ventureLAB’s Tech Undivided initiative prepares emerging tech players
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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
ventureLAB, a leading technology hub in Markham ON, 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).
“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,” says Melissa Chee, president and CEO, ventureLAB. “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.”
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.
“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,” says Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “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.”
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.