Manjit Minhas of Dragons’ Den to Share Secrets of Success at AccelerateOTT Hybrid 2021

Aug 19, 2021

Press Release title with AccelerateOTT and Invest Ottawa logos

Women Founders, Investors, Changemakers and Groundbreakers Will Own the Stage at Invest Ottawa’s Flagship Entrepreneurship Conference on October 27

OTTAWA, ONTARIO; August 19, 2021 – Invest Ottawa, lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, today announced that Manjit Minhas, founder of the 10th largest brewery in the world, venture capitalist and co-star of CBC’s Dragons’ Den, will join AccelerateOTT as a keynote speaker on October 27, 2021.

Now in its ninth year, Invest Ottawa’s flagship entrepreneurship conference will have women founders, funders, changemakers and groundbreakers from every walk of life leading from the stage and airwaves. It will serve as the backdrop for the second SheBoot Pitch Competition, where nine amazing women founders will pitch for $200,000 in investment from 20 women angels.

It will also feature a top tier roster of inspirational women leaders from Ottawa, across Canada and around the world who are pushing through the She-Cession driven by COVID-19. They will share actionable insight, strategies and lessons learned from the tech and entrepreneurial trenches during the pandemic. Participants will gain scale-up, revenue, customer, and funding strategies to accelerate growth in any climate. And this year, there is no cost for tickets to ensure this event is as accessible as possible to every member of our community.

Featuring a combination of live and virtual networking, speakers, and pitches, AccelerateOTT 2021 is the first hybrid event of its kind to be delivered by Invest Ottawa. It will safely assemble an approved number of participants live, and many more online, in three locations:

  • Bayview Yards, Ottawa’s one-stop business acceleration shop and innovation hub;
  • Hub 350, the new gateway to Kanata North Tech Park, the largest of its kind in Canada right here in the Capital; and
  • Online, the live streaming experience.

Rigorous public health and safety measures will be in place, and capacity will be limited and carefully managed at Bayview Yards and Hub 350. Invest Ottawa will host a lottery for a permitted number of tickets for both on-site event venues. AccelerateOTT is expected to bring together hundreds of founders, technology developers, innovators, industry leaders, investors and other R&D and business partners virtually from the local, national, and global ecosystem.

Building directly on Invest Ottawa’s five-year strategic plan and Women Founders and Owners Strategy, this six-hour hybrid conference will address critical opportunities and challenges facing entrepreneurs and business owners across our startup and scale-up community. These innovators and companies are key drivers of Canada’s economic growth and job creation.



“It has been a year of grit and grind for entrepreneurs. Women founders and owners disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.  AccelerateOTT will celebrate resilience, growth, and gains and get real about ongoing challenges, including the need to accelerate the success of diverse and visionary ventures. I’m looking forward to celebrating the inspirational women leaders and courageous founders who have persevered through the pandemic. This conference will enable all participants to leverage their experience, actionable insight and lessons learned, and catalyze their growth and success.”

– Sonya Shorey, Vice President of Strategy, Marketing and Communications, Invest Ottawa, Bayview Yards, and Area X.O; SheBoot Co-Founder and Program Leader


“It’s amazing to see AccelerateOTT shining such a spotlight on women founders, owners and investors.  It is an ideal platform for our second SheBoot Pitch Competition. An intensive investment-readiness bootcamp, SheBoot aims to increase Capital for women-owned and led technology or tech-enabled firms. It is a critical objective as women entrepreneurs received only 2.3% of global venture capital in 2020. With the support of 20 committed women angels, nine women founders will compete for $200,000 in investment. I can’t wait to see these amazing entrepreneurs pitch on the AccelerateOTT stage.”

– Jennifer Francis, Investor, Chair of the Capital Angel Network, Director of the Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards Board, and SheBoot Co-Founder and Program Leader


“AccelerateOTT is a powerful event because it brings together founders, innovators, industry leaders, and investors and stimulates new ideas, actionable insight and opportunities that propel growth, learning and success. Everyone has been through a lot over the past 18 months.  We all have stories, expertise, and experience to share that make a significant difference in the entrepreneurial journey. I look forward to serving as one of the MCs and panel moderators this year and helping all participants reap immense value from this event. I am inspired by the founders and investors across our ecosystem every day.”

