GFA: Can you shortly present your start-up and what inspired you to start it?

FG: At SUMM AI, we have built the “Google Translate” for Easy Language, an AI-powered tool that makes any complicated text understandable and accessible for everyone. We were inspired by my aunt who needs Easy Language to navigate her daily life and access critical information due to a disability. The fact that so little information is available in an accessible format motivated us to change this using our tech knowledge from AI research.

GFA: Can you tell us about your journey as a female founder? What inspired you to start your own venture?

FG: My biggest success factor has definitely been our strong founding team! We (Vanessa, Nicholas & I) met during our studies at TU Munich and were close friends before starting a company together. In the first place, we were mainly focused on using our skills to solve a problem with positive social impact rather than starting a business. Thus, founding SUMM AI was a natural next step to scale our impact!

GFA: Have you faced any specific obstacles as a female founder and woman in the tech industry, and how did you overcome them?

FG: In my experience, the biggest challenge is often being the only woman in the room! There are few female founders in general but particularly in the tech domain. I get the impression that female founders tend to be a bit more open about challenges they are facing and sharing vulnerabilities. It would be amazing to have more opportunity for honest conversations around these topics, which I am sure everyone is experiencing equally.

“Find a problem you are very passionate about and make it your goal to solve it as big and impactful as possible.” ~ Flora

GFA: What advice do you have for other women and girls aspiring executive positions or start their own ventures?

FG: Find a problem you are very passionate about and make it your goal to solve it as big and impactful as possible. Don’t think too much about what could go wrong and how challenging the start-up environment will be. Just go full force to make it happen!

GFA: Have you found any particular resources or support networks that have been helpful to you as a female founder?

FG: 1:1 exchange with other female founders from my network! I cherish the open conversations and the unparalleled support from other female founders and I openly seek these types of conversations with new people I meet. My most favorite and very powerful quote from a recent conversation with a female founder: “Can you please stop “impostering” so much?”. Every female founder needs to hear this!

GFA: What are your strategies to build a diverse and inclusive team within your company?

FG: We make cultural fit our main selection criteria for new joiners! We find people who care about our vision of an understandable world for everyone regardless of age or background and we have been very successful so far to become more and more diverse the more we grow. In terms of female representation as a tech company, we don’t have a set quota. However, one of our goals is to maintain the strong female presence in our founding team throughout the whole company.

Flora Geske, Co-Founder of SUMM AI and trying to make the world more inclusive with a tool for “easy language”.