“In the beginning nobody believed in us”

Presentation of the Female Founder Award

Localyze boss Hanna Asmussen with Handelsblatt editor-in-chief Sebastian Matthes (left) and McKinsey Germany boss Fabian Billing.

(Photo: Marc-Steffen Unger)

Berlin Hanna Asmussen wants to break down borders. Her start-up Localyze, which she founded with Lisa Dahlke and Franzi Löw, offers a platform that companies can use to organize everything to do with employee mobility. Whether moving, visa extension or travel organization.

The entrepreneur also breaks down boundaries outside of her own organisation. Many female founders find it difficult to get capital for their start-ups – the scene is very male-dominated. Asmussen is therefore active as a coach and mentor to ensure more diversity.

Asmussen won the Female Founder Award on Thursday for her successful entrepreneurship and her commitment to the start-up scene. Handelsblatt and McKinsey award this prize to outstanding female founders in Germanynow for the fourth time.

Personal experience plays a major role for Asmussen. First of all, this concerns the business idea: The idea for Localyze came to her when a professional move to China was complicated. The platform, founded in Hamburg in 2018, is intended to help HR departments with organization, for example with a to-do list for visa applications.

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Secondly, raising the necessary capital for this was not so easy. “No one believed in us at first.” However, the founder managed to get a place at the renowned Y Combinator start-up center in the heart of Silicon Valley. An award.

As a result, financing became much easier. Just a few weeks ago, the start-up received $35 millionincluding from US venture capitalist General Catalyst.

“Sometimes one vote is enough, one validation,” says the industrial engineer. That’s why she’s considering becoming an investor herself. She also advises founders – not only women but also men who want to build their organization in a diverse way.

She has important advice for female founders who also want to overcome borders: “Always add a 30 percent surcharge to what you can do or what you dare to do. Men do that anyway.”

More: Organs from the 3D printer and a navigation system for surgeons: These are the winners of “The Spark”.

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