– Julia Elvidge, Investor, Invest Ottawa Advisor, Director of the Capital Angel Network Board, and SheBoot Co-Founder and Program Leader


“In 2018, I had the opportunity to participate in AccelerateOTT and get to know Invest Ottawa and many amazing founders and firms across the region. It was an inspiring day that prompted me to engage in this entrepreneurship ecosystem. It has been truly exciting to contribute to the Women Founders and Owners strategy and action plan as a Director and Chair of the associated sub-committee. AccelerateOTT 2021 is another important step in our journey to enable and accelerate the growth and success of women entrepreneurs from every walk of life. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

–Shav Hasfal-McIntosh, DE&I Consultant on the Bright and Early Team; Founder of SHM Consulting Company Inc.; Director and Chair of the Women Founders and Owners Sub-Committee of the Board, Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards


“xahive is a cybersecurity company that ensures professionals around the world remain safe and secure in the ever-expanding digital communications space. Our offering includes online cybersecurity governance education and the secure communication tool xamessenger. As a tech company founded in Canada’s Capital, we value the opportunity to collaborate with Invest Ottawa, other founders, investors, and prospective customers in domestic and global markets. AccelerateOTT fosters these opportunities. I am excited to take the stage to share our experience and help fellow entrepreneurs achieve their goals.”

–Sem Ponnambalam, Co-Founder and President, xahive; Author, Online Cybersecurity Governance Instructor


“Kanata North Business Association is proud to build on our long-standing collaboration with Invest Ottawa and serve as a strategic event partner for AccelerateOTT 2021. We are thrilled to help bring the vision of this hybrid entrepreneurship conference to life at Hub350. As the gateway to Canada’s largest tech park with more than 540 tech companies, Hub350 strives to create a space that fosters collaboration and connection. This is at the heart of AccelerateOTT. We are also honoured to support an event that directly addresses our shared diversity, equity and inclusion goals.”

–Victoria McGlone, Chief Operating Officer, Kanata North Business Association


About AccelerateOTT

Entering its ninth year, AccelerateOTT rallies hundreds of founders, innovators, industry veterans, investors, tech giants, and a host of entrepreneurial partners from Canada’s Capital Region across Canada and worldwide. This one-day flagship entrepreneurship conference hosted by Invest Ottawa strives to equip, connect, and create new opportunities and impact for founders, entrepreneurs, business owners, startups, scaling firms, SMEs, and their partners.  It aims to catalyze their growth and success by addressing key opportunities and challenges facing the startup and scale-up community; providing actionable insight entrepreneurs can put to work; and facilitating relevant investor, customer, and market connections. For additional information, please visit:


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 futureplex of innovation and collaboration. Since 2012, Invest Ottawa has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs and companies; helped firms attract more than $666 million in Capital; contributed to the creation of more than 9,714 jobs; and attracted $862 million in domestic and foreign investment. For additional information, please visit:


About SheBoot

SheBoot is a six-week bootcamp based in Ottawa, Ontario that prepares women founders to pitch their business and secure investment. Launched in March 2020 during International Women’s Week by founding organizations Capital Angel Network and Invest Ottawa, this program aims to help address the funding gap facing women entrepreneurs by increasing the number of women making and receiving investment. Designed and delivered by women investors and entrepreneurs, SheBoot arms technology and technology-enabled startups with fundamental business skills focused on investment and market readiness. It culminates in a pitch competition for a minimum of $100,000 of equity-based Capital. This investment is made by at least ten women investors committed to fueling the next generation of women-owned and led firms. For additional information, please visit:


About the Capital Angel Network
Founded in 2009, the Capital Angel Network (CAN) has been investing in startups in the National Capital Region over the last decade. Since its inception, CAN members have invested over $30 million into almost 100 early-stage companies, 90 percent of which are based in the National Capital Region. This funding has also leveraged over $250 million in additional investment through government grants, syndication with other angel groups and venture capital funds. The portfolio has now seen nine exits that provided a positive return for investors. The membership base now consists of over 50 Angels, 20 percent of which are women. Our group made ten new and nine follow-on investments totalling $5 million in investment. For additional information, please visit:


About Kanata North Business Association

Kanata North Business Association (KNBA) is an organization committed to representing and advocating for the best interests of the over 543 member companies located in the area. As a critical part of Ottawa’s economic development future and a renowned hub of technology and innovation, the Kanata North business area is a robust and vital region that can foster even greater success for its constituent companies. Powered by KNBA, Centre, Hub 350 will serve as the gateway for member companies to industry, academia, and finance communities in Canada’s largest technology park. For more information visit:


Media Contact

Sonya Shorey

Vice President, Strategy, Marketing and Communications

Invest Ottawa, Bayview Yards and Area X.O


[email protected]

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