Sequoia Capital, the global venture capital firm, has announced its first cohort of women-led startups under their Spark Fellowship Programme. The cohort consists of 15 women-led companies, of which seven are from India, seven from Southeast Asia, and one from the Middle East.The programme, which had been announced in July and applications for which were closed in September, saw applications from more than 250 women entrepreneurs helming their startups. Under this programme, a $1,00,000 equity-free grant is given to the selected entrepreneurs, along with a panel of mentors and capital to cover early startup costs.The startups selected from India include: The Nestery, a one-stop-shop for curated parenting and childcare products Linecraft AI, an industrial IOT startup Jify, a startup which empowers employees with flexibility and access to real-time earnings Findeed, which provides working class Indians with access to financial services Early steps, which offers live online classes on essential subjects relevant for the 21st century Nume Crypto, a startup focused on making crypto transactions simple and economicalWe were blown away by the ideas, the intensity and the passion of these applicants. Many have stellar backgrounds with deep industry experience. While some of the ideas were quite raw, the quality of those ideas were very strong. Selecting 15 startups was an incredibly hard process that took many months. But we are very excited to see how this cohort has shaped up. We even have our first women crypto founders!, Sakshi Chopra, the managing director of Sequoia India, said.The Fellowship will start in December, and each of the women leading these startups will take part in monthly mentorship sessions and Surge sessions, and also receive hands-on support from Sequoia Indias portfolio specialists across key areas like hiring, finance, product, technology and marketing. Each of the founders has also been assigned a senior Sequoia India investment advisor and a seasoned startup founder for proper mentoring over the next year.