Women DO belong in tech - introducing Herizon

Women don’t belong in tech, said my elementary school teacher when I wanted to stay in the class, playing on the computer while others went to have a break.

It was the first time I heard such a thing but after that, it began to be a bit too familiar.

Women don’t belong in tech, said my childhood friend’s mother at a school disco where I wanted to play Tomb Raider instead of dancing. And my relatives when I told them what I wanted to do when I grew up. And my college teacher when I (again) chose to spend my break on a computer, choosing tech instead of the people of a small town I grew up in and I didn’t really get along with. And the worker of the entrepreneurship office when I was founding my first company. And the older gentlemen on a cruise for young entrepreneurs. And the potential clients when I tried to sell the services of my first two, later failed agencies. And the investor who invited all the other (male) co-founders of my startup to spend time with him. And a handful of potential dates of the local LGBTQ+ community.

Where do I belong then?

And what if I just really feel like I belong in tech?

It took over 20 years plus take a local startup’s revenue up to 13M€ in 2 years while employing over 800 people, building a over 1M€ agency business with 15 employees, joining a VC, purchasing a Porsche, and going to therapy for 10 years to validate my self-worth after being told for years I don’t belong in somewhere where I naturally feel like I belong.

I belong in tech and so do you.

I’ve been in tech for over 20 years and I’ve seen its possibilities of a flexible careerself-expression, and financial independence for women.

That’s why I’m on a mission to make tech more accessible for women.

So far I’ve trained 90 individuals (mostly immigrant women) with an employment rate of 92% to access tech by building a training program at the VC fund where I work.

Now is the time to train and employ 100,000 women.

Herizon is an experimental innovation community aiming to launch an NFT and build a non-profit DAO to unlock inclusive real-life opportunities in tech.

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Who is Mari Luukkainen, founder of Herizon?

I’m nowadays living in Helsinki, Finland, in a 100 years-old wooden house with my partner, dog and 2 cats. Working full-time at Icebreaker.vc and as an advisor of my growth hacking agency Truly, helping early-stage startup founders to achieve their dreams to create more meaningful, inclusive jobs in tech. Coping years with the low self-worth, I’ve identified that helping others is one of the key drivers of my own wellbeing. I also enjoy making Neapolitan style pizza, playing FPS games on Playstation and drawing/writing fiction inspired by Cyberpunk.

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Herizon is a non-profit with a mission to diversify the tech industry. We provide access to free growth hacking training, mentorship, and job opportunities to international talent.

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