AMS GGD #18 • Startups

Date: Thursday, September 18, 2014
Time: 18:00-22:00
Location: Rockstart (Herengracht 182, Amsterdam)
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Hear from six women from four very different startup companies. They will do a short talk and this will be followed by a panel discussion. And you cannot only feast your minds because, in between talks, VanChefs will serve some nice food too!

Panel members

Lisanne Buik & Emma Veerhuis

VanChefs is founded by Lisanne Buik (25) and Emma Veerhuis (24). After university, they both started enthousiastically as a trainee working for major companies (Ahold and KLM) and experienced how working on a large scale can be at the expense of the quality of products. They decided to to set up a platform to introduce passionate chefs to a broad audience and to put the people behind their food at centre stage. VanChefs is part of the startup incubator RockStart.
More on Lisanne Buik and Emma Veerhuis.

Anne Sedee

Anne was amongst the first women working in IT. Not only as a trainer, but soon she also worked as a system administrator, project manager and head of an IT department. She has knowledge of the (administrative) organization in the non profit sector and in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s). The idea for the company Therp arose because Anne immediately saw the opportunities to streamline the administrative organization with Odoo (formerly OpenERP). Open Source software was at the time mostly used on the internet. There was still a world to win in the field of business applications.
More on Anne Sedee.

Kristel Kuit & Céline Doornink

Kristel and Céline run Headroom, their two year startup, with a birds eye view from the very top tower of the Rockstart HQ in Amsterdam, the place for startups to grow in the Netherlands. Kristel got her idea for Headroom Assistance in 2011, while living in San Francisco, but founded the company in Amsterdam, the next year. Headroom stands for Assistance from a Distance and little by little tries to convince European entrepreneurs to “Focus on what they do best, we take care of the rest”. While in the U.S. it is seen as fairly common to make use of a Virtual Assistant, it is seen as an unnecessary luxury to Dutch entrepreneurs.
More on Kristel Kuit and Céline Doornink.

Sanne Maasakkers

Sanne Maasakkers is a 22-year-old Computer Science student at Utrecht University.
From a young age onwards she started experimenting with HTML and CSS and, after several years of doing some freelance stuff in web design, it led to Apprize. Apprize is a little company that creates web applications (Laravel, jQuery, Bootstrap, less) and iOS applications for small business up to 200 employees (and if she’s lucky, a big organisation).
Currently, Sanne is an active member of WIT (Women in IT), a student committee in Utrecht and a Jane of all trades at VHTO, the Dutch national organisation for promoting women in STEM.
More on Sanne Maasakkers.


Click on poster for printeable version (designed by Marjon Wiendels).

Posted in Amsterdam, Announcements

We’re back in September!

Hey everyone, mark your calendars, because on September 18 we will have another Girl Geek Dinner. More information will follow!

More news: There’s more of us now! There’s a whole new GGD organizing team of nine people, so some projects that have been on our wish list for a long time can now finally be realized!

Because we are now a proper team, we needed to organize ourselves better. And Podio has been so kind to sponsor us! With their help we can get things done without clogging up our mailboxes.
FYI If you are interested in a Podio sponsorship for your own organization too, you can apply here for sponsorship.

Posted in Amsterdam, Announcements

Free tickets for DevOps Days!

Hi everyone!
The organizers of DevOps Days have the following message for you:

After our inspiring Girl Geek Dinner at Krasnapolsky, we thought it was a wise thing to organize a very last minute Girl Geek Lunch at next week’s DevOps Days at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam.

The organisers of DevOps Days want to support the female tech community by inviting you to attend the conference free of charge. You can use the special code DOD_LOVES_GIRLSGEEKDINNER to register at The

With this code you can attend all of – or just part of – the DevOps Days Amsterdam conference. DevOps Days Amsterdam runs 19-20-21 June and the Girl Geek Lunch takes place on Friday the 21st at 12:15.
During this lunch we can eat, network, share ideas and experiences, have fun, plus hear from Leslie Hawthorn, a very inspiring tech lady.

Before and after the lunch you are welcome and encouraged to join the open spaces and the conference sessions. The program has been finalized and they have managed to secure some terrific speakers. With both local and international content covering all the CAMS angles, they are bringing you a Devops extravaganza: talks, ignites, open spaces and a BBQ with local beers from Brouwerij ‘t IJ to top it all off.

