On Friday we hosted the London Geekettes for their Female Founders Panel Discussion event. Many thanks to Marily & Claire from the London Geekettes as well as the panel members Dr Harveen Chugh, Sinead Mac Manus, Dr Olga KubassovaAlex Hodgson and Natalie Jonk, for an inspiring and informative evening of discussion. Vanessa Gstettenbauer kicked things off with a brief overview of Digital Science and our mission. She also encouraged all the attendees to have a look at our Catalyst Grant, which offers great support for potential startups in the area of research innovation. The panel members all shared their individual startup founding stories, and this was then followed by a enlightening Q&A session as well as time to network and share experiences over wine & nibbles.

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@GraphicLondoner, blogger and live sketchnote extraordinaire, created this amazing sketchnote summarising some of the key point from the event which she has shared on her blog, you can read her full post here. The main theme that emerged was that founding your own startup is a huge commitment, one that requires a lot of time, a lot of learning, and a willingness to forgo normal job stability and financial income (at least at the beginning). Despite all this, none of the panel expressed any kind of regret about their decision. All the panel members emphasised that the most important thing, when taking the plunge of founding a startup, is personal drive and belief. It was clear that without that, none of the panel would be where they are today.