Bangalore, December 12, 2016: The Anita Borg Institute India (ABI), a non-profit organization focused on the advancement of women in computing and technology today announced the top 10 winners of the 6th edition of the Women Entrepreneur Quest (WEQ) 2016. WEQ 2016 is a unique contest for technology startups founded by women. All the top 10 winners received an all-expenses-paid experiential learning visit to the 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.
The top 10 winners were selected from 329 entries received from across India. The applicants were evaluated on their product and business model. The WEQ 2016 is held during ABI’s flagship conference in India, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India (GHCI) 2016, the largest conference for women technologists in the country.
The top 10 winners of WEQ 2016 are
1. Myukhini Pande, CO-FOUNDER, Greenopia
2. Roli Gupta, Founder & CEO, Oorjan
3. Tanvi Bhardwaj, CTO & Co-Founder, Mishipay
4. Suhani Mohan, Co-Founder Saral Designs
5. Ishita Anand, Founder & CEO, Bitgiving
6. Richa Singh, Co-Founder, YourDost
7. Arti Agrawal, Co-Founder & COO, Anaxee
8. Shrishti Sahu, Director, Aqaya
9. Pooja Kothari, MD, Storemore
10. Binal Doshi, Founding Team Member and AVP – User Engagement at PlexusMD
During the Silicon Valley visit the WEQ Top 10 winners 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.
‘The startup ecosystem in India is gaining momentum and it is heartening to note that many of the tech startups are driven by women successfully. Capturing the essence of the tech-age, women entrepreneurs are foraying in different verticals, building smart and innovative solutions that are life-enhancing. We are thankful to the DST, Government of India and IUSSTF for their continued support in our endeavor to expand the base 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, “The Government is on a mission-mode to shape up and foster entrepreneurship and startups in the country, aligned with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of Startup India. DST has launched the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) to strengthen the innovation and startup ecosystem in the country. It is highly encouraging to note that a number of women have also taken the lead in the startup movement, a positive sign reflective of an empowered and a progressive nation”.
Dr. Smriti Trikha, Senior Science Manager at IUSSTF said, “The WEQ is a platform that works at many levels – encouraging women to go beyond limits; providing experiential learning; expanding networking opportunities and above all making an impact in the global arena. We have had two successful visitation programs to Silicon Valley and we are looking forward to the 2016 group of 10 women entrepreneurs who in turn will be change-agents.”
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.