Applications for the 6th cohort of the Stanchart Women in Tech Incubator Program are now open

Standard Chartered Kenya has partnered with @iBizAfrica- Strathmore University to launch the 6th Cohort of the Women in Tech (WIT) Incubator Program. The program aims at championing more diversity in technology and advancing entrepreneurial and leadership excellence for women-led businesses.

The theme for this year’s cohort, Embracing Equity, is tied to the 2023 International Women’s Day theme and calls for more inclusion in the digital and technology space. The 6th cohort of the Women in Tech program will see 15 applicants participate in a 12-week incubation program with 7 women-led startups receiving seed funding. This is an increase from the previous cohorts, where 10 businesses were incubated and 5 startups per cohort received funding. Businesses chosen to participate in the incubation program will undergo training, coaching, and mentorship offered by the @iBizAfrica- Strathmore University network of key industry experts, faculty, business leaders, experienced mentors, and professionals. Through the incubation, all the entrepreneurs will get expert training in the areas of idea conceptualization, strategy formulation, and marketing which is key in moving the businesses from incubation to sustainable ventures.

The focus areas of this cohort will be centered around women-led startups with components of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things; Big Data; Machine Learning; Robotics; Big Data and Blockchain among others.

Edith Chumba, Standard Chartered Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking, had this to say, Technology and innovation are key enablers of digital transformation and socio-economic growth in emerging markets. By empowering women-led businesses in the technology space to thrive, we not only contribute to their business growth but also drive sustainability and inclusion. The Women in Tech Program has been designed to bridge the finance and capacity building gap that women entrepreneurs face, and we are excited to further champion this cause through an additional cohort. Furthermore, we have now scaled the program to create space for more participants and to channel increased funding to women led enterprises. We encourage all eligible businesses to apply to the program as the evidence from previous cohorts proves that this is a forward-thinking, efficient and transformative program. We are also pleased to continue our partnership with Strathmore and are grateful for their implementation support for the past 5 cohorts.’’

Eligibility criteria

  1. The startups must be Kenyan registered companies which are building technological solutions aimed at mitigating Kenyan socio-economic challenges.
  2. The selected startup ventures may be sector agnostic.
  3. The startup ventures must embed components of emerging technologies in building their solutions ie. Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things; Big Data; Machine Learning; Robotics; Augmented & Virtual Reality; 3D & 4D Printing; Cloud Computing; Big Data; Blockchain; Drone Technology and Biometrics e.t.c within their respective sectors.
  4. The applicants must be Women led startup ventures and the teams should be made up of at least 50% women.
  5. Principal applicant must be the founder with a majority stake.
  6. 3 months to less than 2 years of operation seeking support for proof of concept, customer, product and business model development.
  7. Pre-revenue with early traction (users). Post revenue is an added advantage.
  8. Not received investment of more than KES. 500,000 and not participated in a similar program in the last 1 year.
  9. Companies solving for any of the 17 SDGs.

Program benefits

  1. 12 weeks of an immersive learning experience
  2. Access to a leading network of coaching experts
  3. Access to B2B networking opportunities
  4. Personalized mentorship sessions to address your unique business needs
  5. Opportunity to join a supportive Women in Tech Alumni Network
  6. KES 1,000,000 equity-free grant seed funding for the top 7 finalists
  7. 9 months ongoing support from Standard Chartered and @iBizAfrica to assist with go-to-market and scale for the top 7 finalists.

If you are interested click here to apply, deadline is May 28,2023.