India | 7th May 2020: WE HUB, India’s first state-led incubator to foster and promote women entrepreneurs to start-up, scale-up and accelerate with global market access, today announced the selection of 23 start-ups out of a total of 223 applications for the second cohort of its incubation programme. It is a comprehensive incubation programme, which is tailor-made for entrepreneurs from across the socio-economic strata, geographical borders and operational capacities. The new cohort of start-ups will receive the required support (Technical, Business, and Financial) and expert interventions to scale faster at no cost to the startup.

The start-ups for the second cohort are selected from more than 200 applications from across 15 cities in India, out of which majority were from Telangana, followed by Mumbai and Delhi NCR. One of the qualifying criteria for applying was for the start-up to be woman led (should hold 51 per cent stake in the company. The innovations should solve problems for industries such as FMCG, Manufacturing, Technology (Healthtech, Fintech, Edutech, and Deep Tech) and E-commerce. The second cohort commences in May 2020, which is a custom designed 10-month incubation programme based on need of each startup.

Recognizing the need to be engaged and enable entrepreneurs during the ongoing crisis, WE HUB conducted a virtual pitching session using “Octa”— A Virtual Platform for pitching by Radius, A WE HUB incubated start-up. A three-day pitching session was scheduled for 20th, 21st and 22nd of April 2020, where the 63 shortlisted start-ups were categorised into six batches based on their sector, and each batch had a specific jury panel. The selection was done by an expert panel consisting of leaders from Government, Corporates (Intel, Microsoft, SalesForce), Investors (Indian Angel Network, 50K Ventures, SucSeed Partners), Academia & Research Incubators (AIC-CCMB, TEZ, Aidea-NAARM), Industry Organizations (FICCI, CII IWN).

WE HUB has structured the incubation programme to kick off virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis and then it would be a blend of Physical and virtual incubation for all sets of entrepreneurs in this cohort, using Octa. It will provide assistance in the development of the start-ups for transforming their ideas into products, processes and services. The programme will offer not only management, administrative, legal and marketing support to the new cohort, but also technical support for developing their product and streamlining the technological innovation process in their businesses. The core intention of this virtual Incubation is to make it accessible for women entrepreneurs from across the country and support them seamlessly in their daily operations. 

The shortlisted start-ups will receive access to industrial visits and international market access support through WE HUB’s partnerships with various corporates and international organisations, along with one-on-one interactions and need-based sessions for each of the start-ups. WE HUB will mutually set goals and will track the progress of each of the start-ups as well as the programme

This year, WE HUB has onboarded more partners who will facilitate the strategic growth of start-ups. The programme partners are Microsoft, INTEL, SalesForce, P&G, E Commerce players, incubators like a-IDEA NAARM, AIC-CCMBC, KSUM, VC firm such as 50K ventures, International Entities like UNIBF, USIBC, Parkurbis, Innosuisse. These partners bring in leading technologies in the fields of Technology, Customer Management, Finance, Internationalisation, Legal and Sales & Marketing.

Deepthi Ravula, the CEO of WE HUB, said, “The second cohort brings in a high quality of start-ups with great minds behind each team who has the potential to create a strong economy in India based on innovation. We witnessed several start-ups from the first cohort who scaled up exponentially through our programme. We have incorporated a lot of our learnings from our first cohort and also included our international partners for this cohort to enable startups to get in-depth knowledge of the customer needs, technological advances and market opportunities as they are building their products. We are excited and enthused to explore values of this tailor-made incubation programme not only to help start-ups sustain but also accelerate growth, during the global pandemic which has created a paradigm shift on how businesses and startups need to work across the world.”

“It is a matter of great privilege and delight to join hands with WE HUB in the service of our shared mission of advancing the country’s startup ecosystem. At IAN, we are committed to nurturing entrepreneurship in India on the back of robust capital support and strategic guidance. Our association with WE HUB, India’s first state-led incubator with a singular focus on enabling and empowering women innovators, falls in line with our objectives. Together, we look forward to playing a key role in unlocking the maximum potential of the women-led entrepreneurial landscape in the country and helping our talented entrepreneurs make successful strides in the dynamic global market” mentioned Mr. Digvijay Singh, COO of Indian Angel Network

“The level of startups that pitched at Cohort 2 indicates the competence created by WE HUB and is one of the successful milestones of the centre in the past two years. The new-gen women entrepreneurs who pitched at WE HUB are not only passionate but also have diversity along with depth and promise to deliver impactful solutions to the society! Wonderful to be part of this screening process and as part of our collaboration we will take all the health tech startups forward” said Ramjee Pallela, COO, Atal Incubation Centre-CCMB.

‘’We are immensely proud to collaborate with WEHUB and provide technology mentorship, thus empowering the platform it is providing to women entrepreneurs. We hope our research and technology will help WEHUB in creating next generation applications by the young women interested in STEM and any women entrepreneur interested in using deep tech’’ said Vasu Devi Verma, Professor, IIIT-Hyderabad

“Heamac Healthcare is a Design-Driven MedTech company which focus to address the unmet needs in Newborn and Maternal care which solves the unmet need of Neonatal Jaundice. I’m glad as I shall be part of WE HUB Cohort-2 which provides a great platform for Potential Women entrepreneurs to grow together. I’m looking forward for to endeavour my goals with the tailor-made guidance and support from WE HUB and Telangana Government ’’mentioned Akitha Kolloju, Co-founder, CTO at Heamac Healthcare Pvt. Ltd.

Start-ups from the new cohort are StartoonLabs, Newsreach, Heamac, Designocare, Medsaaman, Macromoney, Architude, Hilo Design, Wudbux, Studio uniforms, Forward parcel, Futurestep, Cydee technologies, Blue, Yugenie, Dhairya, Hungerpacks, Backbenchers, Standwespeak, Clan earth, Sweet tooth, Pillplus  & CIEL Dessert Bar.

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