ABI India, DST, Government of India and IUSSTF partner to reward and support women entrepreneurs with technical ventures in India
New Delhi, 23 September, 2016: 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. For all information on the contest and to apply visit: http://ghcindia.anitaborg.org/women-entrepreneur-quest-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.
About The Grace Hopper Celebration India
The Grace Hopper Celebration India (GHCI) is the largest gathering of women technologists in the country. ABI India has been successfully organizing this annual conference since 2010. GHCI focuses on the career, research and entrepreneur interests of women in computing and technology. Presenters at the conference are leaders in their respective fields from industry, academia and government. GHCI 2015 drew 2,258 attendees (41% growth over 2014) from 11 countries and had 450 volunteers. The key highlights of the conference are various Tracks covering topics such as Technology, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Management, Back to Work, Early Career and more. Event participants can also look forward to the Hands on Lab, Student Career Fair, Poster Session and the Women Entrepreneur Quest.
About the Anita Borg Institute (ABI)
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, our reach extends to more than 67 countries. We believe technology innovation powers the global economy and that women are crucial to building technology the world needs. ABI is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 charitable organizationin the US and a non-profit organization registered as a section-8 Company under the Companies Act, 2013 in India.
About Department of Science & Technology (DST):
Department of Science & Technology (DST) of the Government of India is in the forefront of promoting new areas of Science and Technology and plays the role of a nodal department for organizing, coordinating and promoting S&T activities in the country. DST has been pioneer in promoting the Startup initiative through Science and Technology Parks in early 80s and more now with a network of over 100 Technology Business Incubators across the country. To realize Hon’ble PM’s vision on Startup India as an important tool to transform India, it has recently rolled out a new program NIDHI as a National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI).
About The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF): The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), established under an agreement between the Governments of India and the United States of America in March 2000, is an autonomous, not for profit society that promotes and catalyzes Indo-US bilateral collaborations in science, technology, engineering, biomedical research and innovation through substantive interaction among government, academia and industry. As a grant making organization, the principle objective of IUSSTF is to provide opportunities, to exchange ideas, information, skills and technologies, and to collaborate on scientific and technological endeavors of mutual interest that can translate the power of science for the benefit of mankind at large.