Communitech has announced the two winners of its Fierce Founders bootcamp pitch finale, which awards $100,000 in funding to women entrepreneurs.
The two winning startups were Fredericton-based SomaDetect, which provides farmers with information on producing the best quality milk by monitoring herds with data; and Toronto-based Furnishr, a turn-key home furnishing platform that supplies a fully-furnished room in a day, including design, delivery, assembly, and cleanup. The two startups received $50,000 each.
“We look to the Fierce Founders program as a pipeline to prepare early-stage startups for investment readiness,” said BDC’s Nicole LeBlanc and pitch competition judge. “These women are thrown into the startup arena and develop a strong sense of deal flow, preparing them for what’s next.”
The winners are invited to take part in the third cohort of the Fierce Founders Accelerator, a six-month program that requires entrepreneurs to have at least $30,000 in funding to match, and provides more extensive mentorship and support.
“The Fierce Founders Bootcamp is an opportunity for like-minded women entrepreneurs to hone their required startup skills in an intensive six-day, hands-on format. This culminates in an investor pitch competition where participants get to showcase their companies and be judged on all the skills they’ve learned,” said Seema Esteves, the Fierce Founders senior program manager.
Twenty startups participated in the Fierce Founders bootcamp, which is targeted to entrepreneurs at MVP or pre-MVP stage — though only nine entrepreneurs pitched during the finale. The six-week bootcamp helps entrepreneurs develop their business idea, network with investors, and learn the foundations of pitching.
“I was truly challenged and inspired by all the women in the bootcamp,” said Karen Lau, co-founder of Furnishr. “I was happy enough to pitch and it does feel great to hold a big cheque!”
The other pitching startups included: