Mumbai-based Zone Startups India, a venture fund and accelerator housed at BSE, has launched a 6-week accelerator programme – “empoWer”, to support women entrepreneurs who are building technology ventures.

For the “empoWer” initiative, Zone Startups India has brought together strong partners in Department of Science and Technology, GIZ, Vodafone India, Google, Nishith Desai Associates, She The People TV, and SheEO -– a Toronto-based women entrepreneur support organisation.

The initiative will be launched with roadshows across Mumbai, Bangalore and NCR for attracting applications. 15 women entrepreneurs will be shortlisted for the 6-week bespoke programme. The programme participants will get access to mentoring, workshops, case studies of successful women-led startups, industry connect, peer network, investor connect and business development opportunities.

Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director, Zone Startups India, said, “Through our accelerator programme, and various boot-camps, workshops, demo days hosted by us we realised the need for having a focused programme that works with women entrepreneurs in tech businesses. The problems faced by a lot of women entrepreneurs are unique, and we feel that there is a case for having a dedicated accelerator programme for women entrepreneurs.”

Additionally, there are several financial and non-financial opportunities that the participants will gain from the demo day, at the end of the programme. Zone Startups India will continue to support these women entrepreneurs for upto a year after the programme, thereby adding ongoing value.

Wolfgang Leidig, Programme Director – Private Sector Development, GIZ says, “In addition to empowering 15 selected women entrepreneurs, we believe that ‘empoWer – Accelerating Women Entrepreneurship’ would demonstrate a successful replicable model of harnessing the potential of innovative women enterprises.”

In February 2016, Zone Startups India decided to expand its accelerator space with the support of the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board(NSTEDB), Government of India. Prior to this, in December 2015, it raised about $28 Mn registered with SEBI.


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