Inaugural Session of the AIRSWEEE Workshop in Coimbatore started with the Welcome address by the President of TiE Coimbatore, Mr. G. Karthikeyan, followed by the Introduction to the AIRSWEEE concept by Mrs. Hemalatha Annamalai.
Chief Guests Mr. Craig Dicker, US American Consulate addressed the audience with his appreciation to the AIRSWEEE Team and expressed the value of such social events that promote women from Tier 2 and Tier 3.
The Mentors were introduced to the group and the audience. The Charter Members and other TiE Members who were present at the event also introduced themselves to the audience one by one. Mentees also individually introduced themselves to the audience very briefly.
After the Inaugural Session, and post a short break, the main workshop began with an Icebreaker Session. Mentees were asked to introduce themselves using an elevator pitch of their product or startup. All the 25 Mentees came to the front and gave a rough elevator pitch using their existing preparation. Each of their presentation was video recorded. After each presentation, theaudiences were given a chance to ask questions based on the elevator pitch. Mentors gave feedback on the pitches too.
An Interactive Session by US Mentors Komal and Seema. Mentees were asked to answer the questions, on what is Entrepreneurship, Why they became an entrepreneur and what are the challenges they faced as a woman entrepreneur. This session turned out to be an opportunity for all the mentees to openly voice out their issues, opinion and their determination as anentrepreneur.
The US Mentors, Komal, Seema and the Indian Mentor Hemalatha, conducted a skit like roleplay, where the mentors acted out like a woman entrepreneur who has to convince and given explanations to her husband and her mother in law on her decision to become an entrepreneur after resigning from her well paid MNC job. The Mentees then engaged in a veryactive discussion based on the role play.
The second role play was on dealing with Gender discrimination, followed by an open discussion on personal experiences. A Male guest mentor was used for the purpose of acting in therole play during both the sessions.
Session on Marketing and Sales
The first day ended with an Open Discussion on Survival as a woman Entrepreneur. Both Session 5 and 6 were handled by Komal Goyal. Other Mentors also pitched in when mentees came up various questions and clarifications.