Media release

$100,000 awarded at Communitech’s Fierce Founders Bootcamp Finale

Women-founded startups receive top accolades at public pitch competition

KITCHENER, ONT., February 27, 2020 — Alisha McFetridge of RainStick Shower, Toronto, ON was awarded $75,000 at the Communitech Fierce Founders Bootcamp Pitch Competition on Wednesday. McFetridge took top place after pitching her startup RainStick, which has developed a revolutionary shower that reduces both water and energy consumption. Rainstick recirculates, heats and filters water while providing a high-pressure and relaxing shower experience.

Rachel Bartholomew of Hylvy Health, Waterloo, Ont. was awarded second place and $25,000 after pitching her startup business, which produces sexual rehabilitation devices for women with pelvic health diseases and cancers to help them achieve comfortable, safe and informed sexual experiences.

The two-part bootcamp hosted women founders with early-stage startups at Communitech to sharpen business skills for their developing companies. Twenty-five women from across Canada participated in this program at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener, Ont. on Jan. 27, 28 and 29 and Feb. 24, 25 and 26. 

They received hands-on learning on how to run a successful startup and attended classes on business fundamentals including customer validation, HR and leadership, financials and sales. Participants received direct mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and experts, which included coaching on their pitch presentations.

Other founders who pitched Wednesday include:

  • Aislinn Shoveller, Overture Donor, Kitchener, Ont.
  • Ashley Kielbratowski, Harbr, Halifax, N.S.
  • Atefeh Zarabadi, AIImSense Inc., Waterloo, Ont.
  • Catherine Chan, FitIn, Toronto, Ont.
  • Christine Simone, Caribou, Toronto, Ont.
  • Danielle Rose, SquidBio, Kitchener, Ont.
  • Eyra Abraham, Lisnen Inc., Toronto, Ont.
  • Julie LeJeune, Wish & Give, Toronto, Ont.
  • Jun Yang, TRUSTiiN, Waterloo, Ont.
  • Kate Dickson, Primped, Toronto, Ont.
  • Katherine Bowen, Friends at our Table Inc., Elmira, Ont.
  • Kathleen Chan, Benchwork, Toronto, Ont.
  • Kristy Ehman, Hyon Software Inc., Regina, Sask.
  • Kushalmeet Pawar, Wellbow, Brampton, Ont.
  • Maame Poku, Emergency Response Africa, Kitchener, Ont.
  • Mary Beth Kyer, Sponsor Circle Inc., Toronto, Ont.
  • Mila Banerjee, Personifi AI Inc., Toronto, Ont.
  • Minh Pham, Vidal Home Care, Toronto, Ont.
  • Mishba Bholat, Fuze Rentals, Toronto, Ont.
  • Olga Morawczynski, Bounc3 Ltd., Newmarket, Ont.
  • Rosa Hoffmann, Medscures, Kitchener, Ont.
  • Shuhe Li, SaluTech, Toronto, Ont.
  • Tanya Gough, StoryBilder Ltd., Toronto, Ont.

 The pitches were judged by a panel of industry experts, including Danielle Graham, Principal at Dream Maker Ventures, Amy Hastings, Legal Advisor, Rebecca Tascona, Regional President, South Western Ontario, BMO and Steven Woods, Senior Director of Engineering at Google. 

Fierce Founders is a Communitech program supported by the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario through the Ontario Scaleup Platform, as well as the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Google for Startups.

For more information, please visit Fierce Founders Bootcamp.



For media inquiries, please contact:

Candace Beres
Manager, Public Relations, Communitech
(519) 888-9944 Ext. 1027

About Communitech

Communitech was founded in 1997 by a group of entrepreneurs committed to making Waterloo Region a global innovation leader. At the time it was crazy talk, but somehow this community managed to pull it off. Today, Communitech is a public-private innovation hub that supports a community of more than 1,400 companies — from startups to scale-ups to large global players.

Communitech helps tech companies start, grow and succeed in three distinct ways.

  • Communitech is a place – the centre of gravity for entrepreneurs and innovators. A clubhouse for building cool tech and great companies.
  • Communitech delivers programs – helping companies at all stages with access to capital, customers and talent. We are here to help them grow and innovate.
  • Communitech partners in building a world-leading ecosystem – making sure we have all the ingredients (and the brand) to help companies go from a small startup to a global giant.