Get to know the experts that will be sharing insights and best practices
Simana is Global VP of Engineering for Risk & Compliance at SumUp. At SumUp she is leading the team responsible for preventing and mitigating risk, fraud, financial crime and addressing regulatory compliance, with global and automated solutions built using machine learning and AI. Simana is a board director at SumUp, champion of AI across the company and a D&I ambassador.
Anna has made waves in the tech industry, having entered software engineering following a professional career as an opera singer. As a technical speaker and a Google Women Techmakers Ambassador, Anna prides herself in taking technical topics and making them easy to understand for people from all walks of life: be it for her own colleagues; at events and conferences; or for corporate clients. From software engineering and generative AI, to technical careers and DEI. Her book “You Belong in Tech: How to Go From Zero Programming Experience to Hired” was published in June 2022, and quickly became a #1 Bestselling New Release Career Guide on Amazon. She now works as Director, of Product and Engineering (Projects and Organisation) for the tech subsidiary of Europe’s largest media publisher, Axel Springer National Media & Tech, based in Berlin, Germany.
One of Germany’s most successful entrepreneurs, Valerie’s been named one of the 50 most influential women in the German tech scene by Handelsblatt. Since 2003, Bures-Bönström has been best known as the co-founder and partner of the fitness studio chain Mrs.Sporty. At the age of 24, the computer scientist founded Europe’s largest women’s fitness chain Mrs.Sporty together with tennis-legend Steffi Graf. In 2011, Bures founded Pixformance Sports GmbH, revolutionized the work of hundreds of physiotherapists across Europe with its digital training stations in clinics.
In order to perfect the Mrs.Sporty training concept, she developed the so-called Pixformance station, a digital training device based on software for functional training. In 2019, Bures-Bönström started the start-up Etone Motion Analysis GmbH, the company behind the VAHA brand, an interactive fitness solution for the home, which has already received an investment in the double-digit million range. VAHA was awarded the Red Dot Award in the Product Design category in 2021 and received the highest awards at the ISPO Award 2021: “Gold Winner” and “Product of the Year”. Valarie recently joined well-known European VC, XAnge as Partner and Head of DACH.
Chiedza Muguti is an established product leader that has built her career based on two things she loves: People and Creativity. She leads by means of 5 principles handed over to her by her grandmothers: empathy, consistency, dignity, fairness and respect. She actively supports STEM initiatives and Berlin communities for people of colour working in tech and in 2022 she was the host at the Black Girls Tech summit.
Katia Cassano is a seasoned technology executive with a diverse background in product leadership. Currently Vice President of Product at Scoutbee, she specializes in AI-powered solutions, product strategy and discovery. With previous roles at PayPal and eBay, Katia brings over two decades of experience in driving innovation and leading cross-functional teams to success. Additionally, Katia is dedicated to coaching and mentoring, offering promising talent the guidance and support needed to thrive in the industry.
Rohit Agarwal has a diverse and extensive work experience spanning over two decades. Rohit served as the Chief Product Officer at CNN from 2016 until the present. In 2020, they joined Mictic as a Board Advisor, contributing their expertise to the development of innovative user experiences in AR and revolutionizing the way people interact with music. Rohit became a Board Director at Leap Year in 2021. Prior to these roles, they held various leadership positions, including Chief Product Officer / EVP, Product at HSBC from 2014 to 2016, Chief Product Officer at Trustpilot from 2012 to 2014, and Co-Founder of Snapp from 2011 to 2014. Additionally, Rohit served as Interim GM at Last.fm from 2010 to 2011 and SVP, Product and Marketing at AOL from 2006 to 2010. Rohit began their career at Booz Allen Hamilton as a Senior Manager from 2004 to 2006 and previously held roles in Product and Marketing at AOL from 2002 to 2004.
Engineering leader who is passionate about building exceptional products and growing high performing teams
Stephen Ballot is a people-first Product and Engineering leader with 15+ years of experience in leading empowered teams. His career includes leadership positions at Heycar and OLX GROUP among others. He is currently Chief Product and Technology Officer at CareerFoundry, looking into how Generative AI can help people change careers into technology roles.
