Women in Cloud Microsoft Cloud Accelerator is back! The Women in Cloud team is immensely happy to announce Cohort 3.0 after two successful cohorts which have expanded knowledge, access and inclusivity of entrepreneurs, while adding dollars to the economic system in the technology sector. 

Since initiation Women in Cloud’s mission has been to create Access for Acceleration to promote Action. Women In Cloud Microsoft Cloud Accelerator is designed as an immersive 6 month program to assist women-led tech companies to co-build, co-market and co-sell with Microsoft and their distribution channels. This program is expertly designed to help women entrepreneurs win enterprise opportunities, get access to Azure credits, an advisor community, and a global stage to showcase your business.

The 3.0 Cohort Immersive Kickoff session was on 26 March, 2020. The first session featured curated speakers, Chaitra Vedullapalli, Co-Founder and President of WiC; Karen Fassio, Marketing Director of Microsoft OCP and Co-Founder of WiC; Wendy Garcia, Chief Diversity Officer of New York City Comptroller Office; Shari Burk, Founder & CEO of Vision Platform; and Patti Dobrowolski, CEO & Creative Activator of Up Your Creative Genius. The speakers consisted of founders, industry leaders and previous cohort entrepreneurs who set the tone for the new class about the current industry landscape, how to vision their cloud businesses, along with deliverables and takeaways by the end of 6 months. 

The cohort 3.0 is different from the previous editions for a number of reasons. Apart from being more structured with the use of the #WiCDigitalNetwork as a home base for the lessons, this cohort program empowers entrepreneurs to more effectively connect as a community and access necessary resources to ultimately grow their business. COVID-19 has had a direct impact on our accelerator program and the way we conduct the program itself, but the pandemic has not stopped us. We have creatively found our way around it using effective digital tools to achieve more efficiency. 

Our scheduled in-person kick-off session was conducted digitally this year. The several meetings that were conducted in-person previously are now completely digital. Going digital has let us expand our horizon and open this program to people from around the world rather than just a region. The Digital Cloud Accelerator online course launch is on the agenda next. There is a positive shift in the attitude of entrepreneurs to continue learning, working towards growing their companies and bettering themselves in this time of uncertainty. 

This year’s WiC Microsoft Cloud Accelerator is more than just an effort to make economic contributions to the system by empowering entrepreneurs. It is about embracing the new normal and moving forward with a sense of community. It is about adopting self-empowerment and finding comfort in knowing where to turn for support with a community at your side. Most importantly, it is about collective growth and learning.

The cohort 3.0 will continue with various digital lessons, live speaker interviews, weekly digital office hours, and monthly team working sessions with everybody involved. The syllabus is shaped in a way to make it easier for entrepreneurs to seek answers and find success individually. Until we are safe to meet our leaders and entrepreneurs in person to celebrate the progress we will have made, we are all committed to taking part in this journey together. 

Thank you for such a wonderful kickoff. Your flexibility and commitment to launch the program during this testing time is greatly appreciated. We as the COVID Cohort will become the force for change by building solutions not crippled by this chaos. Look forward to this journey with this great group.

Thank you for such a wonderful kickoff. Your flexibility and commitment to launch the program during this testing time is greatly appreciated. We as the COVID Cohort will become the force for change by building solutions not crippled by this chaos. Look forward to this journey with this great group.” – Gowri Selka, Volantsys

Yah great session ! Thank you ! Especially the “customer value prop #madlib exercise” ..
I’ve encountered a lot of enterprise sales folks at could use that exercise – for all parties benefits – before they approach a customer ! #goodone
” – Ellen Feaheny, Appfusion

Presenting the Women in Cloud Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Cohort 3.0:

  • SciMarONE – Donna Conroy
  • Rainbow Password – Nehal Mehta
  • illuxi – Genevieve Desautels
  • Resume Free Inc. – Allie Knull 
  • Agtools Inc – Martha Montoya
  • ELYON International, Inc. – Carmen Nazario 
  • Intect, Inc – Lisa Jain
  • X0PA Ai Pte Ltd – Nina Alag Suri
  • Volantsys Analytics – Gowri Selka 
  • Appfusions – Ellen Feaheny
  • Stimulus, Inc. – Tiffanie Stanard 
  • ApertureData – Vishakha Gupta

We’re all in this together. Women in Cloud is taking an active role to identify policies and solutions to prevent economic losses for female tech entrepreneurs. Your contribution will help us to develop a detailed report to share with policy-makers and global companies across the world.

