FalconX’s Women’s Day event steals limelight with hard discussions on women and entrepreneurship

Murali Chirala

Ritu Jha–

FalconX, an accelerator for B2B startups, in association with the American Tamil Entrepreneurs’ Association (ATEA), celebrated International Women’s History Month on March 13 with the theme ‘Code Her Future’. It was an event where women achievers talked about their career highs, resilience, and contributions in the community and beyond. And of course, there was AI.

Through this event, FalconX aimed to foster connections, inspire change, and create a supportive environment where women can thrive, lead, and make a meaningful impact in every aspect of society.

“We were incorporated in 2018. In 2022, we began a tradition of hosting a Women’s Day event this month every year. This is the third year, and it’s getting bigger and better. The idea is to get more men to attend this event,” Murali Chirala, the event host and the Managing Partner & Co-Founder at FalconX, told indica.

Anu Chirala

Chirala said that it is a point of concern is that not many women entrepreneurs have enrolled at the FalconX incubator. “The challenge is two-pronged: one is technology acceleration, and the other is finding women mentors. There are very few women on the entrepreneurial journey. A couple of women entrepreneurs have invested at a very early stage. We always look for women mentors so that we can attract other women entrepreneurs, who can set an example and provide mentorship and guidance.”

She said for women to overcome challenges, there will be systemic drawbacks to tackle. “We need people to take risks on women, whether in entrepreneurship or leadership positions,” she said. “Let them try, let them fail. Failure is also a journey. Once they pick up, they will become stronger leaders.”

Chirala pointed out that women are leading innovation in AI. “It’s not just men, because most of the time, you only see men talk about AI. There are women leaders who are pushing the envelope and are behind these innovations and breakthroughs. This is a very exciting time.”

Sanyogita Shamsunder, product head, Meeami Technologies, moderated the fireside chat with Elena Fersman, Vice President and Head of Global AI Accelerator at Ericsson. She said the biggest thing for women entrepreneurs to do is not to doubt themselves. “If you focus on what makes you happy and successful, the ladder to lead roles will come. For many years in my career, I was at the director level, but I enjoyed my work. Then somebody saw my skills and capabilities and promoted me. I never tried and over-promoted myself to be somebody. You have to do what is comfortable for you, but don’t be afraid to take a risk on whatever motivates you,” Shamsunder said.

Sanyogita Shyamsunder

On apprehensions of AI taking away women’s jobs, Shamsunder said the only jobs under threat are in the customer service sector. “In some ways, women are very creative. The jobs that could be impacted by AI are customer service. But women are usually very creative in the stuff that they do. But I think it’s going to take some time before AI starts becoming real for people.”

Dr Anu Chirala, Clinical Asst Prof, Stanford Cardiology and Co-founder of InstaMD, spoke on “Digital Trends in Cardiology” at the Women’s Day event. Dr Chirala, who has a practice spanning 27 years, started the South Bay Cardiovascular Center. “I have a startup that I started in 2020 that does remote patient monitoring. It’s monitoring patients at a distance and that has helped cardiologists and all doctors a lot during the pandemic,” she told indica. “Cardiology, no matter how exciting it has been, I wanted it to be more exhilarating and more meaningful. And I wanted to use technology and AI to be more efficient and helpful in my own practice and to reach more people at large.”

Shristi Baweja, co-founder and COO of E2E, came all the way from India to be part of the event. She told indica that it’s not about men or women. “In AI, for any startup, it takes lots of hard work and I am happy where we are today. Her company, similar to AWS, has 20 percent of customers outside India and in the US.

Sitting among the attendees was venture capitalist Anshu Agarwal, General Partner at Converge, sharing her thoughts on attending the event told indica, “Truly inspiring event with a great set of speakers from education to industry. I not only learned about technological developments but also the great work being done for the community.”

Related posts