Meet The 14 EmpowerWISM 2024 Applicants

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the remarkable women-led companies that applied to this year’s Empower Women in Shared Mobility 2024 program! To quickly recap, the Empower Women in Shared Mobility Pitch is designed to support and elevate women-led businesses in the shared mobility sector. The EmpowerWISM judging panel is currently faced with the challenging task of selecting the top 5 finalists and the winner from this year’s group.

In this article we will introduce you to the 14 contenders for this year – but before we do, let’s take a look at 2024 applicant overview…

2024 Applicant Overview

EmpowerWiSM 2024: Meet the 14 Candidates

A Fleet for Change

Shared transport that doesn’t break the bank.

Sheffield, United Kingdom

“Safe, sustainable, shared transport – making travel that is cheaper, faster and more convenient for everyone. We want to empower societal behaviour change for present and future generations.

In recent years, bus services have been cut back to be almost unusable, taxi fares have soared and congestion has been getting worse. Communities are becoming disconnected, with vulnerable groups feeling the effects most. It’s increasingly difficult for people to get around without using a car and currently bus journeys can take three times longer, sometimes putting people at risk.

A Fleet for Change will offer an affordable on-demand transport service, finding the most efficient route for its users. No more missed buses, endless waiting at bus stops and long journeys. We have a strong focus on safety, with innovative in-app features and specially trained bus drivers, so people feel confident travelling at any time of day or night.

We are making public transport accessible for everyone, reconnecting communities and getting people where they need to be without the cost of taxis and the hassle of conventional buses. We will be providing solutions designed with customers at the centre, collaborating with councils and partnering with technology companies to create a judicious solution.

We will do this by approaching business differently, while aiming to make money to provide the most efficient service we will also broker the right partners. We are committed to delivering more sustainable services and we will put our creativity and expertise in Politics, Technology and Behavior Change at the heart of every decision we make. Having spoken to other successful demand-responsive companies, we know there are many funding streams to call upon, providing transport for end users, for council and local authorities, and for other businesses, large and small.”

Bex Winter |Co-Founder & Director | A Fleet for Change

Axle Mobility

Start managing electric vehicle risk and safety

Seattle, Washington

Axle Mobility is focused on building the supporting infrastructure for sustainable transportation. Mainstream EV – and e-bike – adoption requires essential services like repair to be readily available and affordable today. In 2023, car-share and e-bike companies scaled back existing fleets – some even shut down – directly because of this gap, highlighting the urgency of addressing it in tandem with their roll-out.

In November 2023, Axle launched a user-friendly platform that simplifies day-to-day operations for fleets and repair shops based on bottlenecks they identified. Our platform simplifies and consolidates tasks like safety training, regulatory compliance, personal protective equipment (PPE), and battery logistics in one accessible place. This makes it easier and much more affordable for customers to begin tackling harder repair and maintenance problems.

Looking ahead to 2024, Axle plans to expand this platform while developing training and infrastructure focused specifically on repair. Our motivation includes 1) empowering existing individuals in the technician trades to get certified, supporting them to overcome the cost barriers involved in doing so, and 2) prolonging the operational life of these vehicles, which is the far more environmentally friendly choice.”

Maryam Khan Meurer | Founder & CEO | Axle Mobility

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Helgg Scooters Ltd

Transforming the African transportation landscape one electric vehicle at a time

Lagos, Nigeria

Helgg Scooters LTD is a micro-mobility company providing clean, affordable, and flexible transportation to Nigeria and Africa. Our vision is simple: To transform urban transportation in Africa by providing flexible, accessible, sustainable, and innovative electric mobility solutions that enhance convenience, reduce carbon footprint, cost, and contribute to a cleaner, more connected Africa.

Helgg plans to do this by introducing a sharing network of Eco-friendly electric vehicles that also offers a last-mile solution, thereby eliminating overdependence on cars, reducing congestion, and cutting down fuel costs. We will be introducing Electric Vehicles (such as Electric Bicycles, Electric Scooters, Electric-bikes, and Electric Cars) into communities which will serve as the perfect alternative to cars and buses. They are fully Eco-friendly and use IoT Technology. Using the Helgg mobile app, users scan the QR code on the vehicle, pay the fee, ride to their destinations, and park appropriately for the next user.”

Rhoda Orovwiroro | Co-Founder & Finance Officer | Helgg Scooters

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Loud Mobility

Raising the volume of joyful sustainable journeys

London, United Kingdom

Loud Mobility has been founded to progress the system-change needed in the sustainable mobility and transport sector. So we are collectively able to deliver a positive experience of transport for all folks. We believe this is possible, by delivering cross sector projects that explicitly focus on improving social and environmental outcomes, for people, in the places we live and the planet at large. We take a human-centred approach, that focuses on changing people’s opportunities, experiences, and behaviours to achieve the social and cultural change we need.

This programme would provide an invaluable platform to promote our vision, mission and services. As such, supporting us in our key aims for the year ahead, growing our team and our capacity, taking on new and larger projects and raising our profile nationally and internationally.”

