Innovation Cluster Announces 10 Women Breaking Barriers Accelerator Program Participants

The Innovation Cluster has officially announced the 10 participants that will take part in Women Breaking Barriers, a six month cohort acceleration program designed specifically for women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and social innovation.

Chosen businesses range across STEM and social innovation including mobile applications, safety technology, community development, new and innovative products, agriculture innovation and more. The 10 female-led companies that make up the cohort are:

  • Amy Arthur, Founder of Claxon: A personal safety device that can be initiated without using your hands.

  • Andrea Buckley Gilders, Founder of Community Equity Housing Partners: Collaboration opportunity to create affordable residential units for individuals and families.

  • Danielle Greene, Co-Founder of Canadian Custom Genetics: Assist agri business’ in obtaining animal genetics for herd health, growth and prosperity.

  • Ellen Edney, Founder of Mariposa Woolen Mill: Creating sustainable wool food packaging.

  • Jennifer Andersen, Founder of Coupon Addict Inc.: Mobile app that streamlines grocery saving opportunities.

  • Jessica Dalliday, Founder of Pilates On Demand: A membership website that offers live and on-demand exercise classes taught through video.

  • Dr. Margaret Kalmeta, Founder of Rapid Nexus, Inc.: A wound healing platform with a rapid wound healing and infection control technology able to close open, diabetic wounds.

  • Othalia Doe-Bruce, Founder of InnovFin Consulting Inc.: An online education platform teaching emerging technologies using emerging technologies such as blockchain.

  • Robin Linton & Katherine Porter, Co-Founders of Undu Wearables Ltd.: A modern, wearable solution that leverages the age-old use of heat to combat pain caused by menstrual cramps.

  • Stephanie Hendren, Founder of Peterborough Microgreens: Harvesting live organic microgreens year-round from sustainable urban farm.

The program is supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation funding through its Seed stream. A total of $75,000 will go towards needs including hiring professionals, supplies and workshops and events.

“We were blown away by the interest in this program and the amount of applications we received,” says Rosalea Terry, lead of the Women Breaking Barriers program, Marketing Manager and Senior Innovation Specialist with the Innovation Cluster. “The 10 female-led startups are sure to break barriers and make a dent in the Canadian startup ecosystem with their innovative solutions.”

The program will reduce barriers for female founders including the unique opportunity to pitch to angel investors at the end of six months. The overall program will be one year long, consisting of two separate cohorts of up to ten women that will last six months each. The fully virtual program kicked off Tuesday, September 8.

Participants have every opportunity to accelerate their company during the program, which includes specific and advanced training sessions, weekly mentorship with advisors, peer-to-peer learning, community networking and more. 

The program ends with each participant guaranteed to pitch to the local Peterborough Region Angel Network, which currently has over thirty investors. The group has invested over six million dollars in companies over the years.

Statistics show that only four per cent of VC funding goes toward women-led companies and founders who are women of colour get less than one per cent of venture capital each year. The Innovation Cluster is working to change these numbers.

This program is made possible through funding by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.

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