Bengaluru, 27th April 2023: Deshpande Startups, one of India’s largest business incubators, recently concluded Elevate WomEN Demo Day on 25th April 2023 at Taj, MG Road, B. This mega event was the culmination of the 16-week cohort-based Elevate WomEN Accelerator Program, a collaborative effort between Deshpande Startups and the Dept. of Electronics, IT, BT, and S&T, Government of Karnataka. The event witnessed participation from several prominent venture capital firms including Lead Angels, Dexter Angels, Arali Ventures, Inflexor Ventures, Mumbai Angels, Hyderabad Angels, 99.SA, Let’s Venture, Caspian, 9 Unicorns, Venture Catalyst, and others.
Women constitute nearly half of the country’s population, but their share in the entrepreneurship and employment sectors is much lower. The Government of Karnataka has been taking several steps to boost female-led businesses in the state by providing financial and mentoring assistance to SME owners as well as women startup founders.
In this light, the Elevate WomEN Accelerator Program was a path-breaking initiative that aimed to benefit early-revenue stage startups in achieving better market coverage and growth. The Demo Day marked the finale of the Accelerator Program where the participating women startup founders got an opportunity to present their products, services, and ideas to potential investors.
Speaking about this, Dr Aravind Chinchure, CEO of Deshpande Startups, said, “Women are the axis of the Indian social system, and instrumental in ensuring good physical and financial health for families. However, when it comes to wealth generation and entrepreneurship, women are often at a disadvantage due to a lack of support, mentoring, and interest of investors. Women startup founders have to often work twice as hard and face many more challenges in establishing a successful enterprise. At Deshpande Startups, we are committed to transforming the startup landscape by bringing equal opportunities for male as well as female entrepreneurs. We conducted the Elevate WomEN Accelerator Program in association with Startup Karnataka with the aim to equip female entrepreneurs in the state with the know-how that would boost their companies’ growth. The Demo Day marks the success of the Accelerator Program and paves the path for many more such future accelerators to support women entrepreneurs in the country. I wish the participating female entrepreneurs with great success and business growth in the years ahead, and reaffirm our support for such endeavors in the future as well.”
The startup founders from the Elevate Women Accelerator Program pitched their ideas to a panel of judges or investors in a short timeframe of 5-10 minutes. After the presentations, a networking session was also held wherein the founders got an opportunity to connect with potential investors as well as customers.
Events like the Elevate WomEN Accelerator Demo Day can be a valuable opportunity for startups to gain exposure and funding. They can also help startups refine their pitch and product messaging based on feedback from judges and investors. Many successful startups have launched after participating in Demo Day and securing funding from investors who saw potential in their ideas.