Sequoia India announced today the launch of Sequoia Spark Fellowship, a $100,000 grant-plus-mentorship program to help encourage more women in India and Southeast Asia to become entrepreneurs.
Based on tracxn and crunchbase data, as of 2020 just 12% of venture-backed startups in India and 20% in Southeast Asia have at least one female founder. The fund is trying to address the said issue by offering capital and mentorship to 15 women-led startups per year.
The cohort consists of 15 companies, powered by 20 female founders from India, Pakistan, Singapore, Indonesia and Dubai, that span a range of sectors, including EdTech, FinTech, SaaS and Crypto.
According to the company’s release, the program has been designed to help female founders at pre-product-market fit stage. They will take part in monthly mentorship sessions, have access to select Surge sessions, and receive hands-on support from Sequoia India portfolio specialists, across hiring, legal, finance, product, technology and marketing.