Breaking Boundaries: Celebrating Women's Innovation with the Aurora Tech Award 2024

Nominations are now open to founders of innovative IT companies

Gender stereotypes continue to have a profound impact on women’s participation in the workplace, and the tech sector is no exception. Recent studies reveal investors’ persistent reluctance to back ventures spearheaded by women. Despite undeniable talent and capabilities, women continue to face added social barriers when it comes to working in IT.

But change is underway, embodied in the Aurora Tech Award. Launched by global mobility company inDrive in 2020, this annual award celebrates women founders of IT startups. The award's mission is threefold: to celebrate the strides that women founders of IT startups are taking, to empower them with the resources they deserve via substantial cash prizes, and to dismantle the gender biases that have historically characterized the industry.

The Aurora Tech Award helps close this gap by celebrating and awarding grants women founders of IT startups. Applications for the 2024 award are open through December 1, 2023, with winners announced on International Women’s Day – March 8, 2024. First prize is $30,000, second prize is $20,000, and third prize is $10,000.

“In an industry still fighting to correct gender disparities, prizes like the Aurora Tech Award serve as catalysts for change. Industry recognition empowers women, helping to shatter barriers and inspire young minds. The positive feedback we have received from past winners underscores this transformative impact. As applications pour in globally, we are excited to spotlight talents that are making a positive impact, and serving as role models, in their communities. We aspire to a future where gender has no limit on an individual’s potential, and this award marks an important step toward that goal”, said Ekaterina Smirnova, Executive Director of the Aurora Tech Award.

Global mobility company inDrive launched the awards in 2020. The 2023 top prize was awarded to Elizabeth Mwangi, founder and director of Gwiji for Women, a mobile app that connects cleaners with their clients in Nairobi, Kenya. Elizabeth's company gives meaningful work opportunities to women who are forced to raise children in harsh conditions, increasing the economic empowerment of women in Nairobi.

2024 Aurora Tech Award application criteria
  • Woman founder: The startup must be founded or co-founded and led by a woman entrepreneur
  • Funding stage: The startup should not have received investments exceeding $4 million in funding, including the seed round
  • Operation time: The startup must be no more than 5 years old
  • Minimum viable product (MVP): The startup should have a functional prototype; companies at the ideation phase are not eligible

Applications can be submitted at and are evaluated by a panel of judges that include prominent women entrepreneurs, last year’s winner, and other industry experts.

  • September 5 – December 1, 2023: Submission of entries
  • January 31, 2024: Finalists announced
  • March 8, 2024: Winners announced