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Female founders shine: Women’s Entrepreneurs Workout celebrates International Women’s Day

Female founders shine: Women’s Entrepreneurs Workout celebrates International Women’s Day

The latest Women’s Entrepreneurs Workout cohort at the University of Southampton Science Park.

The Women’s Entrepreneurs Workout aids female founders in enhancing their business models ahead of International Women’s Day.

Today, 8 March 2024, is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate the strides made towards gender equality and inclusion, while also acknowledging the challenges that continue to persist. To mark the occasion, SETsquared and the University of Southampton Science Park hosted a second cohort of the Women’s Entrepreneurs Workout. With just 26% of the technology sector’s workforce identifying as female in the UK, STEMM subjects remain largely dominated.

The programme, designed specifically for female founders of digital, technology and science-based ventures, offered an inclusive and supportive environment for founders to work with like-minded women to build the foundations of a successful business.

The organisers of International Women’s Day highlight the imperative to ‘recruit, train, and develop female talent’, as well as ‘support women and girls into leadership, decision-making, business and STEM’. These endeavours were identified as pivotal milestones in the pursuit of inspiring inclusion, and under the guidance of expert business mentors, nine female founders put their business models through their paces, exploring strategies, methodologies and types of testing to set them on the path to success.

Working on novel concepts utilising artificial intelligence, quantum, medical technologies and more, their start-ups have the potential to drive significant societal and economic impact.

We caught up with them after the Women’s Entrepreneurs Workout to find out more about their innovations and get their take on this year’s International Women’s Day theme: Inspire Inclusion.



Majo Argote and her Co-Founder, Stefan, are developing biosensors to enable accessible, real-time health monitoring. These sensors can perform intricate health tests that were previously only feasible within the lab but can now be conducted instantly. Leveraging cutting-edge sensor technology, this minimally invasive solution aims to provide accurate, real-time biomarker data, crucial for numerous clinical applications.

Speaking on her experience over the last two days, Majo said: “The past two days at SETsquared’s Women’s Entrepreneurs Workout were incredibly valuable to me as an individual and as a founder. It’s not often that I’m in a room filled with smart, and motivated female entrepreneurs. For most of my professional career, I’ve often been one of the few women at the table, so it was hugely motivating to be in a room with purpose-driven women.”

“To me, ‘Inspire Inclusion’ means how I can, through my actions, words, and now company, encourage others to see and be excited about the value of including multiple and diverse inputs. It is actually one of the reasons I teamed up with Stefan and created POM. What you do matters and we saw a huge gap in healthcare. Why are women more likely to be misdiagnosed/delayed diagnosis for a host of conditions? Why is there such a narrow understanding of women’s hormones? What is the actual root problem here? Is there anything we can do that will make a meaningful difference?”

“Our goal is to include women’s hormonal health data to help researchers, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies make more informed healthcare decisions for women, leading to improved health outcomes and a better patient experience.”



HowAmI is another med-tech start-up with a focus on women’s health, aimed at improving the menstrual health and well-being of Gen-Z. Through the use of AI, users can interact visually with their menstrual cycle and emotions, tracking in-app to create a full-scale profile that offers practical tips and guidance for young people.

Kate Penning, HowAmI’s Co-Founder and COO said, “Being given the chance to delve into the business model in such an in-depth way on the Women’s Entrepreneurs Workout has added a new dimension to our understanding of how we can talk about HowAmI with investors and potential key partners. Howami’s mission is to offer young women a space to notice their emotional and physical states and recognise that these change with fluctuating hormones. We want women to feel confident and rather than be pulled by the urges and surges of their hormones, have more of an idea of what is going on at each stage of their cycle. ”

“In terms of this year’s International Women’s Day theme, we feel very passionate about this topic and have a diversity and inclusion lead on our advisory board. We have designed the app with inclusion at the core from the get-go, it is a gender-neutral space with touch controls, pictorial outputs, and minimal language to inspire use from a wide range of menstruating individuals.”



After witnessing first-hand how early, effective interventions work with autistic children with social communication difficulties, Autsera’s suite of apps offers teachers and therapists innovative tools to support them, delivering progress-tracking dashboards, individualised reports, the ability to set individual support plans and remote therapy options.

“We realised that many parents sought help for their special children and could not find affordable, accessible, and effective support. We combine advanced technology, gamification, and effective therapy to build smart personalised mobile games that enable children to develop their social, emotional, and speech and language skills. Our apps are designed for autistic and special needs children; yet can benefit children of all abilities.”

“Attending the Women Entrepreneurs Workout had been an eye-opener. It challenged our assumptions about every aspect of Autsera, and prompted us to ask difficult questions and to think out-of-the-box to find the answers.  We wouldn’t have been able to do all that without the guidance of 3 knowledgeable, engaged, and engaging business coaches.”

“To me and Autsera, ‘Inspire Inclusion’, means fostering an environment where all voices are heard, valued, and respected. It’s about creating opportunities for diverse perspectives to thrive, leading to innovation and growth.”



Soap bars have a reputation for being old-fashioned, inconvenient and lacking in quality options – but this is all far from true in the modern world. There are many fantastic products available now for all personal care needs, skin, hair types and budget. Barbox aims to support consumers in their switch from liquids to solids, by introducing a range of supporting products to make the transition easier and aspirational.

Sam Peiperhoff, Founder of Barboxes is delivering a travel case solution to the market, allowing consumers to transport their shampoo, soap and beauty bars between locations more conveniently. Speaking on her experience over the two days, Sam said: “As a solo founder, it’s really easy to get stuck in my own echo chamber. I found the discussions around other successful business case studies, presented by Tim and Alex, really eye-opening and super helpful to consider different ways of approaching the various startup challenges.”


Join the next Entrepreneurs Workout on the 14 & 15 May

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