Carleton University and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), India’s national regulator for colleges and institutes, have teamed up to support women tech entrepreneurs.

The Canada-India Acceleration Program (CIAP) will help Canadian women scale-up their companies in untapped markets in cities across India. Support will come in the form of mentorships from global entrepreneurs, access to some 200 incubators, links to corporations, potential seed funding and internship opportunities. A similar program will send women entrepreneurs from India to Canada.

CIAP will tap the expertise of existing Carleton programs, including the Lead to Win incubator, Canada-India Centre for Excellence (CICE) and the Centre for Research and Education on Women and Work.

The five-year program partners with AICTE’s network of 10,500 colleges in India. The first Canadian entrepreneurs will be selected this spring through a national competition and are expected to arrive in India by the end of the year. NRI Startup India is contributing $1 million towards the initiative

In all, 50 Canadian and 50 Indian startups will be supported over the next five years. Carleton intends to replicate the model with international partners in Africa and Brazil.

“CIAP will prepare Canadian women entrepreneurs to develop skill sets and expand their businesses into the vast Indian market. At the same time, we will invite Indian women entrepreneurs to enter the Canadian market with their unique businesses,” said Pradeep Merchant, chair of CICE’s Governing Council.

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