Standard Chartered’s fifth cohort of the Women in Tech accelerator programme, launched in partnership with DIFC Innovation Hub, has awarded a total of USD 100,000 in equity-free seed capital to the top three female-led tech startups in the UAE.
The first-place winner, Nour Taher, Co-founder and CEO at Intella, whose company bridges the gap between global AI advancements and the Arabic speaking world by building and fine-tuning machine learning models for dialectal Arabic, received USD50,000; second-place winner, Lara Hussein, Co-founder and CEO at The Waste Lab, which specialises in nature-based composting, secured USD30,000; and the third-place winner, Dr. Anushka Patchava, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Wellx, a hyper personalised digital insurance solution combining health, wellness and prevention to reduce claim cost and increase population health, was awarded USD20,000.
Rola Abu Manneh, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered, UAE, said:
“At Standard Chartered, we firmly believe that a diverse and inclusive economy is the cornerstone of progress. It is with this conviction that we launched the Women in Tech accelerator programme, which aims to champion the innovative spirit of women and increase their participation in the sector. This initiative embodies our unwavering commitment to cultivating an inclusive and innovative economy and lays the foundation for a future in which women play a pivotal role in shaping the technological landscape. These remarkable female-led start-ups, we support, exemplify the limitless potential of women in the sector, and we are thrilled to be part of their journey towards success.”
Mohammad Alblooshi, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Innovation Hub, added:
“Congratulations to the winners and all the outstanding participants of the Women in Tech programme in partnership with Standard Chartered. The Bank’s programme strongly aligns with our mission at DIFC Innovation Hub to drive economic growth through innovation, enterprise, and talent development, particularly in forward-looking industries. We wish all founders of the 2023 cohort every success as they continue to innovate, evolve and grow alongside DIFC’s community of over 800 dynamic FinTech and Innovation firms.”
Launched in July this year, Standard Chartered’s Women in Tech accelerator programme is designed to drive sustainable growth and empower women entrepreneurs in the UAE’s technology sector, fostering innovation, diversity, and economic development. The programme provides unparalleled support, mentorship, and access to seed capital to propel the success of women-led start-ups.
During the concluding Demo Day event, 11 female-led entrepreneurial teams showcased their innovative business models to a distinguished panel of potential investors, industry experts, and thought leaders. The shortlist of the fifth cohort included Tekeya, Savii, Sav, Wellx, Play:Date, Mamahood, Hoopla, Monak e-services, The Waste Lab, EcoCentric, and Intella.
The entrepreneurs embarked on a 7 week transformative journey and benefited from a comprehensive curriculum featuring tailored training, immersive workshops, and invaluable mentorship opportunities designed to address their specific needs.
Standard Chartered’s Women in Tech programme is geared towards empowering female entrepreneurs to confront the challenges as they grow their impact-driven businesses across the region. To date, Standard Chartered UAE has accelerated four cohorts, comprising of more than 20 start-ups, who have collectively raised over USD5 mn from various venture capitalists to expand their businesses within and outside of the UAE. The campaign is part of a global Women in Tech initiative, and the programme operates successfully in nine countries, creating a powerful global network of empowered women in the tech space.