Women and Tech
No matter the type of business you’re in – whether it’s investing in tech, creating tech or anything in between – you’ll need fundamental business skills, operations and networks to make it fly.
At WEC, we’re here to help you with the business side of your venture. We can support you with complimentary business advisory services and resources to develop your cash flow projections, growth plan and more, plus skills training and mentoring.
If you have any questions, contact us or call us at 1.800.643.7014 ext. 112.
We can help you navigate the financing continuum so you can pursue the correct type of financing for your business type and stage.
Women’s Enterprise Centre offers only term loans, so a business loan from WEC may not be the best option for funding your tech business. As well, our financing program requires your business to be already generating revenue from sales.
Learn more about the financing continuum below and get in touch with us once your business has revenue from multiple customers.
Sources of funding for tech businesses
Below are some organizations that provide funding or tax incentives to technology companies. Be sure to click through both tabs.
- BDC Capital Women in Technology (WIT) Fund: One of the world’s largest venture capital funds dedicated to investing in women-led technology companies. It will invest $200 million over the next five years to help bridge the gender gap in technology and investment companies.
- Beehive Holdings: An angel fund focused primarily in seed to Series A investing with a sweet spot to support diversified teams. The companies they invest in address challenges and opportunities associated with products and services that are mostly used by women.
- Disruption Ventures: Invests in businesses that solve real problems, with teams that are committed to succeed, in markets that have high growth potential and in companies that have a female founder or females in leadership roles.
- Female Funders: Empowers thousands of women to become the angel investors of tomorrow through blended education, investment opportunities, and a global community.
- Pique Ventures: An impact investment and management company that enables a diverse investor community to pursue integrated investing. They manage Pique Fund, an inclusive angel fund focused on women-led technology ventures.
- SheEO: A global community of women radically transforming female innovators are financed, supported, and celebrated.
- StandUp Ventures: Invests in seed-stage technology companies with at least one woman in a C-level leadership position within the company and an equitable amount of ownership.
- BC Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI) Grant: Find out if you qualify for up to $10,000 a year to hire a student for a business or tech role.
- FrontFundr: An online investment platform that bridges the gap between investors and growth companies.
- National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP): Provides advice, connections, and funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses increase their innovation capacity and take ideas to market.
- Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program: Tax incentives provided by the Government of Canada to encourage Canadian companies of all sizes and in all industry sectors to conduct scientific research and experimental development.
- Tech Co-op Grant: Offered by Innovate BC, this grant provides up to $10,800 per year in funding to hire co-op students.
- VANTEC Angel Network: A group of angel investors who support promising BC-based entrepreneurs in technology ventures with angel investment, advice and connections. They host monthly angel investment meetings where 8-12 early stage companies present their business and investment opportunity to an audience of angel investors, and are are often the first investor community where startups pitch.
Accessing Support from the Tech Ecosystem
While we’re not focused on supporting women in tech specifically, we have built relationships with tech-focused organizations around the province, which specialize in funding and developing women-led tech ventures. Check out this directory below to connect with the right network. Be sure to click through both tabs.
- BC Tech Association: Women in Tech: Part of the BC Tech Association that focuses on supporting women in tech.
- BC Women in Technology (BCWiT): A core group of women, members of Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC), representing various disciplines in the technology field.
- Innovation Canada Platform: Simply fill in a few blanks about your business and what you’re trying to accomplish, and the platform delivers a list of relevant resources and support.
- Island Women in Science and Technology (iWIST): A not-for-profit society, based in Victoria, that builds and supports a community for women in STEM.
- Make Possible: A free mentoring network to advance professionals in science and technology careers.
- Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST): A not-for-profit organization that promotes, encourages and empowers women and girls in science, engineering and technology.
- Tech Ladies: A worldwide community that connects women with jobs and opportunities in tech.
- Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WWest): Engages industry, the community and students to increase the awareness and participation of women and other under-represented groups in STEM fields of study and careers.
- Women in Communications and Technology (WCT): A national association that provides networking, mentoring and professional development opportunities for women in the information, communication, media and technology industries.
- Women in Tech World: A a national nonprofit dedicated to creating community driven plans and educational programming to support and advance women in tech.
- Online Market Validation Training Program: This is a free, self-guided online program, open to anyone in BC with a tech or small business idea. It uses multimedia learning modules, videos, and venture-building assignments to help you validate your market and assess your business idea.
Upcoming Tech-Focused Events & Workshops
Below are upcoming events for female founders.
