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Vodafone Institute launches the next round of F-LANE

3 Jun 2019Digital Society
2 minute read

Women found only 17%[1] of technology start-ups globally and in Europe that number is even lower at 15%[2].

At the Vodafone Institute we are addressing that under-representation by launching the fourth year of F-LANE, the first accelerator in the world empowering women in the tech sector.

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Anne Dörner from the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie meets entrepreneurs at the Vodafone Institute Accelerator for Female Empowerment F-Lane; Impact HUB, Berlin; February 2017. Photo credit: Vodafone Institute.

The programme has a mission to increase the participation of women in developing technology and to empower women of all ages around the world using technology.

F-LANE collaborates with the Impact Hub Berlin and the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie to find innovative start-ups from around the world that focus on women, provide an enterprising idea to a social problem and have the potential to make a big impact.

In the past four years we have already had some notable alumni. Wazi Vision is a venture based in Kampala Uganda that provides affordable eye care to children aged 6 -15 using an app (mobile eye screening application and virtual reality) to diagnose vision defects and provide eye glasses made from recycled plastic.

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Katharina Schiederig (DigiSitter), Ruth Nabembezi (Ask Without Shame) and Brenda Katwesigye (Wazi Vision) at F_LANE, February 2017. Photo credit: Vodafone Institute.

Doctory’s founders aim to make the healthcare system in Pakistan more transparent through a search engine that uses machine learning and a review-based feedback mechanism to provide patients with reliable health care information and services.

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The Doctory founders (l-r) Talha Naveed and Maliha Khalid. Photo credit: Vodafone Institute.

Successful applicants for the class of 2019 class will participate in the intensive seven-week accelerator programme. We will focus on these four areas:

  • Funding

- €12,000 seed capital as start-up support;

- Networking with other investors, venture capital providers and business angels.

  • Advice & Coaching

- experienced mentors for every start-up;

- individual roadmaps for every start-up; and

- advice from external experts (technology consultants, Vodafone experts etc.).

  • Training

- individual training sessions geared to the needs of each start-up.

  • Networks

- link-up with the global ‘Vodafone family’;

- attendance of diverse conferences; and

- access to the global Impact Hub Network (100 impact hubs around the world) and the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie network.

The online application process for the 7-week accelerator programme starting 4 October 2019 in Berlin is now open. Applications can be submitted to until 7 June 2019.

Inger Paus is Managing Director of the Vodafone Institute and Chair of the Management Board of the Vodafone Foundation Germany. The institute is Vodafone’s European think-tank, analyzing the potential of digital technologies and their responsible use for innovation, growth and sustainable social impact.

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[1] Crunchbase (2017):

[1] TNW (2018):

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Empowering People
  • Startups
  • Vodafone Institute

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