping ambitious brands grow.
She currently focuses on expanding Brand It Up’s presence in the US and servicing global brands.
Woman. Mother. Wife. Femtrepreneur.
Brand It Up helps ambitious companies grow and attract more loyal customers by creating a conversion-focused web presence and branding.
Kate is CEO of Glencove. Having been a bridesmaid seven times, she started the business from a laptop in her spare bedroom in 2008, having spotted that nobody was harnessing the multimillion-euro spend on hen parties in Ireland. And from there, the business grew.
Kate is a graduate of University College Cork and is passionate about women in business and inspiring female entrepreneurs, through both mentoring and speaking. Kate is a member of the Dell Women’s
Entrepreneur Network and, in her spare time, likes to think about work.
Glencove owns and operates nine events brands across Ireland, the UK and Europe, and is the market leader in the small events market in Ireland, with 40,000 people taking part in its events in 2017.
Lucia Iborra Broseta & Mercedes Iborra Broseta
CEO and co-founder & COO and co-founder
Since 2014, Lucia has been CEO and co-founder of visualNACert, a technology-based company co-shared with Telefónica. She has been a member of Endeavor Global since November 2016. She studied at the Marketing and Business School in Valencia and completed her studies in Business Excellence, ECLA at Columbia Business School in 2013. In 2000, she renewed her career by founding the Norma Agricola Certification Company, specializing in food safety and traceability for the food sector.
Lucia is a standout young entrepreneur in Valencia and is involved in the business associations. She was also the President of the Association of Young Entrepreneurs of the Valencian Community from 1998 to 2003.
Her international experience is remarkable, having spent years getting to know the Latin American and US markets where she opened operations.
Mercedes is an agronomist engineer and specialized in agribusiness at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. She holds the ECLA Program Certificate in Business Excellence from the University of Columbia She also has a Master’s degree in Fruticulture at the Miguel Hernández University.
In 2000, she co-founded the Norma Agricola Certification Company, a food safety and traceability certification body, and since 2014, she has been the co-founder and COO of visualNACert.
Her experience lies in the development of technological solutions for the food industry, geolocation technology, and analysis of agricultural data and statistical models for determining crop forecasting.
Mercedes is a member of the Governing Board of the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology and a Founding Partner of the Forum Technology, Business and Humanism of Valencian Community.
visualNACert is a visual 4.0 smart technology for agriculture that helps farmers operate sustainably.
Nicole studied Public Administration at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. After her studies, she started as an international management trainee at ING. Nicole completed several projects, both in the Netherlands and in Paris. After two and a half years, she decided to start her own business, YourConnector. Nicole strongly believes that people in an organization are the most important asset to grow. Every day, she inspires companies to become the best employer of the future. Today, Nicole lives in Rotterdam, loves to travel, is passionate about wine and food, likes sport, spends a lot of her time with family and friends, and is very interested in personal and spiritual development.
YourConnector is a HR consultancy firm with one goal: building the best employers of the future.
Managing Director and founder
Jomas Associates Ltd
A chartered engineering geologist and specialist in land condition (SiLC), Roni is mother to three boys (aged 14, 11 and 6). A graduate of the University of Portsmouth with a BEng (Hons) in Engineering Geology and Geotechnics, she also holds a Master’s degree (with distinction) in Environmental Management from the University of Exeter. She has worked on many construction projects, including the widening of the A406 and M25, and was formerly an associate director of one of the UK’s largest engineering firms. In 2009, she established Jomas Associates, serving land developers across the UK and achieving a turnover of £2 million in 2017.
Jomas Associates works with residential, commercial and industrial developers, local authorities and government bodies, carrying out pragmatic and commercially focused investigations into ground conditions, supporting engineering design and assessing land contamination in the reclamation of brownfield and derelict sites.
CEO and co-founder
Nina is the co-founder and CEO of ITCE – a consulting company providing innovative training and consulting solutions for digital and workforce skills transformation. Her vision has led the company to enable businesses across Europe improve their IT organization and become more effective and smarter in their everyday work by introducing forward-thinking, modern and effective solutions and management practices.
Nina believes in the importance of healthy team culture and is a keen supporter of the agile mindset. She is very passionate about sport and has been awarded the title of “fastest female CEO” of Bulgaria for two consecutive years.
ITCE is a consulting company providing innovative training, advisory and software for digital and workforce skills transformation.
Dr. Sheri Jacobson
CEO and founder
Since qualifying as a psychotherapist, Sheri has transformed her solo psychotherapy practice into London’s largest and busiest chain of private counseling clinics. In 2017, Sheri launched her newest initiative, harleytherapy.com, to make finding and booking counseling accessible and straightforward, wherever you are. Harleytherapy.com is now the UK’s leading booking platform for therapy. It has won multiple awards, including Best Health Care Website 2018, and is listed by the FT Future100 as one of the UK’s fastest-growing impact businesses. Sheri’s mission is to scale up exponentially to become a global organization working toward eliminating prolonged emotional suffering worldwide.
Harley Therapy is the Airbnb of therapy, offering a smart and simple way to find and book a therapist.
Tessa has been an entrepreneur since 2009, when she founded TaskHero at only 21 years old. She believes everything is possible — her life motto is: if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t exist! That’s how she leads her team and the business.
Tessa lives in Utrecht in the Netherlands and, together with her team, has the ambition to make TaskHero one of the largest employment enterprises and help everyone with their career goals, personal development or employment issues.
For every task, we have a hero, and for every hero we have the right task!
Tsveti is Methodia’s CEO and a seasoned MBA graduate, innovations and business development practitioner and facilitator, whose 15-year experience includes multiple management positions in renowned international telecom and tech companies. Her love for developing original product strategies led her to be the lead manager of the first TelCo Innovation Center in Bulgaria in 2009. A passionate mountain hiker, Tsveti always defies her own boundaries to strengthen her inner balance and resilience, which, she says, gives a whole new perspective on the way one perceives and handles the challenges in the world of business today.
Methodia enables brands across the globe to, transform into sustainable household multiservice providers.