Women Entrepreneur Quest

Please join us for the Women Entrepreneur Quest Showcase and Awards Presentation!
Grace Hopper Celebration India
Friday, December 14
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Room: Kalinga

About the Contest

Women Entrepreneur Quest, presented by the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, is designed to promote and showcase early-stage ventures with a technology component founded or led by women entrepreneurs in all technologies. In its inaugural edition in 2011, the contest was a grand success! See the ET Now coverage here.

We are looking for talented women in the founding or leadership team of early stage startups who have applied technology in innovative ways to solve meaningful business problems. If you are an early stage startup and have at least one woman on your founding or leadership team, you can apply here electronically. For more information, please contact: GHCIndia_Pitch@anitaborg.org.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Women in the founding / leadership team of a Private Independent Entity
  • Business needs to have a technology component preferably in various domains like Internet, Mobile, Healthcare, Clean Tech etc.
  • Must be an Indian operating & registered entity – either a proprietary firm, Partnership firm, LLP or Pvt Ltd in business for less than 5 years as of Dec 15th 2012
  • Should be a Private Independent Entity (should not be a subsidiary of a large firm)
  • Finalists of WEQ 2011 cannot apply this year


Our selection committee will filter the top six* startups from all the business plans we receive. These will be evaluated on several criteria including customer need being addressed, competitive business models and effective & innovative use of technology.

The six finalists will be mentored closely by Manish Singhal, to shape their pitches for the final Showcase & Award Presentation event. The final pitches will be made personally at the GHC India conference in Bangalore in front of a distinguished judge panel comprising of a mix of VCs, entrepreneurs and mentors.
* Subject to review/change based on quality of submissions


  • Whopping cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs for the winner sponsored by Intel & the Anita Borg Institute!
  • Push the Boundary Mentoring Award by Seedfund – Six month mentoring from Seedfund for the start-up defining or creating a sector
  • 5ideas Founders in Heels Startup Superfuel Award – Six month mentoring under 5ideas Founders In Heel initiative, a powerful combination of deep mentorship, operating advise and access to relevant business connections
  • The IIM-B Experience Award – Six months hands-on mentoring to a deserving start-up to shape their business with appropriate market connects and preparing them for possible incubation at NSRCEL.
  • Novojuris Legal Consulting Award – Five complimentary hours of legal consulting time for all finalists from Novojuris


  • The GHC India committee reserves the right to ask for proof for critical information furnished by the contestants with reference to their business plans
  • Any misrepresentation of facts will lead to automatic disqualification
  • The decision of the selection committee will be final
  • Rules can be changed without prior notice

About GHC India 2012

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India is a program of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology to increase the recruitment, retention, and advancement of Indian technical women. This is modeled after the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in the United States and tailored by Indian technical women for the Indian technology culture, to bring the research and career interests of women in computing in India to the forefront.


Will travel and accomodation be provided to the finalists to attend the event?
Travel/accommodation will not be paid for out of station submissions

Still have questions? Email us!

Women Entrepreneur Quest Judges

Raji Arasu, StubHub; Deepa Bachu, Intuit; Bharti Jacob, Seedfund; Mohan Kumar, NVP; Smitha Lahiri, Intel; Vikram Manney, Google, Inc.; Guhesh Ramanathan, NSRCEL; Shradha Sharma,YourStory.in; Pearl Uppal, Sideas; Nishant Vermon, Cannan Partners

Raji Arasu, CTO, StubHub: As the CTO, Raji is responsible for both Product and Engineering functions for the core Stub Hub business. Raji’s strategic vision and extensive background in the eCommerce and payments business will help create the technology foundation that will enable many delightful products for StubHub fans. Prior to her role at StubHub, Raji was VP of Engineering at MarketPlaces and led multiple organizations over the years. She was responsible for both site experi- ence and web services for seller applications, buyer experience, transactions and payments. Before joining eBay, Raji led technology teams at several companies, including marchFIRST and Oracle.

Deepa Bachu, Head of Product Management and Emerging Market Innovation – Intuit India: Deepa’s passion is to transform customers’ lives by creating products that solve their biggest unmet needs. As director of emerging market innovation at Intuit India she initiated ‘Fasal’, a revolutionary service that is empowering India’s farmers to improve their financial lives. She believes in creating Products that make the customers’ life better! Her role allows her to create a positive and large impact on the employees of a company, its customers and, its shareholders. She has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry where she played a variety of roles that started as a software engineer and resulted in an Innovation and Global Strategy role for Intuit, India.

