#SGWomen2020: Women in Impact

Jul 18, 2020, 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

We at Startup Grind this June and July are running a campaign #SGWomen with a few partners. We are excited and have put together a unique program to support aspiring and budding entrepreneurs. This event session is curated by Helm of Eight, to highlight women founders, leaders and directors working in their own way to addressing problems at personal, inter personal and systemic levels.

Virtual event

About this event

Although we celebrate women leaders all year round, during #SGWomen Month we give special kudos to the amazing, incredible, intelligent (we could go on and on!) women who make the tech, investor, and startup landscapes what they are today.

#SGWomen Month launched six years ago and is about putting a heightened focus and an awareness on our everyday mission to create more inclusive communities. Never has Startup Grind’s mission been more potent than in the realm of entrepreneurship, startups, business, and to represent women everywhere.

This year we wish to host a unique experience, themed around “Women in Impact” and “Women Leaders” for which we reached out to stakeholders to partner within the ecosystem, aligned to the same values and vision.

We would like to thank our partners Headstart Network Foundation, Helm of 8 Impact VenturesCatalysing Women Entrepreneurship, Her Ace Venture Evangelist (H.A.V.E), Her Entrepreneur Network India, The Talk, and  to help us curate 40+ mentors, and host an incredible array of speaker sessions on 2 weekends of July 18th and July 25th, whilst running a mentorship opportunity for our communities and more.

#SGWomen2020: Women in Impact 

(Saturday) 18th of July: Curated by Helm of Eight.

Fireside Chat Guest #1: Sonali Srivastava

Founder and CEO of Anode Governance Lab

THEMES: Organisation Development, Panchayats, Technology for Rural Governance.

Sonali Srivastava is the founder and CEO of Anode Governance Lab. She is a development and management professional, and set up Anode to pursue work on systemic strengthening of institutions engaged in public services. She has designed and managed complex change management interventions across private, government and non- government organisations. She has been instrumental in conceptualizing the Gram Panchayat Organisation Development (GPOD) framework, which is an approach to develop organisation capacities of rural local governments (Gram Panchayats), which has been deployed in panchayats across four states.

Sonali’s career includes experience with Asian Paints (India) Limited, Barefoot College, Tilonia, Eicher Consulting Services, Arghyam and Avantika Foundation. She is a non-executive independent director on the Boards of BetterPlace Safety Solutions Private Limited, a Bangalore-based company engaged in digitising solutions for life cycle management of blue collar workforce, and Trickle Up India, a Section 8 company committed to bringing the ultra poor out of poverty.

Fireside Chat Guest #2: Kalpana Pant

Executive Director Chaitanya WISE, Trustee Chaitanya.

THEMES: Grassroots Women Empowerment, Self-Help Community Groups, Micro Finance.

Kalpana Pant has been working with Chaitanya since 1999 and is currently its Executive Director and Trustee. In the past, she has also worked with an education centred NGO, Nirantar in New Delhi and at the Women’s Studies Unit, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Kalpana has skills in video and written documentation, apart from field based experience on organizing self-help groups. Kalpana is a member of the Capacity building Sub-group of Saadhan and Advisor to the first federation of SHGs in Maharashtra, the Grameen Mahila Swayamsiddha Sangha (GMSS). She is also a fieldwork guide to students of several colleges in Maharashtra.

Kalpana has a Masters in Modern History and M.Phil in Modern History – Women’s Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has also completed a diploma in Business Management from ICFAI. Kalpana was on the IDRC panel for the American Evaluation Association held at St. Louis to present the paper, “Those Who Dream Make a Difference”.

Fireside Chat Guest #3: Seemantinee Khot

Independent Board Member- Suzlon Energy Limited, Sunfresh Agro Pvt Ltd.

THEMES: Responsible Business, Grassroots Activism, Personal Ethics.

Passionate about sustainability and inclusive growth; focuses on Strategic Planning, Use and Learning Focused Evaluations and Institution Building. Particularly interested in farming, rural livelihoods, Community Based Organizations and Women's Empowerment.

Has simultaneously worked with grass roots NGOs (over 35 years) International and UN Consulting (over 10 years), Corporate Social Responsibility (10 years) and is Independent Board member of listed and Pvt Limited companies as well as Non Profit Organizations.

Continues to be a Farmer by Choice!

Fireside Chat Guest #4: Supriya Sankaran

Co-founder, Agami ex-Director, Ashoka India

THEMES: Collaborative Entrepreneurship, Innovations to advance Law & Justice Sector.

Supriya Sankaran is co-leader at Agami, an organisation curating and catalysing ideas that serve justice. She was previously the director of Ashoka India, creating spaces, journeys and connections to accelerate the impact of over 400 for Ashoka Fellows and their ventures in India.. Prior to this, Supriya a lawyer by background, lead capital market transactions for over six years at Amarchand Mangaldas, a premier Indian law firm. She is a graduate of NALSAR University, Hyderabad.

Her current work at Agami is driven by the realisation that our systems of law and justice are at critical time in history. This moment requires each of us to evolve from being victims or passive by-standers to grasp the opportunity and even responsibility to transform our systems of law and justice. And we can do this only if we are able to collaborate across geographies, sectors and disciplines to grasp the opportunities it presents.


If you are a women founder, looking for mentorship, or an experienced person who can mentor deserving and aspiring women founders, applications open till July 31st -

MENTEES Enrolment form - https://forms.gle/RxRgDKrvnGdfXQRR7

MENTORS On-boarding form- https://forms.gle/XPUr3CThLuBxkJh38

Check out what happened


  • Seemantinee Khot

    Suzlon Energy Ltd

    Independent Board Director

  • Kalpana Pant

    Women's Integrated and Synergistic Empowerment

    Executive Director

  • Sonali Srivastava

    Anode Governance Lab

    founder, CEO

  • Supriya Sankaran

    Agami India





Saturday, July 18, 2020
9:30 AM – 1:30 PM UTC


Fireside Chat #1 with Sonali Srivastava
Fireside Chat #2 with Kalpana Pant
Fireside Chat #3 with Seemantinee Khot
Fireside Chat #4 with Supriya Sankaran


  • Kiran Reddy

    Helm of 8 Impact Ventures

    Co-founder, Managing Director


  • Harsh Modi

    Startup Grind

    Chapter Director


Headstart Network Foundation logo

Headstart Network Foundation

"Helm of Eight" Helm of 8 Impact Ventures logo

"Helm of Eight" Helm of 8 Impact Ventures

Catalyst For Women Entrepreneurs logo

Catalyst For Women Entrepreneurs

Her Entrepreneurial Network India logo

Her Entrepreneurial Network India

Her Ace Venture Evangelist logo

Her Ace Venture Evangelist

"The Talk" Softprints Media Ventures logo

"The Talk" Softprints Media Ventures

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