Fierce Founders Accelerator Supports Women Tech Entrepreneurs

Female entrepreneurs are becoming an increasingly powerful and vocal group of influencers within Canada’s business community. A growing number of women are becoming entrepreneurs – 950,000 women were self-employed as of 2012, accounting for nearly 36% of all entrepreneurs in Canada.

Still, two main challenges face women who are starting and growing their own business. Often it’s difficult to locate a mentor who can provide inspiration and guidance through the process. Equally challenging is obtaining funding to grow the business. These obstacles continue to hinder the growth of female-owned businesses and stunt the growth of Canada’s startup scene.

Luckily new resources are available to women entrepreneurs that help to address these barriers.

Fierce Founders Accelerator for Women Tech Entrepreneurs

Communitech is a Waterloo, Ontario-based technology innovation centre that provides support services for startups and early-stage businesses. Since 1997 the group has been providing mentorship and supporting the collaboration of entrepreneurs in Ontario’s technology industry. Their 50,000 square foot facility hosts a variety of businesses and researchers that are dedicated to growing businesses through innovative research and development.

The ‘Fierce Founders Accelerator’ is a new Communitech-led initiative that seeks to close the opportunity gap experienced by female entrepreneurs in the province’s tech industry. By providing mentorship and funding support for women, the program will help women entrepreneurs to establish a sound business model.

“Through Fierce Founders, women entrepreneurs have the opportunity to turn their business ideas into a reality, and then accelerate it into a scalable business”
– Danielle Graham, Women in Tech Program Manager, Communitech

Mentoring for Women Entrepreneurs

Being able to consult an expert that has gone through similar challenges is a huge asset for entrepreneurs. It is especially difficult for women in the tech industry to find a mentor since businesses are mostly led by men. Through the Fierce Founders Accelerator, women may access mentors that will:

  • Help you build and execute a business plan;
  • Assist with market research;
  • Business training from Communitech’s resident executives;
  • Provide a critical connection to investors, advisors, and service providers.

Small Business Funding and Business Expansion Resources

Communitech’s two-part approach also seeks to provide funding and other valuable resources that speed up the time it takes for women-led businesses to grow. This includes:

Does Your Business Qualify for the Fierce Founders Accelerator?

In order to access the great small business funding, mentorship, and resources mentioned above, businesses must have:

  • At least one female founder or C-suite executive;
  • Initial funding that can be matched up to $30,000; and
  • A minimum viable product (MVP) that solves a significant problem and has the potential to impact millions of people.

How to Apply for Ontario Tech Business Funding and Mentorship

The Fierce Founders Accelerator program will accept 5 applications on a bi-annual basis. Interested women entrepreneurs must prepare an application form and submit it to Communitech by a defined intake deadline in order to be considered.

The first round of applications are due by July 29, 2016 and entrepreneurs may begin the program on September 19, 2016. Subsequent intakes and program start times will be announced every 6 months.

Ready to apply? Female tech entrepreneurs can access the Fierce Founders Accelerator application form here.

Additional Resources for Women Entrepreneurs

Female entrepreneurs may benefit from reading more about resources that can help grow their business. Learn more about funding and mentorship opportunities by accessing the articles below:

Canadian Small Business Funding Guide

Recent Entrepreneurship News:

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