Business hackathon for female entrepreneurs powered by Henkel dx Ventures

Powered by Henkel dx Ventures, Xathon is a business hackathon for early-stage female founders who have their prototype ready and who want to develop and shape their entrepreneurial mindset and business. Reimagining the best elements of some of the world's most celebrated accelerator programs, Xathon has been designed to provide founders with knowledge, expertise, and the tools to build their business. Xathon is aimed at those with ambition, drive, and determination – female founders who have accepted the challenge to launch their start-up. 

On a mission to empower the next generation of female entrepeneurs

With its new format, Xathon places a greater focus on mentoring right from the start, tailoring the three-day event to better fit the individual needs of founders and their start-ups. At the heart of Xathon 2022 lies our matchmaking concept: direct from the start, each participant will be ideally matched with a successful entrepreneur from within the sector they are looking to disrupt - to offer personalized support, guidance, and advice. Those attending will also have the opportunity to build a strong professional network of successful VC and angel investors, early-stage and established entrepreneurs. 

Now in its fourth year, the whole concept of Xathon is evolving: from an Inspirational Event to an Action Event. That’s why our watchword is:



Who are we looking for?


We are looking for early-stage female founders who have accepted the challenge to build the businesses of the future; those who are pioneering a brighter path, making our planet better and using innovation as a tool for positive change. We welcome applications from female entrepreneurs – especially from the areas of sustainability tech, enterprise tech, digital innovators, D2C disruptors and those building purpose-led, next generation products, services and solutions to build a better, more sustainable world. We invite you to bring your co-founders with you – irrespective of their gender!

Why should you participate?


Connect with 100 like-minded female founders, 18 specialist mentors, 10+ inspiring speakers and 12+ successful venture capitalists and angel investors to expand your professional network.


Receive expert support and feedback from successful European founders to work on your business during intense individual and group workshops.


Learn best practices and master your skills in the areas of raising funding and early-stage venture capital; customer acquisition and go-to-market strategy; brand and marketing; vision and pitching; product management.


Meet and pitch to successful VC's and angel investors. Have the opportunity to win 25K EUR Xathon prize money, private airtime meeting with CEO of Global Digital Women Tijen Onaran, 3 start-up exhibition stands and 3 speaking slots at DMEXCO (Sept 21 & 22).


HelloDay 1


Day 1 of Xathon opens with inspiring keynotes by top industry leaders who will share their stories of success – as well as failure. Afterwards, you will be matched up with your ideal mentor before setting your personal agenda for the upcoming days. In the afternoon we welcome Tijen Onaran, CEO & Founder of Global Digital Women, and other amazing people from our ecosystem to expand on the subject of diversity. We will end the first day with a special networking reception. Here you will meet VCs and angel investors and have the unique opportunity to get in front of potential investors.

SessionsDay 2


On day 2 you will dive straight into an intensive, individual mentoring session and group work. Expect to work hard and make some real progress, as well as engaging in inspiring discussions. The afternoon is taken up with a 1:1 upskilling session with your dedicated mentor and hothousing. In addition, we are setting up interactive masterclasses with experts from the sector to support you in further shaping your own business model. In the evening we offer a fun activity to help you relax after a hard day and get to know your fellow Xathon participants better.

PitchesDay 3


Day 3 is a great combination of working intensively on your business – and especially, on your pitch deck refinement. After lunch we start with the first round of pitches. In the afternoon the best start-ups will have the opportunity to pitch in front of our final jury and win the 25k EUR prize money.  At the end of the day, there will be an awards ceremony, in which we recognize and celebrate the success and progress made by all founders who accepted the Xathon challenge.




Financial partners


Network partners


Henkel dx Ventures is the investment arm of Henkel dx, providing an open innovation and collaboration platform to founders and start-ups. Our strength lies in Henkel’s long experience in innovation & entrepreneurship, as well as in the vibrant ecosystem of diverse, inspiring people who share knowledge and ideas to rethink the future, advancing innovation across the board. Henkel dx Ventures invests in late seed start-ups and supports them in scaling their business in the consumer packaged goods industry. Additionally, Henkel dx Ventures organizes interactive ecosystem events to spark new ideas, share best practices and explore new ways of working – like our annual Xathon, enabling women founders to showcase their innovations and solutions.  At Henkel dx Ventures, we are proud to be part of Henkel’s digital unit, Henkel dx, as we create the next together.


Global Digital Women (GDW) is the leading diversity company in Germany. What started as a small networking meeting in Berlin in 2017 has grown into a company with a community of over 50,000 people from the digital industry. Our goal is to accelerate gender equality, increase the proportion of women in leadership and digital professions, and last but not least, make women with a digital focus visible and connected across industries. Important events and projects that are part of our broad offer: the Digital Female Leader Award and the programs “Bavarian Women in Digital Professions (BayFiD)" &"Women in Digital Areas (WIDA) for Schleswig-Holstein".


  • Will Xathon 2022 be offline or online?

  • Who can participate?

  • Do I have to pay for the Xathon?

  • What if I miss the application deadline?

  • When will I receive feedback regarding my application?

  • Is it necessary to have coding skills?

  • How should I prepare myself?

  • Are you still looking for sponsors and speakers?

  • What if I have unanswered questions?

Xathon 2022 will be held offline in Berlin in compliance with the COVID-19 public health guidelines on the dates of the event in September.  We will keep you posted on our updates!

We are looking for early-stage female founders or mixed-gender co-founder teams in E-commerce; Fintech; Climatetech; Healthtech; AI; and Edtech.

Xathon is completely free to participate. However, each attendee needs to take care of travel and accommodation costs.

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You are already registered as a guest and must identify yourself to the staff at gate 8 with your ID card or passport. Your identification will be checked against the guest list and you will be admitted to the Henkel site.

No, it is not necessary to have coding skills. This event is for female talents to strengthen their entrepreneurialism and shape their digital early-stage startups – whether it involves coding or not.

You don’t need to make any extra preparations, just keep accepting new challenges, growing your business, and changing the world. But don’t forget to bring your laptop and charger, comfortable clothes, and a high degree of motivation to take your business one step further at Xathon.

We are really open for partnership! Please drop us an email at so we can discuss everything.

Please drop us an email at if you have any questions. We’d love to help!

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