Kitchener, August 24, 2017— Two women entrepreneurs were each awarded $50,000 in funding at the Communitech Fierce Founders Bootcamp Pitch Competition on Thursday. The two-part bootcamp hosted female founders to develop business skills for their startups.
The two winning startups are SomaDetect Inc., (Fredericton, NB) which provides farmers with the information they need to produce the best quality milk by monitoring herds with data, and Furnishr, (Toronto, ON) a turn-key home furnishing platform that supplies a fully-furnished room in a day, from design, delivery, assembly and cleanup.
Twenty startups participated in the two-week bootcamp. The top 9 startups who pitched Thursday include:
Furnishr, Toronto, ON
healthypets.io, Waterloo, ON
QuantWave Technologies Inc., Kitchener, ON
RockMass Tech, Kingston, ON
ShuffleSpace, Toronto, ON
SomaDetect Inc., Fredericton, NB
StayBillety, Cambridge, ON
SWTCH E-CAR INC., Toronto, ON
Tricolops, Kitchener, ON
Throughout the bootcamp the women participated in intensive workshops on customer validation, design-led innovation, product management, financials and investment as well as pitch coaching. The top 9 companies were judged by Michelle McBane of MaRS, Joseph Fung of Kiite Inc., Nicole LeBlanc of BDC, Lisa Rowsell of Thomson Reuters and Deloitte’s Zahra Jivan.
“We look to the Fierce Founders program as a pipeline to prepare early-stage startups for investment readiness,” said Nicole LeBlanc of BDC and pitch competition judge. “These women are thrown into the startup arena and develop a strong sense of deal flow, preparing them for what’s next.”
The top three winners are also welcomed to claim the first spots in the third cohort of the Communitech Fierce Founders Accelerator, which focuses on women-led businesses and starts October, 2017. Applications for the Fierce Founders Accelerator are open until August 27 and begins October 16, 2017.
“The Fierce Founders Bootcamp is an opportunity for like-minded women entrepreneurs to hone their required startup skills in an intensive six-day, hands-on format. This culminates in an investor pitch competition where participants get to showcase their companies and be judged on all the skills they’ve learned,” said Seema Esteves, Fierce Founders senior program manager, Communitech.
Since the bootcamp’s launch in 2014, Communitech has seen an increase in women engaging in its startup services, and now sees 25.9% of active startups with at least one female founder.
The Communitech Fierce Founders Bootcamp is sponsored by BDC, Bereskin and Parr, Deloitte, FedDev Ontario, Google Developers, Kognitiv, Scotiabank, and Thomson Reuters. For more information about Communitech’s women in technology programming, please visit www.communitech.ca/fiercefounders.
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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 1400 companies — from startups to scale-ups to large global players.
Communitech is a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs and helps tech companies start, grow and succeed in three distinct ways.
- Communitech is a place – the center 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 go from a small startup to a global giant.