WATERLOO REGION, FEBRUARY 23, 2017— Two women entrepreneurs were awarded a collective $100,000 in funding at the Communitech Fierce Founders Bootcamp Pitch Competition on Thursday. Sara Bonham of Willow Cup was awarded first place and $60,000, and Luna Yu of Genecis EnviroTech Inc., took $40,000 in second place. The startups will also be welcomed to claim the first spots in the second cohort of the Communitech Fierce Founders Accelerator focused on women-led businesses beginning March 20, 2017.
“This group of Fierce Founders has been exceptional to work with and we have seen incredible progress over the course of the program,” said Danielle Graham, Women in Tech Program Manager, Communitech. “Each year we receive more and more high-quality applicants for the Fierce Founders Bootcamp. This year’s top eight was a collection of exceptional startups with real potential,” said Graham.
The top eight bootcamp participants included: Cat Adalay of The Aurea Company, Erifili Morfidis of iRestify Inc., Martha van Berkel of Hunch Manifest, Katarina Illic of Voltera, Tamara Bain of Chillabit, Sara Bonham of Willow Cup, Luna Yu of Genecis EnviroTech Inc., and Amanda Chan of Elementary. They were vetted based on customer validation, lean canvas model and pitch practice performance. At the finale they pitched to a panel of judges including: Janet Bannister of Real Ventures, Nicole Leblanc of BDC, Michelle McBain of MaRS IAF, Allison Sugar of Deloitte, John Bowey of Kognitiv and Daniela Roeper of Borealis Wind.
The Communitech Fierce Founders Bootcamp brings together women entrepreneurs to participate in six days of workshops over the course of six weeks, taking part in business fundamentals workshops and receiving mentoring from top industry players. This was the first winter session offered in the bootcamp’s three-year history and included startups from the Toronto-Waterloo Region corridor, Halifax and San Francisco.
Communitech Fierce Founders is supported by Kognitiv, Deloitte, BDC, Google and Thomson Reuters. For more information about Communitech’s women in technology programming, please visit www.communitech.ca/fiercefounders.
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