The Aurora Tech Award 2024 Shortlist: Spotlighting Diverse Female Founders

The Aurora Tech Award, launched by the California-based global mobility and urban services platform inDrive, announced its 2024 shortlist of 20 women founders today.

Chosen from 649 applicants from 102 countries, these inspiring leaders are building tech-enabled companies in healthcare, fintech, recruitment and other sectors with a focus on positively impacting their communities across Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Ekaterina Smirnova, Executive Director of the Aurora Tech Award, said the award submissions “showcase the increasing participation of women leaders in tech and the role they play in enhancing the quality of life in their communities despite the challenges they face. This year’s awards celebrate the work of these founders and highlight both the diversity of projects and the vital contributions local role models make to inspiring change.’’

The Aurora Tech Award’s 2024 shortlist not only reflects the global scope of this challenge but also the incredible potential and innovation that women bring to the tech sector. Among the shortlisted candidates are:

  • Daniella Castro in Brazil, leading Huna, a startup at the forefront of AI for early detection of chronic diseases in women.
  • Folake Owodunni in Nigeria, steering Emergency Response Africa, a venture enhancing healthcare accessibility across the continent.
  • Sarah Molema in Botswana, founder of Deaftronics (Pty) Ltd, revolutionizing the lives of those with hearing loss through solar-powered hearing aids.
  • Firouza Eshonova in Uzbekistan, creator of Mila4AI, an app aiding individuals with speech disorders through AI-driven exercises, independent of therapist availability.
  • Hannah Töpler in Mexico, founder and CEO of Intrare, a social tech company using AI to eliminate recruitment bias, particularly for refugees, marginalized women, and LGBTIQ+ communities.
  • Marwa Hage in Colombia, whose Munily App uses software to create secure and connected communities.

These women are not just creating companies; they are tackling significant societal challenges through technology. From improving healthcare access in Africa and Asia and enhancing inclusivity in recruitment processes in Mexico, their work spans a wide array of critical issues.

Despite the important contributions of women to tech and entrepreneurship, the gender gap remains a problem for the industry, as just 2.1% of venture capital funding in the U.S. goes to female-founded startups, according to Ernst & Young’s data. This figure is even lower across emerging markets.

The Aurora Tech Award and similar initiatives provide more than just recognition; they offer crucial support, visibility, and networking opportunities that can propel these women-led startups to new heights. The Aurora Tech Award will grant $30,000, $20,000 and $10,000 to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners respectively. Winners, chosen from a record-breaking number of applicants since inDrive launched the award in 2021, will be announced on March 8th, 2024. In addition to cash prizes, they will gain access to inDrive’s mentorship program.