Zone Startups concludes third cohort for women entrepreneurs

Zone Startups concludes third cohort for women entrepreneurs
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1 Apr, 2019

Mumbai-based technology startup accelerator Zone Startups India has concluded the third cohort of its empoWer programme aimed at women entrepreneurs in technology businesses, it said in a statement.

As part of the programme, 18 women entrepreneurs received equity-free funding while a few entrepreneurs got to participate in a one-week market access programme in Quebec and an offer to join Amazon LaunchPad.

The third cohort of empoWer was a six-month programme launched in September 2018. It split the programme equally between women-owned businesses in enterprise and social technology segments.


“This was a new experience for us, to manage two parallel cohorts under empoWer. After the first two cohorts, we realised the need to split up enterprise technology and social technology as separate themes, as the nature of support and programme required is different,” said Ajay Ramasubramaniam, India director at Zone Startups.

The launch was presided by more than 25 women leaders from the industry, followed by multi-city roadshows at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi and Pune, and an online campaign that brought in 285 applications from diverse domains ranging from financial services, media, healthcare and education to agriculture and retail.

The programme focused on areas such as deep technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, enterprise mobility, search and feedback engines, and enterprise software.


Zone Startups was set up in 2014 as a joint venture of BSE Institute and Ryerson Futures Inc., a Toronto-based startup accelerator. It launched the second cohort of empower in March 2017. empoWer now has backed a total of 65 women entrepreneurs across three cohorts.

For the third cohort, a jury of investors and technology leaders awarded the top 18 women-led startups with a seed funding of Rs 5 lakh each, based on the strength of their business model, their team, their market viability and their products or services. The seed funding was supported by the BSE CSR Foundation.

Apart from the grants, seven startups were offered a one-week market access trip to Montreal by the government of Quebec based on the international scalability potential. Sravani Chandramukhi Cheemala, co-founder of Mirsae, was offered to join the Amazon Launchpad Program.


Here are the 18 entrepreneurs who got the seed funding:

Soumya Rao, founder, UpSoil Technologies

Gayatri Mathkar, co-founder, Skygge


Gitanjali Banerjee, founder, Fertility Dost

Kajal Gohil, co-founder, ARKidzoo

Manasi Kulkarni, co-founder, Innoweave Biocare


Poonam Choudhary, co-founder, Vendaxo

Poonam Gupta, founder, WeeSure

Prajakta Kuwalekar, founder, Engendered


Pritha Datta, founder, Econolytics

Richa Sethi, co-founder, GetLitt!

Ridhima Gauba, co-founder, Interview Air

Romita Ghosh, founder, MedSamaan

Sailaja Nori, COO, Traxion LLP

Shilpa Malik, founder, Bioscan Research

Sonam Motwani, founder, Karkhana.io

Sridevi Arunprakash, co-founder, GUVI

Surabhi Srivastava, co-founder, Innovision Tech

Vartika Manasvi, founder, StackRaft.