Ottawa, ON – (2022-07-25) – Invest Ottawa, lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, is delighted to celebrate the successful completion of the inaugural cohort of the IO Traction Bootcamp – Women in Tech.
In March 2022, Invest Ottawa announced the first IO Traction Program, a program designed to help founders get market-ready and build a pipeline of excited customers and initial sales. It aimed to accelerate revenue generation and help drive these businesses forward, and as a result, help create jobs and wealth for the city of Ottawa. After three intensive months, the first-IO Traction Cohort graduated from the bootcamp.
This inaugural program concluded with a Demo Day and Pitch Competition at Bayview Yards, Ottawa’s innovation hub, with more than 100 excited friends, fans, and community members. Julia Slanina Founder & CEO of Treehouse won the Best Demo Award, winning the company a spot in the onramp program for the IO Accelerator.
Invest Ottawa is delighted to welcome the following nine founders from the inaugural IO Traction – Women in Tech Cohort, to IO’s Flex program to support their continued growth:
- Varsha Chaugai, Co-Founder, Evoke Health Inc. Inc.
- Madison De Sousa, Founder, In The ClearZone
- Ingrid Gayle, Founder, Girl Boss Chess Inc.
- Julia Long, BBA, LLB, Co-Founder, F.R.Y. First Responders’ Yoga Canada
- Tamey McIntosh, Co-Founder & COO, Braiyt AI inc.
- Elisabeth Mercier, Co-Founder, Advanced Environmental Molecular Analytics
- Karen Monet, Founder & CEO, Opticalm Inc.
- Shruti Singh, Co-Founder, Otterby Inc.by
- Jennifer Schurer, CPA, CMA, Founder, upSpace
The IO Traction program aims to expand the support offered by Invest Ottawa to early-stage founders and help achieve initial traction with customers by determining their proper customer acquisition and growth model. The program provides additional guidance and resources for founders who are ready to take a critical growth step. This initial IO Traction – Women in Tech program featured hands-on, collaborative workshops that enabled founders to:
- create their ideal customer profile;
- develop a growth model;
- create the perfect five-minute demo;
- build a sales and marketing strategy; and
- set their customers up for success.
Facilitating strong collaboration among founders and advisors, the program also offered a safe space to discuss challenges with a group of like-minded, dedicated founders. It also included a non-dilutive, matching grant of $10,000 through the ScaleUp platform supported by FedDev Ontario to help participating founders increase their market readiness.
This initial IO Traction Program for women tech founders directly supports the goals of Invest Ottawa’s Women Founders and Owners Strategy, which aims to enable and accelerate the growth and commercial success of women founders and owners from every walk of life.“After seeing enormous success with the SheBoot program, we knew we had to take it one step further to help women founders who are in earlier stages of their business journeys,” said Erin Seegmiller, Manager, Early-Stage Programs. “IO Traction does just that – it was incredible to watch ten women founders get market-ready in a collaborative setting.”
“Our goal with all Venture Programs is to support Ottawa’s startup founders throughout their journey and IO Traction is another piece of that puzzle,” said Nick Quain, Vice President of Venture Development. “We saw a gap and knew we had to provide more women founders with resources and a trusted community for them to grow, and we achieved just that. We look forward to growing this program to continue diversifying tech startups.”
To learn more about IO Traction, visit https://www.investottawa.ca/io-traction/.
Invest Ottawa extends sincere thanks to all IO Traction participants, advisors, collaborators and FedDev Ontario for their generous support of IO Traction through the pan-Ontario ScaleUp platform.
About IO Venture Path
The IO Venture Path is a portfolio of Invest Ottawa’s venture programs designed to help Ottawa’s startups and scaleups shorten their path to success. The IO Venture Path includes four programs: IO Ignition (previously known as the Pre-Accelerator), IO Flex, IO Accelerator, and IO ScaleUp, each designed to serve tech companies’ unique needs at different growth stages. The portfolio provides business resources including advisory services, peer groups, workshops, exclusive events and more at little to no cost to qualifying companies, thanks to the generous support of the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, FedDev Ontario, RBC, Logan Katz and MDK Law.
To learn more about Venture Path programs, visit investottawa.ca/venture-path/.
The IO Venture Path portfolio includes the following programs:
- IO Ignition (previously known as the IO Pre-Accelerator), a highly successful 10-week bootcamp created for entrepreneurs in the ideation stage of a startup
- IO Flex, a new program designed to provide companies with access to business resources at a self-directed pace
- IO Accelerator, an intensive program helping early-stage startups fast track to product-market fit
- IO ScaleUp, designed to help high growth tech companies go global and reach $100 million
About Invest Ottawa
Invest Ottawa is the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, facilitating economic growth and job creation in Ottawa. Guided by a vision to help realize Ottawa’s full potential as a globally recognized, innovative, inclusive, and future-ready city, Invest Ottawa delivers venture development, global expansion and talent programs and services that catalyze the growth and success of entrepreneurs and firms. These include small business training, mentorship, acceleration for technology firms, foreign business and investment attraction, local business retention and expansion in targeted sectors, commercialization, and marketing Ottawa’s diversified economy and high quality of life. Invest Ottawa is also the founder and manager of Area X.O, the all-weatherR&D complex for next-generation smart mobility, autonomy and connectivity technologies. . Since 2012, Invest Ottawa has worked with thousands of startups, scale-ups, and SMEs; helped firms attract more than $992 million in capital; contributed to creating more than 11,178 jobs; and attracted more than $1 billion in domestic and Foreign Direct Investment. Explore Invest Ottawa’s 2021 Economic Impact Report at: https://bit.ly/3mbuOyL
For additional information, please visit investottawa.ca.
Marketing Strategist, Venture Development