The graduating Tech Undivided cohort includes women-led tech companies with breakthrough products from machine-learning driven customer service to AI-powered healthcare. Over the past 6 months, they’ve worked closely with industry experts, our Strategic Mentorship network, and investors to refine their product-market-fit, amplify their sales, navigate relevant sources of funding, and hone their pitch to better prepare for customer and investor meetings. ventureLAB’s Tech Undivided initiative bridges gender and diversity gaps by better supporting women founders and leaders, who are underrepresented within the tech sector. Tech Undivided goes beyond technology and business support by curating a supportive community focused on equality, open dialogue, and overcoming obstacles. Since launching the program in 2019, Tech Undivided companies have generated $2.49M in revenue, raised $3.6M in investment, and created 52 jobs. As the lead advisor working with Tech Undivided companies, Heather Crosbie has watched and guided the graduating cohort to achieve key milestones in the development and success of their businesses. “From closing international contracts and operationalizing online strategies to identifying and targeting relevant market segments to launch sales, the Tech Undivided founders made incredible strides to grow and scale their businesses,” says Crosbie, Advisor, ventureLAB. “They will continue to make impacts in transformational sectors like medtech, artificial intelligence, FinTech, and beyond.”
The Awake Labs platform measures stress and strong emotions in real-time and notifies individuals or their caregivers if they need to check in to prevent stress from escalating to a point of crisis. Awake Labs is a revolutionary app that’s connected to a smartphone and smartwatch that detects a person’s heart rate. Using a clinically validated algorithm licensed from Holland Bloorview, the app detects when stress and strong emotions are escalating and alerts a person or caregiver to the impending big emotion (fear, joy, anger, etc.) so they can intervene and support the person affected. Read more.
“Never be afraid to ask for what you need — the worst thing people will say is no, or they won’t respond. There will be sacrifices, and we probably survived because we continued to proceed and push through things when other companies with similar ideas to ours stopped.”
- Andrea Palmer, Co-founder, Awake Labs
Connexa offers small and medium sized businesses a customer service platform that helps them maintain a human connection with their customers through a centralized inbox that saves them time while leveraging machine learning to provide customer feedback insights in an analytics dashboard. As Founder Maria Poonawala looks at Connexa’s growth ahead, she says she would love her company to be the next great Canadian success story, like Shopify. She’s committed to creating a culture that’s supportive, inclusive, and that values all of its employees. She’s also eager to advise other young women entrepreneurs, sharing advice she’s been given along the way. Read more.
“The barriers to entry have never been lower to become an entrepreneur. As such, I think everyone should measure the cost of inaction, recognize failing is part of the process, and avoid spending too much time on decisions that can be reversed.”
- Maria Poonawala, Founder, Connexa.ai
Being part of an emerging health and safety technology company with a focus on hygiene outcomes is an interesting place to be more than a year into a global pandemic. OptiSolve is an emerging technology leader in environmental health and safety. They innovate and engineer systems to proactively improve productivity for clean, healthy, and safe spaces. Their two key offerings are a proprietary surface imaging technology that enables you to visualize contamination, and a quality management system that produces a comprehensive program to validate cleaning and disinfection. Essentially, you’re enabled to answer the question: “Is this clean?” Read more.
“We’ve worked with one of Canada’s leading R&D medical device companies on the engineering side, as well as fantastic academic partners, and software and digital experience experts to enhance our technology. I love the collaborative aspect of the business, knowing that the sum is always greater than the individual parts.” - Natalie Ambler, Co-founder, OptiSolve
Walletifai empowers people with intelligent yet educational solutions to live a debt-free life. By analyzing spending habits with machine learning, they categorize, predict and help reduce expenses. Using machine learning and automation, Founder Roya Kachooei has developed a mobile app that can predict expenses and provide insight into a person’s spending history. It works with 20,000+ banks and financial institutions, allowing users to connect their bank accounts and manage their personal finances. Read more.
“Some people — including potential investors — may try to make you doubt your decision, but if you know the product cracks the code and isn’t out there yet, that gives you the confidence to push forward.”
- Roya Kachooei, Founder, Walletifai
Xesto built and launched Xesto Fit, the first 3D foot sizing app that uses FaceID cameras on smartphones to accurately size their feet from home. The app uses a smartphone’s FaceID camera to take a 3D image of a person’s foot. When integrated into the e-commerce sites of retailers, a person can virtually figure out which shoes will fit best (the app is accurate to under 1.5 mm). Over 10,000 people have used the tool, and the company now has major partnerships with several shoe manufacturers. Read more.
“There’s always progress happening. You have to celebrate all of the wins, even if they’re not for certain. I love that we brought something into the world that has never been done before. In spite of all of the challenges, it’s really rewarding to know you’re making an impact on someone’s life.”
- Sophie Howe, CEO and Co-Founder, Xesto
ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. Our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition have enabled thousands of companies to create over 4,000 jobs and raise more than $200 million in investment capital. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, for global markets.