Selma Prodanovic

  • Founder, 1MillionStartups

Selma Prodanovic is an internationally awarded entrepreneur, angel investor, and philanthropist. She is passionate about empowering people and creating the future. Named Startup-Grande-Dame by the media, she is famous for her influence and her ability to identify, create, and connect business potential. Media coverage of her activities and expertise spans over 40 countries.

Selma is founder of 1MillionStartups the pioneering global support platform for entrepreneurs and startups dedicated to solving real-life problems and reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She initiated the Global Entrepreneurship Declaration supported by UNIDO.

Since 2005, when Selma founded the Brainswork Group, she launched a dozen of “made in brainswork” – brands, supported over 400 startups, and advised numerous global investors, corporations and organizations. She had a major impact on the creative industries, the startup, and the business angel eco-systems, especially in Austria and Europe. She is the founder of 100Influentials and holds advisory and board member positions in a number of companies and organizations.

Selma is co-founder and Vice-President of Austrian Angel Investors Association, Board Member of European Business Angel Network (EBAN), and member of Global Business Angel Network (GBAN). The Business Angelina has a portfolio of startup investments, is lead investor at Rising Tide Europe 1 – impacting the next generation of female business angels, was an investor in the Austrian startup TV show “2 minutes – 2 million”, and served as a judge in over 100 investment panels.

As a professional speaker, she gave over 1,000 presentations and lectures sharing her expertise in entrepreneurship, connecting, creativity, innovation, and startups at conferences or corporate events world-wide. She lectures at various universities and through her online courses, and has been teaching entrepreneurship at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna since 2007. She published the “Brainsbook on Networking” in 2009 and her book “Between Steel and Chocolate – Inspiring Success Stories from Austria” was published in 2013. She pioneered various concepts such as Fluid Organization, Chief Networking Officer, the business development strategy of brainsworking, the Business-Angelina investment approach, IncrediblEurope 2049 and established the Brainswork – Make a Difference Awards. Selma is Inspirational Leader at ooomnow.

Selma believes that making a positive difference is a fundamental human right. For her innovative approach to business and commitment to entrepreneurship and social change, she received numerous awards such as: the Austrian “WOMAN Award” in 2006; “100 World of Difference Award 2013” awarded by The International Alliance for Women in Washington, DC; “Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award 2014”; and “Best Pioneering Investment Initiative 2015″” awarded by the European Business Angel Network.

Born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Selma lived in several countries in Europe and North Africa and has been based in Vienna (Austria) since 1991. Educated in 4 different languages, she studied at the University of Sarajevo, at Saint Louis University in Madrid, and at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Selma is happily married to her first love and is proud mother of two fantastic millennials.

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