October 23rd, 2019 | Today, Startup Canada and OnDeck Canada® (Formerly Evolocity Financial Group) announced the recipients of the 2019 Startup Canada Women Founders Fund for women entrepreneurs leading STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) businesses. The fund provides micro-grants to women-led companies in Canada to help them start and grow their businesses while accelerating gender parity.
Although women in Canada now represent 47 percent of Canadian business owners and contribute $148 billion in economic activity, they continuously face barriers to accessing capital to start and scale their businesses. This gap is particularly evident when looking at women entrepreneurs in STEM fields.
“From raising Venture Funding to build a reputed brand, women entrepreneurs in the STEM sector face several challenges along their journey. In fact, only about 5% percent of tech startups are women-owned” said Victoria Lennox, CEO of Startup Canada. “The Startup Canada Women Founders Fund provides opportunities for women to start-up strong and prepare to scale. We look forward to seeing the recipients grow their companies and create a meaningful impact in their communities.”
Through the Women Founders Fund, Startup Canada and OnDeck Canada aim to alleviate some of the financial barriers women in the STEM industry face when starting and accessing opportunities for business and professional growth. The recipients are funded with grants of up to $5,000 to support business operations or business growth opportunities.
The 2019 Women Founders Fund recipients are:
- Granted Consulting Inc, a Vancouver-based company that is reinventing the traditional consulting and the way companies access grants. GetGranted is a software as a service (SaaS) that allows SMEs to access and understand grants easily. The company has helped 750+ SMEs maximize their opportunities through government grants.
- Invicare Inc., a Montreal-based nanotechnological spin-off company of McGill University, which brings innovative and impactful biomaterials to the healthcare industry, starting with the dental implant care market. The first product (NeoPhylaxis) has been implemented in 10 clinics in Montreal to clean implants and reduce the rate of infections.
- Growing Greener Innovation, an Edmonton-based Cleantech company which created a plug-and-play solution that allows individuals to create microgrids of any size, anywhere, without the need of a technician. This zero-emission, silent, lithium-ion solution is scalable, which means it can provide power to individuals, households, or whole communities.
- Weavair, a Toronto-based company that aims to improve public health while reducing energy consumption, costs and carbon emissions associated with air conditioning systems by developing the world’s first device that uses real-time metrics proactively to improve their building operations and air quality.
- Kidictive inc., an Oakville-based company that created an app that gamifies real-world play to help kids put down their devices, that way the screen time they do have is guilt-free! It is already a family favorite
The more than 200 applications from across Canada, were adjudicated by an esteemed Adjudication Committee, including Katrina Caroll Foster, the CEO of Kollectively, Miryam Lazarte, the CEO of LatAm Startup, Marney Stapley, Vice President of North Forge Technology Exchange, Mandy Potter, Founder of Jane, and Francine Whiteduck, Founder of Whiteduck Resources Inc., among others.
“We are thrilled to continue to see and be involved in the high caliber, innovative business ideas that the women of Canada are creating. Although Women Founders Fund is only a small sample of what’s to come, the ingenuity behind these businesses is indisputable– but the challenges these women face to obtain funding for their businesses is also very real” said David Souaid, Chief Revenue Officer of OnDeck. “By promoting awareness and education surrounding these barriers, we can accelerate the momentum that is building for the women entrepreneurs to overcome them. These changes help us empower half of our population to succeed and thrive while driving our SMBs and bolstering our economy. We extend our congratulations to all the winners of Women Founders Fund, as our decision was a genuinely difficult one when considering the large pool of applicants and outstanding proposals.”
The Women Founders Fund is a joint initiative between Startup Canada andOnDeck Canada. For more than a decade, OnDeck Canada has proven to be a leader in transparent and responsible online lending to small businesses. OnDeck offers a wide range of term loans and lines of credit customized for the needs of small business owners. OnDeck has provided over $11 billion in loans to customers in 700 different industries across the United States, Canada, and Australia.
About Startup Canada
Startup Canada is Canada’s entrepreneurship organization. Startup Canada promotes and supports the success and growth of Canada’s 3.5 million entrepreneurs, with a mandate to foster economic growth, competitiveness, and prosperity through entrepreneurship. Since launching, Startup Canada’s programming has directly supported more than 200,000 entrepreneurs and 50 grassroots Startup Community organizations. Working with over 750 ecosystem partners, including accelerators, incubators, research parks, educational institutions, economic development agencies, associations, and government programs, Startup Canada serves entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, industries, and stages of development, with a network reflective of Canada’s diverse population. Learn more at startupcan.ca.
About OnDeck Canada
OnDeck Canada is a national leader in reliable, accessible and efficient online lending for Canadian small businesses, offering a wide range of financing products including Term Loans, Lines of Credit, and Flex Fund advances coast to coast in both English and French. Since its inception in 2015, OnDeck Canada has pioneered the use of data analytics and digital technology to make real-time lending decisions and rapidly deliver funding to Canadian small businesses in as fast as 24 hours. OnDeck Canada has provided over CAD$440 million in capital to small businesses nationally. OnDeck Canada is rated 4.7 out of 5 Stars “Excellent” by Canadians on Trustpilot. For more information, visit www.ondeck.ca.