Maëlle Gavet

Maëlle Gavet is a French businesswoman, author, and the CEO of Techstars, a worldwide network to help entrepreneurs.

Maëlle Gavet is a prominent figure in the tech industry, known for her impactful work, being associated with global brands including Boston Consulting Group, OZON, and Compass.

In her recent role as the CEO of Techstars, Maëlle Gavet leads one of the most prominent and influential startup accelerators in the world. Under her leadership, Techstars continues to empower early-stage entrepreneurs by providing them with seed funding, mentorship, and access to a global network of investors and industry experts. 

Gavet's achievements have earned her recognition on various prestigious lists, including Forbes' "The world’s most powerful women - Women to watch," Fast Company's "Most creative people in business," and Fortune's "40 under 40." She has been ranked among the top French young leaders by Le Figaro and Choiseul 100.

As an advocate for sustainable and empathetic tech practices, Gavet has written extensively on the subject and authored the book "Trampled by Unicorns: Big Tech’s Empathy Problem and How to Fix It." She has also held significant leadership positions at the Priceline Group and Compass Inc.

Beyond her executive roles, Gavet is a sought-after speaker at technology industry events, sharing insights and expertise. Her contributions to Wired, Harvard Business Review, and World Economic Forum have further solidified her reputation as a thought leader. With her diverse and cross-cultural experience, she continues to make a significant impact in the tech world, inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs and techpreneurs alike.


Maëlle Gavet was born in the Paris region of Boulogne-Billancourt, France. She started her first business at the age of 16, organising children's birthday parties in the Paris suburbs. She pursued higher education with a focus on Russian language studies, aiming to increase her chances of admission to an elite college.

Gavet graduated from the Sorbonne in 2000, followed by the Institut d'Etudes politiques de Paris in 2002, and the Ecole Normale Superieure de Lettres et Sciences humaines in 2003. Fluent in French, Russian, and English, she embarked on her professional career at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in 2003. During her six years at BCG, Gavet held the position of Principal and gained international experience, living and working in various countries, including France, the UK, India, and South Africa.

In 2009, Gavet ventured into the rapidly growing e-commerce industry and joined OZON, often referred to as "The of Russia." She started as the Sales and Marketing Director and rapidly rose through the ranks to become the Chief Executive Officer of OZON Holdings in July 2011. Under her leadership, OZON successfully secured two significant rounds of funding in 2011 ($100 million) and 2014 ($150 million). Gavet demonstrated her strategic acumen by guiding OZON through several acquisitions, including Russia's online shoe and accessory retailer,, and a stake in the Russian eBook distribution platform,

After her successful tenure at OZON, Gavet joined The Priceline Group in June 2015 as the Executive Vice President of Global Operations. In January 2017, she made a significant career move and became the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Compass Inc, a prominent technology-driven real estate company. As COO, she played a pivotal role in the company's operations and growth strategy.

In 2020, Gavet authored the book "Trampled by Unicorns," which delves into the intersection of technology and empathy. Additionally, she embarked on a new venture by raising funds from investors to acquire a technology company.

In January 2021, Gavet's became the CEO and a board member at Techstars, a global startup accelerator.


Maëlle Gavet's vision revolves around leveraging technology to drive positive and transformative change across industries. As an accomplished business leader, her mission is to empower organizations and individuals to embrace innovation, foster empathy, and create sustainable solutions that address the evolving needs of society.

Gavet's vision extends beyond conventional business success, emphasizing the importance of empathy and inclusivity in the digital era. She seeks to champion technology's potential for fostering understanding, collaboration, and social impact, ensuring that technological advancements benefit all members of the global community. Through her work, she aspires to inspire a new generation of leaders who prioritize both business excellence and compassionate leadership, driving meaningful progress in an increasingly interconnected world.

Recognition and Awards
Maëlle Gavet has featured in Forbes' "The world’s most powerful women — Women to watch" list and securing the 10th spot in Fast Company's "Most creative people in business" list. Additionally, Fortune ranked her 26th in its "40 under 40" list. She was also recognised among the top 100 French young leaders by Le Figaro and Choiseul 100. Over the years, her rankings soared from 96th place in 2014 to 4th place in 2016. Times Magazine listed her as the fifth among the "Top 25 Female Techpreneurs" in 2014, and Inspiring 50 and the European Commission acknowledged her as one of the 50 most powerful tech women in Europe in 2015. Maëlle Gavet's insightful writing has been featured in prominent publications like Wired, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Fortune magazine, and the World Economic Forum. Maëlle Gavet authored her first book, "Trampled by Unicorns: Big Tech’s Empathy Problem and How to Fix It," published by Wiley, offering valuable insights into fostering empathy and positive change within the technology landscape.

Maëlle Gavet
Entrepreneur, author, technology executive, speaker
Known for
Boston Consulting Group (Principal), (CEO), Priceline Group (VP, Operations), Compass (COO), Techstars (CEO)
The world’s most powerful women — Women to watch (Forbes), Top 100 French young leaders (Le Figaro and Choiseul 100), Top 25 Female Techpreneurs (Times Magazine, 2014), 50 most powerful tech women in Europe (Inspiring 50 and the European Commission, 2015), Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum, 2016)
Sorbonne (2000), Paris Institute of Political Studies (2002), Ecole Normale Superieure de Lettres et Sciences Humaines (2003)
Social Media
Sun Mar 03 2024

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