• Fully paid experiential learning visit to Silicon Valley, US with extensive mentoring, learning and networking opportunities

  • One grand cash prize of Rs 5,00,000

  • Free consulting on funding for your business; mentoring on developing a lean strategy, social media marketing …

All these opportunities and more could be yours. Realize the full potential of your business idea!

The Women Entrepreneur Quest (WEQ) 2015 is back and this time it gets even better! WEQ 2015 is more than just a business plan contest for women-led startups in technology across India. It is a comprehensive platform that will reward talented women entrepreneurs with technical ventures and provide mentoring, learning and networking opportunities for their future business growth.

The Anita Borg Institute India (ABI India), the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) have once again partnered to jointly organize WEQ 2015.

This partnership comes at a time when the Government of India is strongly focusing on transforming the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy, with The Digital India program. The Government also recently announced the new Start-up India, Stand up India campaign, to promote bank financing for startups and offer incentives to boost entrepreneurship and job creation.

ABI India, NSTEDB and IUSSTF also aim to support the Government of India’s National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 initiative through their partnership for WEQ 2015. The overall objective of the joint partnership is to complement and enhance national policies and programs, focusing on the growth of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in India.

About WEQ 2015

WEQ is a popular business plan contest organized at the annual Grace Hopper Celebration India (GHCI) conference. The contest is designed to encourage, showcase and recognize technology startups, founded and managed by women entrepreneurs. WEQ started in 2011 and is now a part of ABI’s Women Entrepreneurs in Motion (WEM) Program that aims to connect, inspire and guide women towards realizing the full potential of their ideas. Manish Singhal, a highly experienced and passionate entrepreneur, investor, mentor and business coach is the Founder-Mentor of WEQ 2015.

WEQ Awards

  • The WEQ Top 6 women entrepreneurs will receive an Experiential Learning Visit Award to the Silicon Valley, US. The visit will be fully  sponsored by the NSTEDB of the DST, Government of India and ABI India and organized by  IUSSTF and ABI India. The purpose of this visit is to get exposed to the entrepreneurial culture in the Silicon Valley. During the last Visitation Program in April 2015 the participants met top executives from leading technology organizations, they connected with trade associations and were mentored by venture capitalists and other women entrepreneurs from the Valley on how to grow their business and raise capital.
  • A grand cash prize of Rs, 5,00,000 for one of the WEQ Top 6, who will be selected during the Showcase & Award Presentation to be held during GHCI on December 4, 2015. 

WEQ Special Awards for the Top 6

  • NSRCEL will do a 3 hour session on (i) Developing a lean strategy for startups and (ii) Fine tuning your business model.  The session will be conducted at NSRCEL and will also be available to the Top 6 through an online tool. The Top 6 will also get access to direct entry into NSRCEL’s incubation and mentoring programs.
  • The Ladies Finger will be conducting a 2 hour webinar on social media marketing for the WEQ Top 6. The Top 6 will also receive specific advice on a social media campaign for their business.
  • The Startup Centre will provide up to 3 hours of mentoring on product or business plans, funding or any other business function the venture would like to focus on.
  • VentureBean will offer 3 hours of free consulting to evaluate:
    • Is your business ready for VC/angel investment? If not how do you prepare for funding and value creation to increase your probability of success?
    • If you choose not to go for external funding, how do you plan your financial strategy and business model without funding?

All WEQ 2015 Special Awards are to be availed by February 28, 2016.

Eligibility Criteria for WEQ 2015:

  • The startup must have one or more women in the role of a founder /co-founder or CXO of a Private Independent Entity (should not be a subsidiary of a large firm).
  • The primary business focus needs to be in the technology domain and can cover any sector of technology such as the Internet, Mobile, Clean Tech, Web-based applications, Cloud, IT Enabled Services, Agriculture, Education, Financial Inclusion, Healthcare Applications, Social Media and so on.
  • The company must be in business for less than 3 years as of 31 October, 2015.
  • Finalists from previous WEQs cannot apply this year (2015).

Apply for WEQ 2015

  • Online submissions open: September 11, 2015
  • Online submissions close: October 31, 2015
  • Announcement of WEQ Top 6: This deadline has extended to 24 Nov, 2015.
  • Showcase & Award Presentation at GHCI 2015: December 4, 2015