F-LANE accelerator seeks tech startups empowering women

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Berlin-based Vodafone Institute is seeking the third cohort for its F-LANE accelerator, which focuses on tech ventures contributing to the empowerment of women worldwide.

Claiming to be the first accelerator in Europe focusing on tech-startups by or for women, F-LANE supports innovative startups run by or for women using tech to provide an entrepreneurial solution to a social problem.

The programme’s mission is to foster the participation of women in technological development and to empower women of all ages around the world through technology.

Four or five entrepreneurs from around the world will be selected to join the third cohort, which takes place in Berlin and runs for seven weeks.

The programme focuses on providing four types of support. Participants receive advice and personalised coaching from Vodafone and external experts, and help with company roadmaps; individual training sessions geared to each startups’ needs; and access to networks – through the “Vodafone family”, as well as through partners Impact Hub Berlin, and the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie.

The fourth support area is financial, with participants receiving up to EUR12,000 (US$14,000) in seed capital; as well as Vodafone as a potential investor further down the line, and access to a network of investors.

Previous cohorts have seen the majority of the startups receiving investments afterward the programme – some raising as high as EUR4.5 million (US$5.3 million).

Disrupt Africa reported in September two of the five entrepreneurs selected for cohort two of the programme are from Africa; with Vodafone Foundation encouraging African applicants for the next cohort too.

The third round of the programme will begin in March 2018.  Applications are open here, until December 20.

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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