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Drishti Bodhraj Premprakashi

JWB Blogger

Here Are The 15 Women Who Are Changing The World With Their Startup Ideas

  • JWB Post
  •  June 29, 2016


The Bombay Stock Exchange made it to the news, yet again! Don’t worry; this isn’t about any stock market crashing. This one is gonna be great, believe me.

As of last week, a company called Zone Startups’s Indian office on the 18th floor of the Stock Exchange building has scripted a chapter for themselves in the history of women in business. They have launched an accelerator programme solely meant for women entrepreneurs called ’empoWer’.

The Startup company is backed by the Department of Science and Technology, GIZ, Vodafone India, Google, Nishith Desai Associates, and SheEO and is hosting the six-week programme for 15 entrepreneurs chosen from among 181 applicants on the basis of innovation, their business model and the founding team’s expertise.

Here are the 15 entrepreneurs that are ready to change the world with their ideas:

  1. Sanskriti Dawle: Founded in 2014, Project Mudra is a Braille ed-tech startup by graduates of BITS Pilani Goa. It aims to solve the low literacy rate among 39,000,000 blind people around the world, by building hardware products with software and content to impart Braille-based education. The company has already been receiving pre-orders from blind schools across India and requests from international customers. It is set to launch its product by September 2016.
  1. Richa Singh: Richa is an IIT Guwahati alumnus with specialisation in user experience design, and has over five years of experience in product development. Her portal, ‘YourDost’ provides voice, video, and chat-based consulting to people searching for a psychologist or a counsellor. Since December 2014, they’ve had 2.5 lakh plus users.
  1. Smita Mishra: As a CS engineer with 15 years of work experience in the IT world, Smita started PoolWallet to leverage the social wallets wave but has added her own twist to it. Hers is a mobile peer-to-peer and group payment social network, which helps people plan and pool money towards the cost of shared services, gift, events, travel, etc. They currently have about 600 users with 130 active users per month.
  2. Aditi Chadha: Aditi has over seven years work experience in Silicon Valley, including M&A Advisory in Technology, Semiconductors and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and the brand ambassador of the Telecom Centre of Excellence (TCOE). Her DAZL is a smart IoT device that works with stylish fashion accessories to deliver location-based safety alerts to your loved ones in one click and a range of personalised notifications with a buzz.
  1. Vidya Jayaraman: Vidya is a Chemical Engineer from NIT-K and comes from a family of mathematicians. She founded Math Adventures after she realised that there was a huge gap in the manner in which Math was being taught in the formative years. Her product, MathMaster, makes learning fun and effectively translates the understanding of concepts into its application. Today, Math Master runs across Bengaluru and Mumbai, and more than 7,000 students actively use it; and it has clocked revenues of Rs1.4 crores in the last financial year.
  1. Sweta Joshi: Sweta has an extensive experience in digital marketing, and has been working with media as well as social startups for a long time before starting Algaari. Her co-founder, Jumur Pandya, is a science student, with a degree in Hotel Management from IHM Mumbai. Algaari was conceptualised in an attempt to craft products for the healthcare and hospitality industries that are not only efficient but also affordable, for commercial as well as household use.
  2. Suhani Mohan: She founded Saral Designs, a startup providing access to affordable quality menstrual hygiene products in India. An ex-investment banker, Acumen Fellow and an Engineer from IIT Bombay, Suhani has developed an automatic machine for distributed production of high quality ultra-thin sanitary napkins. This enables several local entrepreneurs collectively solve the problem of quality, access, and affordability of menstrual hygiene products. They have even created Aisha Ultra XL, ultra-thin sanitary napkins with wings that are available at stores as well as local schools in vending machines. They have sold more than 65,000 pads in less than four months with a presence in urban slums and 40 villages around Mumbai via 80 medical shops, 60 door-to-door saleswomen and ten vending machines.
  1. Mausumi Acharyya: Founder and CTO of Advenio TecnoSys, Mausumi is an expert imaging and AI professional and a passionate social-tech entrepreneur focused on equitable healthcare. iCheck is Advenio’s machine intelligence-based retinal abnormality detection application. It is designed to run on a smartphone-interfaced handheld point of care fundus ophthalmoscopes. It enables early detection of certain retinal abnormalities that are also a risk predictor for diabetes and cardiovascular conditions – making Advenio’s automated diagnosis of retinal abnormalities a vital, cost-effective point of care screening tool for future health systems.
  1. Nilima Achwal: Nilima founded iEsha which is a private provider of sexuality and gender education considering the gender gap girls are facing in India. 1,000 students across 20 low-income schools have been enlightened so far.
  2. Kanika Jain: Kanika Jain, a B.Com (Hons.) and L.L.B graduate from the Delhi University, concocted SquadRun – a portal that connects technology with workforce for BPO companies. They have over 15 large consumer businesses using them with 45,000 users on the platform, record daily transactions of 300,000 data points on their platform and over 300 calls per day, growing aggressively week-on-week at 40-50 percent.
  1. Saagarika Jagadeesh: Here’s a fashionable woman in tech, having founded Primitus Technology in 2013 and UN-CUFFED Clothing this year. An IT engineer and MBA. She aims to bring structure and centralisation to customer outreach programmes by combining technology with qualified customer representatives and works with over 15 dealerships pan India and across sectors such as four wheelers and two wheelers.
  1. Bhargavi Sridharan: With a CFA and MBA from SP Jain and a decade of experience in finance, Bhargavi founded FinMitra. FinMitra(.com) enables the middle-class Indian to access predictive and customised financial advice at the click of a button. The platform has already undertaken paid trials with several reputed and well-known employers, and a resounding 97 percent of employee participants recommended their services.
  2. Tarusha Mittal: Cloudrino, a cloud IaaS/PaaS platform, is the flagship product of her fist venture Koonk, which was founded in 2011. Cloudrino enables users to manage their cloud infrastructure with a console without any tech know-how. One can add and manage third-party servers, as well. The idea is to ease deployment and management. In a short span of 10 months since launching the product, they have over 100,000 user signups, without spending a penny on marketing.
  1. Renu Bisht: An engineer with a gold medal in computer science and an MBA in marketing, Renu started Vanitycube – a mobile platform that allows users to book last-minute beauty services at their time, place, and at their convenience. The company has created a base in Delhi NCR and Mumbai, on-boarded 125 beauticians, and served more than 20,000 happy customers in a years’ time.
  1. Saumya Vardhan: With an MBA degree, Saumya spent over ten years with firms like KPMG London and EY London as a strategic consultant before she started As Vedic pujas constitute a host of rituals and specifications that the new generation at large is barely savvy with, is a resource on the various rituals and aggregates authentic services of qualified professionals for the traditional proceedings. In the one year since they were incepted, they have conducted more than 6,000 pujas.

The accelerator programme will include various boot camps, workshops, demo days, as the problem faced by a lot of women entrepreneurs is inaccessibility to networks. “That is where we felt that there is a case for having a dedicated accelerator programme for women entrepreneurs – complete with mentoring, workshops, case studies of successful women-led startups, industry connects, peer network and investor connect,” said Ajay Ramasubramiam, Director, Zone Startups India in an interview. The three winners of this programme will receive Rs 60 lakh collectively.

This article first appeared here.

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