2 Ontario-based entrepreneurs win $100k in Fierce Founders pitch competition

Feb 26 2020, 4:11 pm

Two winners have been announced in Communitech’s Winter 2020 Fierce Founders Bootcamp, taking home a massive $100,000 prize.

The annual competition is hosted by Communitech, a public-private innovation hub that supports more than 1,400 companies, ranging in size from startups and scale-ups to large global players.

A total of 25 female entrepreneurs from across Canada participate in the program at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener, Ontario, over the course of a month. They receive mentorship and attend classes on customer validation, human resources and leadership, and building sales.

The bootcamp ends with a pitch competition involving the top eight participants, with the chance to win the grand prize.

This winter’s Fierce Founders pitch competition saw the $100,000 prize split between two Ontario-based entrepreneurs.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Alisha McFetrdige and Rachel Bartholemew won the competition, taking home respective prizes of $75,000 and $25,000.


McFetridge is the founder of RainStick Shower, a closed-loop shower system that recirculates heat, saves water, and feels like a high-pressure shower.

Rachel Bartholemew is the founder and CEO of HyIvy Health, a company that provides a suite of sexual rehabilitation products for women who have pelvic cancers and diseases to help improve sexual recovery after diagnosis, treatment, or surgery.

Last year, Communitech awarded $100,000 to AirMatrix, a Toronto-based startup that creates an airspace mapping system for drones in high-density urban areas.