News

Reducing Unconscious Bias through Tech Undivided

March 9, 2020

Tech Undivided’s inaugural cohort of female-led companies will have access to an expert Strategic Mentor Network comprised of industry leaders and seasoned entrepreneurs that will enable a more equitable tech sector and reduce unconscious bias.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we were honoured to host the inaugural cohort of companies and Strategic Mentor Network of Tech Undivided at the official launch event on March 3, 2020. As a new initiative, Tech Undivided will bridge inclusivity gaps by creating a gender-balanced network with diverse representation that works with founders, investors, and companies to prepare them for business and investment success by reducing unconscious bias. 

During the event, Lally Rementilla, President of Quantius and the Canadian Lead for the Billion Dollar Fund, addressed the challenges that female entrepreneurs face while raising funding in the tech ecosystem, and left guests laughing with her “be the eagle” analogy. Following Lally, our panelists made up of Jahanzaib Ansari, CEO of Knockri, Nastaran Bisheban, VP Global Tech Delivery at Rakuten Kobo Inc., and Jamie Alexander, CEO of Rubies, discussed examples of unconscious bias that each had previously experienced. Moderated by The Logic’s Fatima Syed, this panel had guests sitting on the edge of their seats to learn more about the inequalities that so many people face on a daily basis.

The Government of Canada supported the Tech Undivided program in August 2019 with a $1.7-million investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) as part of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). We are thrilled to officially welcome Tech Undivided’s Inaugural Cohort and Strategic Mentor Network!

 

Tech Undivided Inaugural Cohort

In fall 2019, we issued a call for female-led tech companies with breakthrough products that have the potential to significantly impact society to participate in Tech Undivided. The seven selected companies, listed below, will work with industry experts, investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs to prepare them for Seed or Series A funding.

 

Tech Undivided Strategic Mentorship Network

The Strategic Mentorship Network is a diverse and curated list of high-caliber business leaders, seasoned entrepreneurs, academic professionals, investors and industry experts who have committed their knowledge, resources and time to support the growth of the Tech Undivided companies. The mentorship network is gender-balanced and diverse and brings together leaders with broad expertise.

  • Alan Rego, Communications & Stakeholder Relations, Procter & Gamble
  • Chris Matys, Founder, Ignite.ai
  • Christine Haen, Program Management Director, Radeon Technology Group, AMD
  • Daniel Staheli, Senior Director, Windows Software Platform Group, AMD
  • Danielle Graham, Investment Principal, Dreammakers Ventures
  • Danny Christidis, AMD Fellow – Radeon Technologies Group, AMD
  • Frederick Glady, Principal, Frederick Glady Barrister and Solicitor
  • Heather Sham, Sr Director Platform Engineering, AMD
  • Jaipaul Massey-Singh, VP Strategy, CB2 Insights
  • Jolie McMillian, Sales and Operations Leader — Transformative Technology (PayPal and Adobe Alum), ServiceNow
  • Katie Salem, CEO & Co-Founder, Women Round the World
  • Nadia Khatir, Sr. Manager, Graphics Diagnostic, AMD
  • Nastaran Bisheban, VP of Global Delivery, Rakuten Kobo
  • Pouneh Hanafi, VP Marketing, Tulip Retail
  • Reena Chaudary, Partner, R&G Advisory
  • Steven Lili Hoo, Founder and CEO, InGameAd Interactive (IGA)

About ventureLAB

ventureLAB is a leading technology hub located in Markham in York Region, Canada’s second-largest tech cluster. Through its programs focused on capital, talent, technology, and customers, ventureLAB has supported over 2,000 tech companies and entrepreneurs, including 100 companies that have raised over $100 million and created 3,500 jobs. ventureLAB’s innovation hub is a 50,000 square foot facility that is home to over 45 tech companies and partners that employ more than 300 people. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada. www.venturelab.ca

 

About Tech Undivided

Tech Undivided’s vision is to build an inclusive tech ecosystem that is not biased or divided by gender. By focusing on and supporting diverse and underrepresented women-led tech companies while working with women and allies, Tech Undivided removes unconscious bias faced by women and underrepresented persons.

 

About FedDev Ontario

For more than 10 years, FedDev Ontario has actively worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving their productivity, growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Read more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario.

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