Mumbai based Zone Startups India has unveiled the names of 15 selected startups amongst 376 applications across India for the second edition of its flagship all-women accelerator programme “empoWer.” The startups were selected after successful evaluation by the examining committee comprising 12 mentors from its advisory council along with noted industry experts.
The “empoWer” program, which is supported by Department of Science and Technology (Government of India); Social Alpha, an initiative by Tata Trusts; Microsoft, Amazon, ICICI Bank, PayU, CapitalFirst and FlexiLoans has drawn significant interest and support from international markets and from Barreau du Quebec, a representative office of Government of Quebec in Mumbai.
It is one of the four accelerator programmes launched by Zone Startups. The other three include Gateway91, Rise Accelerator with Barclays and Thought Factory Accelerator with Axis Bank. Last month, real estate firm Lodha Group launched the Palava Accelerator in association with Mumbai based Zone Startups. The first cohort of the programme consisted of eight members that collectively raised funds up to $23.6 Mn last year.
“We had surprised ourselves when we received 181 applications for the inaugural cohort of empoWer. We set ourselves an ambitious target of 400 for this year, and almost achieved it, with 376 applications – which is a great pool in itself. We have a cohort member from Imphal; which is great in terms of diversity of the pool, as well as to show that the ecosystem is growing beyond Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Delhi. We believe we have unearthed some solid winners in the final cohort of 15, who will go on to do wonders for themselves and the ecosystem of women entrepreneurs.” says Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director, Zone Startups India.
What’s In Store For The Selected Startups?
The shortlisted startups belong to different domains including IoT, artificial intelligence and deep learning across multiple industries such as healthcare, smart cities, and enterprise solutions.
The selected startups will join the six-week-long community programme which offers valuable mentoring sessions, workshops, industry networking opportunities, case studies, peer-to-peer interactions, bootcamp and investor networking.