Women-Led Tech Startups Win $100,000 from Communitech

Two women entrepreneurs scooped up $50,000 in funding at the Communitech Fierce Founders Bootcamp Pitch Competition on Thursday.

Fredericton’s SomaDetect Inc. and Toronto’s Furnishr were awarded the cash prize at the end of Communitech’s business bootcamp for female founders that saw the participation from 20 startups.

The women-led businesses who won the Communitech investments come from quite different tech spaces. SomaDetect’s technology gives dairy farmers quick and accurate herd data to monitor dairy quality, helping them produce top quality milk.

Furnishr’s turn-key furnishing solution can supply customers will all the furniture they need to fully outfit a room in one day, including design, delivery, assembly and clean up.

Furnishr and SomaDetect beat out 18 startups with their pitches on Thursday.
Furnishr and SomaDetect beat out 18 startups with their pitches on Thursday.

“We look to the Fierce Founders program as a pipeline to prepare early-stage startups for investment readiness,” said BDC’s Nicole Leblanc, one of the pitch competition judges. “These women are thrown into the startup arena and develop a strong sense of deal flow, preparing them for what’s next.”

The bootcamp’s intensive workshops offer founders deeper insight into customer validation, design-led innovation, product management, financials, investment and pitch coaching.

“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.” said Communitech’s Seema Esteves, senior program manager at Fierce Founders.

Since the bootcamp’s launch in 2014, Communitech reports that they’ve seen an increase in women engaging in its startup services. Now nearly 26 per cent of active startups have at least one female founder.

The top three companies from the pitch competition are always awarded a spot in Communitech’s Fierce Founders Accelerator starting October 16. Interested startups have until August 27 to apply online for the accelerator’s third cohort.