Six months into the most unexpected year, it  has been a journey of its own. The pandemic brought out a new digital lifestyle we are all forced to embrace, while uncertainty and chaos looms over our heads. But as everybody is accepting the new normal, we have some exciting news to share. Women in Cloud and SHEROES are announcing a collaborative partnership to advance women tech founders and leaders in India to drive economic development goals.

SHEROES is the world’s first and largest women-only social network, exclusively designed around the needs, goals and aspirations of women Internet users. Based out of New Delhi, SHEROES leverages technology to solve the problem of gender disparity in India. Accessible via Sheroes.com and the SHEROES app, the platform is the largest online ecosystem of 20 million users, supporting women. Their offerings can be accessed over communities, a free-to-use counselling chat helpline, resources, mentorship, peer-to-peer conversations, a marketplace, a reproductive health tracker and opportunities for women. SHEROES is reimagining how women use, experience and benefit from the internet.

Women in Cloud is extremely happy to announce this partnership, which will help our network to gain access to the vast and talented women-only SHEROES network. We are also looking forward to achieving the following joint goals:

  1. Launch The Women in Cloud India Accelerator to boost economic access in the enterprise markets
  2. Host CloudInnovateHERxIndia Pitch Challenge to showcase enterprise ready solutions
  3. Inspire women to participate in Global AI Solution2030 design contest for designing solution for India market
  4. Engage women to join #EmpowHERAccess campaigns to create awareness about women’s contribution to the economic prosperity in India & across the global.

This partnership is also an effort to carry forward the Global Expansion Plan in India, where the curtain-raiser took place in August 2019. 

According to Nasscom, the cloud market in India will grow 3-fold to USD 7.1 billion by 2022, one of the fastest in the world, yet women tech founders are not well presented in driving economic changes. Female Entrepreneurship Index is 70 out 77 as presented by the DWEN Research. Policy makers in India are currently investing in entrepreneurship & economic empowerment for self reliance. This partnership allows Women in Cloud to provide women tech founders exclusive access to Microsoft Cloud Accelerator, to help build inclusive solutions and influence technology-focused job creation in the India market. 

“What makes Women in Cloud powerful is our community. By sharing our stories, we inspire innovation. By banding together, we change laws. By leveraging our personal networks, we create new opportunities. It is through collective action that we will help women entrepreneurs access $1 billion in economic access by 2030. We are thrilled to join forces with SHEROES to reach our goal while also helping female tech entrepreneurs in India create economic opportunities,” said Chaitra Vedullapalli, Co-founder and President, Women in Cloud.

“Our network has unparalleled reach and depth with women users across India. SHEROES is also helping enhance women’s social, economic and digital footprint, and part of this mission has always been to support more women building and owning the technology that runs the world. We’re extremely excited to partner with Women In Cloud as part of their plan to expand their footprint in India, and co-curate initiatives that can further move the GDP and gender index here,” commented Sairee Chahal, Founder & CEO, SHEROES on the partnership with Women in Cloud.

Both our communities are absolutely elated with this partnership and we are determined to help our society and community be a better space for women entrepreneurs and leaders to find their success. 

This is a huge step towards ensuring economic access to women tech founders in both India and the United States. Stay tuned for more updates!

Today, Women in Cloud released a report highlighting the results of their recent survey of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women technology entrepreneurs. 

The report indicates that the average loss of revenue in the next 24 months, across 57 women tech entrepreneurs surveyed expanding 16 industries, is $500 thousand to $1 million per company. An additional $1 million to $5 million per company is expected in opportunity loss over the next three years. 

Most organizations surveyed also reported on the operational disruptions they’ve experienced as a result of the pandemic. In addition to business activities that were impacted by the lockdowns such as events, networking, meetings, and company-wide social gatherings, 63 percent of survey respondents indicated that they will not be conducting any business-related travel in the next three months. At the time of the survey, 60 percent of respondents had mandatory work-from-home procedures in place for their organization and employees.

Respondents who indicated higher financial loss and/or a greater number of operational disturbances reported a more negative emotional impact and higher stress levels among themselves and their team. Overall, almost half of the women technology entrepreneurs who responded, across all industries, indicated that the emotional impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has been negative or somewhat negative for themselves and their staff.

