Powered Accelerator Announces Seed Funding For Startups Led By Women Entrepreneurs

POWERED, an accelerator programme with focus on female-led ventures by helping them expand their innovative and consumer-responsive products and services, set up as a joint initiative of Shell Foundation the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), Government of India’s Department for Science and Technology (DST) and managed by Zone Startups India has announced a seed funding of $10,000 for six of the shortlisted startups from its first cohort of ten start-ups.The programme is now accepting applications for its second accelerator cohort and for the one-week residential boot camp meant for idea stage solutions.

The six selected startups for the seed fund are: Cellerite Systems, Loans4SME, HoneyCombInventons, Kumudini Enterprises, Upcycler’s Lab, Taru Naturals.

POWERED Accelerator recently showcased their first cohort to an audience of investors, corporates, multilaterals, government representatives, and CSR heads at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on September 6th, 2018.The cohort includes a diverse set of ten start-ups, with technology applications addressing issues across mobility, energy access, energy finance, sustainability awareness, healthcare, and food security.

Jan Thompson, British Deputy High Commissioner inaugurated the day by highlighting that as partners, DFID believes that the provision of affordable, reliable modern energy products and services to women providing huge opportunity to unlock the potential to improve the lives of their families for generation. An esteemed panel of jury and the audience assessed the cohort pitches on the day as a part of the seed fund evaluation process.

Deepak Goel, Business Development Advisor, Shell Foundation, says, “Shell Foundation is excited to see the first POWERED Accelerator cohort of ten passionate and talented women entrepreneurs. These women are leading the way in access to energy in India with high impact businesses which have huge potential to scale.”

Srujana Raghupatruni, Founder, Cellerite, a company aiming to increase electric vehicle adoption, says “Getting to be a part of the first cohort of POWERED Accelerator is a pleasant feeling, to know there are like-minded peers and to meet awesome mentors. It feels great to be part of this ecosystem, that wasn't available before; unlike in the case of tech startups, which have many such avenues.”

Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director,Zone Startups India,says "POWERED adds a great deal to the portfolio of work being done by Zone Startups India, with women entrepreneurs. Also, given the theme of energy, it adds a new dimension to our expertise of working with startups. We have been super impressed with the cohort, and their overall participation in the programme, and see this as a starting point of building a strong ecosystem of energy sector entrepreneurs in India”.

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