Empower2021 – Powering India’s Women Entrepreneurs and Celebrating Entrepreneurship

Empower2021 – Powering India’s Women Entrepreneurs and Celebrating Entrepreneurship - Sakshi Post

The winner of the empoWer2021 India Finals was Serigen Medi Products Pvt. Ltd.

Mumbai: empoWer, India’s first and largest accelerator programme 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. In addition, Serigen Medi products Pvt. Ltd. of Pune was named the winner of empoWer2021 and received a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs in place of equity. As a result, Odrways Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (SAMA) from Bangalore and Vivalyf Innovations Pvt. Ltd. from Hyderabad was 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 the 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 the form of mentorship, industry connections, peer network, and investor meetings. Since its inception, empoWer has supported over 200 start-ups and provided a much-needed ecosystem, particularly 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 startup 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.

Attracting over 600 applications from across the country, empoWer2021 noticed significant traction coming from Tier II and Tier III cities. A total of 74 women entrepreneurs were shortlisted and allowed to undergo a 12-week accelerator programme that was comprised of mentoring sessions, workshops, case studies of successful women-led startups, industry connects, and investor connects.

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 a first prize on 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, and Environment, pitched in front of a distinguished jury that comprised Ms Archana Hingorani (Founder-Siana Capital), Mr Jagdish Moorjani (COO-CitiusTech), Mr Manish Lunia (Co-Founder-FlexiLoans), Ms Sharda Agarwal (Co-Founder-Sepalika) & Ms 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 programme 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 Mr Shailesh V. Haribhakti (Board Chairman/Director, Innovator and Author), Mr Francis Paradis (Director-Quebec Government Office in Mumbai), Mr Mahavir Sharma (Co-Founder of RAIN & Chairman, TiE India Angels) and Mr 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 increasing women's participation as business founders and to support platforms like empoWer to expand.

Another highlight of the event was an energising 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 girls' and women's health solutions, their education, and self-defence. Stories of how they have touched the lives of the underprivileged through their efforts were heartening and struck a chord with all present.

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