About us

WA4STEAM is a growing international community of women angel investor, seeking to expand women led entrepreneurial presence in the STEAM fields.

WA4STEAM counts with a rich network of strategic partners and other angels’ groups, which reinforces our scope of support and increases our investment capability by connecting the companies in our angels’ portfolios to other ecosystems.

Our members hold a wide variety of backgrounds with professional expertise in  biosciences, mathematics, finance, law,accounting, communication education and training, that add significant value to the early stages of the startups’ life cycle.

We aim to provide not only seed capital but to become a strategic  partner  nurturing women future leaders and role models for society.

Mission, Vision and Core Values

WA4STEAM is an association of women business angels with the mission to provide seed capital and support to STEAM start-ups led by women.

Mission

WA4STEAM, aspires to be a group of reference within the startup investment ecosystem by supporting womenled STEAM startups become profitable enterprises. We aim to become a cohesive body of knowledge for both women angels (:NA) and women entrepreneurs (WE) and a community of mentoring and networking.


 

The broad skill set of our members, our angels dual approach to investment, driven by both economic profitability and social impact, and our strong values, makes WA4STEAM a unique organization committed to women investors, women entrepreneurs and STEAM by:

  • Promoting women’s entrepreneurship initiatives in STEAM.
  • Encouraging women’s greater participation in financing STEAM projects.
  • Fostering women’s talent and innovation in STEAM.
  • Highlighting women’s initiatives in STEAM.
  • Contributing to the future Technological Road Map through STEAM startups.
  • lnfiuencing society towards gender equality in STEAM.
  • Creating a collaborative environment that allows women entrepreneurs to find the financial tools and support to develop their business projects.
  • Promoting and encouraging networking between our members, entrepreneurs and other organizations.
  • Promoting the longterm impact of women’s presence and decisions in th technology pillars of the future economy.

Vision

The vision of WA4STEAM is to progressively eliminate the traditional obstacles and barriers that,

imperceptibly and systematically, discriminate initiatives led by women, contributing to the UN 2030 gender equality goals among others.

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At WA4STEAM we want to connect our angels with women entrepreneurs in STEAM, sharing the dream of an all-inclusive world.

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Supporting them in the early stages of the startup cash life cycle, developing specific investing mechanisms and dynamics that prevent early project terminations and foster entrepreneurial aspirations.

Gender gap in WA4STEAM startups is no longer an issue!

Core Values

Profitability

Although WA4STEAM is a nonprofit organization, our angels are not nonprofit donors and projects whose main objective is solely social are out of their scope. However, positive social impact steaming from projects will be valued.

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Transparent selection practices

The evaluation of investment projects is carried out in a coordinated and transparent manner by the association committees, in accordance with an internal selection criteria and good professional practices.

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Women led

Our angels invest in STEAM initiatives founded or cofounded by women, or where there is a significant female involvement.

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Impact on future

The objective is to support projects and technologies that are expected to have the greatest impact in the near future, focusing in STEAM areas where women are a minority.

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Social impact

WA4STEAM aspiration is to become a reference group for women entrepreneurs and society, to stimulate female entrepreneurship and leadership in areas where they have been historically underrepresented. WA4STEAM plans to carry out community initiatives (competitions, prizes, scholarships) that encourage and inspire the development of talent in women in STEAM and in entrepreneurship.

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Group I Collectivity

WA4STEAM is a cohesive women group that firmly supports women entrepreneurs leading competitive, innovative and profitable projects.

Corporate Governance

Our history started in 2018, after participating in a European Union Business Angels for Europe’s Entrepreneurs Program (WA4E) at IESE (Spain). At program termination, a group of women, decided to set up a nonprofit association focused on supporting other womens initiatives in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Arquitecture and Mathematics, STEAM.

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WA4STEAM members are more than business angels driven by profitability, since they aim not only to provide seed capital, but also to become a strategic partner nurturing women future leaders and role models.

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WA4STEAM is a non-for-profit association incorporated under the spanish organic law with the name: Asociación ‘Women Angels for Steam” (WA4STEAM). The association is registered at the “Registro Nacional de Asociaciones, Ministerio del Interior”, with the number 616047. 

