NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Standard Chartered (“Bank”) is pleased to award Skin Releaf, the 2021 winner of its Women in Tech (“WiT”) Incubator Competition, $25,000 of seed money to support the development of its business plans.
As part of the WiT program, Skin Releaf created an online platform to help people of color improve skin health through access to dermatologists and skin experts. This solution was selected as the winner by judges from both financial and professional services industries. The judges also awarded Nailerz, a digital marketplace that connects licensed nail technicians or small businesses with clients, second place. Nailerz received $5,000 funding to help advance their business idea.
"Special thanks to the Zahn staff and Standard Chartered. We are honored and grateful for this opportunity,” said Camile Delva, CEO of Skin Releaf. “This year’s startup competition has taught us a lot about ourselves and the communities we want to serve. From our weekly boot camps to our Round Robin practice pitches, we learned to identify the problems in our industries, created an innovative solution, and grew as a team. Our plan is to continue to utilize our knowledge, network, and experience to help us move forward."
“Congratulations to the Skin Releaf team and everyone involved. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to celebrate the energy, creativity and effort of the many participants and volunteers throughout the program,” said Steven Cranwell, CEO of Standard Chartered Americas. “We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to realize their potential. And by providing support, mentorship opportunities and training with the Zahn Innovation Center, we hope to inspire and enable future generations of women-led businesses in New York.”
This year marks the seventh anniversary of the Bank’s partnership with the Zahn Innovation Center (“Zahn Center”) at The City College of New York (“CCNY”). Since its launch, which initially had 17% female participants, the program reached gender parity in its third year. To date, over 1,000 students have benefitted from the program.
"We are so impressed by what the competitors were able to accomplish over the course of this program, particularly as most never had a chance to meet in person,” said Kesia Hudson, Interim Director, Zahn Innovation Center at The City College of New York. “Skin Releaf has identified a niche within the health and beauty industry. Providing access to reliable information and dermatological care will benefit so many people of color struggling with melanated skin issues. We are so excited for their product launches."
The incubator is part of the Bank’s Futuremakers initiative, a global effort where the Bank uses its expertise, staff volunteering and local partners to help young people access jobs and economic opportunities.
# # #
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 85. 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.
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.