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Women-led Startups in Technology Can Win a Fully Paid Experiential Learning Visit to Silicon Valley, US and a Cash Prize of Rs 5,00,000 through the Women Entrepreneur Quest 2015


BI India, NSTEDB of the DST, Government of India and IUSSTF partner once again,to reward and support women entrepreneurs with technical ventures in India

Bangalore, 29 September, 2015: The Anita Borg Institute India, a non-profit organization focused on the advancement of women in computer science and engineering today announced the 5th edition of the Women Entrepreneur Quest (WEQ) 2015. WEQ 2015 is a unique business plan contest for women-led startups in technology across India, organized at the annual Grace Hopper Celebration India(GHCI) conference. The contest is designed to encourage, showcase and recognize technology startups, founded and managed by women entrepreneurs.

This year the Anita Borg Institute India (ABI India), the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) have once again partnered to jointly organize WEQ 2015.This partnership comes at a time when the Government of India is strongly focusing on transforming the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy, with The Digital India program.

The Government also recently announced the new Start-up India, Stand up India campaign and the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015. The partnership of ABI India, NSTEDB and IUSSTF aims to support the Government of India’s policies and programs, focusing on the growth of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in India.

Women entrepreneurs with technology startups in India are encouraged to take this opportunity for their business growth and apply for WEQ 2015. The registrations are now open and will close on 31 October, 2015. For all information on the contest and to apply visit:http://gracehopper.org.in/women-entrepreneur-quest-2015/.


Participants have the opportunity to win many exciting prizes through the WEQ 2015 contest.

WEQ Awards

  • The WEQ Top 6 women entrepreneurs will receive an Experiential Learning Visit Award to the Silicon Valley, US. The visit will be fully sponsored by the NSTEDB of the DST, Government of India and ABI India and organized by IUSSTF and ABI India. The purpose of this visit is to get exposed to the entrepreneurial culture in the Silicon Valley. During the last Visitation Program in April 2015 the participants met top executives from leading technology organizations, they connected with trade associations and were mentored by venture capitalists and other women entrepreneurs from the Valley.
  • A grand cash prize of Rs, 5,00,000 for one of the WEQ Top 6, who will be selected during the Showcase & Award Presentation to be held during GHCI on December 4, 2015. 

WEQ Special Awards for the Top 6

  • NSRCEL will do a 3 hour session on (i) developing a lean strategy for startups and (ii) fine tuning their business model.  The session will be conducted at NSRCEL and will also be available to the Top 6 through an online tool. The Top 6 will also get access to direct entry into NSRCEL’s incubation and mentoring programs.
  • The Ladies Finger will be conducting a 2 hour webinar on social media marketing for the WEQ Top 6. The Top 6 will also receive specific advice on a social media campaign for their business.
  • The Startup Centre will provide up to 3 hours of mentoring on product or business plans, funding or any other business function the venture would like to focus on.
  • VentureBean will offer 3 hours of free consulting to evaluate:
    • Is the business ready for VC/angel investment? If not how does one prepare for funding and value creation to increase the probability of success?
    • If the business chooses not to go for external funding, how does it plan the financial strategy and business model without funding?

Manish Singhal, a highly experienced and passionate entrepreneur, investor, mentor and business coach is the Founder-Mentor of WEQ 2015. Started in 2011, WEQ today has become a comprehensive platform that provides mentoring, learning and networking opportunities to women entrepreneurs for their future business growth.

“Today women entrepreneurs in technology are setting up exemplary businesses and have all the potential to make it big in the tech space. While we see many with great talent, there is a definite need to see more who have the self- ambition and drive to grow their business into a successthat cannot go unnoticed. Our partnership with the Government of India and IUSSTF further strengthens our position to provide women with tech startups with role models, mentors, connects and the confidence to realize their full potential,” 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, “We are delighted to partner with ABI India once again for strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem for women entrepreneurs with tech ventures across India. The success of our last experiential learning visit to Silicon Valley in April 2015, is evidence of the opportunities and benefits that participants received from the Program. With the government’s increased focus on technology, women empowerment, entrepreneurship and skill development, it is our endeavor to reach out and give more women entrepreneurs in the country the opportunity to leverage WEQ 2015 for their business growth.”


“The Silicon Valley, US is the hub for innovation. Some of the businesses that started out there are today the world’s tech giants. The Valley is also home to many leading VCs and women-led tech startups and businesses. Through the WEQ 2015 and subsequent Silicon Valley Visitation Program, we are able to provide the selected women entrepreneurs from India a comprehensive learning experience of the Silicon Valley ecosystem and valuable connects for their business,” said Dr. Smriti Trikha, Senior Science Manager at IUSSTF. 



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