According to the Austrian Startup Monitor from 2019, the percentage of female founders in Austria has increased from 12% to 18%. The I.E.C.T. contacted one of about 1,000 female founders and talked to her about her business, her view on women in the deep-tech sector and her passion for her research and business.
International Women’s Day:
A female’s perspective on science-based Entrepreneurship
Samira, could you tell the readers about yourself and your business/your business idea? In which area do you work and research?
I am a researcher in the field of autonomous robotic system design, more specifically multi-drone systems. I have been working in the field for the past 7 years.
My business idea is based on my research: how can the drones coordinate their mobility and tasks autonomously in a collision-free and safe manner, even in an obstacle-ridden environment.
March 8th is International Women’s Day. An initiative that tries to draw attention to the efforts for equality between men and women. Women are still underrepresented in the deep-tech sector. Why did you choose this field of research and what inspires you about it?
I think there are multiple factors behind why I chose this field and what inspires me. It’s hard to say which contributed the most.
Firstly, I think I had an unusual upbringing. I got cars as toys and I wanted to grow up to be a police “man”. Also, the TV was rarely allowed to be watched at home. As a child you get a lot of aspirations either from your elders, from books, or from the TV. For us siblings, since childhood the separation between the goals for men and women were either unacceptable or unclear.
Secondly, I come from a large family where each of my siblings had very different personalities and aspirations, but we liked doing things together. This led to us exploring multiple interests as kids, one of which was sci-fi movies which are full of autonomous robots.
Thirdly, the drone strikes in Pakistan and the fear they induced in people made me strongly desire to change the narrative and use the same drones in improving human lives rather than destroying them.
What changes would you wish for the future? Is there anything you would like to tell our readers or researchers in the deep-tech field or those interested in it, especially women?
In the first case, I can only assume that if as a child you are given the possibilities to explore the world without imposed roles, you may aspire to a lot bigger spectrum of goals. A woman may therefore feel more comfortable being a truck driver, and a man may feel more apt to working as a kindergarten teacher.
The changes I wish in my field of research is that people start a dialogue regarding the use of the technology. I feel that regarding drones, there is a lot of excitement and anticipation, but a lot of beneath-the-surface scepticism still. Without a dialogue and clear regulations, such scepticism wouldn’t come to surface and our progress will be halted.
What next steps do you have planned for your business?
Right now, I am still spending a lot of the time scanning the market and informing the people about the benefits of drones to the society. I hope that in the near future I may be able to take concrete steps in implementing the system for a real-use case, and get the ball rolling when it comes to environment-friendly commercial drone applications.
Thank you for the interview!
More information and links:
Samira was a participant of the I.E.C.T. – Summer School on Entrepreneurship and is currently part of the LBG Innovator’s Road. Both programmes encourage start-ups to turn their ideas into reality and start at different stages of development in order to be able to respond to the individual needs of young entrepreneurs.
You have an idea with market potential, but need support in its implementation and have become curious? Find out more about the I.E.C.T. – Summer School on Entrepreneurship here or send in your application now!
Your product or your technology is already in a higher stage of development and you want to be accompanied by experts on your further way? Then the LBG Innovator’s Road is the program for your start-up. Find out more here or send us your application!