Accelerate Okanagan, Digital Technology Supercluster launch program for women entrepreneurs in BC

WOC in Tech

Accelerate Okanagan, University of Victoria, VIATEC, and the Digital Technology Supercluster have opened applications for W Venture, an entrepreneurial program for women in British Columbia.

“We set out to co-create something that was truly collaborative and supported the unique needs of female entrepreneurs.”

The three-month pilot program is targeted toward women in Victoria and the Okanagan region of BC looking to accelerate their business. The aim of the W Venture program is to help women address business challenges through hands-on support from mentors and subject-matter experts. The program will be run remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will begin in early September.

“We set out to co-create something that was truly collaborative and supported the unique needs of female entrepreneurs,” said W Venture’s program manager Shelley Voyer. “Women from across the province told us they wanted a program that is actionable and accountable while focusing on her unique journey. W Venture delivers on this promise. I hope any woman who is bold enough to build her own tech-enabled company applies.”

There will be two cohorts for W Venture, one located in Victoria, and the other in the Okanagan. Communitech and Kelowna-based tech startup PurposeFive assisted in designing the program’s curriculum.

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W Venture participants must commit approximately six to eight hours per week, which consists of bi-weekly mentor meetings, project work with a subject matter expert, curated workshops, a monthly peer group, and optional community events.

The program costs $300 per month, and subsidies will be available for entrepreneurs that come out of the University of Victoria. W Venture noted in a statement that in-person meetings may be included if and when it is safe to do so in Victoria and the Okanagan.

“The Digital Technology Supercluster is committed to inspiring community-wide growth and
innovation, and it is paramount that the systematic challenges that women face are met with
practical strategies and exceptional support,” said Sue Paish, CEO of the Digital Technology
Supercluster.

Paish added that W Venture is one of several projects in the supercluster’s Capacity Building Program, which is intended to expand the “breadth and diversity of talent” in the digital technology sector.

Applications for W Venture are open for both cohorts and will close on July 31.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Christina – wocintechchat.com.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast