Halifax’s Centre for Women in Business will launch a virtual accelerator for women tech entrepreneurs beginning Feb. 25. Its aim is to introduce founders of companies with revenues to the fundamentals of running a business before they join more advanced accelerators and incubators.
The new accelerator, dubbed Grow Now, will last for six months with twice-monthly classes and will be free for Centre members. It will be aimed at helping founders develop a strategic growth plan, as well as build an “objectives and key results” decision-making framework. The Centre receives funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Mount Saint Vincent University.
The group sessions will be tailored to the needs of their participants and the program will also include one-on-one coaching sessions with business experts, including Centre for Women in Business project lead Nasil Nam.
“We really started to see there are a lot of good partners out there like Volta and Propel and Genesis in St. John’s,” Tanya Priske, Executive Director of the Centre for Women in Business, told Entrevestor in an interview.
“But we kept getting young female tech founders coming into us and saying, ‘We don’t know about business. The business basics are really what we need.’”
Priske said that, in developing the accelerator, her team reviewed the program offerings currently available to startup founders, such as those from startup hubs Volta and Genesis. They found that for true novice entrepreneurs, there is a lack of programming related to business fundamentals, such as reading financial statements and the basics of marketing.
The program also incorporates the Investoready curriculum developed by Dr. Ellen Farrell of the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University. The goal of Investoready is to help entrepreneurs understand what investors are looking for and to adapt the language and messaging in pitches to meet investors’ demands.
Applications for the accelerator are now open, with Priske’s team planning to accept between five and seven companies. There is no hard deadline, but to participate, companies must be based in Canada, technology-focused, have defined an “ideal customer profile” and be generating revenue. Pre-revenue companies can apply, but the Centre will evaluate them on a case-by-case basis.
More information and an application form can be found here.