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CCNY Student-led Start-up Carella Wins $25,000 at Standard Chartered 2022 Women in Tech Incubator Competition

on 10 May 2022

Carella aims to empower drivers with informed decisions on improving automotive performance

NEW YORK, May 10, 2022 – The City College of New York (“CCNY”) Student-led start-up Carella has taken top spot at Standard Chartered Americas’ (“Bank”) 2022 Women in Tech (“WiT”) Incubator Competition. Carella’s winning pitch to help drivers diagnose their cars and find automotive parts at competitive prices hopes car owners’ will have the ability to make better informed decisions to enhance the performance of their cars.

Carella will receive $25,000 seed money to further develop and optimize their business idea. The judges also awarded runner-up, V Nurture U $5,000 to help advance their proposal to increase the accessibility to eco-friendly sanitary pads. Both teams will now explore how to refine and prepare their pitches for business viability with the Zahn Innovation Center at The City College of New York (“Zahn Center”).

This year marks the eighth anniversary of the Bank’s partnership with the Zahn Center at CCNY. Launched as an initiative to support greater diversity in gender representation within the technology sector, the WiT Incubator program reached gender parity in its third year. To date, over 1040 students have benefitted from the program’s outreach.

“We have enjoyed our time at the Zahn Center,” said Samira Chowdhury, CEO of Carella. “We all come from a technology background, so taking these skills and applying them in a business has been fascinating and an amazing learning opportunity. There is much more behind the scenes in establishing a new start-up. Everything from conducting customer discovery to understanding product-market fit has been precious. We are incredibly grateful to the Zahn Center staff and Standard Chartered for the support, resources, and opportunities they have provided us.”

“Congratulations to Carella, V Nurture U, and the many mentors involved in supporting them. The dedication, creativity and passion they’ve shown throughout the program have been truly inspiring, and we look forward to seeing how the teams progress,” said Elaine Chin, Managing Director and Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing at Standard Chartered Americas. “There is so much talent and potential in today’s youth. Through our partnership with the Zahn Center, we hope to continue empowering underrepresented communities through activities focused on education, employability, and entrepreneurship and help them succeed in today’s economy.”

“We are all impressed by the students’ creativity and passion and can’t wait to see their product launches,” said Kesia Hudson, Managing Director of Zahn Innovation Center at The City College of New York. “We are committed to continuing to expand the reach of the women in technology and entrepreneurship incubator and hope that Standard Chartered will remain a key partner with us for many years to come.”

The WiT Incubator program is one of many Futuremakers programs in the Americas, which also include partnerships with Upwardly Global, Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America, Liverpool FC Foundation, and Enactus. All of which focus on empowering the next generation by promoting greater economic inclusion.

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About the Women in Tech Incubator at the Zahn Innovation Center

Formed in October 2014, the Standard Chartered Women in Tech Incubator program is an initiative that aims to support greater diversity in gender representation within the technology sector. The incubator program is a partnership with the Zahn Innovation Center at the City College of New York that provides support, guidance, and resources that early-stage women-led startups need to grow into successful businesses. This partnership has various levels of engagement and supports entrepreneurship among women across campus through:

  • A mentorship network, including both Bank employees and local leaders in tech and government
  • A Women in Entrepreneurship themed speaker series
  • A newly renovated space housing the ‘Standard Chartered Technology Incubator for Women Entrepreneurs’ Resource Center
  • Entrepreneurship courses and material to address entrepreneurship challenges

About Standard Chartered

We are a leading international banking group, with a presence in 59 of the world’s most dynamic markets, and serving clients in a further 83. Our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity, and our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, here for good.

Our history in the US dates back to 1902, and we are currently present in eight locations throughout the Americas. Our Americas franchise focuses on financial institutions and select corporates and plays a key role in facilitating trade and investment flows between the Americas and Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges.

For more stories and expert opinions please visit Insights at Follow Standard Chartered on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

About the City College of New York

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.