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Ten Canadian Tech Companies Join First Cohort of Women in Tech Silicon Valley Program

Ten Canadian women-led or women-founded companies down to Silicon Valley to partake in a Canadian government-led program focused on helping women entrepreneurs grow their businesses outside of Canada.

Article originally posted here.


The ten companies with women founders or C-level executives have been selected by the Consulate of Canada in Silicon Valley as the inaugural cohort for the Canadian Women in Tech Silicon Valley program.

“Canada’s hot right now and the Valley has certainly noticed.”
The 48-hour program is taking place in Palo Alto, California, starting today. Companies will participate in workshops, seminars, panel discussions, a fireside chat with founders, a pitch session, and meetings with Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

The consulate said that the ten companies were chosen for their positive traction, business solutions, and readiness to succeed in the Silicon Valley market.

“Canada’s hot right now and the Valley has certainly noticed,” said Rana Sarkar, consul general of Canada to Northern California. “We’ve hit critical mass, and the quality of our talent and companies sets us apart. But the fight for attention here is immense and even great talent can get lost in the noise.”

Stephany Lapierre, CEO and founder of Tealbook, one of the companies selected to participate, said she’s looking forward to meeting other female founders that are going through the same path, and working hard to raise capital in Silicon Valley.

“It’s already challenging if you’re a woman or a man,” she said. “It’s not easy to start a tech company, to get the capital you need, get customers, and learn how to scale.”

She mentioned that the statistics for female founders receiving venture capital are not favourable, and the way to overcome this is to lead by example and inspire more women. A 2016 report confirmed that women entrepreneurs struggle to get funding, due to the perception they are considered more “risk-averse”.

“We are trying to leverage [this opportunity] as effectively as we can so we can get the capital needed to grow our business, and make another Canadian success story,” said Lapierre. “If it’s led by women, that’s awesome, it will inspire more women.”

The companies participating in Canadian Women in Tech Silicon Valley include:

Careteam: A Vancouver-based company that provides a digital platform that makes collaboration between patients, families, and health professionals easier. Careteam is one of the portfolio companies of Montreal-based super angel fund BCF Ventures, and is also participating on one of the seven projects approved by the Digital Technology Supercluster.
Mazu: A Kelwona company that developed a kid-friendly social media platform. CEO Janice Taylor was mentioned on theBoardlist as a top Canadian woman in tech.
Orpyx: Orpyx’s technology assists people with diabetes in maintaining mobility through preventing and managing diabetic foot ulcers. The Calgary company recently partnered with a subsidiary of Alphabet.
PartnerStack: Based out of Toronto, PartnerStack assists companies with starting and scaling partners, resellers, and marketing programs.
Polystyvert: A company in Anjou that has developed a solution for recycling polystyrene. Last year, the company raised an $11 million funding round.
Qanik DX: Qanik DX, based in Calgary, has developed a hormone sensor that allows people to test their hormones at home, without the need for a doctor.
SkyHive: An AI technology company that connects talent in the labour market with employers. SkyHive has headquarters in Vancouver and San Francisco.
Stathletes: The St. Catherine’s-based company has developed a software for collecting and analyzing performance data for hockey teams. Stathletes was one of 10 women-led companies to be a part of the Lazaridis Institute’s ScaleUp Program.
Tealbook: Tealbook provides procurement teams with a platform that uses AI to deliver accuracy and analytics across the supplier base. The Toronto-based company partnered with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business last year.
Virtual Gurus: A talent-as-a-service company that provides companies with “virtual assistants”. The Calgary company won Most Promising Startup Entrepreneur of the Year at the Start Alberta Tech Awards last year.
The Women in Tech program is an initiative by the Trade Commissioner Service (part of Global Affairs Canada) and the Consulate of Canada in Silicon Valley to support tech companies in succeeding in foreign markets.