ABI India, DST, Government of India and IUSSTF partner to reward and support women entrepreneurs with technical ventures in India
The Anita Borg Institute India, a non-profit organization focused on the advancement of women in computing and technology today announced the 6th edition of the Women Entrepreneur Quest (WEQ) 2016. WEQ 2016 is a unique contest for technology startups founded by women. WEQ is organized at the annual Grace Hopper Celebration India (GHCI) conference. This year the contest award recipients has grown from 6 to 10 women entrepreneurs in technology, who can win an all-expenses-paid experiential learning visit to Silicon Valley, US.
WEQ 2016 is sponsored by the Anita Borg Institute India (ABI India) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) also plays an integral role in supporting and organizing WEQ 2016. The joint partnership has existed since 2014 and is strongly committed to supporting the Government of India’s policies and programs focused on promoting entrepreneurship in India.
Women entrepreneurs who have founded technology startups in India are encouraged to take this opportunity and apply for WEQ 2016. The registrations are now open and will close on 16 October, 2016.
During the Silicon Valley visit the WEQ Top 10 will receive exposure, capacity building and networking opportunities. The entrepreneurs will get to visit leading technology companies, startups and hackerspaces in the Valley. The capacity building will comprise of visits to universities, workshops and interactions with mentors and investors.
“We are experiencing an increasing number of women entrepreneurs in technology in India building smart and innovative solutions for the real world. It is important to develop this talent so that they go on to build large, sustainable and successful business. At ABI we really do hope to see some of the next generation tech giants in India being founded by a woman. We are delighted with the continued support we are receiving from DST, Government of India and IUSSTF in our endeavor to scale the growth of women-founded technology startups,” said Geetha Kannan, Managing Director, ABI India.
According to Dr Anita Gupta, Director/Scientist-F & Associate Head at the NSTEDB of the DST, Government of India, “DST, Government of India has kicked off some important initiatives to boost entrepreneurship and startups in the country. A very recent initiative is the launch of National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) and under this initiative, DST has committed Rs. 500 Crores for realizing the PM’s vision on Startup India. The economic and social benefits by the growth of entrepreneurs and empowerment of women are well known. DST has a strong focus on both fronts and we encourage all women entrepreneurs with technology startups to leverage the WEQ opportunity.”
“After two successful visitation programs to Silicon Valley, we are looking forward to raising the bar through WEQ 2016 with a larger group of 10 women entrepreneurs. The WEQ visitation program provides the Indian women entrepreneurs extensive mentoring and networking opportunities with Silicon Valley resources to help overcome challenges and scale up their ventures. The exchange of knowledge and sharing of best practices has been a great learning experience for both sides and all involved,” said Dr. Smriti Trikha, Senior Science Manager at IUSSTF.
Sijo Kuruvilla George, is the consultant for WEQ 2016. He is the Founding CEO of Startup Village and is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. Sijo serves as a mentor and advisor to several startups.