EmpowerWISM 2021 Season One: Mid-term Update

EmpowerWISM 2021 Season One: Mid-term Update

During Fall last year, we announced our very first EVER EmpowerWISM program. The aim of the program was to amplify the voices of the women working within the transportation industry and to promote and encourage one female led mobility venture for 12 months. To qualify for the program, the applicants who applied, needed to:

  • Provide a product, service or technology for personal mobility/transportation
  • Be a majority female founded/owned/led company
  • Be less than 5 years old

We received a total of 15 completely diverse applications last year and wanted to bring you a mid-term update on how these companies have been managing throughout 2021 so far.

Keep reading to find out what some of our EmpowerWISM applicants have been getting up to this year and for an exciting EmpowerWISM 2022 announcement! Learn more about the EmpowerWISM 2021 award here.



ChargerHelp! has built out an app platform that enables on-demand repair for electric vehicle charging stations by enabling a communities local workforce. They have reduced dispatch time from 10 days to 1 day and resolution time from 30 days to 2 days!

They sit at the intersection of workforce development, adult learning, and clean technology. They leverage technology to remove barriers and enable economic mobility within all communities. Their aim is to achieve this through strategic expansion and collaboration with workforce development centers throughout their key markets.

Season One: Mid-term Update

ChargerHelp! is proud to have successfully recruited 20 technicians across 8 states and have secured 9 national contracts. Later this year they will produce a report that shows the state of the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. This report will highlight the driver experience and the overall functionality of the electric vehicle charging stations across 50 states.


What advice would you give to budding women entrepreneurs in this space? Any learnings over the past year that you’d like to share?

“Building relationships with people who understand your solution is very important.” – Kameale Terry, CoFounder & CEO

Sneak-peek update: Setting the standard on the maintenance of electric vehicle charging stations, they hope everyone looks out for their report on the state of the EV charging infrastructure later this year.



BYKKO is a multi-award winning Australian green tech provider of electric bike sharing and e-mobility systems. They have extensive experience in both technology development and daily operations, network planning and urban cycling expertise. Their built-in telematics, versatile API capabilities, and robust security make them the ultimate choice for station-based e-bike sharing and e-mobility.  BYKKO has partnered with state government and local councils for public e-bike share schemes, helped plan and implement programs for residential developments as well as providing solutions for independent operators and corporate fleets.

Season One: Mid-term Update

BYKKO has had an electric start to 2021, deploying their third-generation electric bike, the first of its kind in bike sharing with a mid-drive motor and carbon belt, full automation meaning that all the bike’s functions turn on when the bike is undocked, and real-time monitoring with safety sensors embedded throughout the bike to report problems such as dead batteries, broken cable locks, or faulty brakes to the servicing team. The BYKKO platform gathers data from e-bikes and charging stations through a combination of technologies, including IoT, GPS, ECU and automatics systems. The technology simplifies the operations, and helps developing a bespoke e-bike share network building a durable financial model that requires minimal operational and labour support.

In terms of new partnerships, BYKKO continued to focus on the B2B model with the latest partnership with Australia’s leading holiday park management company NRMA Parks and Resorts. Australia is home to some of the most extraordinary holiday destinations in the world, and their regional towns have many natural wonders and unique travel experiences. Providing exceptional holiday experiences and investing in great hospitality and innovative facilities like e-bike share stations in holiday parks located in iconic coastal destinations will attract tourists to their regional towns and help boost the local economy at a time when the international travel ban is still in place.


What advice would you give to budding women entrepreneurs in this space? Any learnings over the past year that you’d like to share?

“Given our unique current global environment, I feel that congratulations to women entrepreneurs in this space are more warranted than advice. I have a deep respect for all the women out there that managed to juggle the challenges of this past year, from homeschooling young kids, managing personal and business relationships either in a confined space or at distance and running a business through what will be marked in the history books as one of the toughest crises of this century so far. Breathe deeply, find your pillar of strength and focus on the long-term vision of your business. If you are in the e-mobility space, stay assured you are in the right industry as this sector is forecast to grow faster than any other sector by 2030.” – Monica Zarafu, Founder & Managing Director