Women In Cloud in partnership with Founders Live, M12, The WIT Network, IAMCP, UN EQUALS, and Microsoft Alumni Network is conducting a survey to collect the initial financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, policies that could have prevented losses and associated business changes. 

If you are a women led technology company, please consider filling it out with whatever information you may currently know. 

As countries, states, and cities respond to the COVID-19 virus, WiC wants to understand the effects on our community so that we can best advocate for possible policy changes and also leverage the report for recommending access for emergency funding and programs to sustain your companies.

*If things are uncertain or might change, that’s totally fine! We’d still very much welcome your responses! The survey will take 15 minutes.

Why is it important to act now? This information will help in the following ways:

  1. Development of COVID-19 impact report that policymakers and corporations can use for developing policies that prevent economic losses.
  2. Share evergreen solution recommendations that tech companies can take to prevent economic loss in any future crisis situations.
  3. Ability to aid in policy development and business continuity for this segment to continue to help women entrepreneurs.

Who can participate: Women led businesses that are providing technology solutions or services in any industry sector.

Take Action: Please spare 15-minutes for the survey to help us develop solutions together.

Note: As this is a continually evolving situation, we may resend this survey for updated responses, or follow up with you individually on any additional information we may need, so we are asking you to identify your business on the survey and include contact information. 

Thank you to our partners

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” — Maya Angelou

All throughout March, we celebrate Women’s History Month, a time to highlight and honor the contributions of women today and throughout history. While March brings International Women’s Day and shines light on the achievements of women, I’m proud that I work for an organization that empowers women throughout the year. Last year, Insight was recognized for advancing gender equity — with a third of its corporate board being comprised of women, exceeding the current average of 23.4%. This month, we celebrate our one-year anniversary of Women With Insight, a teammate resource group created to honor, empower and grow the skills of women throughout our company. And, I am honored to work on an executive team that has strong female representation.

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One of the primary messages that comes out of Women’s History Month is the importance of supporting other women. Earlier this year, I was invited to speak at the Women in Cloud Summit 2020, which focused on how we can advance, together. I love communities like Women in Cloud because they grant me the opportunity to learn from, be inspired by, and share wisdom with fascinating female leaders. 

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My topic was “High Performance Culture: Managing Multiple Generations.” I focused on how to support and ensure all teammates are working in an optimal environment, why trust and respect among all teammates is crucial and how meaningful results increase when you can achieve this kind of team culture.

If you reflect on your own career, it’s likely there was a person or moment that changed the course of your path for the better. Maybe, it was a coworker or someone close to you who gave you tough criticism. Personally, making a positive impact on one person’s career is a tremendous honor and joy. I hope that by sharing my own life and professional experiences, I can create meaningful connections and enable women in their own journey.

I think it’s important to support fellow women in their career paths — particularly in an industry that has, historically, been dominated by men. Today, women are finding their voice in technology, and that’s worth celebrating.

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Women in Cloud has created a 21 Days of Action campaign to #empowHERaccess to fair and equitable economic opportunities for all. I pledged my support and now you can do the same. You can add your name here: https://www.womenincloud.com/pledge/

Behind every successful women is a tribe of other women who have her back. I encourage everyone to not only wish for equality, but to show up and take action. You don’t have to be in a leadership position to be a force for change, to impact your community and those around you. From the conversations we have over cups of coffee, to the mainstage speeches we give, we’re working towards a better future, together… because our paths are not walked in isolation.

