Disruption Ventures, The Big Push team up to support women-led tech startups

Disruption Ventures fund and The Big Push accelerator today announced a partnership looking to give women-led tech startups access to experts, and early-stage financing.

Founded and led by managing partner Elaine Kunda, Disruption Ventures is a VC firm investing in women-led businesses. The Big Push runs a nine month business accelerator for early-stage, women-founded tech companies, providing services in exchange for equity. The partnership will give startups going through the accelerator the opportunity to receive investment from Disruption. The VC will provide between $500,000 and $2 million in Seed or Series A funding for “qualified startups” in the program.

“Our missions are aligned, and together we are creating a winning formula that positions our portfolio companies for success.”
-Elaine Kunda

“Through our collaboration with Disruption Ventures, we are addressing and removing one of the biggest obstacles faced by women founders, and that is access to early-stage growth financing,” said Sharon Zohar, founder and CEO of The Big Push. “Providing access to experts who will roll up their sleeves to support a business acceleration is the first step in helping to increase the odds of success for startups. The second step is providing ready access to a source of financing through a fund that was created specifically to remove the barriers to success for women-led technology startups.”

Kunda founded Disruption, which has been called Canada’s first private female-founded venture capital fund for women entrepreneurs, in May 2018. Last week, the fund announced that it had deployed its first investment, participating in a $1.34 million CAD funding round for San Francisco-based vacation rental SaaS solution Hostfully. Disruption aims to deliver early-stage capital to female founders, with the goal of being the starting point for female founders and entrepreneurs.

Not every startup going through The Big Push accelerator will receive funding from Disruption, the fund will choose only the top performing companies that most align with its mandate. Kunda is also on the investment committee for The Big Push Pitch and Pair events that are taking place across Canada throughout 2019.

“Together with The Big Push, we aim to deliver the greatest impact for startups that are founded or led by women and are looking to achieve global market readiness,” said Kunda. “Our missions are aligned, and together we are creating a winning formula that positions our portfolio companies for success.”

RELATED: The Big Push CEO Sharon Zohar on the funding gap for women entrepreneurs

The Big Push was founded in 2017 with the specific goal of getting women founders investment ready. It provides in-kind services in exchange for equity in startups, a practice that is uncommon in the space. It states that through a group of senior executives with expertise spanning finance, marketing, sales, public relations, recruitment, and more, startups gain access to critical resources to help them accelerate. The Big Push values its services between $150,000 to $250,000.

The two organizations are hosting an exclusive forum on June 3 for strategic investors that, according to The Big Push, are “making a mark on diversity and changing the status quo for women in technology.” Attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about the partnership between The Big Push and Disruption Ventures.

The accelerator told BetaKit that it hopes to have a total of 15 companies on-boarded for acceleration through its program by the end of the year.

Image courtesy The Bug Push

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Senior Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.

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