Friday Aug 13, 2021
Women-led startup CIRCLE is bringing She Loves Tech 2021, a women-centric global technology startup acceleration competition, back to Pakistan for the fifth time.
This year CIRCLE will be hosting She Loves Tech Pakistan in 13 cities, including Gilgit Baltistan, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Multan and Faisalabad, while working with different NGOs, academic institutes, incubators, and ecosystem partners across the country.
In 2020, CIRCLE hosted the competition virtually because of the ongoing pandemic and had a chance to extend it to 10 cities. The competition was received with enthusiasm more than 250 applications were received, reinforcing the fact that women want to be a part of the technology sector.
Hira Irshad of APRUS Technology won the Pakistan She Loves Tech National competition in 2020, which gave her a chance to represent Pakistan and compete with 30 highly competitive startups from across the globe at the Global finals.
“The platform really enabled me to have a bird's eye view of what was happening in the entrepreneurial ecosystem around the world,” she said.
She continued: “The mentors, judges, and founders make up for an unbeatable group of thought leaders that one can really benefit from."
The competition gave Hira a chance to interact with women entrepreneurs from different parts of the world, which gave her a deeper insight into ways of growing her business.
This year, CIRCLE — in partnership with HBL and UNDP — is hosting 10 local rounds in 13 cities that will once again happen virtually, making it possible for women anywhere in Pakistan to join from the comfort of their homes. The goal is to reach and inspire 25,000 young women through pitches, panels, inspiring talks, digital boot camps, and workshops specially designed for them.
Encouraging all women entrepreneurs to participate in the competition, CIRCLE’s founder Sadaffe Abid says: “Through She Loves Tech Pakistan, we enable women entrepreneurs to be part of a strong and supportive network to take their startup to a global platform. Pakistani women entrepreneurs are the largest untapped reservoir of talent who can solve our country's pressing challenges, bring innovation, and create jobs using the power of technology.”
The 2021 edition of She Loves Tech will be happening in 40+ locations including China, Germany, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
CIRCLE is bringing key incubators and stakeholders on board to execute the local rounds of the competition.
60 startups from the local rounds will pitch in September and then the country’s top 10 will compete in the Pakistan final in October.
Prior to the final, there will be exciting workshops from industry experts and top mentors will be assigned to the finalists who will be able to hold office hours with the mentors on topics ranging from marketing, business planning, fundraising etc.
Lastly, along with business contacts and exposure, the winning startup will receive a cash prize of $50,000.
Early-stage startups that have a viable product beyond a conceptual stage are eligible to apply.
Male entrepreneurs can also apply if their technology startup is impacting women positively or technology startups that have at least one woman entrepreneur in the founding team. A startup can figure out its eligibility by answering the following questions:
For more information, contact [email protected]