Past Events › Tech Events
Join the next Women’s Pitch Night, March 27, put on by Volition Events, in partnership with Women in Tech World and Driven by Women. Women's Pitch Nights provide a comfortable space for women to gain practical experience and constructive feedback on their 90-second pitch, in front of a live audience ad industry expert panel. The audience (all genders welcome) votes on the top three companies to receive valuable opportunities and services from from prize sponsors. Not ready to pitch? Want…Find out more »
Export Development Canada (EDC) and Island Women in Science and Technology (iWIST), are hosting a breakfast session on May 29 with EDC VP and Chief Economist Peter Hall. Mr. Hall will talk about our competitive export landscape in Canada and what we can expect going forward. The Victoria event is unique to the national tour because of the panel component. Three BC based female CEOS will talk about their own experiences in export with moderator Peter Hall. Sea Cider CEO…Find out more »
Starting in May 2018, Women’s Enterprise Centre is offering a mentoring program for BC women entrepreneurs in tech, called Discovery Foundation’s EM3 (Entrepreneurial Mindset Mastery & Mentoring) Program. The EM3 program is based on our peer mentoring format, which is proven to create success. It will bring women together for six mentoring sessions, led by an experienced female tech entrepreneur. The EM3 program will help you: Access a peer network of like-minded female founders Get insights from an experienced woman…Find out more »
This event is designed to showcase the hottest high-tech companies from across North America, offer insight into key issues within the industry, provide a premium networking opportunity and give companies a chance to learn from world-class professionals in the investment community. Featuring technology companies across the Information Technology and Sustainable Technology sectors, the Banff Venture Forum provides emerging technology companies with unparalleled visibility and an opportunity to present to leading private equity and venture capital investors from across North America. For…Find out more »
This is a blended education program and community for female corporate and technology leaders to learn how to evaluate startup companies, to understand the mechanics of venture investing, and to build vetted deal flow alongside experienced investors. The mission at Female Funders is to increase the number of women Angel investors across the globe, resulting in increased funding for more diverse companies. Applications for the next cohort are now being accepted until September 30th, 2018.Find out more »
OKGNtech LIVE is all about exploring the wild and wonderful world of innovation brewing right here in the Okanagan. If you weren’t sure if you are invited, you super are. OKGNtech LIVE is for everyone - entrepreneurs, technology enthusiasts, investors, students, and supporters! Seriously, if you’re willing, you’re welcome. Mark your calendar for Thursday, October 4th & Friday, October 5th and meet us at the Innovation Centre. DAY 1 | THURSDAY, OCT 4 High-Voltage Happy Hour This is a chance to clink and…Find out more »
The 2018 INTERFACE Summit is the 7th annual global conference about the Future of Health. It is a two-day event created to engage, inform, inspire and connect the world’s digital health innovators. The theme for this year is "THE BRAIN-MACHINE CONNECTION: How Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Digital Therapeutics Are Transforming Education, Research and Healthcare." This year you can enjoy amazing talks; meet the pioneers of VR and AR therapies and world-experts in AI, Precision Health and Digital Therapeutics; see…Find out more »
This event will feature various government support programs that are available to Canadian companies in research and development. development and in innovation. There will be presentations and discussions with industry experts, as well as programs from the following organizations: Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) Innovation for Defense, Excellence and Security (IDEaS) National Research Council Canada (IRAP) Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Scientific Research and Experimental Development Program (SR & ED - ARC) Mitacs Province of…Find out more »
This FREE webinar will provide potential applicants with an overview of the Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) program Call for Proposals (CFP) application process and timelines. About this Program: The Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) program provides repayable, interest-free funding to firms with high growth potential that are pursuing business growth and expansion. These firms are seeking to accelerate their growth by commercializing technology, enhancing productivity, scaling-up, and expanding their market domestically and globally. Projects should result in the creation…Find out more »
Relationships are the True Currency. Find your tribe at the Women in Tech Regatta. From cryptocurrency to crying in the bathroom, polishing your startup pitch to why women turn on each other, we tackle the topics women in tech care about and we tackle them together. Each two-hour workshop features a hour of panel discussion from experts who share their insights. During the next hour attendees break into small groups to share their experiences and help each other to move…Find out more »
Explore the new age of innovation at Western Canada’s largest annual innovation event. The #BCTECHSummit showcases B.C.’s vibrant technology industry, builds cross-sector and cross-border opportunities for businesses, and explores the latest ideas and innovations that are solving today’s biggest challenges. Hosted annually by the BC government and Innovate BC, this three-day conference brings together technology leaders, industry executives, investors, senior government officials, researchers and students to connect and share insights, experiences, and opportunities.Find out more »
Pitch Nights provide a comfortable space for entrepreneurs to gain practical experience and valuable feedback on their 90-second pitch and presentation, in front of a live audience and industry panel. The audience (all genders welcome) votes on the top companies to receive valuable prizes from local sponsors. Tickets for this event are by donation, with partial proceeds being donated to our friends at Women in Tech World and the fantastic work they are doing to support and advance women in…Find out more »
This offers an environment to share your ideas, a way to connect to your peers and an opportunity to learn and grow in the tech field. Built exclusively for women in the tech sector, women can get the resources they need to achieve their goals. See link for more information. Register by March 29, 2019 to participate in our April Cohort!Find out more »
Creating Connections 6.0 is a diversity conference presenting cutting edge research, best practices, and workshops for industry professionals. Focused on attracting, engaging, and retaining women and underrepresented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), join us for two days of personal and professional development, networking, and inspiration. Keynote speakers this year include Michele Romanow, a "Dragon" on CBC's hit show, Dragons' Den; Ella Chan, Sci-Files on YouTube and 2018 STEAM Horizon Award recipient; and Sabina Nawaz, global CEO coach and…Find out more »
This session will focus on you and how to manage your personal brand and digital profile. Branding is not just for organizations; we all have an image that is a combination of how we see ourselves and how other people see us. This interactive workshop session will focus on the best practices for building your own personal brand including: Social Selling and My Brand: What is it and why is it important? LinkedIn Best Practices: How do you create an…Find out more »
Casey Milone is a career-long marketing copywriter and creative director with experience leading messaging at companies like Microsoft, NVIDIA, and Alaska Airlines. He has also consulted with some of the Bay Area's leading self-driving startups like Aurora and Zoox. In this workshop, Casey reviews the methodology behind Strategyzer's Value Proposition design concepts and speaks about his experience working in the tech space helping teams reframe their product marketing so that it focuses on customer value, rather than product specs. Bring…Find out more »