VentureLAB, a tech and innovation hub based in the Greater Toronto Area, has received a $370,000 investment from the federal government for Tech Undivided, a program aimed to support women and underrepresented people working in tech.
“Our vision for Tech Undivided is to reduce unconscious bias and create an inclusive tech ecosystem that increases representation.”
The investment was made through the government’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund, which was recently topped up with $15 million, and FedDev Ontario, the regional development agency for Southern Ontario. The funding will be used by VentureLab to provide entrepreneurs with support in acquiring new customers, raising investment capital, garnering brand visibility, networking, and subject matter expert advisory.
“Our vision for Tech Undivided is to reduce unconscious bias and create an inclusive tech ecosystem that increases representation and access to capital,” said Melissa Chee, president and CEO of VentureLAB. “Scaling tech firms, particularly those led by women, have been heavily impacted by COVID-19. We hope that this additional investment from the Government of Canada will help women-led tech firms re-establish growth trajectories and future-proof their businesses.”
VentureLAB is home to over 45 tech companies and innovation partners that employ more than 300 people. The hub has supported more than 2,000 tech entrepreneurs through its programs.
Tech Undivided first launched in 2019, when VentureLAB put out a call for female-led tech companies to join the inaugural cohort of the program. The federal government also invested $1.7 million into Tech Undivided through FedDev Ontario and the WES in August 2019.
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Following this latest investment, VentureLAB is planning to host three virtual B2B “customer matchmaking events” aimed to give female-founded tech companies introductions to potential customers. The innovation hub will also organize a series of three virtual investor roundtables, during which female-led companies will pitch to a group of investment partners.
VentureLAB is also set to partner with Women of Influence, a women empowerment organization, to build visibility, networking opportunities, and lead generation for its founders.
Through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund, the Government of Canada has invested a total of $30 million in more than 300 women-led businesses across Canada.
Image source Unsplash. Photo by CoWomen.