GeoTwin is a’ Human-Centred Global Intelligence Platform’ where data, AI and activity and agent-based stimulation is combined to build intelligent products & services to improve people’s lives. The platform is fully cloud-based and proposes a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) framework. The Company makes complex scientific paradigms accessible for non-technical users and are providing faster and more credible outputs thanks to their next-generation programming language and microservice architecture. Their unique decision-making tool uses simulation to show you how, when and why people are moving around a specific area, which helps you make better, more informed decisions across different verticals. GeoTwin is targeting smart city, retail, real estate and market research sectors. The company is working with local transportation agencies, mobility and real estate companies

Season One: Mid-term Update

Beyond investors, GeoTwin has captured the attention of innovation and mobility players. The company was one of the winner of i-Nov competition in 2020, supporting innovation projects with strong potential for the French economy led by startups and SMEs, to foster the emergence of leading companies in their field. This year, in collaboration with the Ile-de-France region and Renault, the start-up also carried out a feasibility study for the deployment of an autonomous shuttle system during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Founder Göknur SIRIN-JUBIN was also selected to be among the amazing cohort of SaaS enterprise female founders chosen by Project W and M12 – Microsoft’s Venture Fund to be a part of the SaaS Launch Lab!



Veo began as one of the applicants to the EmpowerWISM program but during judges deliberations it became clear that they were the one applicant that really stood out above the rest, in terms of overall business success – especially in their short lifetime. Veo’s mission is to establish micromobility as a true transportation system to reduce automotive use and promote widespread utilization of shared alternative mobility in a safe and reliable way, while and delivering successful innovative and sustainable programs. 

Season One: Mid-term Update

The New York City Department of Transportation, which originally released a request for proposals in October for the pilot that was meant to start in early March, made its selections public in April and Veo was one of the three companies chosen. Veo also deployed 900 Astro scooters and 100 Halo Pedal Bikes in Newark, New Jersey in August of this year. This year, they also became the first e-scooter company to introduce turn indicators (blinkers) to their vehicles.


Cogo App

Cogo is your all-in-one app for finding the best and closest shared rides at your convenience. Find all shared electric scooters, bike, e-bikes, electric cars and mopeds near you. Available everywhere, Cogo shows you all available EV or human powered, shared rides from more than 150 mobility operators in over 400 cities worldwide.

Season One: Mid-term Update

Cogo was released 12 months ago. They already have +15k users in 95 countries and are projecting 60k by the end of 2021. 51% of users are returning users. They have so far raised $1,26M, a mix of equity investments from PreSeed Ventures & BAs + support from Danish Innovationsfonden, Danish growth fund, EIT urban mobility, & Urbantech. They have the best operator coverage in the Nordics and strategic partnerships with Scandic and COWI and media coverage in top tier international & trade media. They expanded their team with Martin Røssell as CTO who was part of the founding team of momondo and appointed a professional board plus they were part of Beyond Beta, and accepted into Urbantech, EIT Urban Mobility and Accelerate through Silicon Valley programs.

What has been the most challenging aspect of the past year and what helped you wade through it?

“The constant changes in waves of the corona pandemic and the effect it brings to people’s movement. Starting and growing a mobility company under these uncertain market conditions has been challenging, so we’ve focused on broadening our risk with market differentiation, and in general, being quick to refocus when conditions changed.” – Bibi Blomqvist, CoFounder


Sneak-peek update: Soon Cogo is launching the worlds comparison tool for A-to-B trips on shared mobility, which will help users to estimate and compare the ride price and travel time across 5 vehicle types, with scooters, bikes, e-bikes, mopeds and cars, and all operators in one simple search. 


Pretty Deadly Self Defense

Pretty Deadly is a self-empowering, self-trust building, self defense program that gives you the tools you need to go out and make the most of your life – whether it’s traveling the world, in your day-to-day, or you’re starting life somewhere new. Weekly classes & monthly workshops in Berlin and Paris.

Season One: Mid-term Update

Pretty Deadly added some exciting corporate partnerships this year to help them grow, specifically fitness center booking tool, Eversports, which is a great value-add to their clients when they license their program. They’ve also added some wonderful social impact partners, and keep growing: Sambhavya Foundation helped them to deliver confidence and empowerment courses to teens in Nepal over Zoom; SUCCESS in Sindh helped them teach self defense to women in rural Pakistan, which was also a great proof concept, that their product is transmittable across culture and language. Their partners at Aurat Raaj connected them with The Mirror Pk to co-create self defense for street harassment in Lahore. Additionally, they’ve done a redesign of their prototype app and it’s a wonderful way into their world as genius UX designer Xenia Latii set up the app to mimic one of their live courses. And that redesign increased their users by 300%. 

