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If Jack and Jill had worked together to engineer a well water system …

By Leo Valiquette

Alex’s post on Monday about the economic necessity of supporting investment in more women-led startups is all the more timely as it comes the same week that we cheer the release of Startup Canada’s Action Plan to drive economic development, job creation and innovation coast to coast.

During its 40-city Canadian tour over the past year, Startup Canada confirmed what those of us involved with the startup community already know:

  • Canadians in general are hyper-rational and risk averse, and view entrepreneurship with disbelief, mistrust and apathy.
  • Young people are often unaware of what it means to be an entrepreneur, and are not educated in the basics of what it takes to launch and grow a business.
  • Young people are often dissuaded by parents, school guidance counsellors and other influencers from pursuing entrepreneurship as a career path.

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Supporting investment in women-led startups

By Alexandra Reid

Maple Leaf Angels is working with Canadian Women in Technology to create investment opportunities between angels and women-led startup companies.

More than 60 angel investors, entrepreneurs, partners and sponsors filled a room in Toronto last week to hear about why such investments are vital for Canada and to listen to pitches from some high-potential early-stage technology companies led by women.

In her speech, Dr. Cindy Gordon, a startup founder and former VC who also co-founded MLA, directed the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and chaired CanWit, brought some valuable context to the conversation.

“In order for us to really be successful in supporting women in technology, we have to recognize that we have some fundamental issues that are catastrophic to this country,” said Dr. Gordon. “This is not a women’s issue. It’s a business imperative.”

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Tech is a man’s man’s man’s man’s world…or is it?

By Linda Forrest

Reading yesterday’s post about the role formal education plays in entrepreneurship, I was reminded of an article I read a few months ago about the “real reason women quit engineering.”

In Stemming The Tide: Why Women Leave Engineering, two University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professors report on their survey of over 3,700 women with engineering degrees. They found that just one in four women who had left the field reported doing so to spend more time with family. One third left “because they did not like the workplace climate, their boss or the culture,” while almost half departed due to “working conditions, too much travel, lack of advancement or low salary” (respondents were allowed to check more than one reason). The researchers also found that among women who got engineering degrees but never entered the field, a third made that decision “because of their perceptions of engineering as being inflexible or the engineering workplace culture as being non-supportive of women.” And, unsurprisingly, “Women engineers who were treated in a condescending, patronizing manner, and were belittled and undermined by their supervisors and co-workers were most likely to want to leave their organizations.”

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Recent Comments

  • Bob Bailly : Your new mode of working means no face to face interaction yet you call yourself empathetic. How can removing yourself from daily human social interactions and possibly understand what makes other people tick. Research from UCLA suggests messages conveyed face to face are understood primarily by reading body language (57%) and tone of voice (35%), and that words convey only 7%. By interacting only through computer based non-video technology is like weightlifting only using your right forearm.

  • Anna : As a freelancer who spends much of her time on the computer writing, I find that I have a brain which connects empathically to people despite how much time I spend on technology. In fact, I am not happy being immersed daily in what I called 'imposed' social interaction (social interaction brought on by having to interact with co-workers). Such social interaction used to make be egregious, used to make me dislike co-workers, and have a generally negative view on work life. Furthermore, people like me who are generally empathic can 'hide' in our homes and be safe from others while we work; safe from their criticisms and aversions, safe from bullying and harassment. Furthermore, our talents as writers, photographers, or whatever, flourish absolutely under one important condition - freedom. I support moving work to an online domain because I see also how harmful the 9 - 5 is for people; how it drains them, how its endless cacophony of alarm clocks and ringing bells--lunch hours and lunch rooms, forced staff retreats and uncomfortable interactions with bosses--is killing them. I support allowing technology make us more efficient, happier. I support voluntary--not forced--interaction. I support eliminating the workplace altogether and creating NEW modes of working, either from home or through community-based platforms such as outdoor spaces.

  • 5 Ways to Engage With Your Brand Voice - icuc.social : [...] “A strong company voice on social media should emphasize the company’s values, objectives and key differentiators that set it apart from its competitors. These can be expressed in the tone of the communication and the content that is shared with community members and the target audience.The best social media voices are communal, grammatical, dialectical, authentic, original, contextual, relevant, timely, persistent, responsive, helpful, generous and more informal. A company’s social media voice should only be changed if absolutely necessary and should maintain all of these qualities. Any change should be preceded by lots of information explaining the change to community members to ensure they know it is deliberate and that the company isn’t suffering from some form of instability, which jeopardizes relationships.” [@TechAlly, Francis Moran & Associates – via Francis Moran & Associates] [...]

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