Announced this morning, The Big Push accelerator and Disruption Ventures fund have joined forces to provide women-led technology startups greater access to financing and resources at their early stages. Disruption Ventures will provide $500,000 to $2 million in seed funding for Series A financing to qualified startups, ones that are participating in an acceleration with The Big Push.
The Big Push uses a service for equity model, where accelerator services provided (i.e. mentorship, marketing, recruitment) are in place to help tech startups founded by women get the ‘push’ they need to invigorate their business and create further investment opportunity. Participating startups receive assistance over a nine-month period, and these services are reportedly valued at $150,000 to $250,000.
Disruption Ventures is the first private Canadian female-founded venture capital fund that invests in businesses founded or managed by women.
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“Together with The Big Push, we aim to deliver the greatest impact for startups that are founded or led by women and are looking to achieve global market readiness,” said Elaine Kunda, founder and managing partner at Disruption Ventures, in a press release. “Our missions are aligned, and together we are creating a winning formula that positions our portfolio companies for success.”
The Big Push, founded in 2017, is Toronto-based and its board advisors consist of Kristine Stewart and Angus Frame.
Companies such as Alexio (cybersecurity), Artery (sharing economy), Pill Check (healthcare and genomics), and This Space Works (co-working space) are under The Big Push’s umbrella of guidance and support. Four more companies have been added to the acceleration program, following the Pitch and Pair event in Montreal. This event marked TBP’s first entry into the Quebec market. The next Pitch and Pair event will be held in Vancouver. A date has not yet been disclosed — stay tuned.
Both The Big Push and Disruption Ventures are in the game of supporting early-stage companies with high growth potential, ones that are looking to solve problems and change the world.
“Providing access to experts who will roll up their sleeves to support a business acceleration is the first step in helping to increase the odds of success for startups,” says Sharon Zohar, founder and CEO of The Big Push. “The second step is providing ready access to a source of financing through a fund that was created specifically to remove the barriers to success for women-led technology startups.”
According to findings from PitchBook, all-women tech startups received only 2.2% of the $85 billion invested by VC’s in 2017. Note: these are US numbers, but still, nonetheless, highlight the need for more funding and more support.