Pune, 16th Nov 2021: empoWer, India’s first and largest accelerator program for Women Entrepreneurs, concluded its 6th edition with 10 top contenders participating in the finals on November 12th at the BSE Convention Hall in Mumbai.
Serigen Mediproducts Pvt. Ltd. from Pune emerged as the winner of empoWer2021 and received Rs. 10 Lakhs in equity-free cash prize. Odrways Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (SAMA) from Bangalore and Vivalyf Innovations Pvt. Ltd. from Hyderabad were named as 1st Runner-up and 2nd Runner-up and received Rs. 5 Lakhs and 2 Lakhs as cash prizes respectively. In addition, there was another award announced comprising 1-week Quebec market access, sponsored by Government of Quebec, which was won by Dectrocel Healthcare & Research Pvt. Ltd., Lucknow.
Sponsored by BSE, empoWer was launched in 2016 as India’s first tech accelerator for women entrepreneurs providing holistic 360-degree support in form of mentorship, industry connects, peer network and investor meet. Since its inception, empoWer supported over 200 start-ups and provided complete ecosystem that was much needed especially for women entrepreneurs.
Looking at its success story and to further expand the program, BIL – Ryerson Technology Startup Incubator Foundation (BRTSIF), a not-for-proﬁt Start-up Ecosystem provider with a mandate to promote startups and support the Government of India’s vision for entrepreneurship development and a culture of innovation, joined hands with TiE Women signing a long-term strategic partnership.
empoWer2021 attracted over 600 applications from across the country and noticed a significant traction coming from Tier II and Tier III cities. A total of 74 women entrepreneurs were shortlisted and given an opportunity to undergo 12 week accelerator program that comprised of mentoring sessions, workshops, case studies of successful women-led startups, industry connects and investor connect.
The top 18 entrepreneurs represented India at the Global Pitch Competition, Dubai as a part of GITEX Future Stars and for the second year in a row, the top prize was won by an Indian startup, Zerocircle Alternatives Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai. It was a tough competition, as women founders from over 10 countries participated and presented their unique concepts and business ideas, as they competed for first prize at the international platform.
These 18 winners once again convened at the BSE Convention Hall on November 12, 2021, to win the empower2021 title. The startups that hailed from a wide variety of sectors including Healthcare, AgriTech, EdTech, Environment, pitched in front of a distinguished jury that comprised Archana Hingorani (Founder-Siana Capital), Jagdish Moorjani (COO-CitiusTech), Manish Lunia (Co-Founder-FlexiLoans), Sharda Agarwal (Co-Founder-Sepalika) and Soma Maitra (VP & Head-Innovation & Incubation, Grocery Business, Reliance Retail).
Addressing the participants at the empoWer2021 program, Hemant Gupta, MD, BRTSIF & MD & CEO of BSE Sammaan Ltd., said, “ This sixth edition of empoWer being conducted in partnership with TiE Women has reached new heights by extending our program offering to 74 participants this year. While not everyone will win an award, each and every one of them is a star and will create a significant business impact with their endeavours.”
Eminent speakers like Shailesh V. Haribhakti (Board Chairman/Director, Innovator and Author), Francis Paradis (Director-Quebec Government Office in Mumbai), Mahavir Sharma (Co-Founder of RAIN & Chairman, TiE India Angels) and Ambarish Datta (CEO & MD, BSE Institute Limited) addressed the gathering and shared their thoughts on various aspects of entrepreneurship, leadership and the startup ecosystem. The central theme of their messages was the need to have an increasing women participation as business founders and for supporting platforms like empoWer to expand.
Another highlight of the event was an energizing fireside chat session where Madhura DasGupta Sinha (Founder & CEO, Aspire For Her), Navya Naveli Nanda (Co-Founder, Aara Health & Founder, Project Naveli) along with Ishita Sharma (CEO, MukkaMaar) shared their journey of starting ventures working towards the girls and women health solutions, their education and self-defense. Stories of how they have touched the lives of the underprivileged through their efforts was really heartening and struck a chord with all present.