Georgia Yexley | Founder | Loud Mobility

Matterz

Providing individuals with the necessary resources and toos to enhance safety and inclusion

Athens, Greece

Our mission is to empower individuals by providing them with the necessary resources and tools to enhance their safety and inclusion. Ultimately creating a community network that transforms every space into a sanctuary of safety for ALL. Our mobile app offers a range of safety tools, such as real-time location tracking, interactive map and emergency alerts.

We have structured our plans for 2024 and 2025 and listed many future features and final points for our products, such as creating safe routes in urban spaces for selected countries in EU with community engagement and real time feedback mechanism. We have gamified tools that needs nourishing and since the subject is sociologically very delicate, this program would support us to fulfil our mission in the best way possible.”

Tilbe Gunduz | CEO & Co-Founder | Matterz

Mobility for Africa

Renewable community based transport solutions for Sub Saharan Africa that are affordable, efficient and environmentally friendly

Harare, Zimbabwe

“Mobility for Africa, a social enterprise, working in Zimbabwe, aims to bring solar powered electric transport solutions to women and their families that are affordable, efficient and adapted to peri-urban and rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tough sturdy renewable energy charged electric bikes and tricycles, branded and backstopped by trained community support services, provide an avenue for marginalized and poor families to overcome distances to services and contribute to dynamic local economies. Powered through community based off grid energy supply, e-tricycles will provide the incentive for increased economic opportunities, creating new local markets, tackling gender inequality and enhancing rural livelihoods.”

Shantha Bloemen | Managing Director & Founder | Mobility for Africa

Moveree

We help you learn and test sustainable mobility to decarbonize your travels.

Paris, France

We use behavior science and artificial intelligence to help motorists reduce their dependence to cars and switch to sustainable mobility services. We offer a tailored coaching program to learn and test the most appropriate alternatives.

Companies and cities buy the coaching program for their employees and their residents. The program is designed as a mobility challenge to which employees and residents participate within their communities.”

Hanae Maatella | Founder | Moveree

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OX Drive

OX Drive is the most affordable way to drive Teslas and Audi in Latvia without any of the hassles of owning a car

Riga, Latvia

OX is a sustainable mobility and energy startup that brings fully electric vehicles to car-sharing while building charging network for EVs. If every private car owner switched to OX, we would reach sustainable mobility future in  20 years instead of 120. 1 OX car, replaces 3 privately owned cars already today and as we scale, it will replace 10 privately owned cars.

Currently we do have a free-floating carsharing which has a minute, hour, daily, weekly and kilometer price. Additionally, we offer long term rents like full service rent and rent to buy which came to us organically, here the min time is 1 month, max 5 years. Lastly, we have created our in-house car repair-shop which we also launched publicly and also that is bringing us money.”

Egija Gailuma | Co-Founder | OX Drive

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Quantum Charging

Wireless power transfer based on quantum mechanical principles

Berlin, Germany

We invented an absolutely new method of energy transfer based on energy quantization, a principle first put forward by Max Planck in 1901. Max Planck postulated that energy was quantized and could be emitted or absorbed by a small unit of energy known as quantum. We mastered this principle. Our quantum charging technology is able to charge low, medium and high power devices simultaneously over a distance with really high efficiency up to 95% without cables and battery replacement. Technology operates outside of electromagnetic fields, doesn’t generate heat and emission and is able to charge in various environmental conditions (even in movement).

We are going to create our first commercial product based on our innovative quantum charging technology – wireless charging station for the e-bikes. We are going to integrate our technology into e-bike, placing our receiving element and electronic module and creating a wireless charging station based on our Transmitting element and electronic module. Also we are planning to equip a charging station with solar panels. This solution we are going to propose to share service, to logistic companies, express delivery, last mile delivery, restaurants and hotels, and other businesses. We are planning to make mobility more sustainable.”

Ruslana Dovzhyk |CEO & Co-Founder | TechNovator

Recraft Ventures

Recraft Ventures is an integrated strategy, management consultancy and startup studio specialising in new mobility, energy and circularity.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

“The venture’s vision is to accelerate and guide urban mobility companies (mostly hardware startups) to transition into a circular business model and support startups solving circular challenges.

I plan to achieve this by offering business strategy consulting, but also integrating teams (as fractional roles for example) for hands-on operations and building, and support with connecting key actors across the value chain.

As a super connector, my aim is to assemble in this venture key collaborators to solve problems better. The idea is to build an ecosystem of highly skilled entrepreneurial minded independent professionals and circular economy enablers to work with startups in the mobility & energy sector.

Finally, connecting people gives new ideas, so our long term plan is to nurture and give the opportunity to create and finance startups from within, that respond to the immediate needs of society in regards to urban mobility, following circular business models.”

Alix Armour | Founder | Recraft Ventures

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Streetlife Ventures

We invest in the nuts & bolts of sustainable cities.

