F-LANE: Leveraging the Impact of Startups with a Female Empowerment Focus

F-LANE, Europe’s first accelerator with a focus on social ventures that utilise technology to empower women worldwide, is getting ready for the next round. Initiated by the Vodafone Institute, the programme mission is to foster the participation of women in technological development and improve the situation of girls and women around the world through technology. F-LANE is collaborating with the Impact Hub Berlin and the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie to source innovative technology startups around the world that focus on women, provide an enterprising solution to a social problem and have the potential to make a wide impact.

F-LANE is a 6-week programme for digital impact ventures with a focus  on female empowerment. Motivated entrepreneurs from all over the world can apply for this competition, to then be selected as one of the 5 finalist ventures to take part in the programme. The programme aims towards helping young founders to avoid the obstacles within the start-up process and simply working, learning and living  together  in Berlin!

Only around nine percent of technology startups worldwide are founded by women. The “New World With Old Roles?” study, which was recently published by the Vodafone Institute, reveals that many female startup founders feel at a disadvantage over their male colleagues. The popular cliché that there aren’t any women with tech expertise is outdated. To exploit the potential that already exists, the media, policy makers and investors have to change their tack,” said Alice Steinbrück, author of the Vodafone Institute’s study.

Some 150 startups from 50 countries applied to join the accelerator in the first round of F-LANE. Their business concepts targeted the potential to make a wide impact and empower girls and women through technology.

Four or five female startup entrepreneurs will be selected to take part in the intensive six-week accelerator programme. Selected startups will receive micro investments as startup aid in amounts of up to a maximum of EUR 12,000. Plus, they will get access to Vodafone as a potential big investor and get exposed to wide network of investors, venture capital providers and business angels. The program also provides individual training sessions and mentorship.

The startups in the first round of F-LANE included Wazi Vision, Ask without Shame (both Uganda), Securella (Morocco), DigiSitter (Germany) and Lensational (Hong Kong).

Online applications can now be submitted for the programme starting 9 October 2017 in Berlin. The application is open until 24 July 2017. Apply here.