Capital Angel Network, a group of angel investors in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, and Invest Ottawa, the lead economic development agency for the National Capital Region, are set to launch a new boot camp and investment opportunity for womxn founders in Ottawa.
“We strive to make Ottawa the best region in the world for women-identifying founders from every walk of life.”
The unveiling of the new program, SheBoot, was made during a Womxn Angel Investor Breakfast hosted at Bayview Yards, one part of a larger International Womxn’s Week event being hosted by Invest Ottawa in the lead up to International Women’s Day on March 8. Womxn is an alternative term for the word women and came into use around 2015; it is used in intersectional feminism and as a way to be inclusive of trans and nonbinary people.
SheBoot is meant to help womxn-identifying entrepreneurs prepare for the world of investing. According to the two organizations, the program is womxn-designed and led, created by womxn investors for womxn founders. SheBoot is designed to help increase the number of womxn making and receiving investment locally.
The four-week intensive program is meant to help “catalyze the growth and success” of womxn-led scalable startups in the Ottawa region. It will culminate in a pitch competition with the opportunity of up to $100,000 in investment from Ottawa womxn angels.
The goal of SheBoot is to address the investment challenges facing womxn founders. The two organizations noted statistics that continually show women-led companies receive significantly less venture capital funding than their male counterparts and the lack of women within the venture capital world itself.
“We strive to make Ottawa the best region in the world for women-identifying founders from every walk of life to launch and scale successful firms and help create Ottawa’s first $100 million women-owned company,” said Sonya Shorey, vice president of strategy, marketing, and communications at Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards.
“The Capital Angel Network aims to help make Ottawa the best place for entrepreneurs to launch and scale a global business, and for qualified investors to access top investment opportunities,” added Jennifer Francis, chair of the Capital Angel Network and co-founder of SheBoot. “It will take more women investors to help us achieve this objective, and create the next generation of investment-ready women-led and owned firms in Ottawa. SheBoot will help to address this goal, and open up new investment opportunities for female founders in our region, and prepare them for capital-intensive global markets.”
Capital Angel Network and Invest Ottawa noted that SheBoot is currently under development and that the program builds on an increasing collaboration between the groups over the last 18 months, which included a joint series of womxn angel workshops and founder training sessions, helping to attract five new womxn funders to the Capital Angel Network.
“I am excited to architect this program with the Capital Angel Network and Invest Ottawa, and help women founders across our region put it to work in their business,” said Julia Elvidge, investor and advisor and co-founder of SheBoot. “It will help to address some of the key investment gaps in our ecosystem and serve as a model for others around the world.”