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Today, Women in Cloud is thrilled to announce the first-ever #EmpowHERAccess Awards, a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to recognize those who have facilitated their access and ensured business stability throughout the pandemic.

Women in Cloud (WIC) partners with M12 – Microsoft’s Venture Capital Fund to award those who have created access for women in tech to support their stability and recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

#empowHERaccess is an annual digital advocacy campaign by Women in Cloud to generate greater economic access for women in technology. Launched in 2020, the campaign reached over 600K women all! This year, as part of the #empowHERaccess campaign, we at Women in Cloud invite you to join us in acknowledging and celebrating the many stories of pivot and perseverance during the global pandemic. The application ends on June 30, 2021. So start your nominations today!

Women in Cloud has created eight awards to recognize and commemorate these vital members of our community: 

  1. Digital Transformation Project of the Year Award: This award celebrates excellence in digital transformation through the cloud and AI technologies. This award is sponsored by Microsoft Corporation. 
  2. Cloud Solution of the Year Award: This award sponsored by Insight, celebrates the cloud solution that most successfully innovates through the use of cutting-edge cloud and AI technologies as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 
  3. Supplier of the Year Award: This award celebrates companies who have managed to be accessible to female entrepreneurs during the recent epidemic and have increased their supplier ecosystem to accommodate their diverse needs.  
  4. Advisor of the Year Award: This award celebrates the advisors and mentors who have continued to support women entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic by unlocking their rolodex, volunteering their time, and sharing their knowledge. 
  5. Investor of the Year Award: This award celebrates investors who continued to provide economic access to women entrepreneurs during the pandemic by investing $1M+ into women-owned or led technology businesses. 
  6. Innovative Partnership of the Year Award: Sponsored by Accenture, this award celebrates companies that have partnered with women technology entrepreneurs to co-sell their solutions into the enterprise ecosystem. 
  7. Cloud Technology Deal of the Year Award: Our Cloud Technology Deal of the Year will be notable for creating new partnerships, coalescing resources, or injecting funds into innovative cloud businesses. This award is sponsored by Meylah Corporation. 
  8. Women in Technology Outstanding Leadership Award: The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the cloud industry by an individual. Our Outstanding Leader will be an industry leader whose creativity, passion, and innovation are driving the space forward—someone who embodies cloud excellence. M12 – Microsoft’s Venture Fund sponsored this award. 

We welcome you to nominate organizations, suppliers, advisors, investors, and women technology leaders and help us recognize powerful force contributing to your success in the technology industry. Those chosen will be honored at an Award Ceremony on July 16th during the WiCxInspire event. 
Important:

1. Organizations and initiatives can nominate themselves!

2. Nominations are open until 30-Jun-21Learn more!

3. This year’s award ceremony will be on July16th, 2021 during the WiCxInspire Event

For information on the #EmpowHERAccess Inaugural Awards, click here

The countdown begins! 

“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.” – IWD

Women In Cloud IWD2021 Summit
#CollectivePower In Action

Imagine a post-pandemic world where women are struggling for jobs, recognition, and for a spot in the industry? Well, we are already there! The Covid-19 pandemic has driven a large number of women out of the workforce and dented years of effort to achieve equity and equality for women in the industry. 

The 2021 International Women’s Day-themed #ChooseToChallenge was dedicated to overcoming the overwhelming issues women continue to face in today’s world enhanced by the onset of a global pandemic. Following the theme of IWD, Women in Cloud’s two-day celebrations focused on providing digital experiences that help participants gain the skills, knowledge, and access they need to challenge the current environment and statistics around economic inclusion for women in technology. 

The summit was a call-to-action to avert a brewing global crisis for women in the upcoming years as a direct impact of the current pandemic. The Co-founder and President of Women in Cloud, Chaitra Vedullapalli spoke about the detrimental trifecta hampering the creation of infinite economic access for women in technology. She highlighted the following trifecta and called upon the industry thought leaders, experts and corporations to build strategic partnerships to eliminate a possible crisis; 

  1. Lack of Leadership Representation: Though female participation in the labor force has increased and the number of women in executive-level roles has risen, growth has been painfully slow. The percentage of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies has climbed from zero in 1995 to only 4.8 percent in 2018. Just one in eight start-up CEOs are women and the most highly compensated executive roles continue to be dominated by men. Overall, women technologists make up 28.8 percent of the tech workforce today. When we act with intention, we can put more women in leadership roles which will lead to a stronger economy.
  2. Lack of Supplier Diversity Allocation: Today, only 3 percent of corporate procurement dollars and 5 percent of federal contracts are going to women-owned firms. Although total global venture funding increased by 4 percent year-over-year, funding to female-founded startups decreased by 27 percent. Investors have reduced their investment in women-led tech companies taking it to less than 2 percent. It’s no wonder that only 2 percent of women-owned businesses ever make it to $1 million in revenue, which is 3.5 times less than their male counterparts.
  3. Increased Displacement of Women-held Jobs: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, due to the COVID-19 pandemic more than 2.2 million women were unemployed and it is estimated 180 million women’s jobs will be eliminated over the next 20 years as a result of AI transformation.

