Zone Startups India (ZSI), in partnership with Startup India, has launched Virtual Incubation Program for Women Entrepreneurs (VIP-WE) to promote women entrepreneurship in the country.

Continuing the journey that was started over 4 years ago with empoWer (India’s first accelerator for women in Tech), VIP-WE is a sector agnostic program architected to support early-stage tech startups founded by women through a curated 10-week program. As the name suggests, VIP-WE is being delivered completely online.

VIP-WE will handhold and guide 20 early stage technology-based startups led by women entrepreneurs, who are preparing to build market traction for their products or services and scale their ventures. The highlight of the program is that the incubatees will not only go through an intensive period of curated learning and development but also get a mentor assigned who will provide personalised coaching basis the identified needs of the specific venture. Further, this will be a free of cost program for all incubatees.

Mr Hemant Gupta, Managing Director, Zone Startups India, said, “Zone Startups India has always focused on tech ventures which are innovative either in the idea, offering, approach or delivery and those that need guidance during their initial period of product development, go to market as well as growth phase. Entrepreneurship is a long and oftentimes lonely journey, and we want to by the partners that give the support that is required, when it is required. We have built a strong supportive network of mentors, coaches, corporates and investors for our startups. Promoting women entrepreneurship has always been our focus and we have been running the hugely successful ‘empoWer’ program for women entrepreneurs for the last 4 years.

We are delighted to join hands with Startup India, who has been doing path-breaking work in the areas of innovation and startup ecosystem enablement. Our virtual incubation program will allow mentors, business services providers, investors and corporate innovation departments to connect virtually to these startups. By creating a virtual platform to nurture women led startups we have expanded our reach to support women from even the hinterland of our country. Our program outreach will also cover the hinterland cities of India apart from metros. Catalysing tech innovations by enabling women founders to take their idea forward and make available to them a larger platform to find collaborators, customers and investors in order to succeed, is what we hope to deliver via our VIP-WE program.”

The program will include 80 hours of workshops & interactive sessions spread over 10 weeks delivered virtually. The unique curriculum developed by Zone Startups India includes diagnostic sessions & clinics, practical insights, topical business management techniques, business and revenue model validation and investor pitch training.

The program will kick-off with 100 Open Startups as the Global Strategic Partner with access to their extensive global ecosystem, Cisco Webex as the Technology Partner along with a host of investors as well as Business Support Services Partners in a collaborative effort to boost women entrepreneurship in India. And the program will end with a virtual Demo Day, where the startups will get a chance to pitch to a panel of angel/early-stage investors, accelerators as well as corporates.

Additionally, while all 20 startups qualify for Global Level 3 of 100 Open Startups Global Movement , the top 3 selected startups will qualify for Global Level 4 of the same challenge. Startups can also subscribe to cloud services, legal & financial and other business support services via credits and/or discounted offerings through this program.

Says Mr Varad Rajan Krishna, Founder and CEO, 100 Open Startups, “Under the present circumstances, the virtual or digital incubation and mentorship program is the best option. Women entrepreneurs face a lot of challenges worldwide. The reason 100 Open Startups partnered with Zone Startup India as their Global Strategic Partner is that women entrepreneurs worldwide and in India can add value and can also learn from each other. We would like to bring more visibility for the founders through various global events and initiatives thereby creating more opportunities for business and investments.”

For details on the program email to: abhishek.rotkar@brtsif.com

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