A new storytelling initiative will aim to encourage more women and minority entrepreneurs into the world of tech, taking on one of the main barriers to inclusion: a paucity of role models for aspiring female and minority innovators.
Amsterdam-based Next Level, which received €100,000 of charitable funds from EU neobank bunq, will produce TV content to disseminate knowledge about the pitfalls and highlights of becoming an entrepreneur.
The script is aimed at women and minority group entrepreneurs aged 16 to 28. It stars a group of young women and men "navigating all the challenges, setbacks, successes and excitement" faced by tech entrepreneurs in today's landscape.
Next Level plans to launch the TV series by the end of this year, and will produce interactive content to go with its central IP while also publishing a magazine.
The initiative is the brainchild of three founders: Janneke Niessen (CapitalT founding partner, Corinne Vigreux (TomTom co-founder and CMO), and Victor Knaap (Media.Monks co-founder and EMEA lead).
bunq's €100,000 donation will allow Next Level to create extra content to build international awareness of its TV series.
"Artificial barriers of entry such as stereotypes, fear and doubt prevent a lot of women from joining tech as employees or entrepreneurs," Next Level said in a press statement.
"Women only hold a quarter of computing-related jobs today, and the number for people from ethnic minorities drops even lower, according to a recent study. An impactful – not to mention a fulfilling and well-paid – job in tech often seems out of reach for those who don’t have a role model or understanding on their first steps in tech."
Media.Monks' Victor Knaap adds: "Increasing visibility is essential when it comes to improving diversity within the tech sector. As a digital-first company, Media.Monks is proud to collaborate with Next Level and the many partners we work with to push for more women in digital and tech."