To combat these shocking numbers and help women, the Women in Cloud’s International Women’s Day celebration was a call-to-action summit to engage and partner with large corporations. If men and women worked together to double the supplier diversity allocation in large corporations – not spend, JUST their budget allocation – we will generate $1 billion in revenue for women entrepreneurs.

At International Women’s Day, we proactively created high energy community experiences to connect, inspire and transform the attendees to be part of the economic access movement; 

  • #ChooseToChallenge Fireside Chat: The high-level interactive summit began with a power panel led by Jackie Wright, Chief Digital Officer, Microsoft, and Gretchen O’Hara, Vice President, US AI & Sustainability Strategy. It was a captivating fireside chat that invigorated the audience and left them with clear thoughts to consider the current state of economic access and where they can take action to change the narrative in their own ecosystems. Click here for the full video.
  • #ChooseToChallenge Leadership Panel: Led by Gina Fratarcangeli, Managing Director of Accenture along with power speakers Ying Zhao, ServiceNow; Kristen Marquez, Boeing; Jeana Jorgenson, Google; Lily Li, Columbia, Citi, the panel shared lived experiences, articulated the crisis that we are dealing with, and how as an individual one can find a solution to existing crises in your ecosystem. Click to listen to the conversation.
#ChoosetoChallenge Power Panel at Women In Cloud IWD2021 Event
  • #CloudJobs and #RockYourPitch: Battling the job displacement problem, the #CloudJobs Recruitment Lounge created access to over 150 jobs from 33 companies. Plus, we hosted #RockYourPitch, a confidence-building experience to help attendees and entrepreneurs to build their compelling pitch. 
#cloudexecconnect
  • #CloudExecConnect: Women in Cloud’s premium networking experience #CloudExecConnect helps female technology founders to connect with experienced industry leaders to advise entrepreneurs to get access to investors and customers.
#cloudExecConnect Advisors
  • Microsoft’s #BuildFor2030 Campaign: Female founders from WiC Cloud accelerator were invited to participate in Microsoft’s #BuildFor2030 campaign to make ensure easy access to technology developed by female tech founders. Together, we highlighted companies that align with the UN SDGs and bring us one step closer to creating an inclusive digital economy. Congratulations to WiC Female Founders!

2021 is about challenging the norms of society and eliminating the onset of the global crisis fueled by the detrimental trifecta. So join us in the economic access movement and let us together beat this global crisis. 

As a special gift to you, please enjoy the complimentary offers below:

To access the recordings from the Summit, stay tuned to the #WiCDigitalNetwork for more information on when they will be released. 

As a partner to the United Nations, we’ve pledged to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 initiatives adopted by member states in 2015 focused on impacting the world for good by 2030.

United Nation SDG Goals

Last year, we also partnered with Microsoft to participate in their #BuildFor2030 campaign to make sure that everyone has access to technology developed by female tech founders. Together, we highlighted companies that align with the SDGs and bring us one step closer to creating an inclusive digital economy.

This year, WiC was invited to nominate solutions developed by female tech founders. We are so thrilled to celebrate the members of the Women in Cloud Microsoft Cloud Accelerator being featured in Microsoft’s #BuildFor2030 Campaign. The United Nations Sustainable Goal is at the heart of Women In Cloud’s movement, in an attempt to create opportunities for all.

As a global movement creating economic access to advance female technology entrepreneurs, we are beyond excited that our Accelerator is generating the desired impact. Women in Cloud was inspired by the United Nation and we as an organization are dedicated to contribute to UN SDG #5 – Gender Equality.

Congratulations!! WiC founder solutions has been selected to participate in Microsoft’s #Buildfor2030 Campaign. Read about this campaign at this blogpost by Gavriella Schuster and see full featured list of partners.  

