The AnitaB.org India, a nonprofit organization focused on the advancement of women announced the Top 10 winners of the 8th edition of the Women Entrepreneur Quest (WEQ) 2018. WEQ is a unique contest for technology startups founded by women. All the Top 10 winners received an all-expenses-paid experiential learning visit to the Silicon Valley, US.
The WEQ 2018 finale was held during Anita B.org’s flagship conference in Bangalore, the Grace Hopper Celebration India 2018 (GHCI 18), the largest conference for women technologists in Asia. More than 5000 women from across the world attended the conference. The conference is being held from November 14-16, 2018 at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC).
The Top 10 winners were selected from 266 applications received from across India. The applicants were evaluated on their product/solutions and business model.
WEQ 2018 is sponsored by the AnitaB.org India and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) also plays an integral role in supporting and organizing WEQ 2018. The joint partnership has existed since 2014 and is strongly committed to supporting the Government of India’s policies and programs, promoting entrepreneurship among women in India.
“WEQ has always had the ambitious objective to identify and reward strong women founders with technology startups. Over the years we have seen tremendous growth in the quality and number of women entrepreneurs, with the potential to build successful businesses. Among the past WEQ winners 75% of the startups have witnessed significant growth in their operations and customer base. Each WEQ 2018 winner is highly talented and we are sure the experience and exposure in Silicon Valley will significantly add to the growth of their startup,” said Geetha Kannan, Managing Director, AnitaB.org India.
Dr. Anita Gupta, Scientist G/Adviser and Associate Head-Innovation and Entrepreneurship, DST, Government of India said, “Government, Industry and Academia partnership is key to catapulting economic development. The Government of India has instituted policy measures to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, especially among women. The government aims to bring women to the forefront of India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing access to finance, networks, markets and learning. Our association with AnitaB.org is part of that continued exercise.”
Dr. Rajiv Tayal , Executive Director, Indo-U.S Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) said, “Startups need the knowledge and capability in every aspect that is vital to the business. The WEQ initiative is one such platform which goes beyond borders in helping women entrepreneurs get a holistic learning that will help them grow their business. IUSSTF is rightly positioned to leverage its vast network in India and United States to support the top winners of WEQ Contest to go that extra mile by providing unique exposure to the globally recognized Silicon Valley Ecosystem."