She Loves Tech, the world's largest startup competition for women and technology, concludes its flagship conference and summit with special announcements and star guests

She Loves Tech, the world’s largest startup competition for women and technology, held its seventh edition with a two-day She Loves Tech Global Summit on December 3 and 4, 2021. As a fully virtual affair, the organisation's flagship annual thought leadership summit for women and technology took place on an international stage with an array of guest speakers and an exciting conclusion to the final round of the She Loves Tech Global Startup Competition. 

Here are the key moments from the summit, including the highlight of the global conference: the team announced a surprise partnership that would enable them to create over 100,000 jobs across local economies in Asia and provide women entrepreneurs the resources and funding to take one more step towards changing the world. 

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1. #SheTechsCharge

The She Loves Tech global summit kicked off in November with a conference at the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (Switch) in partnership with Enterprise Singapore. Then, in December, the virtual summit saw the culmination of the competition with two days packed with workshops, discussions and networking sessions. 

The theme for this year's summit was #SheTechsCharge, a representation of a "brave new world" where women in tech and leadership are shaping a post-Covid-19 world.

2. No Dearth of Big Names

The summits brought together a veritable who's who of leaders, trailblazers, influencers, founders and industry experts, including the co-founder of Linkedin Reid Hoffman; 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and CEO of Rappler Maria Ressa; president at Microsoft Asia Ahmed Mazhari; managing director of economic development board Singapore Jacqueline Poh; and even the co-stars of Netflix reality show Bling Empire Kane Lim and Kelly Mi Li and many more.

“It’s been wonderful to see such enthusiastic participation in the competition and the stellar line-up of speakers we have this year because it shows that women are gaining more confidence,” says Virginia Tan, co-founder. of She Loves Tech. Her co-founder Rhea See agrees, saying, “She Loves Tech will continue to support and champion the development of strong female representation in technology, and we’re excited to be part of the equality conversation.”

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3. Finalists From Across The World

A 3,000-strong pool from over 50 countries competed for the US$50,000 prize in investment and cash. Their startups are required to fulfil one of the following criteria: they should have a female founder, majority female users or female consumers, or technology that positively impacted women. At the November semi-finals, 12 finalists emerged from across industries such as food, medical care, manufacturing, AI and many more.  

Some of the notable finalists were Meridian (China-Mainland), MiProbes Biotechnologies (Germany), Neighbourlytics (Australia), Ndovu (Africa), Noodle Factory (Singapore), Petotum (Malaysia), Predicta Med (Israel),as well as Kno Global (China-Hong Kong), who bagged the ADB Ventures Impact Award.

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4. And The Winners Are...

On December 4, these startups made their final presentations for the competition, where they had the opportunity to win up to US$50,000 in investment and cash prizes. The session also doubled as an investor demo day as startups pitched directly to investors for funding.

The competition winners include CardMedic from UK, a website and app designed to improve communication between healthcare staff and patients, across any visual, auditory or language barrier takes first place; re:3D from USA, a social enterprise pioneering new innovations to democratize 3D printing is runner-up; and SAIB from South Korea, an intimate cosmetic brand aiming to destigmatise women's sexual wellness places third. 

5. A Special Partnership

One of the main highlights of the event was the announcement of the Microsoft and She Loves Tech partnership, to empower female entrepreneurs in Asia and contribute towards inclusive economic growth. Start-ups in the She Loves Tech community will also gain access to Microsoft technology, learning resources and technical expertise.  

“We are thrilled to have Microsoft on board with us to support women entrepreneurs in realising their ambitions and as we work toward creating a level playing field for them in Asia,” says Leanne Robers, co-founder of She Loves Tech. “By helping over 10,000 women entrepreneurs gain access to funding, a global network, and support from other women founders from around the world, we hope their success will indirectly contribute towards creating 100,000 jobs across local economies in Asia.” 

Through the partnership, Microsoft will provide an Azure-powered digital platform to facilitate connections between female entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and angel investors, to help She Loves Tech reach its goal of unlocking US$1 billion in capital for women-led businesses by 2030. 

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