BrandCompany Name & Solution What they solve for the world? Link
UNpkl: Network Traffic Control & Protection UNpkl empowers customers to own their network data and puts security on auto-pilot. https://solutions.womenincloud.com/unpkl-network-traffic-control-protection
Agtools: Ag & Food Supply Chain
Agtools transforms official data into actionable information for rapid supply chain decisions
https://solutions.womenincloud.com/agtools
Stimulus: Relationship Intelligence Platform (SRIP) Streamline supplier search, evaluation, selection, and management with one platform. https://solutions.womenincloud.com/stimulus-relationship-intelligence-platform
X0PA AI X0PA AI Recruiter X0PA AI Recruiter (microsoft.com)
SciMar ONE A drug development platform that expedites the delivery of safe & effective scientific innovations. https://solutions.womenincloud.com/the-scientific-data-engine-sde
Resume Free Inc. Screening as a service that matches employers and candidates on data, all without using a resume https://solutions.womenincloud.com/resumefree
Volantsys Inc dBIRD – A guided workflow platform with embedded training to build AI solutions and track business insights. https://solutions.womenincloud.com/data-science-upskilling-workshop
PUG Interactive Inc. PUG builds unbreakable Brand-Customer Relationships for Enterprise. https://solutions.womenincloud.com/picnic-customer-engagement-hub
ApertureData Inc ApertureDB: Visual Data Management Made Easy https://solutions.womenincloud.com/aperturedb-visual-data-management-made-easy
Meylah Main Street Digital Platform, a digital economic development platform for any city to to build a vibrant, prosperous and resilient economy with small businesses.https://solutions.womenincloud.com/main-street-digital-platform
Interactive Tracking Systems Inc itracks Realtime a qualitative research solution unlocked to conduct real, high-quality focus groups any time, anywhere. https://solutions.womenincloud.com/itracks-realtime-1
Applaudo Studios Applaudo services help customers to rethink, retool, redesign, redeploy your infrastructure to the Microsoft Azure cloud https://solutions.womenincloud.com/applaudo-studios
Illuxi Intelligence Online content hosting and delivery Business Apps – Microsoft AppSource

Read about this campaign at this blogpost by Gavriella Schuster and see full featured list of partners. To engage with Microsoft and be part of #Buildfor2030, access the following resources:

Nominate your solution to be featured in #Buildfor2030 Campaign

Listing your solution in the Microsoft commercial marketplace helps you reach 4+ million monthly active users, sell in over 140+ global geographies, and engage with 100K+ high-potential leads generated each month.

By participating in the #BuildFor2030 campaign, you gain access to go-to-market services that can help drive awareness of your impact-focused solution with your customers and extend its reach.

Nominate your solution to be featured in our #BuildFor2030 campaign and Learn how to participate

WiC Solution Marketplace: Women In Cloud Solution Marketplace, is a one-stop shop for accessing all the technology solutions and services for the mid-to-enterprise market that are created, owned and operated by women tech founders.

Interested to be feature your solution in WiC Solution Marketplace and join the #EmpowHERaccess campaign?

It is a simple two set process:

First: Register your solution for free, click here

Second: Once submitted, co-promote the #EmpowHERaccess campaign with us.

Any questions, please send a email to cvedulla@womenincloud.com

The Women in Cloud team is immensely happy to announce Cohort 5.0 after four successful cohorts which is designed to give access for female technology founders to win enterprise cloud opportunities. We launched the 5.0 cohort on Feb 26, 2021 with 17 companies from 4 countries. Lets welcome them to the WiC Cohort of Successful Female Tech Founders.

Women In Cloud’s Microsoft Cloud Accelerator is designed as an immersive 6-month program to assist women-led tech companies to build stronger together co-sell plan with Microsoft and their distribution channels . This program is expertly designed to help women tech entrepreneurs win enterprise opportunities, get access to Azure credits, an advisor community, and a global stage to showcase your business.

The 5.0 Cohort Immersive Kickoff session held on on Friday, February 26, 2020. The first session featured curated speakers, Chaitra Vedullapalli, Co-Founder and President of WiC; Kim Smith, Global VP, Cloud Innovation Services of IBM; Brea Starmer, Founder/President, Executive Consultant, Lions + Tigers, Digital Enterprise, IT & Digital of Boeing; Ellen Feaheny, Founder & CEO of AlohaCloud Digital Networks; Martha Montoya, CEO of agTools, Inc.; 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. 

This kickoff focused on helping founders develop their future vision and this experience was led by with Patti Dobrowolski, 3 Times TEDx speaker and inspired the founders to design their co-sell plan.

Here is output of what a vision of equitable equity and access looks like for women founders.

