Bangalore, Nov 24: The Anita Borg Institute (ABI), a non-profit organization focused on the advancement of women in computer science and engineering, is partnering with the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem for women entrepreneurs in India.
The ecosystem will be established through the Women Entrepreneurship Quest (WEQ) Program. This announcement was made today during the WEQ 2014 contest finals, part of the 5th Grace Hopper India Conference held today at the Lalit Ashok Hotel.
WEQ is an innovative technology business plan competition designed by the Anita Borg Institute to promote innovation and ensure support to aspiring Indian women entrepreneurs. WEQ is held annually during the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India (GHCI). The winner of the contest is awarded Rs 5,00,000 along a host of other special awards.
As per this partnership, all selected 6 women entrepreneurs will be exposed to the entrepreneurial culture in Silicon Valley and will be provided with extensive mentoring, networking opportunities and access to capital, which is one of the biggest obstacles to growth for women entrepreneurs. The effort is to support networking amongst women entrepreneurs, including potential entrepreneurs, connect them with government agencies and other support organisations.
WEQ 2014 Contest
Ms. Sreepriya Koppula, CEO of the Turnaround Systems Pvt Ltd, won the WEQ 2014 Contest. She has developed technology solution Turnaround360 to make the online catalogs 3-dimensional and interactive. She impressed judges with her straightforward presentation and her thorough validations of her targeted market. She bagged cash prize INR 5 Lakhs along with a host of other awards.
The 6 finalist is selected from 107 entries received from across India gave ten-minute venture pitch presentations to a panel of judges that included investors, technology experts, entrepreneurs, and mentors.
Broadening the Base of Women Entrepreneurs:
"We are extremely delighted to have partnered with NSTEDB, DST & IUSSTF to promote women entrepreneurship. Supporting women entrepreneurs is a key part of ABI's mission, and over the years ABI has developed programs to support entrepreneurship among women", said Geetha Kannan, India Managing Director, Anita Borg Institute. "Broadening the base of women entrepreneurs is extremely critical to India's energetic economy. In the last few years, there has been a significant increase in women-led businesses which is truly encouraging and I am confident that this partnership will help identify and support women entrepreneurs to set up innovative companies that can lead to job creation and business opportunities in local and international markets."
"The Government of India has initiated several measures to promote entrepreneurship among women as it realizes the critical role of women in national development. However, the government alone cannot sustain the movement of empowerment of women. There is need for organizations such as the Anita Borg Institute to act as catalysts and based on that belief we have entered into a partnership," said Dr. Anita Gupta of the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
"While women are stepping forward and breaking the glass ceiling on their own, we believe that to accelerate this pace there is tremendous value in sharing best practices across our nations, there have to be many more such partnerships to create an ecosystem for women entrepreneurs which is one part of empowerment of women. This new initiative will encourage a large number of women entrepreneurs but also will generate significant employment, the cascading effect of such movement will only be positive growth of our countries," said Dr. Smriti Trikha of the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum. "The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum looks at tapping potential of entrepreneurs, specifically women who are emerging as leaders, business owners, employees, and key stakeholders."
"There has to be continued and sustained campaign and effort to unshackle barriers, legal or social, that have impinged on women's development."
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 54 countries. We believe technology innovation powers the global economy, and that women are crucial to building technology the world needs. As a social enterprise, we recognize women making positive contributions, and advise organizations on how to improve performance by building more inclusive teams. ABI partners include: Cisco, Google, HP, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, CA Technologies, Dell, Dropbox, eBay, Facebook, First Republic Bank, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Juniper Networks, National Science Foundation, NetApp, SAP, Symantec, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Amazon, Bank of America, EMC, GoDaddy, LinkedIn, Lockheed Martin, Nationwide, Neustar, Rackspace,, Salesforce.com, VentureLoop, Viacom, VMware, and Yahoo! The Anita Borg Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 charitable.
About The National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB):
The National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), established by Government of India in 1982 is an institutional mechanism, with a broad objective of promoting gainful self-employment amongst the Science and Technology (S&T) manpower in the country and to set up knowledge-based and innovation driven enterprises.
NSTEDB functions under the aegis of Department of Science & Technology. It has representation from socio-economic and scientific Departments / Ministries, premier entrepreneurship development institutions and all India Financial Institutions.
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 and biomedical research 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 endeavours of mutual interest that can translate the power of science for the benefit of mankind at large.
About Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India (GHC India):
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India is a program of the Anita Borg Institute and is co-presented with the Association for Computing Machinery-India. It is the only annual conference exclusively for women technologists in India and brings the research and career interests of women in computing in India to the forefront. Presenters are leaders in their respective fields representing industrial, academic and government communities. Stand up with them and other exceptional women leaders in computing to explore this year's theme, ‘Think Different. Make a Difference.'