Oleksii Ishchenko, VP of Engineering at Elopage (B2B, SaaS, Fintech), began his career as a Software Engineer over 20 years ago, and moved to Senior Management roles. His extensive experience includes:
15+ years building and leading development teams
10+ years in startup environments
Managed 100+ FTE teams
Expertise in Fintech, SaaS, Insurtech, Healthcare, Gaming and Real Estate domains
Oleksii is passionate about mentorship, eagerly sharing his leadership and architectural knowledge
Anna has worked in Human Resources and Executive Search with roles varying from Consultant to Managing Director and lately independent HR consultant. She is enthusiastic about all things HR Tech, and has worked with various start-ups and investors in that field.
Since moving to Berlin in 2010, she has worked with start-ups in their initiation phase, first at i-potentials, where she was involved in Team Europe’s company building, and later at Deutsche Telekom’s hub:raum. In her current role at HV, she aims to help founders build talent-centric organizations. Anna sees people management as a clockwork-like system with Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Leadership and Culture as the cogwheels. Working with early teams is when Anna most feels like an architect of talent.
Bhuvana’s been working in Tech for the last 21 years. She’s held leadership positions at some of the biggest tech giants in the world including Google, and Zalando. A mother of three, Bhuvana says “Equality starts at home” and that she teaches her boys to judge someone based on their capabilities.
Eileen Barnard is the senior Organisational Culture Manager for DE&I at Babbel. She specialises in building cultures of belonging and wellbeing at work, on supporting teams through learning and development and on community-based activities and action. Her current focus is on how to collect and use data to improve the design of organisational structures and processes needed to create an equitable, accountable and innovative environment for everyone.
Originally from London, but now based in Berlin, Eileen has a background in grassroots equality organising and activism with a focus on LGBTQIA rights, anti-racism action, feminist organising and challenging class based inequity through the labour movement. She is a trained mentor and coach.
Mark Ivan is a specialist in diversity, equity, and inclusive employer branding, exploring how management processes affect organizational cultures and employee attraction value and retention power. His point of departure is that an authentic employer brand is born out of employee experiences and that an attractive workplace is inclusive at worst and equitable at best.
With an MSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes from Copenhagen Business School, Mark Ivan has 15 years of experience in strategic marketing communications, employee representation, and empowerment of marginalized groups in businesses and products.
Kimberly has a background in Data Engineering and a Master in Social Work and an affinity to tackle and solve challenges through the use of data and tools to make a positive impact.
At Babbel, she found the perfect intersection of data engineering, solution development and DE&I. As an Engineering Manager, she has been focusing on creating a diverse team, building a culture of belonging with a physiologically safe environment where everyone can thrive, innovate and grow. With this mindset, Kimberly and her team help our internal teams and our B2B learners to better understand their language learning needs and drive learner success.
Kimberly is passionate about breaking down barriers through language and igniting conversations about recognizing and embracing differences.
Anne is CEO and co-founder ReDI School of Digital Integration. She is a 2006 graduate from KaosPilot in Denmark, a hybrid of a business and a design school. From 2006-2009, she worked as a corporate social responsibility consultant. In that capacity, she developed and implemented Samsung Electronics’ award-winning corporate social responsibility strategy for Scandinavia. In July 2010, Anne moved to Japan, where she spent 2 years researching open social innovation and received the prestigious Rotary Peace Fellowship. She wrote her master thesis in Silicon Valley with OpenIDEO. In 2012, she moved to Berlin to set up the Berlin Peace Innovation Lab, which is associated with Stanford University. The lab focuses on how technology is facilitating emerging and measurable social change toward global peace. In 2015, in response to the refugee crises, Anne co-founded ReDI School of Digital Integration, a vocational training program teaching programming and tech skills to refugees and marginalised people. ReDI is currently teaching 5000+ adults and kids per year. 65% of these identify as female.
