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A prize for female founders of IT startups
An inDriver project
116
applications submitted

The Aurora Tech Award is an annual prize for female founders of IT startups whose projects have had the most pronounced impact on the development of the world. Our goal is to support women in the field of advanced technologies and especially female entrepreneurs. IT improves the lives of millions of people all at once, so we want to support startups in this area.

The heroine of the award represents freedom of choice, something that inDriver is giving back to people. She is independent, compassionate, transcends stereotypes, and does fascinating and important work.

If you are a female entrepreneur, and your project has improved the lives of a large number of people, then go ahead and submit an application!

Why
it’s important

In Russia, achieving success in the field of IT is difficult, especially if you’re a woman. In IT, only 17% of all CEOs are women. Investors are hesitant to invest money into businesses that were founded by women. Talented female specialists are often told that technology just isn’t for them. The aim of our award is to change the situation for women in IT.

Despite all the obstacles, female IT entrepreneurs are currently creating unique medical solutions, researching specific details of voice control, and developing artificial intelligence for unmanned transportation. They are systematically building effective businesses and conquering the global market.

They do not balk when faced with difficulties, as researches have proven: in Russia, women are more likely to launch their own business during a crisis than men.

The world is changing, and gender stereotypes are becoming a thing of the past. The Aurora Tech Award was created in order to remind people that women are half of our civilization’s creative intellectual potential. In many technological fields, they have become the driving force behind development and have done a great deal of good in the world. During the Second World War, it was women who decoded the correspondence between Nazi spies, and in the 1960s, it was they who created the software for the Apollo space program.

We believe that women should have the opportunity not only to get a career in IT but also to flourish therein, to bring to fruition the best ideas without any obstacles and without having any conditions imposed upon them. We have, therefore, set ourselves the following tasks: to recognize the achievements of women in IT entrepreneurship, to support them with a financial award, and to dismantle gender stereotypes in IT.

The rules for the Aurora Tech Award

Any Russian-speaking female founder or co-founder of a company that was created no more than five years ago can be nominated for the award. The key product of the nominee’s company must have been established based on information technologies. The nominee must occupy a C-level position in the company at the time the application is submitted.

The nomination application includes:

  1. A presentation that is accessible via a link and that demonstrates:
    • the candidate’s main achievements
    • any challenges the candidate has faced while working on the startup
    • the professional qualities that helped her overcome these obstacles
    • the startup’s successes
    • and an explanation of how the startup contributes to the development of the world around us.
  2. A high-quality photograph of the candidate (2 MB, .jpg) for use in the award’s official materials.
  3. A biography of the female entrepreneur of up to 100 words for use in the award’s official materials.

By submitting an application, the candidate agrees to the use of the data provided in the mass media and on the official Aurora Tech Award website and also gives the organizers the right to process the information for the purposes of the award itself.

The stages of conducting the award

Stage one: collecting applications
Applications will be accepted from September 13 until October 7, 2021, inclusive.
Stage two: drawing up a shortlist for the award
The award committee will select the ten strongest applications.
On November 6, the shortlist will be published on the award’s website.
Stage three: Publication of the results
The judging panel selects the winners of the award.
On December 6, the results of the Aurora Tech Award will be published.

The prizes

First prize
$30,000
Second prize
$20,000
Third prize
$10,000

As well as the prize from inDriver, entrepreneurs will get media coverage for their start-up and another special reward: mentoring from venture investors Marina Davydova and Nikolai Davydov.

Composition of the judging panel

Renata George
Managing Partner
MR Ventures
Sardana Mikheeva
VP of Operations
inDriver
Anastasia Karpova
Deputy Editor in Chief
Forbes Russia
Lyudmila Kharitonova
Managing Partner
Zartsyn and Partners
Julia Solovieva
Managing Director
Google Russia
Elizaveta Osetinskaya
Founder
The Bell Russians Are Okay

Answers to frequently
asked questions

Who can receive the award?

Any Russian-speaking female founder or co-founder of a company that was created no more than five years ago. The main product of the nominee’s business must have been established based on IT. The nominee must occupy a C-level position in the company at the time the application is submitted.

Why is the award solely for women?

Female entrepreneurs and tech professionals face prejudice from investors, from colleagues and from society. As a result, society loses out by never hearing their breakthrough ideas, which can shape the future. This is why we want to support women in IT — this is our contribution to the development of the world.

How long will the selection process take?

The award will be conducted in three stages, which will take a little longer than three months.

Stage one: collecting applications—from September 13 to October 7, 2021.
Stage two: drawing up a shortlist for the award—up to November 6, 2021.
Stage three: publishing the results—December 6, 2021.

What should be included in applications for the award?
  1. A presentation that is available to be accessed via a link. The document should include:
    • the candidate’s achievements.
    • any challenges the candidate has faced while working on the startup.
    • the professional qualities that helped her overcome these obstacles.
    • the startup’s successes.
    • the areas of societal life that the startup has impacted.
  2. A high-quality photograph of the candidate (2 MB, .jpg) for use in the award’s official materials.
  3. A biography of the female entrepreneur of up to 100 words for use in the award’s official materials.
What sort of startup do I need to have in order to win?

It must be an IT company that was created by a Russian-speaking woman no less than five years ago, and that is changing our world and society for the better. The impact it has had on the development of the world will be evaluated by the judging panel.

How big is the prize that will be awarded to the female entrepreneur who is selected by the judging panel?

The judging panel will publish the results on December 6, 2021. The prize for first place is $30,000. Second place gets $20,000, and third place will be awarded $10,000.