Commentary & Perspective

#GHCI17 Daily Download: November 17, 2017

Welcome to Day Two of #GHCI17! It’s hard to believe the celebration is already over. It’s been such an inspiring two days, filled with great speakers and presentations. Check out the highlights from today, and let us know what your favorite moments were. Tweet us at @GHC, or use the hashtag #GHCI17.

Brenda Darden Wilkerson and Dr. Rebecca Parsons on stage at GHCI 17Keynote: “Never Stop Learning”

To kick off the day, Dr. Rebecca Parsons, Chief Technology Officer of ThoughtWorks, revealed that one of her college professors deemed girls “incapable” of learning computer science. Rebecca has since proven him wrong, receiving a degree in computer science as well as mastering several computer languages. “Never stop learning,” Rebecca urged the GHCI audience. “Don’t be afraid to learn something new.”

Rebecca acknowledges that the bias against women in tech has not changed much since her college days. Nonetheless, she is optimistic about the efforts being made to promote gender equity. “It is not a level playing field,” she said, “but it is getting better.”

Dr. Anita Gupta stands on the main stage at GHCI 17 while discussing government diversity initiatives in IndiaGovernment Initiatives for Diversity

Attendees also heard from Dr. Anita Gupta, Scientist G/Adviser and Associate Head-Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. “We need to bridge the gap for women in terms of mentorship and access to funding,” Anita said, praising the Indian government for introducing various initiatives to encourage women entrepreneurs. The National Institution for Transforming India commission (NITI Aayog in Hindi), for example, is organizing its first Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which will focus on women entrepreneurs.

The winners of the 2017 Women Entrepreneur Quest stand on stage at GHCI 17Women Entrepreneur Quest Winners Announced

And speaking of women entrepreneurs, congratulations to the winners of the Women Entrepreneur Quest (WEQ)! An annual contest sponsored by India and the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST), WEQ highlights and rewards exceptional technology startups founded by women. The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) also plays an integral role in supporting and organizing WEQ 2017.

The Top 10 WEQ winners receive an expenses-paid trip to Silicon Valley, where they will make new connections, learn to raise funding for their businesses, and be exposed to the valley’s entrepreneurial culture.

“Technology startups are driving innovation for almost all industries,” said Geetha Kannan, Managing Director of India. “Women need to be equally included in driving innovation and economic growth.”

The winners of this year’s WEQ are:

  • Pallavi Bishnoi, Co-founder & COO of ‎Real Time Renewables (Lucknow)
  • Radhika Choudary, ‎Co-founder of ‎Freyr Energy Services (Hyderabad)
  • Sai Gole, Co-founder & COO of ‎LeanAgri (Pune)
  • Bhavjot Kaur, Co-founder of Clinikk Healthcare (Bangalore)
  • Kausambi Manjita, Co-founder of Kubric (Bangalore)
  • Madhulika Mukherjee, Co-founder & CTO of ‎Survaider (Bangalore)
  • Supriya Rathi, Founder & CEO of ‎RoboVR (Mumbai)
  • Meghna Saraogi, Founder & CEO of ‎StyleDotMe (Delhi)
  • Monika Shukla, Co-founder & CEO of LetsEndorse (Bangalore)
  • Vishakha Singh, Co-founder of Vicit Infot Tech (Mumbai)

We’ll have updates on the winners’ journey to Silicon Valley in the coming months. Be sure to read about last year’s winners as well.

Tweets of the Day


Thank you for joining us for a wonderful Grace Hopper Celebration India! We hope to see you again next year.