Queen’s Compass North initiative to support women technopreneurs
Queen’s University has recently launched Compass North in partnership with Ottawa-based accelerator L-Spark to provide mentorship and professional development for women founders and business startup leaders within the region of Kingston.
Compass North is the first programme to be launched after Queen’s University was awarded CA$3.2 million from the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund by the Government of Canada.
The funding was awarded to the university to design and deliver programmes and services to accelerate, train, mentor, and provide resources to women entrepreneurs and women-led companies in the community.
Compass North is a cohort-based mentorship programme that matches every woman business founder with a mentor to help plan strategically and reach business goals and objectives. This and future programmes under the fund will focus on women entrepreneurs from diverse and underrepresented groups.
The programme is supported by a professional advisory group which includes Shopify’s Global Wellness Specialist Chivon John and Connections Silicon Valley CEO Joanne Fedeyko.
Queen’s University Director of Research and Innovation Partnerships Janice Mady explained that the programme will be part of an overall initiative to help address gaps and build capacity in the entrepreneurship ecosystem for women.
“We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada through the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund, delivered in the region by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario),” she added.
“The new program combines the proven L-SPARK acceleration model with additional features that focus on reducing barriers commonly faced by women entrepreneurs who are building technology-based companies.”
Meanwhile, as Canada’s leading Software as a Service start-up accelerator, L-Spark will support the programme by providing women-led technology companies with hands-on mentorship, strategic training, and the opportunity to connect with a vast community of entrepreneurs.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this initiative, which helps position Canada as a global leader in technology,” said L-Spark Senior Marketing Manager Stef Reid.
The programme was launched through an event which featured Queen’s University alumnus Alyssa Furtado, co-founder of Ratehub Inc. and CEO of Ratehub.ca as the keynote speaker as well as a panel of expert women entrepreneurs in technology-based companies in Kingston.
Compass North is a strategic five-month mentorship programme that will provide prospective tech-based women entrepreneurs with support and counselling to elevate the region as a prominent leader in the women in tech industry.
Interested applicants can now apply to join the programme before March 20, 2020.