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1337 Ventures introduces an accelerator program catering to women founders to improve accessibility

Clockwise from top right: Nadia Ismadi (Co-founder of Pod), Parmeet Kaur (Founder of Joyed Consulting), Anabelle Co-Martinent (Co-Founder of La Juiceria Superfoods), and moderator Freda Liu (Broadcast Journalist and Author)

On January 16, venture capital (VC) firm 1337 Ventures announced the launch of its women-focused pre-accelerator programme, Alpha Startups for Women.

By participating in the programme, women-founded startups will have the opportunity to receive VC funding of up to MYR50,000 (US$10,500) for the top two teams. These startups will also receive mentoring sessions with seasoned female founders and MYR20,000 (US$4,200) in digital credits to amp up their infrastructure.

The four-week programme is open to women-led startups in the idea and MVP stage, particularly those based in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

Held as a virtual and in-person session in Kuala Lumpur, the programme is available for free and will close its registration on February 19 and start on February 27.

In the Alpha Startups pre-accelerator programme, new and aspiring entrepreneurs will go through an intensive boot camp to learn about starting a business. Selected teams of entrepreneurs, developers and designers will get to work together to test and validate their scalable product or startup idea. There will also be daily deliverables and mentorship available.

Also Read: Manis Leting, Triphie win 1337 Ventures’s Alpha Startups pre-accelerator programme in MY

In an email interview with e27, 1337 Ventures said that the programme will provide the same materials as its usual accelerator programme, but this one will provide more opportunities for female founders to learn.

For 1337 Ventures, both men and women in the startup ecosystem face the same challenges. However, as investors, they believe in playing a role in promoting diversity and providing equal opportunity for all.

“We do see an increase of events and programmes in the direction of women empowerment. We are looking to provide everyone despite their gender, race, religion, and location, the same equal opportunity of accessibility to be able to learn the basic knowledge of starting a startup so they can take this and build their startup. We also have an online Pitch Tuesday session where we listen to all the pitches (with minimal filtering), so they all get equal opportunity to pitch to us as a local homegrown VC,” the firm said.

“This is our first time doing an all-exclusive women batch, and depending on the outcome, it might be a once-in-a-blue-moon thing. As all our other accelerators provide equal opportunity, we’re doing this batch mainly to encourage more female founders to join simultaneously; it is more exclusive for them.”

1337 Ventures recently hosted an online panel discussion featuring Nadia Ismadi (Co-Founder of Pod), Anabelle Co-Martinent (Co-Founder of La Juiceria Superfoods), and Parmeet Kaur (Founder of Joyed Consulting), with journalist and author Freda Liu as moderator.

Also Read: 1337 Ventures partners with Malaysia’s central bank to launch fintech accelerator programme

Liu revealed that according to the Department of Statistics in Malaysia, in 2016, 20 per cent of businesses in the country were owned by women, and the government aims to get more women in decision-making roles.

This is especially urgent considering only less than 18 per cent of funding in Southeast Asia are raised by women founders, according to DealStreetAsia.

In the panel discussion, the female founders spoke about how they were inspired by the impact that they could create by creating a business.

Ismade spoke about how her financial education platform allows users to learn how to save money and achieve their goals. “We could have built something simpler like an e-commerce platform, but it wouldn’t have an impact like we did,” she said.

The post 1337 Ventures launches women-focused accelerator to provide greater accessibility for founders appeared first on e27.

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