EPIC VentureWomen

An Idea Accelerator Program for Female Founders in Emerging Technology

In this fast-paced world of great technological advancements, we as humans, have adopted an innovative way of thinking. By using cutting edge technology, we are abandoning outdated concepts and old ways of doing things; generating entirely new businesses in the process. Emerging technology is all about finding new ways to change the world. If you have a new idea, this is your opportunity to create the next big thing!

Program Highlights

The EPICentre is excited to be launching its newest program, EPIC VentureWomen. This initiative is made possible through collaboration with the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation and funding by FedDev Ontario. This program aims to equip startups with female co-founders with tools and resources to create a successful business venture. The program curriculum and structure are specifically designed with special attention to the identification and elimination of systemic barriers to progress for women in entrepreneurship; especially in emerging technologies.

Program participants will receive benefits valued at over $2,000 including the opportunity to attend weekly workshops with distinguished guest speakers, one-on-one mentoring, and a collaborative, hands-on approach to business model validation.

Startups Selected for the Program Will:

  • Be connected with a mentor with expertise in each team’s industry
  • Be given full access to state-of-the-art co-working space to work on their business idea, host meetings and give presentations
  • Be eligible for up $2,500 in customer discovery and prototype development grants
  • Pitch their business idea at the end of the program for a chance at a $3,000 prize

Financial support you will receive during the program
Starting a business is hard but paying for it doesn’t have to be. The cost of prototype development and customer discovery can keep a new idea from getting off the ground. Startups in this program will be eligible to apply for grants totalling up to $2,500 to help subsidize the cost of services such as:

  • Product Development

    Prototyping, 3D printing, program development, and other technical support services
  • Marketing Activities

    Website design and hosting, print marketing, business cards
  • Legal Services
Assistance with patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property, as well as financial support to formalize their business through registration or incorporation.
  • Other Support

    Additional qualifying expenses at the discretion of program administration.

The gift that keeps on giving!

We understand that starting a business is a complex process that is hard to confine to a precise timeline. With that in mind, teams that complete the requirements of this program and then join one of the other EPICentre programs will be eligible to continue to receive product development, marketing, and legal service benefits for an additional 4 months!
* Applies to qualifying business development expenses incurred from March 31, 2020 to July 31, 2020

What the Participants Will Learn

Our specialized and unique workshops are designed to educate and train these trailblazing startups to be confident in:

  • Startup Principles
    The first steps to starting a business are some of the most important! Here, participants will learn the foundational concepts of starting a business including lean startup methodology, the fundamentals of research, and how to identify customer segments
  • Operations Principles
    With the foundation set, start-ups need to learn how to effectively communicate and interact with their team, their suppliers and customers, as well as how to grow their network. This module focuses on running a business efficiently with topics such as Time management, business communications, networking, and negotiations
  • Business Law
    Starting a business that involves cutting edge technology often generates a lot of intellectual property. Here [participants] will learn the basics of patents, trademarks, and copyrights that will help them maintain their competitive advantage.
  • Marketing Principles
    A new idea is only as good as an entrepreneur’s ability to communicate it! Here, the [teams] will work on building a brand identity and telling their story. They will also gain understanding about potential customers; from how and when they decide to buy, to how to actually sell to them.
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
    So, you have a great idea, and your customers say they want it… How much should you charge? Cashflow is one of the biggest barriers to bringing the next great idea to market. Here, participants will get a functional understanding of how to measure their costs and set their prices as well as build functional financial projections. They will also learn about other sources of funding to help them grow.

Key Dates:

  • January 20, 2020: Application deadline
  • January 27, 2020: Teams announced
  • February 14, 2020: First Cohort begins (Launch and Intro session)
  • February 18, 19, 20, 2020: Full-day Entrepreneurship bootcamp for teams
  • February 28 – March 27, On Fridays: Full-day workshops, clinics, and networking events
  • March 30, 2020: Final Pitches

Eligibility Requirements  

  • Business (future business) must be based in Windsor-Essex  
  • Founding team must consist of at least 1 female, between the ages of 18 & 35 *as per granting authority requirements
  • Business idea must be associated with emerging technology or a related industry. The business can be entirely based on a technology or apply technology to an existing business process.
  • Team must be available to attend full-day workshops and the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp as noted in the Key Dates
Click here to download the application
Please submit your applications to epicentre@uwindsor.ca