We hope you will join us!

Posted in Amsterdam, Announcements

Jenn Lesser and Christine Abernathy love their work and tell us why

On May 29th we had our 17th Amsterdam Girl Geek Dinner.

Jenn Lesser and Christine Abernathy talked about their career paths and what triggered their interest in programming (we got an Oregon Trail shout out) and management. Jenn told us how she whipped a security team into shape and got them to think more strategically and be prepared for questions about budget or headcount. She told us that someone took a chance on her and how that influenced her career.
Christine told us she gets bored easily and loves learning new stuff. Someone from the audience said she also “hops, skips and jumps” and asked if she should focus more and go deeper into one thing. Christines advice: Do what you do best. If something moves you, then don’t stifle it.

Jenn and Christine went on to talk about startup culture, cyberbullying and diversity in the workplace. This entails getting more younger people interested in the field, but also retaining the people that already work in it. They talked about inappropriate interview questions (Are you married and do you have kids?).
There was an audience question about mentors. There’s a difference between mentors and advocates. Sometimes you need someone to bounce ideas off, but you also need people that actively take an interest in your career, that sit in the passenger seat and navigate that roadmap with you.
So, all in all, an interesting evening with some good advice!

Photos were taken by Tom Verstraat.

He also made an audio recording of the talk.

Posted in Amsterdam, Reports

AMS GGD #17 • GGD @ HITB • A chat with Facebook

Date: Thursday, May 29, 2014
Time: 18:30-22:30
Location: Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam room (Dam 9, Amsterdam)

On the 29th, you will get a chance to chat with some of the leading women from Facebook. Their experiences range from security operations to developer platforms.
They will talk with you about what they do, what they love about it, and what they are doing to bring diversity to Security and Facebook.
You can submit questions in advance via this form

Panel members

Jenn Lesser (Director of Security Operations)

Jennifer Lesser is the Director of Security Operations at Facebook. In her current role, Jenn is responsible for organizational management, roadmap and budget for the Facebook Security Team, along with Program Management for major initiatives within Facebook and for the community. A jack of all trades, she also coordinates awareness campaigns, most notably Facebook’s popular “Hacktober” events for National Cyber Security Awareness Month that capture the company’s attention each October.
Prior to her employment at Facebook, Jenn was Chief of Staff for the CISO at PayPal. She has over 15 years of industry experience, holds her PMP certification and is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of California where she received a B.A. in Communications.
More on Jenn Lesser.

Christine Abernathy (Developer Advocate)

Christine has a passion for developers and mobile technologies and has yet to come across a mobile OS she didn’t like. This has naturally led to her role as a Developer Advocate working with Parse. At Facebook, she’s worked primarily on the iOS and Android SDKs and in supporting strategic Open Graph partnerships. Prior to Facebook, Christine headed up engineering at Mshift, a mobile banking software provider, delivering iOS apps and mobile browser-based products. Prior experiences include co-founding Clickmarks, a mobile and enterprise middleware provider.
Christine has a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from MIT.
More on Christine Abernathy.

More information

We organize this evening in collaboration with HITB / Haxpo.
About Facebook:
Diversity at Facebook:
Careers website:

HITB / Haxpo.

Click on poster for printeable version (designed by Coline Pannier).


Posted in Amsterdam, Announcements


It was great seeing you all at the European Conference on Information Retrieval! The photos of our Women Networking Event (with ice cream) can be found here.
More pictures can be found here and here.

Posted in Amsterdam, Reports

Ice cream!

Date: Monday, April 14, 2014
Time: 17.15-18:00
Location: Hotel Casa 400 (Eerste Ringdijkstraat 4 Amsterdam, the Erasmus room)
Subscribe: This event is part of the 36th European Conference on Information Retrieval. You can register for that here.

On Monday, April 14 there is a women networking event at Erasmus, sponsored by the Amsterdam Girl Geek Dinner, who will provide ice cream. This meeting intends to connect women in Information Retrieval from all stages of their career, to foster a strong network of women in Information Retrieval.

Posted in Amsterdam, Announcements