Womentum by womena® and Standard Chartered’s Women in Tech, is a four-month acceleration program focused on women-led tech startups from across the MENA region. This unique experience-based global accelerator is designed to immerse early-stage startups in Egypt’s thriving ecosystem and connect them to investors, mentors and regional markets in the Dubai hub with the hopes of providing them with all the tools and funding needed to take them to the next level.

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Community

After years building an award-winning angel investment group that facilitated over 3 million AED of funding, womena® launched an experience-based early tech accelerator focused on female-led tech startups in the Middle East. Over four months, the program brings participants together in two major MENA startup hubs: Egypt and UAE!

Exposure

Womentum leverages womena®'s media platform, to highlight the founders, startups and the program content. Our media team will produce creative content that introduces you, your mission and your product to a global audience, along with speaking opportunities and media interviews. The Womentum Series documents the unique program and how it has impacted the founders' lives.

Capital

As a Womentum graduate, you’ll have access to womena®’s network of investors and ecosystem partners, which include corporates, growth-stage accelerators, potential customers and acquirers. Standard Chartered will award the three top-performing startups a total of $30,000 in equity-free prize money. You will each receive $20,000+ worth of tech, legal and consulting services offered by our partners. Our Demo Day is an exclusive event open only to investors.

Who can apply?

If you are an early stage startup that:
  • Has a gender-diverse team with at least one female co-founder (who owns equity in the business)
  • Is developing an innovative and scalable tech-enabled product
  • Has proof of concept and an existing prototype
  • Is based in or operating in the Middle East market
  • Has demonstrated a commitment to building a successful company by having at least one team member 100% focused on building your business from July to October
  • Is willing to be featured on media and appear on camera throughout the program

Application Process:

Fill out the application form here
Show us your elevator pitch!Send us a video (30-60 seconds) where you pitch your team and your startup as MENA’s next unicorn. Upload it to any social media/video content platform and send us the link. Check out our sample pitch below.

Egypt Rotation

During this time, tech and innovation experts will be zeroing in on the foundations of your business, your product development and business model. You will have access to pitching opportunities that will enable you to build networks and gain exposure to one of MENA’s largest markets.

Remote Execution

With your product and business model in place, it’s time to start validation and user growth. You’ll return to your home markets, achieving milestones with the support of local and international mentors. You’ll continue to receive virtual support, workshops and have an open line of communication to legal, tech and business experts.

UAE Rotation

The final two weeks of the program will be focused on helping you become investor- and growth-ready. We’ll help you work on financials and legal structure as you prepare to build your team. We’ll coach you on refining your pitch and fielding investor questions so you know exactly what to expect. We’ll also help you set up meetings and expand your UAE-based networks. 

Demo Day

Womentum’s demo day is an exclusive event, open only to investors. The event is designed to put you in direct touch with investors throughout the region, and prompt on-the-spot investor interest and commitment.Womentum Demo Day 2019: Watch this video

Media

Media is an integral part of this program. Participants must be aware that the program will be filmed and that moments from the filming will be shown online and on other channels as part of a web series. Along the way, you’ll have access to PR, speaking and branding experts to help you feel comfortable and confident around the camera. This is phenomenal prep for your future as a world-dominating business legend.Watch this playlist

Any founding member of the team that has equity in the company.

We accept applications from any MENA-based businesses, regardless of the founder nationalities.

While you’re welcome to have your entire company participate in the accelerator program, we will only be able to sponsor accommodation, and flights for two of the founders (at least one of which should be a female) during both bootcamps.

Our accelerator program is industry agnostic, however, our mentors and content will be tailored to your unique needs.

The goal of Womentum will be to prepare and enable all cohort companies to receive investment after graduation through demo day and access to investor networks. womena® will be investing in the top performing companies that complete the Womentum Accelerator. The rest is up to you to dazzle our investors!

womena® will provide an economy class ticket and accommodation on a shared-room basis (as feasible) in both bootcamps. Entrepreneurs wishing to fund their own upgrades are welcome to do so.

Each participant is responsible to apply for their own visas, however, Womentum issues invitation letters and provides support during the process.

womena® has a number of partners that offer incorporation solutions to graduate startups, and we will work with you to help you find the right setup partner should you choose to incorporate.

Our media team will produce creative content throughout the four months of the program, highlighting your experience and the program content, which is great exposure to a global and regional audience. After the program ends, we will release the Womentum Series, which documents the unique program and how it has impacted the founders’ lives. In the multi-episode docu-series, we will follow the participating startups across your journey, with visits to home countries during the remote period, to see what it’s like to build, pivot and grow businesses in these regional markets. The media team will be working with you closely to ensure you’re comfortable with the material filmed and we will be providing personalized coaching on speaking and presenting to help you maximize this opportunity. Signing a release form is a prerequisite to participation in the Womentum Accelerator.

Message from our Partner and Founder

“At Standard Chartered, we embrace and celebrate diversity, including gender diversity. In the world of tech, women are often under-represented and face many challenges that limit their ability to thrive. We are proud to launch the “Women in tech” accelerator in collaboration with womena®. Womentum aims to support, mentor and connect all aspiring and established women-led startups in the region. We welcome all high impact tech-enabled ideas. Our staff and partners are here to mentor the startups, help them scale and equip them with skills that are necessary to thrive in today’s world.”

Rola Abu Manneh
Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank UAE

“womena®’s mission is to promote gender diversity and inclusion and we believe that the next wave of innovation will come from emerging market entrepreneurs – the women of these markets are pivotal in this journey. womena® has built a program that we felt was lacking in the regional ecosystem focused on female-led startups. In addition to a world-class curriculum, we envelop all content in perspective-shifting experiences: Taking the entrepreneurs out of their comfort zones and forcing them to look differently, innovatively, at their solutions.”

Elissa Freiha
Founder, womena®

Mentors

Interested to be a mentor? Apply here!