Walk into the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, an event held in December in Bangalore, and a sea of female entrepreneurs and students rush between conference sessions.
A hiring fair in the middle of the action has booths from pretty much every tech bigwig – Microsoft, Google, Visa, etc. It is flooded by female engineers. It’s a jarring sight because it’s just so rare: The vast majority of people in tech are male.
Part of the conference is the Women Entrepreneur Quest (WEQ) 2016, in which 10 entrepreneurs are awarded an all-expenses-paid experiential learning visit to Silicon Valley. 2016 marked the sixth year of the contest, and winners were chosen from a pool of 329 entries evaluated on the basis of their product and business model.
Aqaya is a software and mobile app combo that helps micro-entrepreneurs in rural communities access financial services, makes capital less expensive for borrowers, and creates more transparency within the banking system for them. Startup director Shrishti Sahu picked up the award on behalf of the team.
Indore-based Anaxee Technologies works with biometrics, identity management, and pattern recognition. Its products include fingerprint sensors, photo imaging products, and address verification. It has a team of 17, led by co-founders Arti Agrawal and Govind Agrawal.
Founded by Ishita Anand, Bitgiving is a crowdfunding platform for artists, engineers, and other creators. It emphasizes storytelling as a campaign tool.
Co-founded by Mayukhini Pande and Manikandan HK, Greenopia engineers smart gardening products. It focuses on design planters that self-water to take some of the work out of gardening.
Co-founded by Mustafa Khanwala and Tanvi Bhardwaj after a frustrating queueing experience, Mishipay will ring bells with those who have heard of Amazon Go. The company allows customers to pick an item from a store, scan it with the MishiPay app, and walk out with their item. The customer is charged through the Mishipay app. If customers try to walk out without paying, the app will trigger an alarm within the store.
The startup is a Cisco Solutions Partner and was got its beginnings at startup support program IDEALondon. It has won the UCL Bright Ideas award and the University of Manchester Venture Further award. It began public beta trials last month.
Founded by Roli Gupta and Das Gautam, Oorjan hooks homes and workplaces up with solar power. It will design the solar power system, deliver materials, oversee installation, and offer financing services. It can monitor and show power generation, as well as how much a user has saved in energy costs. Users can ask for aid through the startup’s app.
PlexusMD is a healthcare network of doctors, medical students, and healthcare organizations. Think a LinkedIn for doctors plus patient referrals. It keeps medical professionals up-to-date on jobs and seminars.
Co-founded by Suhani Mohan and Kartik Mehta, Saral Designs uses technology to create feminine hygiene solutions for India, where sanitary napkins are sparse in smaller towns and stigma against menstruation makes the subject hard to discuss. Its products include long-wear pads and a vending machine that dispenses the products.
Storemore is a storage service for households and businesses. It is managed by Pooja Kothari and Nitin Dhawan.
Emotional wellness startup YourDost connects people with trained counselors for free online checkups, or with voice and/or video calls for a fee. Founded by Richa Singh, Puneet Manuja, Satyajeet Nandekar, and Prakhar Verma, the app discreetly tackles the mental illness stigma in India.
Named after American computer scientist and US Navy rear admiral Grace Brewster Murray Hopper, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is a series of conferences that gathers female technologists around the world. Sponsored by the Anita Borg Institute India, the conference has taken place annually in India since 2010.
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