But probably the most significant milestone was getting their program accredited by a national sports body. They are the first self defense program to do this! It was a groundbreaking move that helped them take self defense beyond the world of martial arts and dojos and into gyms, fitness studios, bootcamps and even to personal trainers.


What advice would you give to budding women entrepreneurs in this space? Any learnings over the past year that you’d like to share?

“People will ask you to try harder, be more perfect, gather more information, jump higher, do better, etc. but the truth is, it’s kind of all about cognitive bias. If someone’s giving you their ear it’s because they’re already interested. If they’re looking at your deck, it’s because they want to, and they’re leaning towards yes. You do need to have a clearly articulated plan to help them get to yes, but everyone who tells you to change every little detail, get more traction, etc etc is simply saying “no” in an indirect way. You’ll find the right fit – but don’t let the “no’s” get you down.” – Susie Kahlich, Founder

Sneak-peek update: We’re revamping our website and we’re super excited about our new look! We can’t wait to share it with you!


Mount Locks

Boston-based Mount Locks leverages their smart lock data analytics software, enables companies to track mobility patterns, locate lost vehicles, and take a holistic approach to mobility asset management

Season One: Mid-term Update

During 2021, Mount has started focusing on providing micromobility services to the hospitality sector. Mount just got accepted into Blue Startups. This will allow them to continue their development as a travel tech company and work closely with the resorts and hotels of Hawaii. In addition, Mount opens up ancillary revenue at STRs. They help outfit properties with the correct amenities from golf carts, bikes to scooters. With the data they collect from these asset, Mount is able to pinpoint what amenities a property should offer, how to maximize revenue from them and turn an Airbnb property into a hotel quality offering.  

  • Tracked golf carts, scooters, and bikes 
  • Facilitated over 400 amenity rentals in 4 months  
  • Expanded to 7 different cities in 5 months 

What has been the most challenging aspect of the past year and what helped you wade through it?

“It has been challenging breaking into the hospitality market since it was heavily disrupted because of Covid-19. Now that we are seeing travel pick up again it has been great to see Airbnb Hosts, hotels and resorts reaching out to Mount to add on our services.” – Madison Rifkin, CEO & Founder




Go To-U mobile application is just a user interface for EV drivers. The underlying technology behind it is software for EV charging management and operations. We run in-depth integrations with manufacturers of EV charging stations (such as ABB) and sell SaaS to charge point owners and operators.

Season One: Mid-term Update

GO TO-U is driven by the idea to reduce the carbon footprint by facilitating the adoption of electric vehicles. Their mission is to make the experience of driving and charging an electric vehicle (EV) simpler, more comfortable and more accessible. Among business projects and wins, in 2021 GO TO-U was featured in the OYW’s Impact Report with a ratio $1:35 SROI (Social Return on Investment). This ratio indicates that an investment of $1 delivers the equivalent of $35 of the social, economic, and environmental value created by the business.


What advice would you give to budding women entrepreneurs in this space? 

“Congratulations to all founders in the sustainable mobility space! I believe we need to foster partnerships and collaborations to achieve the common goal. Thank you WiSM for connecting us.” – Dr. Lyubov Artemenko, CoFounder & COO

EmpowerWISM 2022 Announcement

Once again, this year we are looking for female entrepreneurs that tackle tomorrow’s transportation problem. If you are a young company (<5 years) that is majority female (cis or trans women, non-binary, gender-fluid or gender non-conforming people) owned or controlled and offers a product or service that falls under the shared mobility industry, you will be able to apply for the 2022 Empower Women in Shared Mobility Award Program in October, 2021!

We will be showcasing 3 companies and the winning company will receive a 12 month mentoring package, access to the entire EmpowerWisM network (partners, judges and movmi) and will be invited to different opportunities to showcase their work!

The application process will open soon, but feel free to nominate a company that you think will be a great fit by tagging them on our social media channelsTwitter & LinkedIn

Learn more about the award program here.


Struggling with profitability of your shared mobility service? Get in touch