Techstars Toronto, The Big Push partner to mentor women-founded startups

the big push

Techstars Toronto and The Big Push are partnering to host mentor days for startups that are led or founded by women. The mentor days will take place August 15 to 16 from at Techstars’ Toronto office.

“Together, our complementary services will help introduce early-stage women-led companies to the world of accelerators.”
– Sharon Zohar

Founders can each book a maximum of six meetings per day, running for 20 minutes each, over the course of two days, selecting from among 24 mentors. Some of the participating mentors include founding experts from The Big Push, Techstars mentors, and leaders from Toronto’s technology community. Mentors will offer founders tailored advice, feedback, and insights based on their particular expertise across marketing, business development, operations, finance, human resources, and product management.

“The number of startups led or founded by women continues to rise, and Techstars Toronto is continually focused on working with female founders and women-led startups,” said Sunil Sharma, managing director of the Techstars Toronto Accelerator.

The mentor days hosted by the two accelerators are open to 25 tech startups founded or led by women, that must have a product on the market, even if they are not yet generating revenue. Over the two days, participants will also have the chance to work at the Techstars office, alongside The Big Push founder and CEO, Sharon Zohar, and Techstars Toronto program manager, Tariq Haddadin, to give founders a networking opportunity with other participants.

RELATED: The Big Push announces Canada-wide Pitch and Pair Program for women-led companies

Launched in Canada in 2018, Techstars’ Toronto accelerator is run in partnership with Real Ventures. The program runs for 13 weeks out of WeWork in downtown Toronto. Techstars invests $120,000 in each company for six percent common share equity, providing hands-on mentorship, and unlimited access to the Techstars global network for life. Female founders were noticeably absent from Techstars Toronto’s most recent cohort.

“Through its programming, The Big Push has established relationships with many great startups and is collaborating with leading organizations to ensure those startups have access to more resources and support,” said Sharma. “By working together, we are giving those and other startups an opportunity to experience one part of our program, hands-on mentorship, where they can receive specific and actionable feedback and advice from experts, beyond the traditional evaluation of a pitch.”

The Big Push is a Toronto-based organization that aims to support women founders through its supports women founders through a service-for-equity model. It invests a minimum of $10,000 in its companies and provides follow-on support and funding where needed.

“Our collaboration with Techstars enables us to support them in their efforts to connect with a more diversified pool of candidates,” said Zohar. “At the same time, we are providing the startups in our network and in Toronto’s tech community at large with an opportunity to get valuable feedback from mentors on specific topics and issues, but without a requirement for further commitment. Together, our complementary services will help introduce early-stage women-led companies to the world of accelerators.”

Image courtesy The Big Push via Facebook

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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