Hundreds of innovative young entrepreneurs worldwide in fields, ranging from healthcare to clean water, are better equipped to contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a result of the support of SkyQuest and
related initiatives pioneered by Shriya Damani and her colleagues.
SkyQuest’s focus is to connect innovative initiatives to new markets, networks and collaborators for achieving the SDGs in areas ranging from agriculture, nano and clean technology to life sciences and information and communication technology.
Shriya Damani is our pick for women leaders driving the global goals not just because she’s Co-founder, CEO and Director of SkyQuest Technology Consulting. Damani is also a member of the Innovation Task Force (an ESCAP Sustainable Business Network) and a recipient of the Young Ficci Ladies Organization’s Sambhavana Award for Most Innovative leader. Beyond that, she’s a speaker and Co-founder of WaterQuest HydroResources Management, which works globally and specializes in prospecting subterranean rivers and naturally desalinated water sources below the Earth’s surface.
Born into a business family and community in Rajasthan, Shriya Damani grew up in a progressive Indian familial environment that accepted and emphasized the importance of financial independence for both women and men. From an early age, she wanted to be an entrepreneur. With her partner, this millennial co-founded SkyQuest to support small and medium-sized enterprises at the cusp of technical innovation. In a short time, it was winning national and international innovative business awards and partnering with global entities, such as the United Nations Development Programme’s global South-South technology exchange programme and with multinational corporations.
In addition to business initiatives, SkyQuest programmes also improve employability by providing individual skills assessments and reports, matching young innovators with employers, providing skills training and facilitating links with mentors and networking opportunities. The core of her approach is the linking of innovative technological start-ups to the SDGs.
Central to this focus is the firm’s SDG Accelerator, an initiative that identifies and supports high-impact innovations and start-ups that can radically transform businesses and industries in ways that align with the Goals. Through such means as the establishment of co-working spaces, early market testing groups, special funds and platforms, the Accelerator brings together a global community of actors, ranging from successful start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, to build momentum and collaboration on the work being done to achieve the Global Goals.
A particular priority for Shriya Damani in this context is ensuring that the voices and perspectives of young people, especially young women, are heard within the innovative technology and business communities.