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German accelerator opens global call for social ventures that empower women

Berlin-based accelerator F-LANE has opened a call to social ventures from across the world that utilise technology to empower women.

In a press release today, the accelerator, which was initiated by the Vodafone Institute, called on male and female entrepreneurs to apply online to the six-week accelerator programme at The programme begins on 9 October in Berlin and applications are open until 24 July.

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The accelerator is collaborating with the Impact Hub Berlin and the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie to source innovative technology startups around the world that focus on women, provide an enterprising solution to a social problem and have the potential to make a wide impact.

The programme mission is to foster the participation of women in technological development and improve the situation of girls and women around the world through technology.

‘The mission is to foster participation of women in technological development, improve situation of girls and women’

Vodafone Institute director of strategy and programmes Alice Steinbrück said the first round of F-LANE saw inspirational startup ideas and female entrepreneurs and a “big media echo”.

“That made our decision to hold a second round very easy and we obviously still have a long way to go in eliminating gender-specific disparities, particularly in the technology sector,” she said.

Earlier this year, in a keynote speech in March at the “Women in Tech: Breaking the Glass Ceiling” conference in Berlin, which took place parallel to the last F-LANE accelerator, the German Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Manuela Schwesig, called for more support to women in the technology sector.

About 150 startups from 50 countries applied to take part in the first round of F-Lane, which took place from February to March this year.

Five startups were chosen for the accelerator programme. These included Wazi Vision, Ask without Shame (both from Uganda), Securella (Morocco), DigiSitter (Germany) and Lensational (Hong Kong).

The accelerator aims to implement at least two programmes every year, focusing on offering business advice, training and networking and funding of up to €12 000, potential investment from Vodafone and networking with other investors.

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