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AWS, Lightspeed launch AccelerateHer 2023 to nurture women-led start-ups

The 6-week acceleration program will help women entrepreneurs raise capital, forge connections and secure technology access

AWS, Lightspeed launch AccelerateHer 2023 to nurture women-led start-ups
POSTED ON March 07, 2023 3:44 PM

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and venture capital firm Lightspeed announced AccelerateHer 2023, a program designed to enable women founders of early-stage Indian start-ups to build, grow, and scale successful technology businesses.

The program provides selected women-led start-ups access to mentorship opportunities with industry leaders. They will also receive technical resources and benefits curated by AWS for early-stage start-ups and connect them with an active peer community of women founders. 

The program will conclude with a Demo Day, where the selected cohort will get fundraising opportunities by pitching their solutions to a panel of leading investors. AccelerateHer is aligned with United Nation’s theme for International Women’s Day 2023, which is DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.

Amitabh Nagpal, Head of Start-up Ecosystem, AWS India, claimed that AccelerateHer upholds the Government’s vision of Start-up India, which promotes the sustainable development of women entrepreneurs for balanced growth in the country. “Through this program, the shortlisted participants will receive access to AWS’s technical resources, a unique opportunity to raise capital, and make connections with a curated industry panel, to help them overcome gender-linked entrepreneurial barriers and advance the growth of their business,” he stated.

Rahul Taneja, Partner at Lightspeed, noted that the VC company believes it can succeed only if it makes decisions that are better informed, with a diverse set of perspectives, including gender, education, experiences and backgrounds. “The AccelerateHer program, in collaboration with AWS, aligns with our core values and reflects our commitment to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs. We are passionate believers that creating access, enabling communities, and sharing knowledge are important elements with which AccelerateHer will enable our female founders to build enduring companies,” Taneja claimed.

AccelerateHer is a sector-agnostic, early-stage accelerator program open for tech start-ups founded in India in the past five years, having at least one woman founder or co-founder and a minimum viable or launched product. Start-ups, either bootstrapped or having raised funding of less than $3 million, can apply. 

The evaluation criteria include scalability, impact, technical foundation, and business viability. Post evaluation by AWS and Lightspeed, the top 20 early-stage start-ups will be selected as the cohort for the program.

The AccelerateHer program will connect the selected early-stage start-ups with a mentor panel including top investors, start-up leaders and AWS experts. They will receive mentorship from leaders including Puneet Chandok, President of Commercial Business, AWS India & South Asia, Abhishek Nag, partner of Lightspeed, Amit Mehra, CFO of Lightspeed; Rahul Taneja, partner of Lightspeed, Nithin Kamath, founder and CEO of Zerodha; Shally Modi, co-founder of Pratilipi; Saumya Singh Rathore, co-founder of WinZo., an early-stage health tech start-up, was part of the Techxelerate cohort and leveraged AWS to scale their web application. “Through Techxelerate, we accessed AWS credits, which gave us the freedom to evolve through the teething troubles of building and expanding a start-up,” said Sakshie Rastogi, co-founder of 

The CEO of BRIOTA Technologies, Aditi Pais, appreciated the mentorship AWS and industry experts provided through Techxelerate. “Each session gave us powerful insights into new ways of looking at existing challenges and new ideas that could be implemented into our businesses,” said Pais.

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