WEQ is an innovative technology business plan competition designed by the Anita Borg Institute to ensure support to aspiring Indian women entrepreneurs.
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.
WEQ is an innovative technology business plan competition designed by the Anita Borg Institute to promote innovation and ensure support to aspiring Indian women entrepreneurs. WEQ is held annually during the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India (GHCI). The winner of the contest is awarded Rs 5, 00,000 along with a host of other special awards.
As per this partnership, 6 selected women entrepreneurs 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.
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 bagged cash prize INR 5 Lakhs along with host of other awards.
“We are extremely delighted to have partnered with NSTEDB, DST & IUSSTF to promote women entrepreneurship. Supporting women entrepreneurs is a key part of ABI’s mission, and over the years ABI has developed programs to support entrepreneurship among women”, said Geetha Kannan, India Managing Director, Anita Borg Institute.
“The Government of India has initiated several measures to promote entrepreneurship among women as it realises the critical role of women in national development. However, the government alone cannot sustain the movement of empowerment of women. There is need for organizations such as the Anita Borg Institute to act as catalysts and based on that belief we have entered into a partnership,” said Dr Anita Gupta, National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.