How Joséphine Kant is building the startup ecosystem

  (photo credit: Joséphine Kant)
(photo credit: Joséphine Kant)

Building a startup is hard. Really hard. It is perhaps the most challenging thing you can do, professionally. One thing is for sure: you certainly cannot do it alone. Luckily, you don’t always have to, because sometimes you’ll come across others who are there to help you along the way. Joséphine Kant is one such example of a person who has dedicated her entire life and career to helping founders unlock their potential and accelerate their business, across the world.

Joséphine’s story is special; she hails from a tiny village in the Netherlands, and was fortunate enough to have an international upbringing; she was awarded a scholarship to study abroad in Spain. Her adventures, however, did not stop there. Now, at the young age of 29, Joséphine has already lived in 8 countries, traveled to many more, and gained exposure to countless cultures. She is fluent in three languages, proficient in two more, and is currently learning Hebrew as well. 

Once she started working, Joséphine quickly established herself as an expert in the startup ecosystem, serving as a coach, mentor, and passionate social entrepreneur. Through her multicultural background, she has been able to leverage this in the international entrepreneurial ecosystem. She has left a notable mark on different startup ecosystems through her work, from Sao Paolo to Seoul and everything in between, be it serving as a coach to startup founders or by helping generate capital for underrepresented entrepreneurs.  

Joséphine has spent the last eight years working in the technology sector across a variety of teams and organizations. With an academic background in entrepreneurship and finance, she is confident in both building programs and teams at a large scale. She is also an accredited and trained leadership coach, having trained and coached hundreds of hours, focusing specifically on entrepreneurs. 

About Joséphine Kant’s work

Building her career at Google

Joséphine has been working at Google for over seven years and has handled different roles throughout her tenure. Currently, she is the Global Program Manager for Google for Startups. She was instrumental in developing and launching the program that mentors thousands of entrepreneurs and helps them get access to technology and connections. 

Before that, she advised senior leadership on Google’s location strategy and the talent workforce, designing location assessment rubrics to encourage unbiased and more equitable decision-making. She has already received 40+ bonuses for her excellent performance at Google, and received a regional award for her commitment to building a strong team culture. Joséphine is also an experienced facilitator that has led onboarding and team development workshops across the world, both for Google and for startups.

Her passion for mentoring and coaching

Coaching is a way of impacting and building the startup ecosystem for Joséphine. She is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) leadership coach with the Co-Active Training Institute, the largest experiential coach training and leadership development organization in the world, and runs a private coaching practice for professionals and entrepreneurs. She also received her credentials from the International Coaching Federation, which is the gold standard in coaching. 

The Forbes Coaching Council, an invitation-only organization, also recruited Joséphine as a leading business coach, and Joséphine was invited to contribute her insights by writing for Forbes directly. One such post published by Joséphine helps founders refine their narrative: ‘The Five Questions Your Startup Pitch Needs To Answer’. She considers herself fortunate that she has had many opportunities to coach startup founders, specializing in culture, leadership, pitching, team development, and hiring and retaining talent.

Nonprofit work to empower entrepreneurship 

Joséphine is also the co-founder of Impact Gym, a non-profit organisation focused on developing founders from underrepresented communities by connecting them to capital and connections. Impact Gym helps social impact entrepreneurs leave their mark on the world. She believes in giving back to society in every way she can and through this social cause, Joséphine achieves that. 

Working with Impact Gym and helping people in bringing consistent results feeds her passion for standing up for social entrepreneurship. It is an organisation where all changemakers come together to exchange and enhance their ideas. They are always looking for like-minded people to join them in revolutionizing the way philanthropy, global development, and design work with and for marginalized communities.

If all that wasn’t enough, Joséphine also sits on the jury board to review startup investment proposals at organisations including MIT, MassChallenge, Venture CH,and Extreme Tech Challenge. She volunteers her time as a judge with other organisations that support entrepreneurs, because she is passionate about sharing her insights with others. As a testament to her dedication, she was nominated for the InspiringFifty Europe 2022 award - a list of the Top Fifty Women in European Tech.

We are sure Joséphine Kant will continue to contribute to the entrepreneurship world and be an inspiration for upcoming leaders. We look forward to seeing what she does next.

This article was written in cooperation with Craig Lebrau