Taking the plunge to start a company is no piece of cake. In addition to this, women have had to face many other societal hurdles when they have wished to start a business on their own.
The times have changed now. More and more women are becoming entrepreneurs and living their lives on their own terms. Unfortunately, there is still some gap between men and women when it comes to business. Anita Borg Institute is planning to change that.
The Anita Borg Institute (ABI), a non-profit organization focused on advancing women in computing, recently announced the fourth edition of the Women Entrepreneur Quest (WEQ) 2014, which will be held during the fifth annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India (GHCI) Conference from 19th to 21st November, 2014, at the Lalit Ashok Hotel, Bangalore, India.
The Anita Borg Institute (ABI) connects, inspires, and guides women in computing and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. Founded in 1997 by computer scientist Anita Borg, its reach extends to more than 54 countries. The institute believes technology innovation powers the global economy, and that women are crucial to building technology the world needs. As a social enterprise, it recognizes women making positive contributions, and advises organizations on how to improve performance by building more inclusive teams.
What is it about?
WEQ is a unique contest designed to promote and showcase early-stage ventures with a technology component founded or led by women entrepreneurs in all technologies. It focuses on talented women technologists in the founding or leadership team of early stage startups who have applied technology in innovative ways to solve meaningful business problems.
The winner of the WEQ 2014 contest will be awarded a grand cash prize of Rs 5,00,000, co-sponsored by Intuit.
The winner of WEQ 2014 will receive a grand cash prize of Rs 5,00,000, co-sponsored by Intuit. The top six finalists of the contest can also look forward to exciting Service Awards:
‘Powered by NSRCEL’ – Incubation and Mentoring Award:
1. Direct entry to the NSRCEL Incubation Programme for the top three finalists with rents waived for up to two seats each, for a period of 12 months. Other terms of NSRCEL’s incubation service will apply to this incubation offering.
2. Direct entry to the NSRCEL Incubation Programme for the next three finalists with maximum of four seats per incubatee, at the time of entry on NSRCEL’s standard offering terms.
3. Online mentoring and online workshop for all the six finalists on 14 November 2014, to prepare and enhance their pitches that are to be made in front of a panel of eminent judges at the final Showcase & Award Presentation event on November 21, 2014.
4 NovoJuris Legal Consulting Award – Complimentary five hours hours of legal consulting for each finalist from NovoJuris, to be availed by May 2015.
5. VentureBean Financial Planning and Strategy Award – Each finalist will have the opportunity to get their business plans evaluated and then specifically mentored on financial planning and strategy. This will also include 3 hours of mentoring and is to be availed by February 2015.
The event-partner for WEQ 2014 is LetsVenture
The WEQ contest will run through a two-level selection process. The selection committee will evaluate all the business plans received and select the best six startups based on several criteria, including customer need being addressed, competitive business models and effective and innovative use of technology.
The six finalists will be mentored closely by the WEQ Committee to prepare their pitches for the final Showcase & Award Presentation event. The finalists will make their pitches in person at the GHCI conference on 21st November in front of a distinguished panel, including VCs, entrepreneurs and mentors.
Registrations for the same closed on November 2nd.
“We are extremely thrilled to initiate the fourth Edition of WEQ, which will bring together aspiring women entrepreneurs from across India,” said Geetha Kannan, India Managing Director of the Anita Borg Institute. “The development of high-potential women entrepreneurs is extremely critical to India’s energetic economy. The significant increase in women-led businesses in the last few years is truly encouraging and I am confident that the WEQ platform will identify and support women entrepreneurs to set up innovative companies that can lead to job creation and business opportunities in local and international markets. ”
Last year, more than 140 women entrepreneurs from all over India had applied for the WEQ 2013. The final pitch was challenging and exciting with the competition running neck to neck. Mausmi Ambastha from Intellocut was the winner for WEQ 2013.
Talking about her experience, Mausmi said, “Winning the Woman Entrepreneur Quest was one of the proudest moments of my life. Startups are tough and it means a lot when you get national recognition for your product and your team’s hard work. WEQ provides a huge cash prize and an amazing networking opportunity, the most important fuel in a business startup. We are now in seven geographies in the world and have industry leaders as our clients. We have already raised a seed round and are looking for the next round of investment. I would like to thank the WEQ team for being an important part of my startup journey.”
Speakers at GHCI 2014
The speakers this year include
Lakshmi Pratury, Host, The INK Conference,
Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO of Arista Networks
and Jane Moran, CIO for Unilever.
How to attend?
You can check out their website here for more details and to register for the event.
Interested users can follow the Anita Borg Institute on Twitter at @anitaborg_org and their facebook page in case of any queries.