Inaugural cohort of female-led companies to have access to an expert Strategic Mentor Network comprised of industry leaders and seasoned entrepreneurs that will enable a more equitable tech sector and reduce unconscious bias
MARKHAM, ON, Feb. 27, 2020 /CNW/ - Today, ventureLAB, a leading technology hub in Markham, York Region, announced its inaugural cohort of companies and Strategic Mentor Network for Tech Undivided, a new initiative aimed at supporting women and underrepresented persons working in tech — founders and industry leaders alike. Tech Undivided bridges inclusivity gaps by creating gender-balanced networks with diverse representation, and works with founders, investors, and companies to prepare them for business and investment success by reducing unconscious bias. The Government of Canada supported the Tech Undivided program in August 2019 with a $1.7-million investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) as part of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES).
Since 2011, ventureLAB has supported over 100 female-led tech companies that have raised over $6 million in investment and generated over $17 million in revenue.
Tech Undivided Inaugural Cohort
In fall 2019, ventureLAB issued a call for female-led tech companies with breakthrough products that have the potential to significantly impact society to participate in Tech Undivided. The seven selected companies, listed below, will work with industry experts, investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs to prepare them for Seed or Series A funding.
- AIH Technology Inc., an AI computer vision company that offers Facial Recognition as a Service (FRaaS) through its facial recognition algorithm.
- Alexio Corporation provides affordable enterprise-class cyber-security for smaller networks and users, helping to safeguard them from risks like hacking, ransomware, data loss, and human error.
- Boss Insights provides insights on business borrowers and accelerates lending without taking additional risk.
- Retainify Technology Inc. helps companies increase the frequency of giving and receiving feedback by tracking the sentiment of employees throughout their employment lifecycle and sharing the feedback data back to business leaders, in order to proactively identify and address issues early to mitigate business risks.
- PurPicks, a network of organic beauty reviews which helps women buy online with confidence.
- TROES Corp., a Canadian-based, Advanced Battery Energy Storage company, specializing in Intelligent Distributed Energy Storage solutions.
- TAKULabs, TAKU Retail is the only POS for retail that increases footfall in brick and mortar stores.
Tech Undivided Strategic Mentorship Network
The Strategic Mentorship Network is a diverse and curated list of high-caliber business leaders, seasoned entrepreneurs, academic professionals, investors and industry experts who have committed their knowledge, resources and time to supporting the growth of the Tech Undivided companies. The mentorship network is gender-balanced and diverse, and brings together leaders with broad expertise.
- Alan Rego, Communications & Stakeholder Relations, Procter & Gamble
- Chris Matys, Founder, Ignite.ai
- Christine Haen, Program Management Director, Radeon Technology Group, AMD
- Daniel Staheli, Senior Director, Windows Software Platform Group, AMD
- Danielle Graham, Investment Principal, Dreammakers Ventures
- Danny Christidis, AMD Fellow - Radeon Technologies Group, AMD
- Frederick Glady, Principal, Frederick Glady Barrister and Solicitor
- Heather Sham, Sr Director Platform Engineering, AMD
- Jolie McMillian, Sales and Operations Leader — Transformative Technology (PayPal and Adobe Alum), ServiceNow
- Katie Salem, CEO & Co-Founder, Women Round the World
- Nadia Khatir, Sr. Manager, Graphics Diagnostic, AMD
- Nastaran Bisheban, VP of Global Delivery, Raakuten Kobo
- Pouneh Hanafi, VP Marketing, Tulip Retail
- Steven Lili Hoo, Founder and CEO, InGameAd Interactive (IGA)
Tech Undivided Launch Event
Please join us for the launch of Tech Undivided on Tuesday, March 3, at ventureLAB from 9:30AM - 12:00PM. Hear from the team that made Tech Undivided a reality, the inaugural cohort, the strategic mentor network, and local dignitaries, followed by hors d'oeuvres and refreshments.
Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Location: ventureLAB, 3600 Steeles Ave E., Markham, ON
*Media interviews will be made upon request.
To learn more about Tech Undivided, visit www.venturelab.ca/tech-undivided.
"Our goal with Tech Undivided is to ensure all founders and people working in tech receive the same opportunities for funding, success, and advancement in the workplace. Tech Undivided goes beyond supporting women working in tech, but aims to remove unconscious bias in the industry and beyond. ventureLAB is located in the City of Markham, Canada's most diverse city, making it an ideal location for this initiative. We look forward to pushing the boundaries towards a more equitable tech sector and workforce." — Melissa Chee, President and CEO, ventureLAB
"We recognize the importance and the wide-reaching benefits of supporting women entrepreneurs. That's why we are so pleased to support ventureLAB to help provide access to financing, advice and networks for women entrepreneurs in Ontario. With this investment, through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, we are taking another step toward breaking down barriers to success, and doubling the number of women-lead businesses in this country. We look forward to seeing more and more women entrepreneurs thrive with this support." - The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
"Supporting women in business is not just the right thing to do, but it is good for the bottom line. We have witnessed the accomplishments that ventureLAB has had on this community and look forward to the success that Tech Undivided will bring to women entrepreneurs in and across the York region." – The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
ventureLAB is a leading technology hub located in Markham in York Region, Canada's second largest tech cluster. Through its programs focused on capital, talent, technology, and customers, ventureLAB has supported over 2,000 tech companies and entrepreneurs, including 100 companies that have raised over $100 million and created 3,500 jobs. ventureLAB's innovation hub is a 50,000 square foot facility that is home to over 45 tech companies and partners that employ more than 300 people. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada. www.venturelab.ca
About TECH UNDIVIDED
Tech Undivided's vision is to build an inclusive tech ecosystem that is not biased or divided by gender. By focusing on and supporting diverse and underrepresented women-led tech companies while working with women and allys, Tech Undivided removes unconscious bias faced by women and underrepresented persons.
About FedDev Ontario
For more than 10 years, FedDev Ontario has actively worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada's most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving their productivity, growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Read more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario.
For further information: Justine Kintanar, VP, External Relations and Communications, ventureLAB, [email protected], 647.242.8154