Past Edition

“Thank you EmpoWer for giving me a whole new peer group to refer, seek help and opinions for my venture Shubhpuja.com. Being part of Zone Startups has created a mini-ecosystem for me where I can now access all start-up related services and advise by being part of your program. Just like in a university program, you get access to facilities and the network of a university, such as resources, alumni and professionals, I feel that now Shubhpuja has access to all to it. A complete game changer for us”
Saumya Vardhan, Founder – ShubhPuja.com


In 2016, we launched “empoWer”, India’s 1st accelerator program for Women Entrepreneurs, in partnership with GIZ (German Agency), Department of Science and Technology (Government of India), Google, Vodafone and Nishith Desai Associates. The program (“empoWer”), was launched across Mumbai, Bangalore and NCR and received 191 applications; of which 15 women entrepreneurs were selected for a 6-week accelerator program followed by a 1-year support program that comprised of mentor sessions, workshops, entrepreneurship series talks, moderated peer group reviews, investor visits, industry connects and visits, demo day. The application process itself involved a detailed primary research based approach, to build a program on the lines of the “Need-Gap” experienced by Women Entrepreneurs.

Launching of India’s first acclerator for women in tech – empoWer

We launched with a grand Launch event In Mumbai followed by roadshows in Delhi and Bangalore. The Lauch events saw participation from 250+ women entrepreneurs and leaders from Across the country. The program was launched by Mrs Deena Mehta – Managing Director, Asit C. Mehta Investment Intermediates Ltd & Independent Director – NPCI and Mrs. Meera Sanyal – Chairperson Urban development Committee, Indian Merchants’ Chamber, Ex- CEO and Chairperson of RBS India along with partner representatives.

 

Grand Demo Day for the first cohort

In addition to the 6-week program, we had an end-of-program “Demo Day”, where the cohort of 15 entrepreneurs presented their refined businesses in front of a nearly 200-strong stakeholders community that included investors, corporate leaders, subject matter experts and others. This led to 8 winners selected from the 15, that went on to gain financial support of INR 70 Lakhs from the program. The winners were felicitated by Ms. Rashmi Bansal, entrepreneur and a youth expert. She is the author of seven bestselling books and founder of bloodygoodbook.com, Ms. Paula Mariwala, Executive Director of SeedFund, Mr. Vikas Agnihotri, Director of Sales at Google and Ms. Vicki Saunders, Founder, SheEO – an international women’s support organization

 

1 Week Bootcamp for early stage women entrepreneurs

The 1 week bootcamp was designed to help the participants rethink about various aspects of running a business and provide them a fresh from seasoned and experienced mentors on it. The program focused on making interactions happen on individual challenges faced by the entrepreneurs and thus most of the mentoring was one on one. The bootcamp was linked to the NASSCOM 10,000 Startups Change Makers Summit 2016 powered by Google focused on impacting women led startups. empoWer partnered with them to offer this specially designed bootcamp to top 4 women led startups part of the summit. The summit received 250 applications out of which 80 application were shortlisted by empoWer team for a interview round on the day of the event. Based on the interviews, the top 4 startups were selected and announced at the event.

 

Hosting Bardish Chagger, Canada’s Minister for Small Business and Tourism : Women Leaders: Innovating, Inspiring and Building Nations

On the occasion of Women’s Day, we hosted a panel discussion on one of the most prevailing topic ‘Women Leaders: Innovating, Inspiring and Building Nations’ bringing women leaders together to discuss overcoming and outshining professional hurdles faced by women.
The panel was chaired by Hon. (Ms.) Bardish Chagger, Canada’s Minister for Small Business and Tourism and included Shinjini Kumar -CEO PayTM Bank, Kashmira Mewawala – Head Business Development and Chief Ethics Counselor Tata Capital, Monica Jasuja- Head of Digital Payments at MasterCard, Rashmi Bansal – Author, Smita Bhagat – Head-Branch Banking and e-Commerce HDFC Bank, Shweta Shalini – Spokesperson of BJP Maharashtra, Chandni Jafri – CEO of Mumbai Angel, Prerana Langa – CEO Yes Foundation, Lakshmi Potluri – Angel Investor, Ritu Soni-Srivastava – Co-Founder ObiNo and was moderated by Harshada Sawant, Senior Associate Editor CNBC TV18.

