People - 24.03.2023 - 13:00 

Melanie Gabriel from Yokoy is HSG Founder of the Year 2023

During "START Summit" founders' congress on Friday, 24 March 2023, Melanie Gabriel was named HSG Founder of the Year 2023 on behalf of the expense management scale-up Yokoy. The prize from the Werner Jackstädt Foundation is endowed with 10,000 Swiss francs.

Melanie Gabriel worked as the head of marketing for a B2B tech company during her studies at HSG. Today, as co-founder and CMO, she is primarily responsible for marketing at Yokoy Group AG. In 2021, she was named one of the 100 Digital Shapers by Bilanz, Handelszeitung and Le Temps. In 2022, she was also named one of the 30 most influential fintech marketers of 2022.

Founded in Switzerland in 2019, Yokoy offers a comprehensive, AI-driven expense management solu-tion for finance managers in mid-sized and large companies. By bringing together expense management, invoice processing and smart corporate card management on a single, intuitive platform, Yokoy is trans-forming the way more than 500 global clients digitise and automate their business expenses.

Yokoy Group AG was founded in March 2019 as Expense Robot GmbH. In early 2020, Expense Robot announced a CHF 1.7 million funding round, led by SIX Group (Swiss Stock Exchange) and Swisscom Ventures. With the launch of its own smart corporate cards in August 2020, the name of the company and the product was changed to Yokoy. Since 2021, it also offers automated processing of incoming in-voices and thus covers an array of expense management. In March 2022, the young company raised US$80 million in a Series B round with Sequoia Capital as lead investor. The company currently em-ploys more than 200 people in six locations across Europe and has more than 500 global customers, including Stadler Rail, Austrian Airlines, DB Schenker or the Swiss shoe brand On.

HSG Founders of the Year 2011 to 2022 previous winners

  • 2022: Raffael Wohlgesinger of "Formo"
  • 2021: Dorina Bührle from "Piavita"
  • 2020: Julian Teicke from "Wefox"
  • 2019: Kilian Wagner, founder of "VIU"
  • 2018: Valentin Stalf, founder of the smartphone bank "N26"
  • 2017: Lea von Bidder, inventor of the "Ava" fertility bracelet
  • 2016: "on" running shoe inventor Caspar Coppetti
  • 2015: Laura Behrens Wu, founder of the shipping software company "Shippo"
  • 2014: Alexander Graubner-Müller, founder of the mini-loan platform "Kreditech".
  • 2013: "Soma Analytics" founder Johann Huber with his anti-stress app
  • 2012: "" founder Adrian Locher
  • 2011: Dr. Alexander Ilic, founder of the company "Dacuda".

The jury members of the Founders' Competition 2023 include

  • Prof. Dietmar Grichnik, Professor of Entrepreneurship at HSG
  • Maria-Luisa Fuchs, Project Manager Startup@HSG
  • Diego Probst, Head of Startup@HSG


Entrepreneurship at the Universitäy of St.Gallen

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