Congratulations to the Top 10 winners of this year’s Women Entrepreneur Quest (WEQ)!
WEQ — an annual contest sponsored by AnitaB.org India and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India — highlights and rewards exceptional technology startups founded by women. The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) also played an integral role in supporting and organizing WEQ 2018.
This year’s WEQ winners were announced on stage at the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration India (GHCI 18), Asia’s largest gathering of women technologists. The winners will receive an expenses-paid trip to Silicon Valley, during which they will get the opportunity to network with key stakeholders in the Silicon Valley ecosystem. These stakeholders include representatives from leading technology companies, startups, investors, officials, incubators, accelerators, and universities. The winners will also receive expert guidance on important business functions and aspects that will help them further grow their business.
“[W]e are sure the experience and exposure in Silicon Valley will significantly add to the growth of [our winners’] startups,” said Geetha Kannan, Managing Director at AnitaB.org India. She pointed out that 75% of our past WEQ winners saw significant growth in their operations and customer base.
“Government, industry, and academia partnership is key to catapulting economic development,” said Dr. Anita Gupta, Scientist G/Adviser and Associate Head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, DST, Government of India. “The Government of India… aims to bring women to the forefront of India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing access to finance, networks, markets, and learning. Our association with AnitaB.org is part of that continued exercise.”
Meet our Top 10 winners of WEQ 2018, and learn all about their startups.
Top 10 Winners
Citility is an end-to-end mobility platform that makes transit more efficient and sustainable, and provides a better mobility experience for citizens. The platform helps users find parking faster, allows cashless payment, and finds multi-modal transit. Citility is based on pillar of LPWAN infrastructure gateway, including management of sensor network. It also uses video analytics, and processes real time data to provide visualizations for asset management, policies management, and notifications.
Startup: Ziroh Labs
Ziroh Labs enhances the security and privacy of information when using the internet for storage and computation. This is thanks to the company’s newly invented cryptographic algorithms that allow data to be computed on top of encrypted text without requiring decryption at all. Ziroh Labs products include SDKs/libraries and reference architectures for enterprises which use cloud computing for storage and computing.
Startup: Espresso Labs
Espresso Labs customizes smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home so that they can be used as virtual concierges in hotel rooms. Guests simply talk to the device in their own native language, and the device understands the request, translates it, categorizes it, and automatically assigns it to the person in charge.
Inclov is the world’s first matchmaking platform for people with disabilities to make friends and find love. This social platform promotes inclusiveness within the community, making it accessible and safe for users with visual impairment, polio, paraplegia, cerebral palsy, prosthetics, cancer, diabetes, thalassemia, skin diseases like vitiligo and albinism, etc.
Ethx is bringing block-chain and crypto-currencies to everyday life by creating a decentralized internet, free from ads and censorship. On this new internet, users pay via crypto-currency (micropayments) to access any website, and website owners get paid. Ethx can also convert a user’s local currency into crypto-currency, making things much easier for the user.
Cradlewise makes smart cradles for babies up to one year old, ensuring the baby gets a good amount of quality sleep. The smart cradle features responsive rocking, which is activated by startle reflexes, crying, or loud noises. The cradle then rocks the baby and plays soothing music so the child can fall back to sleep. The smart cradle can also monitor the baby without making any physical contact. The monitor can detect the baby’s posture, activity, and even respiratory rate to prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Startup: Ossus Biorenewables
Ossus is renewing the world’s water supplies and delivering carbon-free energy systems derived from wastewater using specially designed microbial cell factories. The company offers industries and municipalities an integrated, biohardware-based solution named the OB bH2 Plus Biorefinery. This unique process deploys retro-fittable biohardware for the continuous treatment of any source of wastewater while converting its chemical content into biohydrogen, all without any additional land or energy needs. The technology used at Ossus is in the process of being deployed at assets owned by some major oil and gas companies.
Anthyesti Funeral Services is an end-to-end funeral planning product that comes with single or multiple packages to suit as individual and religious needs. Anthyesti can help arrange hearse vans, shraadh priests, and even the much complex repatriation or transferal of human remains.
Astrome connects the unconnected to the internet using its patent-pending next generation satellite communication technology. This technology will have 12 times more capacity than that of competitor companies. Astrome’s constellation of 200 satellites will also provide direct-to-home internet to all developing countries. Over the last two years, a number of individuals, companies, and partners have approached Astrome to use its internet services once this constellation is operational.
Startup: Plop Chat
Reinvent storytelling for the mobile-first generation. Plop Chat is a content entertainment platform that creates stories which read like chat messages. It is a mobile-first platform which uses multimedia — including images, videos, audio scores, voice notes, video call/phone call simulations, vibrations, and more — to make these stories immersive and interactive.