Women In Cloud Accelerator

The cohort 5.0 will be digital accelerator with built in benefits including azure credits, listing on marketplaces, participating in global UN focused campaigns, bi-weekly office hours, monthly live chats with industry leaders, and continued access to industry stages, has elevated our programming to an unmatched scale.

Going digital has let us expand our horizon and open this program to people from around the world rather than just a region. Cohort 5.0 boasts a diverse participation of companies from the United States, Canada, India and United Kingdom.
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.

Presenting the Women in Cloud Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Cohort 5.0:

  • Jacqueline G Schafer, Clearbrief
  • Pradnya Desh, Advocat Technologies
  • Rachel Hankerson, International PROOF Systems, LLC
  • Sonal Malavia, Cloud 9 Infosystems
  • Sinmi Adeoye-Esene, Daniola Corporation
  • Cheryl Ingram, Inclusology
  • Sherisse Hawkins, PageDip
  • Sophia Stone, Indie Tech Ltd.
  • Sanjana Govil, Unseen Insight
  • Steph Locke, Nightingale HQ
  • Padma Subramanian, Fyrii.ai
  • Kerry Schrader, Mixtroz,LLC
  • Agnes Lan, Kinderdrop Inc.
  • Sonali Jha, Cunomial Technologies Private Limited
  • Bhavya Aggarwal, zipBoard Tech

This year, Global Affairs Canada underwrote 50% of the accelerator fees for two Canadian companies that were approved to participate in the 5.0 cohort. Their previous generous support has allowed 8 of our 4.0 entrepreneurs to have the opportunity to scale their businesses to become co-sell and co-market ready with enterprise partners.

Economic Access is the tide that lifts all boats. Together we rise.

Interested in joining the 6.0 cohort? Applications are open now: Click here to learn more

Women in Cloud has partnered with Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft to underwrite 50 women to get free access to the WIC Digital Summit 2021 by giving a total of three one-on-one executive mentorship sessions.

What is the catch?

Nothing. Just buy a T-shirt!

As a C-level Microsoft Executive and Thought-Leader, Gavriella leads a global portfolio of channel partners that have influenced over $1 trillion in ecosystem revenues. She brings over 20 years of leadership in digital and cloud transformation roles, driving strategy and execution spanning all aspects of the business model and product development, launch, marketing, sales, and partner development. Gavriella currently leads global recruitment, enablement, and engagement of Microsoft’s fast-growing partner ecosystem. As a builder and change agent, she has built and turned around businesses by inspiring a vision for future customer relevance and engaging teams in developing the roadmap.

In December 2020, Gavriella delivered a powerful TEDx talk on the topic, ‘BeCOME an Ally: How to Achieve Gender Equity?’ Her TEDx speech highlighted the need to create opportunities for women in technology and the role all of us, men, and women play in the process. 

Gavriella Schuster was also awarded the ATHENA Global Leadership Award – previously bestowed upon icons like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Condoleezza Rice, and Christina Koch, just to name a few – for her contribution to technology, and supporting equality and equity in technology. The Insight Success Magazine also recognized Gavriella as the ‘Top 10 Most Influential Women in Cloud 2020.’

Gavriella is a powerhouse of knowledge and drives impact every step of the way! 

Now is your chance to qualify and win a chance to be mentored by Gavriella Schuster; you have to buy an exclusively designed Women in Cloud Allyship T-shirt. These t-shirts are designed to drive awareness about economic inclusion and allyship in the technology industry. 

What are the Entry Rules?

  1. Every purchase gives you an entry for the executive mentorship opportunity
  2. Drawing of the lots will happen on the closing day i.e., 30 January 2021 of the Women in Cloud Digital Summit 2021.
  3. Executive mentorship sessions will be scheduled on a mutually agreed date.

Buy a T-shirt today and win an exclusive executive mentorship opportunity while contributing to underwrite Summit passes for women! 

This January 2021 at the Women in Cloud Digital Summit 2021 learn about the Technology Industry at the opening plenary with Former Prime Minister of Canada, Rt. Honorable Kim Campbell, and Corporate Vice President Gavriella Schuster.

We also highly recommend Interactive Experiences for you to participate in to expand your network:

  • 28 January: Explore Cloud Jobs at #CloudJobs Fair & Recruitment Lounge
  • 28 January: Meet Black Founders
  • 29 January: Master your pitch at #RockYourPitch Experience
  • 29 January: Get access to mentorship from Cloud Industry leaders
  • 30 January: Get your kids to participate in Youth Mentorship Circle
  • 30 January: Make New Friends at Scavenger Hunt 

Join WIC Digital Network to be part of the global economic access movement.