Four Canadian startups are in this year’s Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders program.
The search giant announced that two Toronto companies, Braze Mobility and Paperstack, as well as Vancouver’s SafetyDocs Global, and Montreal’s Tengiva are among the 12 women-led startups accepted into the program this year.
Google has selected Braze Mobility, Paperstack, SafetyDocs Global, and Tengiva for this year’s Women Founders program.
“We’re also excited to share that four Canadian startups from across the country are part of this year’s cohort,” said Ashley Francisco, head of Google Canada’s startup developer ecosystem.
Starting on September 27, the 10-week virtual program will bring the best of Google’s programs, products, people and technology to help these businesses reach their goals.
Participating startups receive deep mentorship on technical challenges and machine learning, as well as connections to relevant teams across Google. Companies also receive nontechnical programming to help address some of the unique barriers faced by women founders in the startup ecosystem.
Google launched its first Canadian accelerator in Kitchener-Waterloo in February 2020, revealing plans to open three new offices in Canada and hire 3,500 people across the country by 2022. Since then, the American tech company has opened five accelerator programs to Canadian startups, including Black Founders, Cloud, Voice AI, Climate Change, and Women Founders.
Braze Mobility provides affordable navigation solutions for wheelchair users. It developed the world’s first blind spot sensor system that can be attached to any wheelchair, transforming it into a smart wheelchair that automatically detects obstacles and provides alerts to the user through intuitive lights, sounds, and vibrations. Braze previously took part in Communitech’s bootcamp for female-led startups in 2016.
Paperstack is an all-in-one platform that helps self-employed individuals with incorporation, bookkeeping, and taxes, while SafetyDocs Global is a document management solutions platform that streamlines and automates permitting and licensing documentation workflows. The company is a spin-off of SafetyDocs Brazil.
Tengiva is the first digital platform enabling real-time supply chain in the textile industry by optimizing the typical months-long procurement process into a single-click operation.
“Earlier this summer we shared details about how the Google for Startups Accelerator program is expanding its support for founders from underrepresented groups,” said Francisco. “In addition to our Black Founders accelerator program, the expansion included a second year of programming specifically designed for women-led startups in North America.”
Google launched its first Women Founders accelerator program in 2020 to address gender disparity in the startup ecosystem and provide high-quality mentorship opportunities and support for women founders.
According to Francisco, studies showed that only 16 percent of small and medium-sized businesses were owned by women, and that women often lack access to venture capitalist funding and accelerator programs to help launch and scale up their businesses.
Canada offers a number of initiatives for women entrepreneurs. They include the 12-month program, RBC Women in Cleantech Accelerator that innovation hub MaRS and the Royal Bank of Canada launched in April; as well as Global Affairs Canada’s and BDC Capital’s Women in Tech accelerator.
Photo by Paweł Czerwiński via Unsplash