Anne was recognised by Edition F as one of “25 Women” revolutionising German industry and by Handelsblatt as “Mutmacher of the Year”(2018). She was awarded Best Female Social Entrepreneur of the year in Germany 2020, Ashoka Fellow in 2021 and German CIO of the Year “Digital Future” 2023.
In addition she served as jury member of iF Design SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE 2023 and Preis für digitales Miteinander 2023.
Amjad Oudeh is a Palestinian-Syrian-German, Berlin-based iOS engineer at Soundcloud. He completed the web development track at the Redi School and was selected for the “Dev bridge” traineeship in partnership with Soundcloud. With a background in telecommunication engineering from Damascus University, Amjad is fluent in Arabic, German, and English. He’s also a professional guitar and bass player, passionate about flamenco and Oriental music.
David is currently responsible for Product Security at JustEat Takeaway.com, managing a team of diverse talent who aim to protect the applications customers & partners use, while aiming to improve security culture & awareness internally. His journey initially started in management accounting, then a move to live operations, with a stint in project & programme management, and most recently a serendipitous move into Security about 9 years ago. He has experience across a diverse set of industries, covering retail, IT consulting, video games, and e-commerce. David is a committed leader who will always favour the combined strength of the team over an individual, and is someone who has a passion for hiring & retaining diverse talent in the tech industry.
Elisabeth’s educational background is in theoretical physics, she transitioned to Data Science after early experiences in statistical modeling at a consultancy. Joining Zalando in 2015, she tackled pricing and forecasting problems, marking the beginning of her journey into the field. In 2020, Elisabeth became the Lead Data Scientist at SumUp, where she expanded Data Science teams in Risk and Compliance, implementing machine learning for fraud prevention and regulatory compliance. She founded the Data Science Chapter, fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing across SumUp. Elisabeth is passionate about empowering women in STEM and D&I champion
Carla’s mission is to create a society in which women have equal opportunities to drive innovation and shape the future for good. Before joining Auxxo as Head of Platform she gained experience at several startups, NGOs and co-founded amelia, a growth accelerator for female young professionals.
Patricia is the founder and CEO of ParkEnd Ventures, a boutique advisory firm orchestrating social and economic change through entrepreneurship. She knows a thing or two about impact organisations, having collaborated extensively with the United Nations, the European Commission or Project Liberty Foundation.
Julian is a Partner at Drake Star, advising on M&A and Growth Equity Fundraising. Before joining Drake Star, he was a Partner at GP Bullhound from 2012 to 2023. Julian is a seasoned expert in M&A and has extensive experience on the buy and sell-side. He has advised on over 50 technology M&A and Growth Equity transactions. Before joining GP Bullhound, Julian founded Pure Equity Advisors, a boutique M&A firm, which GP Bullhound later acquired. Julian also worked as a Managing Director at Corporate Finance Partners, focusing on Internet, media, and technology sectors.
Pauline Paquet has been a part of the European tech ecosystem for over a decade. She began her journey as an entrepreneur, followed by a consulting stint at Wavestone, and later managed Startup Support at Paris&Co, France’s leading incubator. There, she coordinated support services available to over 1000 startups across 14 sector-specific incubators. Since 2019, Pauline has led the Startup Success Platform at the European VC XAnge, a team of 4 people (and growing) dedicated to supporting portfolio entrepreneurs with their growth challenges. Pauline has a unique view of the entrepreneurial journey and in depth knowledge about every stage of the startup growth curve from pre-seed to Series B and beyond. Her position has helped her build unique and lasting relationships with founders across Europe and has enabled XAnge to accelerate the growth of their portfolio companies.
Carl co-founded Spoke.ai, where he leads the data and automation efforts, including all AI-enabled products. He’s an enthusiastic builder of data, automation, and product solutions with strong B2B experience through e.g. the WeWork rollercoaster and scaling early-stage teams from 0 to 1. He’s based in Berlin, working with Spoke’s diverse, remote-first team across 8 different countries to help companies communicate better & build faster with AI-powered productivity SaaS!
