The start-up Vulvani from the University of Hamburg has received the "Kultur- und Kreativpilot*innen Deutschland" (Cultural and Creative Pilots Germany) award from the German government for companies in the cultural and creative industries. The prize was awarded for the twelfth time on 8 December.
Every year, 32 particularly creative and cultural enterprises are awarded by the Federal Government for their special achievements in the sector. The U-Institut für unternehmerisches Denken und Handeln e.V. (U-Institute for Entrepreneurial Thinking and Action), headed by Sylvia Hustedt and Christoph Backes, is the idea provider and organiser of the award within the framework of the project commissioned by the Federal Government’s Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative. A total of 765 creative projects applied for the prestigious award this year, which had to withstand the critical eyes of the jury after initial screening.
This year, Britta Wiebe and Jamin Mahmood were awarded for their world’s first digital education platform called Vulvani, which deals with topics around menstruation, cycle health and sexuality. In the summer of 2020, the couple looked for suitable advice and support for their start-up: on Google, they came across the start-up service of the University of Hamburg and also beyourpilot. Together with the start-up advisor Dr Bettina Otto, they applied for various grants, such as InnoFounder from IFB Innovationsstarter GmbH: “Our start-up advisor Bettina definitely gave us a boost, because she not only introduced us to the suitable grants and approached the application together with us, but she also encouraged us above all, made us thematically fit and always challenged us. She gave us an impression of what is possible. That inspired us,” Jamin told our Startup Story. The startup Vulvani was born.
“We accompany people from their first period through contraception and childbearing to menopause”. Vulvani’s vision is that every person has the opportunity to learn more about their own body. Vulvani helps make the menstrual cycle a solution. A safe online space is created for self-determined education and unspeakable questions. Supposedly uncomfortable topics are turned into a digital educational product that is fun to use. Through interactive online courses, an online magazine as well as social media channels, people can fill knowledge gaps about the female body in an uncomplicated and playful way. From video and animations to eBooks, group forums and meditations, it’s all there.
In addition to the official award, Vulvani also receives a very personal one-year coaching programme to support the start-up in its entrepreneurial development. Furthermore, they will have access to the extensive network of the cultural and creative industries, which should enable them to make further exciting contacts. The award ceremony at which the creative pilots will be honoured will take place in February 2022 and will probably be held by the Minister of Economic Affairs.