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Communitech launches Canada's first all-female tech accelerator

Last Updated Oct 3, 2016 at 1:24 pm EDT

570 News/Jeff Pickel

Canada’s first all-female tech accelerator has launched in Kitchener.

Communitech is home to the Fierce Founders Accelerator, a group of nine women led tech start-up who will take up residency in the Communitech Hub.

Communitech say the program was launched to encourage more women in the tech industry and to remove some of the road blocks facing female led start-ups.

Lise Snelgrove is the Co-Founder and CEO of This Space Works, a two year old start-up who rent temporary office space. Snelgrove says one of the main road blocks is with investment.

Snelgrove says she doesn’t believe it is intentional, but finds male investors more likely to invest in other men. “That’s the challenge I have run into, where i am being my authentic self and gaining a lot of interest but people tend to invest in our male counterparts.” said Snelgrove.

She also says that programs like Fierce Founders will eventually be more women on the investment side that will help women led tech start-ups.

Kaleah Baker is a Co-founder and CMO of BridesMade who specialize in the re-sale of bride’s maid dresses. Baker says it’s not unusual to be vastly out number, “The barriers aren’t as noticeable when you first encounter them but looking back you realize that you were the only women in that room.” said Baker.

The accelerator was granted $880,000 in funding from the federal government, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario in June of this year. The nine start-ups will receive up to $30,000 in funding and six-month residency at the Communitech Hub.

The nine Fierce Founders are Borealis Wind, Oneiric. BridesMade, Navi, Squiggle Park, Think Dirty, Hal Cal, This Space Works, and Binary Tattoo.