Kat is a Staff Product Engineer at Spoke.ai with a focus on backend systems and architecture. She’s worked at many different companies of all shapes and sizes, from being the first hired engineer at startups like Klar, to working at scale-ups like N26, to leading teams at large corporations like Microsoft and Spotify. She’s led the launch of products across several markets, designed and implemented architectures for scale, and helped build up both remote and on-site engineering teams from scratch. She’s also spoken about these experiences at a wide variety of conferences. Her passions lie in leading by example to bring out the best in engineering teams, applying best practices to unify both speed and quality, and believing that every person has something uniquely valuable to offer.
Katharina is a trainer and coach who supports start-ups, agencies, and medium-sized companies in preparing for the workforce of the future with a focus on HR teams.
Sarah is a founding developer at Passionfroot, and Women Who Code’s Director in Berlin. Sarah’s been working in German Tech for several years and has a passion for diversity and inclusion.
Maria is a leader and technology enthusiast currently serving as the VP of Product, Platform at SoundCloud since 2023. Maria’s leadership and expertise continue to make a significant impact in the tech industry, building on her previous role as the Senior Director of Business Planning at HERE Technologies, where she orchestrated the development framework and product strategy for the HERE platform, benefiting a 250 developers and product managers, both internal and external.
Mozamel Aman, a social entrepreneur based in Berlin, is deeply passionate about Tech, Entrepreneurship, and Education. As the Co-Founder & CEO of StartSteps, he’s leading the charge in digital orientation and training, aiming to empower individuals with essential skills for the digital era.
Elena is the Swiss Army knife of an engineer. With expertise spanning backend and data engineering, MLOps, and DevOps, she has excelled in these areas on a large scale. As of this writing, she thrives in her role as a Staff Software Engineer at Delivery Hero’s Developer Platform, skillfully navigating both technical and organisational complexities. Her passions include exploring exotic programming and natural languages, developing more efficient and streamlined distributed systems, and enjoying hikes in the great northern outdoors.
Over the past twelve years, I have been involved in talent acquisition for leading companies such as Nubank, Meta, and currently Preply, focusing on recruiting tech professionals across LATAM, EMEA, and the US. With a foundation in Psychology, coupled with my experience as an immigrant and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I started to investigate how unconscious bias affects hiring processes and blocks companies from hiring more diverse teams.
Andreea Lungulescu is a talent acquisition professional with over 13 years of experience in specialist engineering and technology domains. She is on a mission to make the career path for other Talent Acquisition professionals inclusive and break the outdated glass ceiling that individual contributors face. Andreea has held a global role as a Principal Talent Partner covering the EU and SE Asia, with a strong collaboration with the US. She is also known for being a Global Talent Acquisition SME, team mentor, and upskilling coach. Andreea has achieved many highlights throughout her career, such as being a two-time winner of Global Innovation projects for Zalando and Wayfair, having cross-domain tech talent acquisition experience, and developing comprehensive recruitment strategies. She has project leadership experience and has led the transformation of company-wide hiring processes at Wayfair and Zalando. She has also been a POC for both the TA organization and business stakeholders for the “Talent Champion” hiring processes in technology. Additionally, she has experience in global expansion project leadership, new geographies, new TDC setting (India – Bangalore) and leadership hiring, agile work standards and principles, and (DEI) sourcing and recruitment strategy development and implementation. Privately, Andreea is interested in entrepreneurial topics and creating things from scratch, such as being a winner of the Zalando’s 1st prize in the Tech Hack Week 2018, an open-source mobile app for a gamified pre-onboarding experience for candidates.
Alina, a former Chemical Engineer turned Impact Investor, is driven by her passion for creating a positive impact. At Ananda Impact Ventures, she invests in companies working to fuel impact on a global scale. As the Co-founder of Kleiderly, she revolutionised textile recycling into plastic alternatives. Championing Women of Colour in entrepreneurship through Founderland, Alina’s accolades include Forbes 30 under 30 and features in publications such as Wired, Vogue, and TEDx. More recently, she became an Obama Foundation Leader.
