In a bid to attract more women into the start-up and tech spheres, Prickly Bits Co-Founder and CEO Violetta Shishkina created ‘Fe/male Switch’ – a non-profit social impact project.

The product incorporates an educational role-playing game to skill-up future female tech leaders and empower them to create resilient and innovative tech start-ups. To achieve this, Prickly Bits is using an innovative and proprietary approach it calls ‘gamepreneurship’.

“By joining Fe/male Switch, women can truly understand whether they are ready to become the CEO of their company, whether they could benefit from becoming a start-up team member, or whether a start-up lifestyle is right for them at all,” says Ms Shishkina in the latest issue of Digital Island.

Ms Shishkina is certainly no stranger to the space. While building on Fe/male Switch, as well as another project the company runs – Secret.Kiwi, which is aimed at helping different industries protect their IP and trade secrets – Prickly Bits secured funding in December 2020 and has grown from four to 25 employees since.

For the most part they now work remotely with an international team, but they have also relocated some staff to new offices in Malta.

Comparing the start-up ecosystem in Malta to the Netherlands, where her other company CADChain is based, Ms Shishkina says there are a lot of benefits – but also essential things missing.

“We are aware that Malta, like the Netherlands, faces a shortage of technical talent and there’s a lack of women in start-ups and IT,” she said.

“However, Malta is making it easier to relocate our team members from other countries (especially non-EU) to our Malta location. Moreover, Malta Enterprise has been of immense help from the very beginning, and we really felt welcome from day one,” Ms Shishkina concludesd.

This forms part of a wider feature carried in the latest edition of Digital Island.

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