New Delhi: WE HUB, India’s first state-led incubator to foster and promote women entrepreneurship to start up, scale up and accelerate with global market access, today announced that it has brought on board a leading set of corporates, incubators and academic institutions to scale up the start-ups from the second cohort of its incubation program.
The incubation program will have Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Garage, Zoho, incubators like a-IDEA NAARM, Atal Incubation Centre- Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (AIC-CCMB), Kerala Start-up Mission (KSUM), 50K Ventures, UN India Business Forum (UNIBF), US-India Business Council (USIBC) and Indian Institute of Technology – Hyderabad (IIT-H) as partners. The call for applications is open and will close on 16th March 2020. Interested start-ups can apply here. The focus sectors are FMCG, Manufacturing, Healthtech, Fintech, Edtech and E-commerce.
WE HUB has designed these partnerships such that each of the start-ups from its incubation program gets access to technical advice, product development and market access to scale up its business. The exclusively designed 12-month incubation program of WE HUB is based on a targeted approach to provide women entrepreneurs with need-based intervention models.
Deepthi Ravula, CEO of WE HUB said that “the key ethos of WE HUB is collaborations. We are ensuring that we create an ecosystem which comprises of the partners from Corporates, academia etc. We are doing this so any Women Entrepreneur who walks into WE HUB has access to the entire ecosystem.”
AWS and Zoho will be providing the incubated start-ups with free $5000 cloud credits and one year’s free access to Zoho One, respectively. Services like these will enable the start-ups to increase productivity by selecting the best business applications required for each of their businesses. The new cohort will also be benefitted by Microsoft Garage that will provide makerspace and lab facilities to these entrepreneurs. They will get an opportunity to network and innovate alongside other women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields in advanced technologies like Cloud and Artificial Intelligence, which will equip them with the right technological skills for their start-ups.
WE HUB also enables its incubatee start-ups in securing funding opportunities with the support from leading venture funds and forums like UNIBF and 50K Ventures. They will connect women entrepreneurs in the new cohort to potential investors through investor consortium knowledge by round table meetings, individual meetings and workshops, which will enable them to grow and scale-up their businesses.
Reena Dayal, Director of Microsoft Garage India said “Microsoft Garage has been working on extensive programs that support and enable women entrepreneurs, with focus laid on Sustainability and Women in STEM. It’s great to see WE HUB starting its second Cohort in the Incubation Program. We are looking forward to mentoring a fantastic Cohort.”
WE HUB, being a sector-agnostic incubator, actively works with other incubators to provide hands-on experience, guidance and mentorship from industry veterans to its incubated start-ups. WE HUB will enable the new cohort to receive the services offered by a-IDEA NAARM by running a co-incubation program with them. a-IDEA NAARM will be sector-specific in connecting the relevant incubated start-ups with agri-research institutes from across the country for developing their technology or products.
The previous cohort was hugely benefited from such collaborations as AIC-CCMB, IIT-H and KSUM. They provided sound guidance in securing grants and government procurements and also supported them with technical advice, testing, product development, access to laboratories, equipment and technical staff. Additionally, KSUM provided the start-ups with market access in Kerala and virtual incubation. Selected startups for the Incubation program will get an opportunity to explore startup exchange programs with our international partners such as University of Basel etc. Through the exchange program the startup will be able to access international markets, international investors, potential industry collaboration and resources
Vijaya Durga, CEO of Architude, a startup from WE HUB’s previous cohort said that “the exceptional entrepreneurs, powerful connections, inspiring workspace and WE HUB’s vision for supporting and handholding every entrepreneur has been phenomenal. Our experience with the first batch of the programme has been enriching, and it has played a pivotal role in our growth.”
Last year, there was a cohort of 26 start-ups who graduated successfully and were able to secure funding, grants and profitable tie-ups. This year, WE HUB has received 240 number of applications so far, and the applications are still open. The eligibility criteria for start-ups include the start-ups being early-stage start-ups with a woman having a 51 per cent stake in it. It should also have an innovation factor in the product or solution it provides, with a team of two or more co-founders working full time.