Rhiannon White is a highly empathetic product leader with deep experience building world-class software products, and the world-class product teams that build those products. She has experience across a range of industries and business models, including media/entertainment, retail, financial services, B2C, B2B & SaaS. She has held Product leadership roles in London, Silicon Valley, and Auckland.
Viktoria is a Fractional CPO/VP of Product at Product People. She has a PhD in Neuroscience and 7+ years of Product & Project Management experience. She has worked with both B2B and B2C products in different industries including fintech, mobility, e-commerce, and more. She has experience leading multiple cross-functional teams to drive high-impact initiatives and growth Product Managers to become Product Leaders
Sérgio is passionate about engineering management, leadership and software delivery. He strives to make a meaningful impact on organisations by delivering exceptional experiences to both internal and external customers. In parallel, he’s deeply committed to the cause of Diversity and Inclusion and believes that fostering inclusion it is not just a moral imperative but also a strategic advantage. He actively works to create inclusive workplaces, promote D&I at various industryevents, and drives recruitment activities that promote diversity. He dedicates his time to working with people, building a culture where individuals can be themselves and bringing great results to the business.
Rose has worked in tech for over 16 years, starting with a role as an Analyst at Accenture, before working at YOOX Net A Porter in various positions including Delivery Manager and Head of Technology. She’s currently Director of Engineering at Bumble Inc where she works with the Mobile Apps. Rose is passionate about building high-performing, autonomous teams and helping others to grow. Outside of work, Rose has 3 young children so is fluent in the demands of juggling work and parenting.
Melina is Principal and VP of Impact at AENU, a ClimateTech VC fund investing across Europe and the US. Prior to AENU, Melina was setting up a $5M Fund for the Alfred Landecker Foundation as its Managing Director and helped build the World Economic Forum’s COVID Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs. Before working in impact VC, Melina worked in diplomacy and built an international non-profit
Oana Iordachescu is a Talent and TA Executive Advisor and DEI Strategist with over 15 years of experience in Technology Talent Acquisition and DEI solutions in some of the most influential tech organisations such as Meta, Booking.com or Wayfair. She is the founder of We Include, a consulting firm that helps organizations build sustainable businesses and inclusive workplaces by co-creating and implementing personalized DEI strategies, workshops, training, hiring, and events design. Oana is also the Conference Director at Fair Barcelona, an immersive event that connects policymakers, DEI experts, and inclusive leaders for a more equitable and inclusive future of work. She is a professional speaker and podcast host, a CIPD-certified HR professional, and a Yale School of Management Women in Leadership program alumna. She is passionate about amplifying initiatives that create an inclusive and resilient workplace, and empowering leaders to take action with confidence.
Head of Research, UX research teacher in the design school, private mentor.
Manjuri has 20 years plus international experience in HR with expertise in Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, DEI and HR Business Partnering across industries; IT Consulting, e-commerce, Business Process Outsourcing and manufacturing.
In her current role, Manjuri globally heads the Talent Success domain for the whole OLX Group (Rev 2.98$ as of 2022 ), this domain spans from Talent Branding to Talent Acquisition to Talent Development & Engagement and DEI.
Prior to joining OLX, Manjuri held Senior / Exec Talent Leadership positions at Zalando GmBH, Accenture and MphasiS (Formerly HP Company ). She is especially proud of spearheading the technology team hyper scale-up of Europe’s largest online fashion marketplace, Zalando.
As a renowned thought leader, she has been a Keynote speaker, panelist and speaker at conferences such as LinkedIn Talent Connect New York, Unleash World Paris, HR Core Lab Barcelona, SOSU Amsterdam, HR Vision Amsterdam, Tec Rec, Berlin, Data & Analytics Summit Stockholm and many others. She has been published in leading magazines like Business of Fashion, New York, HR Tech Outlook, and co-authored a book called The Builders Guide to the Tech Galaxy. She has been recently recognized as Talent100 leader.
She also advises other Prosus group companies on TA Talent Architecture and TA strategies across the globe.
Worked and lived in India, Sweden, Czech Republic and now she calls Berlin home for the past 9 years. Her passions are traveling and exploring new cuisines.