New York, United States

I’ve spent my career focused on how to improve quality of life and build sustainable, climate-resilient cities. Funny enough, that started with focus on how cultural organizations drive urban economic growth, which led me to move to Qatar at the age of 24 to work for the government and their museums. While living in Qatar however, I had a transformational experience: the city had no sidewalks, no public transportation, no affordable housing, and struggled with food production and clean water access. I realized that I needed to reorient my career to the fundamentals of what makes cities great long-term, and to go down Maslow’s hierarchy – focusing on climate perspectives across mobility, housing, and infrastructure sectors.

I now bring an urban climate finance perspective to my work with cities and mobility systems globally – finding creative ways to build for financial, equity, and climate impact. Ultimately, we are investing in a full transformation of the most populous places on earth and this requires a bold rethink of the technologies that power and move our urban spaces.

As a result, I am the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Streetlife Ventures, a $30M seed-stage venture fund investing in urban climate solutions to transform sectors including mobility, buildings, energy, waste, and water. For climate impact and social impact: we’re committed to investing in 50%+ female and diverse founders.

Previously, I was the General Manager of Citi Bike at Lyft and built it into a $100M ARR business and one of the country’s largest transportation systems. Combined with other shared mobility roles, I know what’s needed to make shared mobility work – and aim to work with the next generation of mobility founders and operators to bring that to life.

Streetlife Ventures is a “startup” venture capital firm – boldly rethinking how venture firms should operate, and what they should invest in.

And we’re doing it despite the odds: women and diverse fund managers receive less than 1.4% of AUM on the VC space. This then leads to the devastating stats that we know well – that very few female startup founders receive venture funding.”

Laura Fox | Co-Founder and Managing Partner | Streetlife Ventures

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TransiTool

Data for passengers. Seamlessly.

Athens, Greece

We envision a world where people move seamlessly from one place to the other, but not with their car. We want to bring more people into mass transit and create cities with connected mobility. Nowadays, Mass transit agencies, micromobility companies, touristic buses, airlines, ferries, create their own applications, share information with the passengers in an inconsistent way. How about if all these information were consistent and aggregated in one place. What if for example Google Maps or any other globally known app showed all the information needed in order for passengers to hop on a bus and then take their scouter in a seamless, effortless way?

This can only be achieved by data aggregation and standardization. We want to digitally transform the Mass Transit ecosystem, working with mass transit agencies and manage, standardize, analyze and share their transport data. We want to create accurate and connected information for passengers and travellers. 73% of passengers admit that they would choose more often mass transit if they had accurate information. That means that there would be less car use in the cities if the right information were accessible at the right time. TransiTool connects the transport data of the agency with passengers while optimizing costs and operations for them. TransiTool creates the digital twin that cities and mass transit agencies need to better handle, communicate and integrate transportation data. We offer a web application that creates multiple tools on a network map for the agencies. Data standardization is the key but also a compliance issue that European Union and US are creating for cities. We stand between the agency and the passenger, offering services to our customer the agency and in the future to the passenger.”

Zoi Papacharalampous | CMO & Co-Founder | Transitool

Umob

One app to ride them all

Rotterdam, Netherlands

We work together with all (shared) mobility operators in the industry where we gain a % of margin per ride. Additionally we provide our users loyalty systems where they can benefit from lower prices when they are frequent users. Lastly, we work together with events, football stadiums, etc. to provide sustainable traveling to events. Where we provide the app and vehicles, and gain a % margin.

Becoming the number 1 platform in Europe before 2030. A clear vision, a clear goal. Why? To give the streets and cities back to our people, and not to cars. We provide a new and commercial view on MaaS where we truly believe we can make an impact in the world. Traveling within your favourite city, country, between countries – all with one app. No local approach, no deep links. Fully integrated European network. Lead by industry entrepreneurs.

I would like to use this opportunity to build a spotlight on the incredible women who are not just building companies but are also catalysts for positive climate change and empowerment. Eventually, this also helps growing our company its vision and the growth path in general. I truly believe it’s more than just numbers and getting funding in, but building fundamental change in the industry. Starting from within, which will reflect on the company vision.”

Bibi Jorissen | CEO & Founder | Umob

UpGirl

Your safety and peace of mind in every journey are the most important thing

Santiago and Valparaíso Region, Chile

UpGirl want to generate a great social impact in the lives of women and their families, providing the best mobility experience and creating a powerful community that provides solutions to their main pains, problems and needs. For that they have developed UpGirl, a female mobility app that connects only female drivers with female passengers incorporating a new verification, travel and business model.

They are creating a strong community where crimes of a sexual nature are prevented in transport that suffer both, female drivers and passengers, family mobility that falls mainly on women is solved, a tool to generate income in a flexible and adaptive way in times of economic crisis, empowering in labor areas that have been dominated by men and a meeting point to go further.

“This year our pivot will begin with a corporate service; it will be the companies who will pay for the scheduled and recurring transfer of their workers and, exceptionally, older workers or workers with an illness or disability (Incusión Law). Then we will offer the workers an exclusive service so that they can personally contract the scheduled and recurring service for the mobility to care for their children or someone with the aforementioned conditions.”

Kim Maturana Barías | CEO & Founder | UpGirl

EmpowerWISM 2024 Prize Package

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