UNDP and Koç Holding announce the winner of BOOST’s Women Innovators programme for startups in Turkey 

Powered by UNDP Europe and Central Asia, BOOST announces that the 2022 Women Innovators champion in Turkey is Hub21, a women-led startup building a new way to help young people master tech skills via an online platform for teachers, students and parents. BOOST is a regional acceleration programme for social impact innovation, financed and supported by Koç Holding and the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic.  

BOOST launched the Women Innovators programme with a special track in Turkey, in partnership with Koç Holding and implementing partner Koç University Entrepreneurship Research Center (KWORKS), to close the gender gap in innovation and entrepreneurship and accelerate innovative ideas led by women in any industry that leverage the power of technology.    

Hub21 was awarded US$10,000 in equity-free capital after being shortlisted to participate in BOOST’s pitch battle, during which eight finalists pitched their startups and innovations in front of a five-member jury panel, consisting of representatives from UNDP global, regional and country offices, Koç Holding and KWORKS. 

Driven by a stellar team, Hub21 is an online platform that aims to get more young people between the ages of 7 and 17 interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and prepared for our digital future. They offer personalized, self-paced courses using an adaptive learning methodology that responds to the way students learn and one-on-one or small group live online video sessions with tutors from top universities. What is more, Hub21 provides a dedicated, free-of-charge tech programme for girls from economically underserved regions in Turkey, which they plan to expand with the awarded grant to reduce the gender gap in STEM. 

On the road to scaling, Hub21 is moving into the European and MENA online education markets, increasing their impact on the gender equality and quality education Sustainable Development Goals. Their innovative and effective execution strategy received high points from the jury – from introducing adaptive learning solutions using AI to creating a teacher marketplace by engaging graduate and postgraduate students to lead their classes.  

A total of 65 startups in Turkey applied for the BOOST Women Innovators acceleration programme. The programme is an intensive 12-week online acceleration journey with a mission to boost women-led startups with powerful innovations that can positively impact our future and strengthen the startup ecosystem of women innovators. 

Participants gained access to world-class trainings and mentorship to develop, reimagine and scale their impact innovations. During the programme, UNDP worked closely with KWORKS, ImpactAIM, Startup Grind and the Behavioural Insights Team to provide modules on business acceleration, impact measurement and management, and behavioral insights, helping startups to develop their solutions. 

UNDP and partners congratulate all the selected participants for successfully completing the BOOST acceleration programme: 

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