Techstars Startup Weekend Women Edition - providing women the right opportunity!
22nd May 2018
The Techstars Startup Weekend Maldives – Womens Edition has commenced from 4th May to 6th May 2018, organized by the Techstars Community Leaders in the Maldives, supported by Allied Insurance Company of the Maldives Pvt Ltd, Male’ Aerated Water Company (MAWC), ALIA Investments Pvt Ltd and UNDP Youth Co:lab.
Techstars Startup Weekend Maldives – Womens Edition is an action-oriented, highly inspirational and experiential 54-hour program, specifically targeted towards the development of women entrepreneurs, that brought together entrepreneurs, developers and experts from myriad industry sectors to come together to pitch an idea and launch a business, all in one weekend by turning ideas into reality.
Ahmed Yaamin Mohamed, the Strategic Engagement Officer at UNDP Maldives and one of the Startup Weekend community leaders in the Maldives said that, “We believe that entrepreneurs are the leading drivers of prosperity, jobs and innovation, especially women entrepreneurs who bring particular sets of skills that not only set them apart from their male counterparts, but also lend themselves to being successful entrepreneurs. Without entrepreneurship, communities would cease to move forward within their local economies and in the world. We are now living in an innovative world where by if we could collectively put our ideas or innovations together. With more women involvement in different skill sets, we can surely create the needed positive change in the world.”
Fathmath Neesha, the lead organizer of Startup Weekend Maldives, who is also a former participant of the first Techstars Startup Weekend in the Maldives, told us that, “The reason why we chose to do an edition for women was to provide potential women entrepreneurs the platform to discover their own potential as the future innovators of the country. During the first Techstars Startup Weekend Maldives, we noticed that there was a lack of women participation. So we wanted to provide that safe place for women to test out their ideas and show the world that Maldivian women are also as innovative as the men.”
Aminath Ainy Nashyd, one of the co-founders of the winning team “Eco-Line” at Startup Weekend Maldives Womens Edition said that, “Attending Start Up weekend was life-changing indeed. I had attended out of respect to this amazing community and to learn how to be a better version of myself. As soon as I arrived, I felt welcome. It was both an open environment and a safe space. The techstars startup weekend team was so encouraging and so supportive, they didn’t let anybody feel like there was a false answer. It inspired me so much that they had created a community like this, where one can build them self-up in the best way possible while being surrounded by the most inspiring people in Maldives. I was so honored to meet so many women (and we-men) with different careers and perspectives and to see so many kinds of concepts and ideas. To be realistic, it was also stressful. I had to convince an entire audience in 60 seconds and i had to work with people i just knew, to build an entire company within 54 hours. It made me challenge myself and to push out of my comfort zone. But that is how I learned to be a better version of myself. It was fun, and even though I was one of the youngest in the community, I didn’t feel left out. As a plus point, we got 12 different kinds of pizza for lunch!”
This edition had a total of 31 participants. 6 startups were created in the process where three winners were chosen by judges. The three winners are;
Eco-Line – Motivating the use of renewable agriculture for a sustainable lifestyle by introducing rooftop vertical gardening as a solution
Local Grab – A one stop platform to bring local products by local producers straight to your doorstep
Mental Wellness Tracker – a platform to keep up with your mental wellness to help you take charge of your life
It is a 54-hour event that puts aspiring entrepreneurs in direct contact with the sharpest business coaches, mentors, investors and panel of judges from the Industry and let them undertake an entrepreneurial life cycle journey by takings the highs and lows of it with proper guidance and mentorship. The local organizing team has been able to pull together some of the best names in the Maldives as mentors for the participants, who have experienced the entrepreneurial life cycle and could support them in further strengthening the business ideas of the participants and build a strong product at the end of the day.
The Techstars Startup Weekend is the first international initiative to support and nurture the growth of startups in Maldives. Techstars Startup Weekend Maldives – Womens edition is the second edition implemented in the Maldives by the Techstars Startup Weekend Community Leaders in the Maldives, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and it has been successfully run over 160 countries in last 10 years.