Standard Chartered Announces Winners of WomenInTech Cohort 5

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Standard Chartered Bank (SCBPL), in partnership with INNOVentures Global (Private) Limited, announced the winners of #SCWomenInTech Cohort 5, 2023.

The WomeninTech program is designed to foster gender representation within technology-based entrepreneurship, with a special emphasis on promoting financial inclusion.

Launched in Pakistan in 2019, the WomenInTech program aims to support gender representation within technology-based entrepreneurship. During the selection phase of this program in 2023 a Cohort of twenty-five start-ups was selected, representing businesses in fourteen different business verticals. The participants got the opportunity to go through an extensive capacity-building program complemented by a seed grant for the winners.

Over the years, the WomenInTech program has awarded approximately Rs. 30 million as grant money. Besides these declared grants awarded between the years 2019 to 2022, more than two start-ups have undisclosed investments raised through one successful acquisition exit.

As the ‘Application Phase’ of the WomenInTech 2023 was completed recently, there was a significant increase in the number of women founders showing interest, as more than 1700 applications for participation were received from more than 100 cities and towns. Almost 300 applications were selected for pitching before a screening jury. Finally, 50 applicants from 13 cities were invited to pitch, based on their eligibility criteria and the uniqueness of their start-ups.

The selected Cohort of 25 start-ups has undergone a 2.5-month capacity-building program, to learn business management skills and enhance their knowledge for accelerating their growth. These sessions were conducted by twelve subject matter experts, while the Cohort was also introduced to six leading local and international role models from the Industry and beyond. The founders were also matched, one-on-one, with 25 expert mentors, to advise them through the acceleration period on their proposed technology project.

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Rehan Shaikh, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan, stated, “I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the dynamic entrepreneurs selected for this year’s #WomenInTech program. At Standard Chartered Bank, we believe that all these female entrepreneurs are playing a huge role in advancing the socio-economic growth of our nation while creating better employment and inclusion opportunities for the masses. The bank is committed to promoting financial inclusion and supporting sustainable growth on a global scale”.

He added, “To date, we have awarded more than Rs. 30 million as grants to further scale some of the most exciting ventures, reflecting our commitment to empower entrepreneurs and foster an inclusive and diverse tech ecosystem. We will continue to inspire young female entrepreneurs, enriching their potential and helping them attain professional skills to scale their businesses and impact on both, the local and global fronts”.

The program aims to promote the economic and social development of women in Pakistan, through innovation or technology-led entrepreneurship. This year, the program once again attracted the most diverse portfolio of entrepreneurs and founders to date, including Fem-Tech innovators, enhancing Health-Tech, Hygiene products, Fin-Tech, Air-Quality, Agri-Tech, Ed-Tech, etc., to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, for ensuring good health and community wellbeing.

Details of winners are as follows:

RENT-IT – RENT-IT Disrupting Pakistan’s digital fashion space by making high-end fashion accessible to fashion-forward customers

Khair – Khair is Pakistan’s First Period & Pregnancy Tracker · All-in-one Solution to Women’s Health

EcoBricks– EcoBricks is a pioneer startup, developing eco-friendly construction materials, bricks, and pavers made from non-recyclable plastic waste, and it is ready to disrupt the construction industry

Chiragh Education Technologies – Chiragh is a gamified & video-based learning platform that offers learning solutions in local languages.

Aesthetics Lab powered by Tibbi – Aesthetics Lab is a unique and innovative health tech startup that is poised to disrupt the aesthetics industry in Pakistan

DigiDeaf – DigiDeaf is a platform that provides 360-degree solutions for the educational development, employment, and inclusion of the Deaf Community.

Irverde-Gogreen – Irverde-Gogreen is a tech-enabled waste management company that spreads awareness and recycling everything to achieve zero waste vision.

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