Rockstart joins the Diversity Commitment!

We’re thrilled to announce that Rockstart has officially become a member of the Copenhagen-based Diversity Commitment. Alongside partners like EIFO, Danske Bank, Fonden for Entreprenørskab, Danish Business Angels, and several other VCs, we are taking a step towards addressing the gender equity challenges prevalent in our industry.

At Rockstart, we understand that achieving true gender equity requires more than just good intentions – it demands deliberate action throughout our investment process and internal operations. That’s why our decision to join the Diversity Commitment is not just a statement, but a commitment to drive meaningful change.

The Diversity Commitment serves as a vital platform for raising awareness, fostering dialogue, and implementing concrete initiatives to promote diversity. Since 2023, the community has expanded beyond Denmark, encompassing data from the entire Nordic region. As part of this commitment, Rockstart will measure and track gender representation, providing annual reports through the Diversity Commitment on our internal operations and investment processes, including deal flow.

Recognizing the need for a dual approach, we are dedicated to empowering gender-balanced founder teams within our portfolio while also addressing diversity within our own ranks. In pursuit of this goal, we actively sought to diversify our executive team, resulting in the successful onboarding of Anne Mette Frejsel as our COO in September 2023. With 54% of our team identifying as female, we are proud to underscore our commitment to gender diversity and aim not only to maintain this ratio but also to actively promote more women into leadership positions.

In our ongoing efforts to foster inclusivity, we have implemented standardized investment processes, introduced gender data collection across deal flows and investor pools, and taken significant steps to diversify internal leadership roles. Additionally, in 2023, we classified our multi-year, EU-based funds as SFDR Article 8, signaling our dedication to promoting environmental and social characteristics. We have begun gathering Principal Adverse Impact indicators and other DE&I metrics from all active portfolio companies, further demonstrating our commitment to driving positive change.

“We’re thrilled to have Rockstart join the Diversity Commitment community, helping us spread awareness and interest beyond the Nordic region. Rockstart has taken proactive steps to diversify its workforce, extending to leadership roles. This is crucial, considering the significant decline in diversity we’ve observed in positions of authority. Sharing insights on addressing diversity challenges is integral to the Diversity Commitment, and we eagerly anticipate exchanging knowledge with Rockstart.”

Stine Colding Alstrup, Founder & CEO, Intentional and the initiator of the Diversity Commitment

“Solo female founders frequently encounter skepticism, yet Rockstart recognized the potential in my personal journey. Their acknowledgment of my ambitions has been transformative. Rockstart’s involvement in initiatives such as the Diversity Commitment underscores its dedication to backing underrepresented founders and promoting diversity in the startup landscape. With Rockstart’s support, solo founders like myself feel validated and empowered to navigate the challenges of the startup world with confidence.”

Celine Sandberg, Founder & CEO, Agroprene (Rockstart AgriFood portfolio company) 

“We’re proud of the gender balance we’ve achieved throughout our company, with 54% of our team members identifying as female. However, we acknowledge the importance of increasing diversity within decision-making roles. Having joined Rockstart in 2023, I’m a strong advocate for diversifying our leadership board and leveraging our talent to provide opportunities for gender-balanced teams. We remain committed to fostering a culture of inclusion where diverse perspectives are not only welcomed but actively sought after in shaping our strategic direction.” 

Anne Mette Frejsel, COO, Rockstart

“In line with a pervasive industry-wide challenge, Rockstart continues to pursue gender parity within founder and board teams as an ongoing goal. We recognize the imperative for concrete support for gender-balanced founders through strategic investing. We strive to ensure equal access to funding, opportunities, and support for female entrepreneurs. Our focus remains on continuous progress toward a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.” 

Rune Theill, CEO & Co-Founder, Rockstart 

We remain steadfast in our commitment to promoting gender equity and diversity, recognizing that our ongoing efforts provide invaluable lessons in this journey. Looking ahead to Rockstart DEI 2024, we are determined to further bolster representation across our team, diversify our startup investments, foster inclusivity, implement tailored communication and marketing strategies, and prioritize transparency through initiatives such as the Diversity Commitment. Together, we will continue to push boundaries and create a more inclusive and equitable future for all.