Zone Startups India's third edition of empower Names 30 Women Entrepreneurs

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Zone Startups India’s flagship initiative for women entrepreneurs, ‘empower’ launches its third edition focusing on two tracks this time; Technology for Business and Technology for Social Good – both to comprise of 15 entrepreneurs each. Around 30 women entrepreneurs were selected from a pool of 285 applicants for this edition and they will be selected for the six week accelerator program. The program will comprise of mentoring sessions, workshops, industry connects, case studies, peer-to-peer sessions, investor connects and a boot camp.

Devika Shah, MD & CEO, ICCL, comments, “There is a need to create an ecosystem to encourage entrepreneurship so that we have more job creators and not job seekers in the technology space in our country. Also currently the percentage of women tech entrepreneurs is very low. However, I believe there are plenty of women working hard to buck the trend and we need to support, encourage and enable them to do so".

The program was announced on 28th September with BSE CSR Integrated Foundation and ICCL as the industry sponsors, Department of Science and Technology (Government of India), Government of Quebec, Canada, and Amazon Launchpad as the supporting partners of the program. Various roadshows were also held across six major cities across the country to evangelize the program and pool in various innovative startups for both the tracks.

"When we were starting out in 2016, empoWer was an experiment to gauge the need of a program focussed on women entrepreneurs. Being able to attract such number of applications over the years, is a validation for us; and more importantly showcases the increasing number of women entrepreneurs in the country. We have only 32% repeat applications over the previous year. This year we have spun off a parallel track, so that we are able to accommodate a higher number of women entrepreneurs leveraging tech for social good. We aim to expand the program year on year. Congrats to selected 30 entrepreneurs. We look forward to creating many more success stories", says, Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director, Zone Startups India.

empoWer, one of India’s tech accelerator for women entrepreneurs received an immense response from Pan-India application pool. To evaluate and select the 30 startups from the 285 entrepreneurs, Zone Startups India formed an evaluation committee. The top three women entrepreneurs from each track will receive an equity-free seed fund of INR 10 Lakhs and the top few startups of the program will also receive a 1-week market access trip to Quebec, Canada and Access to the Amazon Launchpad Program.

A part of the Ryerson Futures network, Zone Startups India operates accelerator programs across the globe and provides hands-on strategic and tactical guidance for startups looking to drive market validation and customer acquisition, as well as access to investors, corporate partners and advisors. Founded in 2014, it offers innovation consulting practice that lets corporate clients explore and embrace new ideas and technologies alongside leading-edge startups.

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