Governance Bodies

The association is governed by the following bodies:

  • The General Assembly: holds the maximum powers and has capacity of delegation.
  • The Executive Committee: the General Assembly delegates on the Executive Committee the management of the association.

Bios Executive Committee Officers

Marta Huidobro

President


Born in Madrid, Spain, Marta Huidobro is Economist and MBA She worked in Spain and France in several multinational companies like Eon,Endesa, Xerox and Coopers & Lybrand. She has been responsible for Financial Controllingand Administration, Business Planning and Valuation and Interdepartmental Project Management.

 

Passionate by Environment and Sustainability, she studied Environmental Sciences and has a Master on Organisations Sustainable Transformation (202021). Marta was the special advisor to the Spanish Delegation to the OECD in these fields for three years. Later, she cofounded and managed a company on Energy Efficiency.

 

Very active Business Angel since 2017, both individually and through investors groups. In particular, she is cofounder and from 01/01/2022 president of WA4STEAM, a group of 130 Women Business Angels supporting startups led by women focused on STEAM projects. She is vice-president of AEBAN, the Spanish Association of business Angels Network.

 

Member of the EBAN Board, she was previously member of the Advisory Board of Auara, a social company, and member of the Board of Direaors of Eleariciens Sans Frontieres, a French NGO. In 2021-22, she obtained the International Accreditation of Board and Good Governance at IGE.

Maribel Ortiz García

Vicepresident


Born in 1968, Master in Telecommunications Engineering by Madrid Politechnical University, PDG by IESE Business School in 2006 and Women on Board Program by IESE Business School in 2017. Fluent in Spanish (Mother tongue), French, English and German. Spend 1 Year in R&D, then 5 years in a distributor, Telekec Spain, where I started as Junior support engineer, moved to sales and finalized running the Telecom and Systems Business unit for 2 years before becoming General Manager at a Vendor, GN NetTest, Danish company. There I led for 6 years direct and indirect sales for South and Central Europe, managed acquisition and integration of Photonetics on the Spanish market and drove the final integration with Anritsu when they acquired NetTest Mid 2005. Joined Viavi (JDSU) at that time in Feb 2006 to develop their channel Business in EMEA. Since then, major milestones have been: Driving market segmentation and Go to Market clarity in direct and indirect business, developing channel sales tools, Training and Channel management CV, driving verticalized channel sales in EMEA for 3 years, creating first global virtual channel team and drafting preliminary global program prior to Velocity launch. Actively contributing to overall Viavi channel strategy and currently implementing as channel Director (last 6 years) Velocity Program in EMEA.

 

Member of WA4STEAM since April 2019, I’m leader of the Globalization Committee since 2021 and Vice president of WA4STEAM since January 2022.

Sylvie Lemaire

Treasurer


Born in France, Sylvie Lemaire holds a Master in Management (ESSCA Business School).

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She has worked in different countries in executive positions (Germany, USA, Mexico).

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Since settling in Barcelona, her career in Consultancy is focused on Business Development, specializing in B2B and technological projects: Market Survey, Identification of clients, partners or suppliers; Negotiation support; Benchmarking; Business Intelligence.

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Besides her experience as a Lecturer at Toulouse Business School (Campus Barcelona), another expertise is the organization of Learning Expeditions for the continuous training of Managers, focusing on the development of Talent through the benchmarking of good practices in Management & Culture of Innovation, connecting her clients with topics like models of Organization, Intercultural Management, Strategic Vision, and Leadership, successfully applied in different real cases.

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Cofounder and Vice President of WA4STEAM between 2018 and 2021, Sylvie is now Vice Secretary of WA4STEAM’s Board and Leader of its Innovation Committee.

Blanca ochoa

Secretary


Blanca Ochoa is the Secretary of WA4STEAM since May 2018. She holds a law degree by University of Barcelona. Blanca joined the multinational law firm of Clifford Chance on 1995 and she currently manages the Real Estate department at the Barcelona office. Blanca’s area of expertise is commercial real estate for international investors, including investments, financing and real estate security, joint ventures, leases and developments, having specific expertise in operations involving retail and leisure properties and hotels. In addition, Blanca has experience as a lecturer on real estate workshops from several universities in Barcelona, such as Esade, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC)and ISDE. She has also participated in numerous conferences and seminars on a wide range of matters related to the real estate market and she has published several articles in specialised magazines.

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