Start Tel Aviv: A Focus on India’s Women Entrepreneurs

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Israel’s reputation as a hotbed for startups has resulted in the country being dubbed “The Startup Nation”. The Israeli government has set up several programs to encourage innovation and entrepreneurial growth in the country, of which Start Tel Aviv is one of the most prominent.

Start Tel Aviv is an annual event organised by The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tel Aviv Municipality, where startups from 23 different countries come together to compete in a five-day intensive startup experience immersed in Tel Aviv’s unparalleled startup ecosystem from September 25-29. Israel’s largest international gathering of this kind, participants will travel to Tel Aviv for the event which will include networking opportunities, workshops and lectures by Israeli and international investors as well as industry leaders.

Among the Indian contestants, two of the five winners were XLPAT Lab (Co-founded by Komal Talwar), and Advenio (with Mausumi Acharyya as Founder and CEO). The remaining three companies are Technology Uncorked, Medimojo and EZspend Prepaid Payment Solutions.

Ditza Froim, Minister Counsellor, Public Diplomacy stated, “This is the first time the competition is focusing on women. We want to bring the female entrepreneurs to the front of the stage to take their rightful place in the startup world.” Since India isn’t yet very far along as far as equal gender representation in entrepreneurial settings is concerned, this is a huge step towards both the visibility and recognition of female entrepreneurs in the country.

For example, this post by YourStory highlights the gender bias in the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem, as only three percent of all the funding deals closed this far into 2016 have been for companies with solo women founders, while companies founded by men alone take the lion’s share of 83 percent. Now it could be argued that this is because women tend to be concentrated in food tech and fashion industries, but this disparity is reflected in those areas as well, with the fact that 70 percent of the largest fashion and food tech startups are also owned by men.

There is a clear need for more exposure for women in startups in the country, and we at 91springboard are proud to do our bit to encourage and aid in making that happen with our Women Entrepreneur’s League (or WELeague), a community of female entrepreneurs who encourage, inspire, and support one another in achieving their business goals.

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