The incubator has helped not just Telangana-based women entrepreneurs but even women entrepreneurs from across the country to have a say at the policymaking table

When IT Minister K T Rama Rao announced the formation of WE-Hub in November 2017, little did people understand the vision of this initiative and the impact it would create. It was created to not just push the envelope of women entrepreneurship but also change the mindset towards women-led businesses. In less than five months, the incubator took shape and the application for the first batch was opened on March 9, 2018.

Since then, the incubator has helped not just Telangana-based women entrepreneurs but even women entrepreneurs from across the country to have a say at the policymaking table. In the last two years, the incubator has pushed the narrative of democratising entrepreneurship by breaking the barrier of gender and space.

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The startup scene was riding the success wave until the first quarter of 2020. Then came the sad tales of no funding, lack of activity and of course the lockdown.

Covid-19 was an unexpected jolt to the startup sector, but considering most startups are based on new ideas, we all adapted to fast to the ‘new normal’. The startups in the ecosystem revisited their business ideas, took to product pivots and remodelled it to suit the current needs and also realised the need to stay lean to be able to stop from falling harder. Instead of general webinars, we took actionable steps for our startups. We at WE Hub, for example, focussed on helping our members remodelling some of the products. We got the founder of the startup called Sweet Tooth, which was into gourmet desserts in Hyderabad, to start making essentials like daily needs and connected her entity to multiple hyperlocal delivery players. It not just saved jobs but made her expand her business to be able to scale to employ more people and expand her unit as a new product vertical was created. Then Radius, an edutech company which was primarily into designing hardware components which can digitalise any blackboard, focus on Octa, a video conferencing platform. We ourselves use this product here. WE Hub also waived off three-month rentals to the entrepreneurs. WE Hub is also working on funding mechanisms including a debt funding facility for the MSME and rural entrepreneurs.


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As companies, big, small and tiny, struggle to find their feet in the midst of the Covid-19 mayhem, WeHub, an exclusive incubator for women entrepreneurs, is going about the incubating differently — by helping start-ups fine-tune their business strategies to tap newer opportunities unfolded by the pandemic.

For example, it helped an education player it was incubating, Radius Edutech, to go beyond e-delivery of academic content to schools and colleges and develop a video-conferencing offering — which the incubator put to use for its second round of start-ups to incubate.

As it allowed staff to work from home once lockdowns were announced, WeHub initiated the process to recruit start-ups for its second cohort.

After calling for applications and funnelling them, it picked 62 start-ups (out of the 223 applications) for the final pitches.

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Saaniya Mehra and Zane Barboza are founders of ADIRO Labs. Their initiative, Project AASHA, offers a DNA kit that will transform the way evidence and samples are collected from victims of sexual assault.

Worried about the spate of sexual crimes against women in the country, and buoyed by a passion for socially relevant solutions that bring an impactful change in the world we live in, two young graduates decided to start ADIRO Labs to transform DNA evidence and sample collection in the country.

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