Funding and Pitching Event Speakers Announced

The NextWomen announce two female internet heroes to speak at their upcoming Darwinian Business Event sponsored by Sun Startup Essentials.  For more details visit our Events page.

Karin Loeffen, Founder of Libersy

Karin  LoeffenFounded by Karin Loeffen in 2006, Libersy developed a booking system to make online appointments, and offers a Click-to-book (TM) white label solution to directory services and search engines, which adds a book-now-button to any business listing or profile page. Service providers can market themselves on the Internet, as it is available for bookings 24/7 and accepts online payments. It is one of the first e-commerce solutions for companies in the service industry, such as hairdressers, restaurants, sports clubs and consultants. Libersy has launched with British Telecom in the UK under btbookitnow and in The Netherlands with ilocal and Stageplaza, an online booking system connecting students and employers directly.

Karin studied Fiscal Economics at the University of Tilburg, and the theater academy in Maastricht and has previously worked for Philips, Canon and Sanoma Publishing, in functions ranging from financial controller to European Marketing Manager. Led by her conviction that the booking of services is the next big commercial step for the Internet, she is eager to develop Libersy to a global level. In the last seed round Karin raised 1.5M euro of funding, supported by informals, staff and a great board of advisors (o.a. Value Creation & Company) all of whom she brought together herself.

Sarah McVittie, Serial Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Textperts

Sarah McVittie
Sarah McVittie proves that you do not have to be a business veteran to be an internet entrepreneur. Founder and former CEO of Texperts.com, Sarah has won such accolades as a position in ‘The top 35 women under 35’ by the Times, and recently having sold Texperts is working away on a new venture that will no doubt surpass the success of her last.

After a brief career as a city analyst, Sarah founded Texperts (originally 82ASK), a quick text Q&A service for mobile phones, in 2003. Texperts allows anyone in the UK with a mobile phone to get his or her question answered by texting a question to UK number 66000. Texperts then uses a combination of innovative internet technology and human resources to send users the answer to their questions.

Since the service launched in 2003, Sarah not only raised £2.5m from investors, while ensuring that its service could operate across all UK mobile networks, she also collected a host of prizes for her innovative idea and business. In 2007 Texperts won the Innovative Company of the Year prize at the Real Business/CBI Growing Business Awards and the National Business Award for Best Use of Technology. In 2008 Sarah she was runner up in the ‘ rising star’ category of the Media Guardian awards and won the “Businesswoman of the Year” award at the Cambridge Evening News Business Excellence Awards.

With the world of instant answers well and truly conquered, Sarah and her co-founder Thomas Roberts, sold the company at the end of 2008 to kgb giant 118118. The tech community is now waiting patiently to see what Sarahs next move will be.

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