About the Author

Amy Protexter has always been fascinated by ideas. As a history major at Augustana College, she noticed the way a single idea expresses itself in different forms through the conduct, art and culture of a society. Her talent for connecting those ideas into a compelling message led Amy to her master’s degree in executive leadership from the University of Nebraska. Her success at leading change in corporate cultures brought her to Insight, where she guided the
company’s 2015 global rebranding and works daily to distill its message to the world through some of the channel’s most compelling digital marketing strategies. Amy started her career in healthcare, where she developed an ability to challenge an organization’s status quo and better align its mission and messaging. As senior vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Alegent Health — and later as a vice president at Vanguard Health Systems — she created messaging, projects and advocacy efforts to push structured corporate healthcare systems to a more patient-centric model. In 2012, Amy took her innovative approach into education. As vice president of marketing at Edgenuity, she led a complete renaming
and rebranding of the digital learning provider. She also fostered internal and external strategies that focused the corporate message and emphasized student empowerment. Amy joined Insight in 2014 as vice president of marketing, and was promoted to senior vice president North America marketing in September 2017. A lifelong learner, Amy applies the latest marketing ideas to the global rebranding (her fifth) and supports Insight’s identity as a problem-solving provider that puts the client first.

We live in a digital world and are connected by a click! So, Women in Cloud is excited to announce the first ever digital kickoff of the Women in Cloud Microsoft New York Accelerator on 26 March, 2020.

Changing times requires us to take necessary actions. We are sorry to inform you that the Women in Cloud Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Launch in New York City (previously scheduled for 19 March, 2020) has been cancelled due to rising concerns and spread of COVID-19. We want to ensure that the members of our community and their families stay safe throughout this time. 

We at Women in Cloud are eager to work our way around this difficult time and keep the spirit up for the mission! 

Women In Cloud Microsoft Cloud Accelerator is an immersive 6-month program to assist women led tech companies to co-build, co-market and co-sell with Microsoft and their distribution channels. This program is a program involving a 7 stage curriculum, designed to help you win enterprise opportunities, get access to Azure credits, an advisor community, and global stage to showcase your business. The program has created $100M in net new opportunities to date. 

We bring another exciting news to you. The Women in Cloud #CloudInnovateHERxNewYork Pitch Challenge which was scheduled along with the inauguration of the accelerator program is now being relaunched as the #CloudInnovateHERxDigital Pitch Challenge. This pitch challenge is now open to every female tech leader on the planet, and will take place digitally on 3 April, 2020. This pitch challenge is an opportunity for  women-owned tech businesses to find commercial success by showcasing their enterprise-ready cloud solutions and win $5000 along with other offers. 

Our commitment to our mission is stronger than ever and will not be stopped. While we may have to work around difficult times, our spirits are high. Please join us for our digital event and experience the power of technology!



Ottawa, March 6, 2020 – Today, the community-led initiative empowering women-led STEM businesses with $1 billion in economic access by 2030, Women in Cloud, is proud to have launched a new 21 Days of Economic Access social media campaign on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in partnership with Invest Ottawa.

“Today only 2 percent of women-led businesses in STEM win $1 million contracts,” said Chaitra Vedullapalli, Co-Founder of Meylah and Women in Cloud. “The goal of this campaign is to engage key public officials and corporate executives in Canada and the United States to give women greater access to existing procurement vehicles for women in technology business owners so we can increase their profitability while creating jobs.”

Notable women being featured as part of the campaign via spotlight and video stories include: The Right Honorable Kim Campbell, Canada’s first and only woman Prime Minister, Washington State Senator Patty Kuderer, Kate Roberts, Founder of the Maverick Collective and Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft, to name a few. 

Women in Cloud is an official partner of the United Nations and this campaign helps advance the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #5 to enable women to access $1 Billion in cloud opportunities. This campaign is supported by major partners such as Microsoft, Meylah and will extend to additional major markets such as India later in 2020. 

“Women in Cloud is proud to have created a proven entrepreneurship accelerator and aI-powered technology that governments and companies alike can leverage to help women in STEM win the $1 million contracts they need to scale their businesses and secure systemic shifts in the Canadian and American procurement sectors,” said Karen Fassio, Women in Cloud Co-founder.

Women in Cloud is a community-led initiative supporting female technology entrepreneurs. Through private-public partnerships with innovative companies and leaders in technology, Women in Cloud creates access to partnership opportunities, programs that accelerate business growth in the cloud and strategic alliances that advance the success of women in tech. For more information about Women in Cloud and the Women in Cloud Summit please visit the website at www.womenincloud.com.

Download Press Release

Access 21 Days of Action Promo Kit

For more information please contact:

Olivia Becthold | Media Advisor | M&C Consulting | olivia@mingarelliandcompany.com |