About me


Founder, Publisher & Speaker


I started in the beginning of 2015 to build my first website, which became the first digital magazine for female entrepreneurs in Germany: FEMPRENEUR

Back then I was tired by all the male founder stories and I truly missed female role models, that inspire others by showing what is possible. Well, one reason I found out later, is that only 15% of startups in Germany are founded by women or have women in their founder teams (in 2018). And worldwide numbers are quite similiar. And I wanted to make a change!

And not only are numbers low regarding female founders quota, but also CEO positions in corporates, female partners in VC firms and women on stages represent in average not more than 20%. How can that happen in 2018? Well there are many reasons for that, which I learned during my more than 3 years journey through the (female) founders and startup scene.

One important reason, is the lack of visibility for authentic role models as well as some true inspiration, that I wanted to change with my work. So I continued by spreading my vision of more empowered women through other mediums.

In 2016 I founded and hosted the event FEMPRENEUR SUMMIT that brought more than 15 inspiring female (also male) founders on the stage in Berlin, supported by many media and business partners. In 2018 this global event format will bring more fresh ideas, a strong community and business knowledge together.

(See here for some impressions of the book)

As I was looking for more creative ways to bring my vision forward, I came up with my later co-founder and co-publisher Val Racheeva with the idea of self-publishing a book with awesome content, beautiful photography, modern and outstanding design, that portrays authentic female founders and their stories. We had no idea about book publishing before, but we worked successfully our way through it and by the way we used different innovative strategies of producing, funding and self-publishing the printed book.

In 2017 we published „The Female Founders Book – Das Buch für unternehmerische Inspiration“

We interviewed 30 successful female founders across Germany, Austria and Switzerland and gathered over 130 years of startup knowledge in one book. The big secret we wanted to reveal, was what kind of mindset these women have, that pushed them to start their own business and grow it successfully.

Besides all that I also jump literally on stages to raise female quotas as well and share my knowledge and inspiration with the audience. I talked in universities about female entrepreneurship such as Universität Oldenburg and HAW Berlin as well as about founder learnings and success mindset on startup events such as Tech Open Air and Telekom Lange Nacht der Startups. In 2016 I had the great opportunity to talk at TEDx, organized by the business school Handelshochschule Leipzig (HHL), and decided to go for an inspirational and motivational talk with storytelling elements: TEDx Talk „How to create a successful mindset“


Further I am also sharing my knowledge as an expert in women empowerment, entre- and intrapreneurship, success mindset and future trends with cooperate companies and media.

If you are interested getting in touch with me, feel free to mail me: maxi.knust[at]fempreneur.de

Looking forward hearing from you!


See here for my publication in Coller Venture Review #5/2017 of Tel Aviv University:

Berlin, 2010-2016: How Berlin rose to become Europe’s startup hub


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