The Female Foundry Accelerator Programme is back for its second run, accepting applications for its programme till 26 October! Accepting applicants from both here in the Kingdom and the rest of the Southeast Asian (SEA) region, the Dentsu Aegis initiative aims to educate, mentor and give access to funding to leading female-led startups that leverage on technology to propel economic sustainability, throughout a six-week period.
Seeing the trend of more women capitalising on the opportunity to thrive as entrepreneurs, Female Foundry was introduced as an initiative to help women in the most challenging aspects of starting a business– the long amount of time taken before seeing any significant profits and not having accessible funding.
Furthermore, a study by iProspect named “Hear Her Voice” revealed that women entrepreneurs seek technical skills and personal development to grow and scale in the next 12 months. Also, 20% of female startup founders intend to raise capital and source further financial backing, while over 90% of women entrepreneurs said they would mentor future female startup founders at the beginning at the journey.
With that, in partnership with Female Founders and West Tech Fest, Female Foundry will shortlist a number of female entrepreneurs from the SEA region and give them access to tools and networks, training to scale their businesses as well as skills to create a commercially viable business. The programme will also help to partner shortlisted candidates with with senior industry mentors like Darshini Santhanam, APAC Marketing, Microsoft Advertising, Paula Taylor, Executive Director & Co-founder, West Tech Fest, as well as Katarina Hasbani, General Manager of Female Founders.
In addition to valuable education and mentorship, the programme will reach its pinnacle with a demo day, created to help businesses secure a possible second round funding; which is known to be a critical hurdle for female-led startups regionally. This year’s demo day will see big names in the industry as well, such as Silicon Valley-based Venture Capitalist and Founder of ACTAI Global, Bill Tai, who will be both an advisor and judge during that day.
The winner of the demo day event will also be sponsored to travel to West Tech Fest, Australia’s premier innovation festival held in Perth, to showcase their winning idea at its 2017 Startup Challenge happening in December.
The Female Foundry just serves as a tangible opportunity to gather like-minded women together and provide them with the necessary leadership, inspiration and valuable skills, as well as serve as an opportunity for Dentsu Aegis Network to contribute to unleashing what could be a great force for economic growth around the region. As mentioned by Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific, “Female Foundry helps prepare startups by equipping them with the necessary tools, networks, skills, and strategy to thrive in the digital economy. Through Female Foundry, we hope to provide a platform that will support and empower women in emerging markets where 80% of the global middle class will live in 10 years. Next year, we plan to extend the programme into Latin America and Africa as part of our plan to roll Female Foundry out to 30 markets around the world in 30 months.”
Adding on, Joanna Catalano, CEO of iProspect Asia Pacific and a key driver of the Female Foundry initiative in the region, said, “Dentsu Aegis Network is thrilled to lead the industry in supporting female entrepreneurs from emerging markets. We continue to support initiatives which leverage tech for good and drive meaningful and lasting change in society. Building on the success and learnings from last year and in partnership with leading influencers, we are delighted to welcome our second cohort of founders.”
So if you are a female founder from Cambodia or elsewhere in the SEA Asian region; with a tech-enable startup and an implemented sustainable, long-term business plan and are interested in trying your hand at this programme, you can apply now till 26 October at www.thefemalefoundry.com.