In addition to eye-opening statistics and insights, the report also includes turnkey solutions for governments, enterprise companies and entrepreneurs to increase diversity, representation and inclusion in their operations and opportunities for women technology entrepreneurs.

Read the full COVID-19 Impact Report here and find key information and highlights on the attached fast-sheet. 

Special Thanks to our Partners & Sponsors: Founders Live, WIT Network, IAMCP, EQUALS, M12 and Microsoft


The era of virtual events is here. We are living a life in the outside world without stepping out of our pajamas or homes thanks to the internet and technology.

Since March 2020, the world is witnessing an indefinite standstill and the internet has become our haven. According to Forbes, Virtual events are up 1,000% since Coronavirus, says a virtual events platform. 6Connex platform has seen more than 52,000 events and subevents since COVID-19. While virtual life and events are convenient, there are still some digital etiquettes one must follow.

The Women in Cloud #CloudExecConnect is right around the corner and will be the biggest virtual event we have hosted so far. #CloudExecConnect solves a specific need within the community to stimulate cross-pollination and bi-directional conversation that can make a meaningful difference in whether or not these businesses are able to succeed. The two-day event is a curated virtual experience which will let you connect with industry leaders from Microsoft and tech giants. The #CloudExecConnect consists of two different events #CloudEnterpriseConnect and #FemaleCloudFoundersBrunch.

We wanted to share a few tips and tricks with our attendees to make their experience seamless and memorable.  

  1. Stable Internet Connection – This is our number one advice, ensure you have a stable internet connection to enjoy the event without missing any bit of the event. This also helps to keep the event flow without any disruption. Another addition to this point would be ensure your hardware is ready to roll. Laptop, chargers, webcam, speakers, earphones are all within reach to help you fully commit to the event.
  2. The Right Spot – We think it would also help to find a nice corner with no noise or disturbance at your home to enjoy any event like you would if you were attending it in person. It would also help if you would mute yourself unless required to help reduce the background noise for everybody attending.
  3. Know the Platform – There are hundreds of virtual event platforms, each different from the other. When attending an event it is advisable to understand how a certain platform functions, and what are its features to ensure you get the best virtual experience.

On July 20 – 21, #CloudExecConnect will take place on Remo, an immersive virtual space that empowers people to communicate, connect, and collaborate with each other just like they would in real life. We want to help you understand Remo’s features and interface so you enjoy #CloudExecConnect with no hassle. 

Some of the interesting features Remo offers are, 

  1. A roundtable experience which allows 6 people at a table to interact with one another. 
  2. The floor bifurcation which allows you to experience different hubs at the same time like you would in-person
  3. A biocard option that lets you access people’s LinkedIn and other social media profiles for instant connection
  4. It allows you to have a table chat, personal chat or general chat. It also lets you ask questions anonymously, without fear of judgement. 
  5. There is a whiteboard facility for every table which allows the participants of that table to  draw, write, upload content, add mind maps and diagrams, etc. 

Remo is also extremely easy to use and navigate, and if you would like to familiarize yourself with the platform here is a quick video

The Women in Cloud team is excited to bring the #CloudExecConnect to your doorstep this July and we are hopeful that this 2-day virtual event will be an experience like none other and we look forward to your presence. 

For more information on #CloudExecConnect, click here

Earlier this year Women in Cloud joined the EQUALS Global Partnership, which brings together more than 90 stakeholders including, governments, private sector, United Nation entities, academia and not-for-profit organizations to accelerate efforts towards bridging the gender digital divide and fostering gender equality in the digital age.

Last week, we were happy to announce that our very own Co-founder and President, Chaitra Vedullapalli joined forces with the International Trade Centre (ITC) to deliver a SheTrades Invest course webinar in support of EQUALS. 

Earlier this year Women in Cloud joined the EQUALS Global Partnership, which brings together more than 90 stakeholders including, governments, private sector, United Nation entities, academia and not-for-profit organizations to accelerate efforts towards bridging the gender digital divide and fostering gender equality in the digital age.

