2024 Women of the Year Awards: Change maker – Runner-up Caroline von Hirschberg

Caroline von Hirschberg, co-CEO of Spring Activator, is a runner-up of the Change maker category of the 2024 Women of the Year Awards


Caroline von Hirschberg
Co-CEO, Spring Activator

Caroline von Hirschberg has never been  satisfied with the status quo.

Prior to working at Spring—a community of investors dedicated to creating an equitable world—von Hirschberg spent time across various sectors. Her professional journey includes stints at consumer-packaged goods brands in the U.K. and Ireland, contributions to UNICEF’s mission in Laos and the building of an internationally acclaimed social enterprise developing renewable energy solutions for off-grid households.

The thread that ties her journey together? A dedication to enhancing the lives of people worldwide through impactful initiatives. “I was always the oddball, trying and testing new ideas and exploring grey areas with lawyers,” she says.

She joined Vancouver-based Spring in 2019 as co-CEO and helped build it from a team of six to 38. Now the company has a coast-to-coast team that supports entrepreneurs across the country.

Throughout the past year, von Hirschberg has spearheaded initiatives aimed at empowering women and non-binary founders. A cornerstone of her efforts involves cultivating psychologically safe environments among peers, while fostering inclusivity and diversity within the realm of angel investing in early-stage startups.

Von Hirschberg’s initiatives garnered significant support from both governmental bodies and private entities, securing multi-year funding from the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy and the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, alongside the backing of private funders like the BDC Thrive Lab.

These efforts materialized in the Women-Led Impact Investor Challenge, an initiative that connects purpose-driven companies with new and seasoned impact investors. The challenge’s winner, Lite-1, secured $120,000 in funding, complemented by a matching investment from BDC Thrive Lab.

Von Hirschberg recommends seeking out mentorship and coaching: “Change makers, innovators and entrepreneurs must recognize that they need that community of support.”