The EPIC VentureWomen Program, an initiative made possible through collaboration with the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation and funding by FedDev Ontario, aims to equip startups with female founders or 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.
- Business (future business) must be based in Windsor-Essex.
- Founding team must consist of at least one 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.
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. Our specialized and unique workshops are designed to educate and train these trailblazing startups to be confident in:
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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 to $2,500 in customer discovery and prototype development grants (see details below**).
- Pitch their business idea at the end of the program for a chance at a $3,000 prize.
** 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.
Application for 2020 cohort is now closed.
- 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
- May 1, 2020: Final Pitches
Contact email@example.com with any questions.