Amazon Web Services (AWS) and its venture capital firm Lightspeed announced AccelerateHer 2023, a six-week programme designed to enable women founders of early-stage Indian start-ups to build, grow, and scale technology businesses.

The programme provides selected women-led start-ups access to mentorship opportunities with leaders across industries. “The applications are open until April 3, 2023 and will help women entrepreneurs raise capital, forge connections, and secure technology access,” said the company in a release. They will also receive technical resources and benefits from AWS for early-stage start-ups and connect with an active peer community of women founders. 

Programme perks

The program will conclude with a demo day, where the selected cohort will get fundraising opportunities by pitching their solutions to a panel of leading investors. The results will be announced in May 2023.

“AccelerateHer upholds the government’s vision of start-up India, which promotes the sustainable development of women entrepreneurs for balanced growth in the country. Through this program, the shortlisted participants will receive access to AWS’s technical resources, an opportunity to raise capital, and form connections, to help them overcome gender-linked entrepreneurial barriers and advance the growth of their business,” said Amitabh Nagpal, Head of Start-up Ecosystem, AWS India .

Eligibility criteria

AccelerateHer is a sector-agnostic, early-stage accelerator program that is open for tech start-ups founded in India in the past five years, having at least one woman founder or co-founder, and having a minimum viable or launched product.

Start-ups, either bootstrapped or having raised funding of less than $3 million are eligible to apply. Evaluation criteria include scalability, impact, technical foundation, and business viability. Post-evaluation by AWS and Lightspeed, the top 20 early-stage startups will be selected as the cohort for the program.

“We believe that creating access, enabling communities, and sharing knowledge are important elements with which AccelerateHer will enable our female founders to build enduring companies,” said Rahul Taneja, Partner at Lightspeed.