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Standard Chartered Announces WomenInTech Cohort 5 Winners

Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan, in collaboration with INNOVentures Global (Private) Limited, proudly revealed the winners of the #SCWomenInTech Cohort 5 for the year 2023. This WomenInTech program, launched in Pakistan in 2019, is strategically designed to encourage and support women’s representation in the dynamic world of technology startups, with a special focus on promoting financial inclusion.

The 2023 selection phase witnessed a remarkable cohort of twenty-five startups emerging victorious, representing a diverse range of businesses across fourteen different verticals. These pioneering entrepreneurs were not only granted access to an extensive capacity-building program but were also rewarded with a seed grant to fuel their innovative endeavors.

Over the years, the WomenInTech program has been a catalyst for positive change, having awarded approximately Rs. 30 million in grant money. The impact of this initiative extends beyond the declared grants, with more than two startups securing undisclosed investments through successful acquisition exits between 2019 and 2022.

The recent ‘Application Phase’ of WomenInTech 2023 marked a significant surge in interest, with over 1700 applications pouring in from more than 100 cities and towns. Out of these, 300 applications were selected for pitching before a discerning screening jury, ultimately leading to 50 finalists from 13 cities who showcased their projects based on eligibility criteria and the uniqueness of their startups.

The selected Cohort of 25 startups embarked on a transformative 2.5-month capacity-building program, immersing themselves in sessions led by twelve subject matter experts. Additionally, they had the privilege of interacting with six influential local and international role models, further enriching their knowledge and perspectives. Each founder was also paired with an expert mentor for personalized guidance throughout the acceleration period.

Jehan Shaikh, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan, expressed his heartfelt congratulations to the dynamic entrepreneurs, acknowledging their pivotal role in advancing the socio-economic growth of the nation. He emphasized the bank’s commitment to promoting financial inclusion and sustainable growth on a global scale, having already awarded over Rs. 30 million to support the scaling of some of the most exciting ventures.

The WomenInTech program not only aims to empower female entrepreneurs but also contributes to the economic and social development of women in Pakistan through innovation and technology-led entrepreneurship. This year’s cohort showcased a diverse portfolio, featuring Fem-Tech innovators, Health-Tech enthusiasts, advocates for hygiene products, and disruptors in Fin-Tech, Air-Quality, Agri-Tech, Ed-Tech, among others, aligning with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for community wellbeing.

The winners of WomenInTech Cohort 5 include:

  1. RENT-IT – Disrupting Pakistan’s digital fashion space by making high-end fashion accessible.
  2. Khair – Pakistan’s First Period & Pregnancy Tracker, an all-in-one solution to women’s health.
  3. EcoBricks – Pioneering eco-friendly construction materials from non-recyclable plastic waste.
  4. Chiragh Education Technologies – A gamified & video-based learning platform in local languages.
  5. Aesthetics Lab powered by Tibbi – Innovative health tech disrupting the aesthetics industry.
  6. DigiDeaf – Providing 360-degree solutions for the educational development and employment of the Deaf Community.
  7. Irverde-Gogreen – A tech-enabled waste management company striving for a zero-waste vision.

As Standard Chartered Bank continues to inspire and empower young female entrepreneurs, the WomenInTech program stands as a testament to the bank’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse tech ecosystem. These visionary women are not only shaping the local landscape but are also poised to make a significant impact on a global scale.

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