Bharti Jacob, Founder-Partner, Seedfund: Bharati Jacob is the Founder- Partner of Seedfund based in Bangalore. She brings over 24 years of diverse and rich experience in venture investing, marketing and financial services. She has been in venture investing since 2000 across 3 funds. She began her investing career with Infinity Venture Fund in 2000 as part of the start up team. Prior to Infinity, she was head of the investment bank Lazard in South India and established Lazard offices inChennai and Bangalore. Bharati holds graduate degrees from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania as well as XLRI and the University of Delhi.

Mohan Kumar, Partner, NVP: Mohan brings in extensive operational, technology and investment experience, having worked at leading global organizations in various seniorpositions and personally investing in technology start-up companies. Mohan is based in NVP India’s Bengaluru office and serves as an advisor on investments in next-generation technologies, Healthcare and Education. Mohan advised NVP’s investment in Borqs, a leading open source mobile application software provider and integrator based out of Beijing and the U.S.. He also advised NVP’s investment in Perfint Healthcare, which develops Image-guided robotic solutions for oncology. Prior to joining NVP India, Mohan served as Corporate Vice President of Mobile Devices Software at Motorola.

Smitha Lahiri, Software Development Manager, Intel: Smitha Lahiri is a Software Development Manager in theSupply Network Organization at Intel Bangalore. Her career of Software Architecture and Application Development spanning seventeen years has been in creating Innovative solutions across the Enterprise domain, Telecommunications and e-Governance. She has a patent in creating a Cross-platform Administrative Framework for Intel Netstructure products. She has been with Intel for fourteen years in the Telecommunications and Embedded organization and Intel IT. She has worked with CMC Limited prior to joining Intel. She currently leads a team responsible for the design and development of applications that enable the Supply planning processes at Intel. She is a freelance photographer in her spare time.

Vikram Manney, Google, Inc.: Vikram is a program specialist, leading industry outreach in India. He has over 8 years of experience in recruiting program management and university/industry outreach. His work is backed by a masters degree in business administration.

Guhesh Ramanathan, COO, NSRCEL: Guhesh is an Indian national based in Bangalore. He is an Electrical Engineer from the Institute of Technology (now IIT) Varanasi, and he completed his PGDM in 1988 from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. He has over 24 years of experience spanning start-ups to large organizations, primarily in the area of strategic direction and developing partnerships for growth. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer at the NS Raghavan Center for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at IIM Bangalore. The NSRCEL is India’s premier center for entrepreneurial excellence.

Shradha Sharma, Founder, YourStory.in: Shradha Sharma is the Founder of YourStory.in – India’s leading online platform for first generation Indian entrepreneurs and also, the official online partner of CNBC TV18 Young Turks. Prior to starting YourStory, Shradha was one of the youngest Assistant Vice Presidents at CNBC TV18 and also, a Brand Adviser at Times of India. With a strong media background, she actively advises startups on marketing and communication strategies. Shradha holds a bachelors and masters degree in History from St. Stephens College, Delhi and an MBA from MICA.

Pearl Uppal, Founder, Sideas:Pearl has 13 years of building startups and high growth businesses in the Internet Industry across media and commerce. Leadership in high growth ventures across Internet platform companies (led Yahoo!’sadvertising business in India) and Startups. In her last avatar she kickstarted fashion and lifestyle ecommerce in India; founding and building India’s leading online fashion retailer fashionandyou. com. She loves Consumer strategy, distribution, commercial acceleration, building products that customer love, building startup teams, digital media, ecommerce, social, viral, working closely with Startups to turn them into Growth Machines.

Nishant Verman, Canaan Partners: Nishant Verman has 8+ years of operational, finance and entrepreneurial experience across Asia and the US. Prior to Canaan, Nishant was co-founder at Groovebug, a personalized music platform for the iPad. Nishant was part of team since inception and focused on multiple aspects including product development, venture funding and launch. Previously at Microsoft, Nishant was a Senior Business Development Manager for Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific Online business. Nishant focused on strategic partnerships across India andChina, including Microsoft’s partnership and investment in Affle, a mobile ad platform. Nishant has a Masters in Computer Science from Stanford University and MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.