F-LANE – The Vodafone Institute Accelerator for Female Empowerment
How can we accelerate social ventures that utilise technology to empower women worldwide?
- Global trendscouting
- Selection funnel to identify top five ventures
- Hosting a 7 week accelerator program for high-potential digital impact ventures focusing on female empowerment
Many women are still excluded from the workforce, especially when it comes to technology and business. F-LANE’s objective is to ensure that women play a leading role in shaping the future. It is an urgent need to create gender-inclusive technology and promote women’s participation in education, workforce, entrepreneurship, leadership, and, ultimately, digitalization. Technology offers a huge potential to overcome gender inequalities.
- 7 week accelerator – how we build companies without shares
- Tailored curriculum to teach hard skills
Led by the leading competence center for education for societal change, the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie, the startups benefit from a curriculum specifically designed to meet their individual needs. Consisting of team sessions and individual coachings, the curriculum builds key competences around business, impact and financial models.
- Experience program to individually match ventures to high-potentials
Connections are key for young entrepreneurs to accelerate growth – the experience program aims at ingraining the startups into the Berlin ecosystem of social entrepreneurs, industry partners, impact investors and individually matches them with experienced mentors
- Tailored curriculum to teach hard skills
- Global Trend-scouting of new ventures that use tech to empower women
- Over 90% of applications have female co-founders or board members
- Over 6 million EUR raised in funding
- Matched 15 finalists with handpicked mentors
- General Trends we’ve spotted
- Businesses using emerging technologies in developing countries seem to be more assured about their business model, compared to their equivalents in developing countries
- Applications from developing countries are typically in the sector of healthcare and education, whereas applications from developed countries are spread across a wide variety of industries
The power of Peer2Peer learning
Across all cohorts we have seen great learning potential among the startups as they are typically confronted with similar problems in the early stages of setting up a business. We facilitate this exchange through a variety of formats including skill sharing and interactive expert sessions, team building exercises and a shared living experience.
Ventures Class I
- Securella, Marocco – A smart wearable that ensures women’s safety and sense of security
- Ask without shame, Uganda – An app-based service to provide answers to questions around reproductive health
- Lensational UK – Empowering women in developing countries to tell their story through photography
- DigiSitter, Germany – An app to help parents coordinate work and childcare
- Wazi Vision, Uganda – Affordable eye care for children in low-income families
Ventures Class II
- Gapsquare, UK – A software that allows companies to measure and narrow their gender pay gap
- Good On You, Australia – A global brand rating app for ethical fashion brands
- Kaaro Health, Uganda – Bringing health care to remote areas through containerized clinics and telehealth solutions
- Mowoza, Mozambique – Supply chain management solutions for micro entrepreneurs
- SouSou, Tanzania – Crowdbanking software to bridge the access to capital gap for women
Ventures Class III
- breast IT, Uganda – a portable, ultrasound glove for breast cancer screening
- Doctory, Pakistan – online directory of doctors and patient management for health centers
- FinMarie, Germany – online wealth management platform for and by women
- Free-D, UK / India – empowering disadvantaged women with 3D printing and CAD skills
- MamaBird, Malawi / US – last mile healthcare through drones
What happened after F-LANE?
- In total over 500 applications from over 80 countries, spread across all continents
- Batch One
- Ruth, founder of Ask Without Shame, met the Queen of England as “Young Leader…xxx”
- Securella, Wazi Vision and Ask Without Shame scored + X.XXX.XXX,00 EUR of investment
- Batch Two
- 4 out of 5 teams participated in follow up acceleration tracks: Good On You became a finalist of the Fashion for Good Accelerator, SouSou, Mowoza and Kaaro Health were part of the Make IT in Africa Accelerator.
- Within 3 months after the accelerator, strategic partnerships with corporations were formed (Good On You delivering data on ethical brands to Zalando in Europe)