WE Hub, India's first state-led incubator to foster and promote women entrepreneurship, on Friday announced the selection of 89 startups for the second cohort of the 'Her&Now' programme.
Envi Robotics, Nuture Fields, Ladoo Box, Venica Herbals, ASARA Products, Verma Foods, Lesperanzau and SR Silks were among the startups shortlisted out of 600 applications.
The pitching process had close to 150 women entrepreneurs out of 600 applicants, and each pitch was evaluated across 14 selection criteria like domain knowledge, digital literacy, potential to scale, impact, innovation, business feasibility etc., with external jury members in the panel, WE Hub said. Each entrepreneur was allowed for pitching followed by a 10-minute Q&A session.
The tailor-made programme will have an incubation program for seven months to help women entrepreneurs who have been running an informal enterprise or are a part of a group enterprise and now want to start-up on their own and establish their enterprises.
The acceleration programme is a six-month programme to help formally registered, women-led, for-profit enterprises from tier2 and 3 cities of Telangana to scale up.
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is implementing the project 'Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs and Start-ups by Women (Her&Now)' on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in partnership with the Indian Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MoSDE), to support aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs in India.
"We are happy to witness an escalated participation of women entrepreneurs from 28 to 89 into our innovation ecosystem. With WE Hub, we look forward to foster and supporting many more entrepreneurs in the future," said Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary (ITE &C), Government of Telangana.
The first cohort of 30 startsups from Telangana graduated in August by formally registering their enterprises and raising finances through credit linkages and equity investments.
"The journey from a minimal viable product or solution to a successful startup is a not an easy one. We are deeply committed to supporting the women entrepreneurs as they prepare to launch and grow their ventures. Our partnership with GIZ enables us to invest in entrepreneurship in tier 2 and tier 3 cities where innovation is booming. We are looking forward to helping these select enterprises thrive," said Deepthi Ravula, CEO, WE Hub.
For over 60 years, GIZ GmbH has been working with partners in India for sustainable economic, ecological, and social development.
"After a successful round of programmes with the first cohort of women entrepreneurs from Telangana, we are looking forward to welcoming 89 women entrepreneurs into the second round of our incubation and acceleration programme. Her&Now through WE Hub offers support customized to each entrepreneur and her business, and we hope this will prove especially useful in these challenging times of the pandemic," said Julia Karst, Head of Project Her&Now at GIZ.