While the startup ecosystem across the world maybe burgeoning, women founders continue to account for a measly 13% and own a mere 6% equity. In fact, only 10% of startup funding globally goes to women-led startups. On the other hand, the value of the global female consumer market stands at $18 Tn and accounts for 85% of global consumer spending.
In light of these facts, many organisations both private and government-led, are now giving women-entrepreneurs and women-focussed startups a head start with various initiatives in order to help them showcase the value-add of their products for women. One such initiative is —China based, She Loves Tech which focusses on developing a network for entrepreneurs, companies, and investors to promote technology for women and women entrepreneurs.
She Loves Tech hosts the tech startup competition that focusses on businesses led by women and startups dedicated to improving the lives of women globally.
Started in 2015, this global competition is now present in over 20 countries including Bangladesh, China, France, Indonesia, Israel, Latvia, Nepal, UAE, USA and more. For the first time, She Loves Tech is stepping foot in India this year in a partnership with Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), the nodal government organisation for promoting the startups in the state of Kerala.
As part of the partnership, KSUM will be organising the competition in India and is inviting applications from startups to participate in the global competition. Any startup looking for funding and positively impacting women with their technology can apply or any startup looking for funding or one that has a women cofounder can apply.
Once the startups are shortlisted, there will be mentorship rounds and the startups will have an opportunity to get funded in the investor cafe round. Post this, 10 shortlisted startups will get a chance to pitch in the National Grand Challenge which will be held in Cochin, Kerala.
In the National Grand Challenge, one startup will be selected and will be sent to attend a bootcamp in Beijing, China and get an opportunity to pitch in front of the jury. This candidate will also be eligible for the global finals and international conference to be held in Beijing.
Why Should Startups Apply?
- The competition will provide participating startups with a global access and opportunity to showcase product.
- Opportunity for business connects and investor linkages.
- The startups will get access to mentoring sessions and pitching workshops by industry experts in India as well as in the final conference in China.
- One on one investor sessions.
- Fast track access to She Loves tech access programme.
- Financial and business model advisory services.
- Opportunity to attend a bootcamp and international conference in Beijing, China.
- Opportunity to pitch before global Investors and get funded.
- Opportunity to pitch business ideas on an international stage, gaining invaluable face time with leading tech ecosystem players.
- Startup Booster Pack: Winners will get exclusive mentorships from leading investors and industry experts, consulting services, fast-track entry to partner programs, media exposure, workspaces and more.
- The global winner will receive an equity-free cash prize of $15,000.
She Loves Tech: The Beginning
Founded by three women cofounders, She Loves Tech came from the understanding that while there were women building tech companies, platforms to showcase them and their products were limited.
The founders also realised that startup tech competitions lacked women participants and it did not seem like an issue with the number of women in tech but the fact that women-centric platforms were few in number. This is what led to the founding of She Loves Tech which has a presence in over 20 countries. She Loves Tech has given a global platform to startups such as VoiceItt, QuantWave Technologies, IOTsploit, etc in the past.
KSUM: On A Mission To Bolster Entrepreneurship
Kerala Startup Mission has been promoting entrepreneurship since 2006 through a plethora of partnerships and initiatives, from tinkering Labs to running innovation entrepreneurship development centres (IEDC), KSUM has been providing a level playing field to startups.
While honing entrepreneurship within the state has been the focus area of the nodal agency. KSUM has often stepped out of the state, identified entrepreneurs and potential business models and has given them the impetus through mentoring, funding, infrastructure and technological edge and more.
With a partnership with She Loves Tech, KSUM has reaffirmed its status as an independent identity sworn to bolster entrepreneurship, and supporting causes such as women entrepreneurship and women-focussed business products. And as the startup landscape gets competitive, agencies like KSUM will prove to be helpful in supporting innovative ideas which have a mission to solve mass problems.
India is set to become the most populous country in the world and women-related issues remain one of its key challenges to tackle, be it safety, education, hygiene, and more. Startups are reinventing solutions to bring women-related problems into their radar. Together with initiatives like She Loves Tech which gives them a global platform, as well as a visionary mentor like Kerala Startup Mission, they are well on their mission to transform the country right at the ground level.Apply Now!