The SheTrades Invest course is a 5-part webinar series designed by ITC’s SheTrades Initiative to help women entrepreneurs succeed in the technology sector by improving their access to finance. The SheTrades initiative aims to connect 3 million women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses to international markets by 2021. The initiative offers a blueprint of seven global actions to unlock markets for women as well as a web and mobile app for women entrepreneurs to connect to buyers, investors, and new markets.

On 23 June 2020, Chaitra Vedullapalli presented the fifth and final webinar in the course on the topic of, ‘How to get ready for corporate contracts: The art of winning & keeping enterprise customers’. Chaitra as the Co-founder of Meylah Corporation has had her ups and downs in the tech industry in terms of securing customers and contracts during her initial days and was well placed to share her learnings with course participants during the live 1.5-hour interactive webinar.

There are also other course webinars including , ‘Identifying the right financial instruments for your technology company’ co-hosted by Dr. Gitanjali Swamy, Managing Partner at IoTask & Representative to the EQUALS Leadership Coalition that can be accessed via the EQUALS website here.

The SheTrades Invest course on access to finance is very timely as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimates that MSMEs face a financing gap of approximately $5.2 trillion dollars annually. According to the World Bank, women led enterprises receive only 3 percent of all venture capital funding. The SheTrades invest course aims to close this gap by equipping women entrepreneurs with the skills, tools and knowledge to meet the needs of investors and securing financing. 

Women in Cloud as a community is striving through the collaborative efforts of our partners and members. In this regard, we are extremely honored to contribute to the SheTrades Invest course webinar and the efforts of EQUALS Global Partnership and the International Trade Centre. Furthermore, to watch a recording of Chaitra’s session and access other webinars in support of EQUALS,  please visit:  https://www.equals.org/leadership-webinar.

ApertureData has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $225,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on scaling ApertureData’s visual data management platform for enterprise scale applications. 

The proposed research will take ApertureData closer to realizing the vision of a unified data backend for all stages of machine learning (ML) from edge to cloud, removing inefficiencies introduced by repurposing systems designed for other workloads. Capturing business value from data via ML comprises multiple steps (data collection, curation, training, etc) and is currently being addressed by multiple siloed solutions that, when integrated, result in an inefficient system. Given that each of the different steps interacts with data in one way or another, offering a unified and efficient way to interact with the data regardless of the stage reduces the complexity of ML pipelines as they scale.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

Improvements in ML have made it possible for businesses to extract rich insights from visual data (images, videos). Handling big-visual-data for ML requires storage and access methods that are designed with visual ML in mind. With the current off-the-shelf alternatives, ML engineers and data scientists are forced to glue data solutions not designed for visual data management. With our focus on the data side of ML deployments, ApertureData is well positioned to be the technical leader in addressing the next generation of challenges for ML based applications. This NSF grant will enable us to address the scalability challenges that are particularly magnified when dealing with image, videos, and its corresponding metadata like annotations and embeddings”, said Vishakha Gupta-Cledat, CEO and Co-founder of ApertureData, who will serve as the Principal Investigator for this grant.

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $256,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $1,000,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.

Startups or entrepreneurs who submit a three-page Project Pitch will know within three weeks if they meet the program’s objectives to support innovative technologies that show promise of commercial and/or societal impact and involve a level of technical risk. Small businesses with innovative science and technology solutions, and commercial potential are encouraged to apply.All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program, also known as America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, undergo a rigorous merit-based review process. To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/

About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.75 million to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.1 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.

About the Author – Vishakha Gupta

Vishakha is Co-founder and CEO of ApertureData. Prior to that, she worked at Intel Labs for over 7 years where she led the design and development of VDMS (the Visual Data Management System) which forms the core of the ApertureData Platform. Vishakha holds a Ph.D in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a M.S. in Information Networking from Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests encompass systems in general with particular inclination towards virtualization, embedded and real time systems as well as distributed systems. She has worked on graph based storage and applications on non volatile memory systems. She loves to work on systems which impose stringent requirements in terms of software design and coding and call for innovative solutions. She has served on the program and steering committees of several premier systems conferences.