The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance has announced the winners of its 27th Annual Innovation Awards. The Canadian Women in Technology Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation was awarded to Valerie Fox, Executive Director of the Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone . The annual award is presented to a Canadian woman who has shown “the most outstanding technological innovation and corporate leadership significantly expanding the frontiers of Canada’s advanced technology industry.”
“It is my great honour to accept this award on behalf of trailblazers in entrepreneurship and innovation across Canada,” said Fox. “Events such as these reinforce the impressive contribution our country has made in the field of technology. At the Digital Media Zone we’re currently preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs to grow Canada’s digital innovation economy.”
The award is named after North America’s first and foremost female entrepreneur. Sara Kirke arrived in Newfoundland in 1638. Without her husband, she managed the family’s business affairs at their plantation and eventually became one of the most successful merchants on the English Shore.
“Women’s participation and leadership in the technology sector is vastly under-represented. Each year CanWIT seeks out a female tech leader who helps advance entrepreneurship and who exemplifies leadership in innovation. With a long career in technology and now leading a top-notch incubation centre for entrepreneurs, Valerie is a role model for young women who aspire to careers in tech,” says Joanne Stanley, Executive Director and Founder of Canadian Women in Technology. “Role models and mentorship are key to the advancement and retention of women in the technology workforce.”
Canadian Women in Technology was founded in 2005 as a national community grassroots network for women to work together to advance their careers or succeed as entrepreneurs.
Opened in April 2010, Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone is a multidisciplinary workspace for young entrepreneurs infused with the energy and resources of downtown Toronto.
Ryerson University is home to more than 28,000 students, including 2,300 master’s and PhD students, 2,700 faculty and staff, and 140,000 alumni worldwide.