powered by Henkel dx Ventures

Xathon, Henkel dx Ventures business hackathon for female entrepreneurs and female-led start-ups transformed into an Open Innovation Challenge on Henkel’s actionable business challenges. Like a startup we challenged ourselves and pivoted the format, retaining our commitment to empowering female entrepreneurs and female-led start-ups. This year we are looking for female entrepreneurs or female leaders of start-ups who want to collaborate with us on two distinct challenges, each to be solved with AI. Powered by Henkel dx Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Henkel's consumer goods business, Xathon seeks visionary female entrepreneurs and leaders ready to pioneer in this rapidly growing field.

The winner of this year’s Xathon will win a Proof of Concept (PoC) with Henkel which is worth 25.000€.

Accept our challenge and apply now to pitch your innovative solution on October 27th at the Henkel Innovation Hub in Berlin.

Join this initiative that aims to shape the future, providing network, innovation and visibility, and be part of the change that aligns creativity with tangible business solutions.


Venture vision AI challenge: Revolutionizing investment decision-making

Develop AI-powered algorithms to enhance the identification of companies with high potential for investments or M&A opportunities. The application should provide solutions on optimizing one of the elements of due diligence, valuation or deal structuring processes.


Label Workflow AI Challenge: Transforming Packaging Label Management

Develop AI-driven tools to streamline the entire Packaging label workflow within marketing / brand management. The application should address the optimization of either translation processes, article data maintenance, or legal and regulatory checks.

Empower the next generation of female entrepreneurs


The world is changing, so do we. As we celebrate the fifth year of our commitment to empower female tech leaders, Xathon has embraced change, evolving to meet the new demands and opportunities in the world of AI.

In the ever-evolving technological landscape, Xathon remains steadfast in its dedication to empower female entrepreneuers and leaders driven to disrupt and innovate. This Open Innovation Challenge serves as more than a competition; it's a declaration of support, a commitment to nurturing female leadership, and an open invitation to women ready to make their mark. Engaging with real business challenges and collaborating with Henkel, participants can demonstrate their skills, build invaluable connections, and propel their venture forward.

The shift in Xathon's direction symbolizes more than a mere change of format; it reflects a renewed dedication to putting action behind inspiration, fostering an environment where female tech leaders are recognized, encouraged, and propelled towards success.

That's why our watchword is: #CHALLENGEACCEPTED

Who are we looking for?


We are on the hunt for visionary female entrepreneurs and female leaders that are ready to take on our above mentioned Henkel business challenge, solved with their AI startup. We invite you to bring your co-founders with you – irrespective of their gender!

Why you should apply

YouTube Thumbnail Xathon 2022 Highlights (Thumbnail)

About us

Henkel dx Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Henkel's consumer goods business, providing an open innovation and collaboration platform to founders and start-ups. Our strength lies in Henkel’s long experience in innovation & entrepreneurship, as well as in the vibrant ecosystem of diverse, inspiring people who share knowledge and ideas to rethink the future, advancing innovation across the board. Henkel dx Ventures invests in late seed start-ups and supports them in scaling their business in the consumer packaged goods industry. Additionally, Henkel dx Ventures organizes interactive ecosystem events to spark new ideas, share best practices and explore new ways of working – like our annual Xathon, enabling female founders to showcase their innovations and solutions.  At Henkel dx Ventures, we are proud to be part of Henkel’s digital unit, Henkel dx, as we create the next together.

About Henkel

With its brands, innovations and technologies, Henkel holds leading market positions worldwide in the industrial and consumer businesses. The business unit Adhesive Technologies is the global leader in the market of adhesives, sealants and functional coatings. With Consumer Brands, the company holds leading positions especially in hair care and laundry & home care in many markets and categories around the world. The company's three strongest brands are Loctite, Persil and Schwarzkopf. In fiscal 2022, Henkel reported sales of more than 22 billion euros and adjusted operating profit of around 2.3 billion euros. Henkel’s preferred shares are listed in the German stock index DAX.  Sustainability has a long tradition at Henkel, and the company has a clear sustainability strategy with concrete targets. Henkel was founded in 1876 and today employs a diverse team of more than 50,000 people worldwide – united by a strong corporate culture, shared values and a common purpose: "Pioneers at heart for the good of generations.” More information at www.henkel.com


We are looking for female entrepreneurs and female leaders that are ready to tackle real-world business challenges related to AI.

Winners have the opportunity to secure a budget of 25.000€ for a Proof of Concept (PoC) with Henkel and additional prizes provided by our partners like a consulting voucher, 1:1 mentoring, access to premium network events and many more.

Participation in the challenge is completely free. Travel and accommodation costs for the final pitch night event must be covered by the participants.

Unfortunately, if the application deadline is missed, you'll have to wait for the next opportunity. Stay updated by following us on the usual social media channels: LinkedIn, X, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube.

The Final Pitch Event is planned for October 27th in the Henkel Innovation Hub in Berlin.

Startups apply through our website. Applications are carefully reviewed based on alignment with Henkel's specific business needs and potential impact in the field of AI. 

Yes, while we are targeting female-led startups, co-founders and team members of any gender are welcome to participate in the event. 

For any unanswered questions or additional support, please drop us an E-Mail henkel-dx-ventures@henkel.com, and we'll be happy to help!

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