Our Supporting Partners were

Cohort 2016

Description
Saral Designs is a product driven start-up with the mission of solving critical problems in the field of menstruation, hygiene and sanitation.The company has developed a fully automatic, compact machine that enables the decentralized production of sanitary napkins.
Post empoWer
-Won a grant of  5 Lakh
-Won Anita Borg Institute’s Women Entrepreneur Quest and going to silicon valley for two weeks as a part of it
-Got covered by Outlook Business and TOI
Winner
Equity-free seed funding of INR 10 Lakhs
Description
DAZL is a smart IoT device that fits inside fashion accessories to deliver location based safety alerts to your loved ones in one click and a range of customized notifications with a buzz. DAZL enhances the work and social lives of women with safety, convenience, and seamless connectivity.
Post empoWer
Accepted for a MIT - Global Entrepreneurs Program.
Winner
Equity-free seed funding of INR 7 Lakhs
Description
Project Mudra is a Braille ed-tech startup by BITS Pilani, Goa alumni. They develop new age Braille teachers in the form of handy devices and interactive content. Their flagship product ‘Annie’ was recently used by the visiting royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to learn to type their son’s name in Braille.
Post empoWer
Sandbox Startups 500K Biz Launchpad by the Deshpande Foundation
Winner
Equity-free seed funding of INR 5 Lakhs
Description
Vanity Cube  an on-demand beauty and wellness services company specializes in delivering premium beauty services at your home or office with the fastest turnaround time of 90 minutes. VanityCube operates as a B2B & B2C service provider.While the B2C model caters only to the women and the B2B model includes tying up with the corporate, stands unisex.
Post empoWer
Series Funding of Rs 2.9 Cr
Winner
Branding and design identity package worth INR 5 Lakhs
Description
Cloudrino is the go-to place for all your Cloud related requirements. Using Cloudrino, one can set up web servers, app servers, backup servers and virtual desktops within 30 seconds. Their solutions are fast, secure, have low latency, are app enabled, have an API and best of all are green.
Post empoWer
Part of Tech30 by Your Story.
Winner
1-week, all expenses paid soft-landing at DMZ, Toronto – North America’s #1 business incubator
Description
YourDOST is a platform that allows you to connect with experts to discuss issues related to your personal, professional and academic life. The professionally trained counsellors help you cope with tough times - work stress, relationship, self-image and many more, and support you in your quest for self improvement.
Post empoWer
Raised $1 million from SAIF Partners
Description
Math Adventures' - Math Master program is helping over 7000 students in Bangalore learn Math in an experiential way, at their own pace, in a fun and stress-free environment. It is backed with 16 years of experience with school children. The content is organically developed in-house and tested by more than 10,000 students and 150 teachers.
Post empoWer
Got the Standup India women entrepreneur loan of 70 Lakh by SBI
Winner
Tech Grant worth INR 7 Lakhs worth of services from professional organizations of their choice.
Description
Project Mudra is a Braille ed-tech startup by BITS Pilani, Goa alumni. They develop new age Braille teachers in the form of handy devices and interactive content. Their flagship product ‘Annie’ was recently used by the visiting royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to learn to type their son’s name in Braille.
Post empoWer
Sandbox Startups 500K Biz Launchpad by the Deshpande Foundation
Winner
Tech Grant worth INR 7 Lakhs worth of services from professional organizations of their choice.
Description
Advenio TecnoSys develops artificial intelligence/machine learning based hardware neutral computer assisted detection (CADx) plugins for clinical imaging. The investigators at ADVENIO have extensive experience in designing and developing of CAD algorithms and solutions of high quality on varied diseases in India and around the world. Advenio's innovation iCheck is an end­to­end eye­care solution for point­of­care diagnostics affordable and accessible for all. iCheck enables easy, quick primary diagnosis and could also be scaled up to be used for a broader range of health care needs.
Post empoWer
-Won the NASSCOM- 2016 Digital India Challenge.
-Winner of Kstart’s Startup Girls challenge.
-Won the Start Tel Aviv 2016 competition
Description
PoolWallet is a split payment platform that allows the user to create pools and online real-time sharing of expenses. Create pools for all the joint expenses you make. Quick and automatic ways to send notifications and convert the discussed event to PRODUCT to SHARE. And finally - you make PAYments against your links for your share of amount.
Post empoWer
Raising a seed round at half a million valuation
Description
FinMitra is a multi-lingual, predictive Financial Advisory & Transaction Platform. It aims to be the single repository for all its customers' financial decisions and actions based on their earning, spending, investing and borrowing patterns.  By using an analytics engine, FinMitra is able to then provide customised solutions across a wide range of services.
Description
Algaari Retail Ventures was started with an idea of expanding a business venture around CleanTech and Health Care products backed by IoT. Algaari dreams of eradicating pollution related health problems through an array of  health care/Cleantech devices thereby, improving the quality of people’s lives. A serious company with a straightforward vision, they believe that there is an amazing amount to be learned by working hand in hand with the nature and developing new ideas for the betterment of the society.
Post empoWer
Developed another line of product of IOT based home air purifier. Have 2 dealerships set up now.
Winner
Tech Grant worth INR 7 Lakhs worth of services from professional organizations of their choice.
Description
Primitus Technology is a customer service provider for auto dealerships. They are currently working with dealerships, pan India and across sectors. Primitus couples robust technology with human interaction to achieve highest possible customer satisfaction and efficiency.
Post empoWer
The company got acquired by its strategic partners and the founder is currently involved in another fashion startup.
Description
iesha delivers digital courses on sexual, reproductive, and gender education in India, accessible on tablet and computer. They believe that delivering accurate, empowering information on gender and sexuality to adolescents at puberty is a fundamental paradigm shift that will lead to creating a gender-equal India. They were chosen as one of 100 Echoing Green Finalists from a pool of 3,000 candidates from around the world.
Post empoWer
Having realized that market is not ready for the product. iesha decided to move on and look for another opportunity. 
Description
SquadRun is an on-demand distributed workforce platform for back-office data and voice operations where work is performed by qualified contractors including housewives, college students, and grey collared workers on SquadRun’s (mobile only) app.

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