And the winner of WEQ 2014 is …
Sreepriya Koppula, CEO of the Turnaround Systems Pvt Ltd won the WEQ 2014 Contest. She has developed technology solution Turnaround360 to make the online catalogs 3-dimensional and interactive. She impressed the judges with her straightforward presentation and her thorough validations of her targeted market. She bagged the cash prize of Rs 5 Lakhs along with host of other Service Awards.
The 6 finalist selected from 107 entries received from across India, gave ten-minute venture pitch presentations to a panel of judges which included investors, technology experts, entrepreneurs and mentors at the finale on November 21, 2014.
The Anita Borg Institute (ABI), a non-profit organization focused on the advancement of women in computer science and engineering, is partnering with two Government bodies, the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem for women entrepreneurs in India. The ecosystem will be established through the Women Entrepreneurship Quest (WEQ) Program. This announcement was made during the WEQ 2014 contest finals, part of the 5th Grace Hopper India Conference held on Friday, 21 November at the Lalit Ashok Hotel.
As per this partnership, the 6 selected finalists from the WEQ contest will be sent to the United States on a fully paid trip to get exposed to the entrepreneurial culture in Silicon Valley and will be provided with extensive mentoring, networking opportunities and access to capital, which is one of the biggest obstacles to growth for women entrepreneurs. The effort is to support networking amongst women entrepreneurs, including potential entrepreneurs, connect them with government agencies and other support organizations.
November 12, 2014
We are delighted to announce the top 6 finalists of the Women Entrepreneur Quest 2014. Congratulations to all of them.
- Ashwini Asokan – Mad Street Den
- Lavina Mahbubani- Lumos Design Technology Pvt. Ltd.
- Naiyya Saggi – BabyChakra
- Pooja Sharma – White Sepal Services Private Limited
- Sreepriya Koppula – Turnaround Systems Pvt. Ltd.
- Vineeta Singh – FabBag.com
The six finalists will make a pitch presentation in front of a panel of eminent judges at the final Showcase & Award Presentation event that takes place during the main GHC India conference on November 21. The winner of WEQ 2014 will be announced at this event.
About the Women Entrepreneur Quest
The Women Entrepreneur Quest (WEQ) 2014 is a popular contest at the annual Grace Hopper Celebration India conference. WEQ is designed to promote and showcase early-stage ventures with a technology component, founded or led by women entrepreneurs in all technologies. We look for talented women in technology in the founding or leadership team of early stage start-ups who have applied technology in innovative ways to solve meaningful business problems.
The winner of WEQ 2014 will receive a grand cash prize of Rs 5,00,000. The top six finalists of the contest can also look forward to exciting Service Awards:
· ‘Powered by NSRCEL’ – Incubation and Mentoring Award:
1. Direct entry to the NSRCEL Incubation Programme for the top three finalists with rents waived for up to two seats each, for a period of 12 months. Other terms of NSRCEL’s incubation service will apply to this incubation offering.
2. Direct entry to the NSRCEL Incubation Programme for the next three finalists with maximum of four seats per incubatee, at the time of entry on NSRCEL’s standard offering terms.
3. Online mentoring and online workshop for all the six finalists on 14 November 2014, to prepare and enhance their pitches that are to be made in front of a panel of eminent judges at the final Showcase & Award Presentation event on November 21, 2014.
· NovoJuris Legal Consulting Award – Complimentary five hours hours of legal consulting for each finalist from NovoJuris, to be availed by May 2015.
· VentureBean Financial Planning and Strategy Award – Each finalist will have the opportunity to get their business plans evaluated and then specifically mentored on financial planning and strategy. This will also include 3 hours of mentoring and is to be availed by February 2015.
Benefits for women entrepreneurs:
- A credible and high-visibility platform to showcase your business among stakeholders such as business mentors, VCs, entrepreneurs and female business leaders in technology
- Financial funding with a cash grand prize for the winner
- Access and networking opportunities
- Knowledge sharing and learning among participants from other emerging and innovative technology businesses
- The organization must have one or more women in the role of 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 component of technology such as Internet, Mobile, Clean Tech, Web-based applications, Cloud, ERP, IT Services, Healthcare Applications, Social Media and so on.
- The organization must be an Indian operating and registered entity as either a proprietary firm, partnership firm, limited liability partnership or private limited.
- The company must be in business for less than 3 years as of November 15, 2014.
- Finalists from previous WEQs cannot apply this year.
Award selection process:
- Participants must submit their online application, providing complete details.
- The online submission will be evaluated by a panel of eminent judges to select the top six finalists. The submission will be judged on criteria including customer need being addressed, competitive business models and effective and innovative use of technology.
- The six finalists must make a 3-5 minute pitch in front of a panel of judges at the final Showcase & Award Presentation event that takes place during the main GHC India conference on November 21.
- The finalists will be advised for the final round of judging by the entrepreneur mentor, Manish Singhal.
- The judges will select the winner of WEQ based on the pitch made by each of the six finalists.
- The winner is announced and presented the award at the final event.
- The winner will receive a grand cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs.
- Service Awards for all six finalists (including the winner)
- The GHC India committee reserves the right to request proof of information provided by the contestants regarding their business plans.
- Any misrepresentation of facts will lead to automatic disqualification from the contest.
- The decision of the selection committee will be final.
- Rules can be changed without prior notice.
- Start date for online submissions: September 15
- Last date for online submissions: November 2
- Announcement of top six finalists: November 12
- Showcase & Award Presentation (announcement of winner): November 21