VentureLAB, a leading technology hub, announces 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 federal government supported the Tech Undivided program in August 2019 with a $1.7-million investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario as part of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.
“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,” said Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade.
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.
“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,” said Melissa Chee, president and CEO of ventureLAB.
In fall 2019 for the inaugural cohort, 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.
The Strategic Mentor 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 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)
Join the launch of Tech Undivided on March 3 at ventureLAB (3600 Steeles Ave E.) from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 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.
For more details, visit venturelab.ca
Photo: Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade.