IT awards

Techpreneur of the Year Awards launched for women in tech startups

Kayleigh Bateman

The University Women’s Club is on the hunt for women involved in tech startups for the launch of its Techpreneur of the Year Awards.

The awards are designed to encourage women to become active on the tech startup scene and to become entrepreneurs.

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Fiona Scott Lazareff, Techpreneur judging panel chair and founder of Divento.com, said: “Have you ever dreamt of starting a business, but never quite dared? I believe, from my own experience as a techpreneur, that most women are totally capable of succeeding. I also think they are particularly suited to tech-related startups which can offer enormous flexibility in terms of where and when you work. 

“Unfortunately, the word ‘tech’ and the idea of starting a business often conjures up images of alien stereotypes: usually male! Yet skills such as marketing, design, sales and team leadership are often just as important. So if you don’t consider yourself to be an expert in MYSQL or PHP or in ROIs and cash flows, don’t worry. All you need is the ability to find the right people who are.”

Open to women who are already involved in a tech startup or are in the process of starting one, the awards are split into two categories:

Conceptual: For women involved in enterprises that have not yet started actively trading.

Veterans: For women who play a definitive role in an existing company which has been trading for less than five years and has a turnover of less than £10m.

The panel of judges includes Debbie Wosskow, founder and chief executive of lovehomeswap.com; Elizabeth Varley, co-founder and chief executive of techhub.com; Mandeep Singh, co-founder of streethub.com; and Bindi Karia, vice-president accelerator for Silicon Valley Bank.

Scott Larareff said she launched Techpreneurs.co.uk to encourage women to set up tech-related businesses. “The idea is to pull established and would-be techpreneurs together so that we can share our resources, our knowledge and contacts to make women techpreneurs a phenomenon of the 21st century.

“There is nothing new about the movement to encourage more women into tech jobs where there are jobs to be filled and a painfully low percentage of women filling them. What is different about these awards is the idea of encouraging women to actually start their own businesses.”

The deadline for entries is 10 May, with an awards ceremony and dinner to be held on 26 June. An official awards launch takes place at the University Women's Club 10 March. 


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