Holt Fintech Accelerator has appointed Elisabeth Laett, a former Holt advisor, as the accelerator’s new managing partner.
Laett has over 25 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience, serving in leadership roles at companies like Microsoft, Avid, and Autodesk. She was also named one of the Digital Finance Institutes’ Top 50 Women in FinTech last year. Laett said she is excited to help FinTech startups collaborate and expose Canada to FinTech developments that are happening around the world.
“Elisabeth has been instrumental in supporting Holt Accelerator, and me personally, from the very start.”
Laett joins as managing partner as Holt is looking at opportunities to expand. A spokesperson for Holt told BetaKit that the accelerator is looking into the possibility of raising a fund.
“We are way too insular in Canada,” Laett told BetaKit. “We need to be looking at [the] best technology from around the world, and bring it to Canada.”
“Elisabeth has been instrumental in supporting Holt Accelerator, and me personally, from the very start,” said Jan Christopher Arp, founding managing partner at Holt FinTech Accelerator. “I’m very excited to be able to work alongside her and I look forward to witnessing first hand the impact this will bring to our Canadian early-stage FinTech ecosystem.”
The new managing partner noted that one of her goals is also to help close the gap between the number of men and women who receive funding for their ventures. She noted that under her leadership Holt will be seeking out women-led FinTech startups for its program. Many reports have shown that women-led companies continue to receive less funding overall than their male counterparts.
Laett said when she began in the tech world, she was almost always the only woman at the table during a time when women were not encouraged to take risks. She has gone on to chair the Women in Tech committee at YES, a Montreal-based employment search service, and she said levelling the playing field for women has become a large part of her mission.
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“We have a lot of work to do,” Laett said. “If we’re not enabling women to be at financial equilibrium from an employment side, then we’re not creating the environment for them in order to be able to stay into it.”
Holt is also now accepting applications for its third cohort. Of Holt’s 18 active portfolio companies, six are from Canada, and eight are now incorporated in Canada.
Holt has received over 1,000 applications from close to 75 countries and invests up to $130,000 in the top one percent of applications globally. Holt tracks over 10,000 early-stage FinTechs globally and solicits those that present the best match with its advisor network, which includes individuals who represent financial institutions, institutional investors, and experts.
“I cannot think of a better person for this role. We are honoured and thrilled to see Elisabeth go from one of our very own highly engaged advisors to joining our team full-time,” said Brendan Holt Dunn, a managing partner at Holt. “As an advisor, she delivered big results for our teams, and we are confident the value to our portfolio companies and associated ecosystem will substantially increase within this new role.”
Image source Holt via Facebook.