March 8th marks International Women’s Day (IWD) and for 2023 there is a specific focus to the day.
For this year, the United Nations Observance of IWD is calling special attention to #DigitalALL to highlight innovation and technology for gender equality. This includes a focus on ensuring women have Internet connectivity to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
To celebrate IWD locally, Techcouver is shining the spotlight on four women in British Columbia who have captured our attention in the past year.
If you’ve ever endured a panic attack, you know how debilitating they can be. Victoria’s Ania Wysocka wants to change that. Wysocka’s Rootd app helps users manage their anxiety and panic attacks on their terms, as they happen. Think of Rootd as anxiety and panic attack relief in your pocket.
A first-time-entrepreneur, Wysocka picked up two awards in Innovate BC’s 2021 New Ventures BC Competition and has bootstrapped her business as a solopreneur with no employees other than contractors.
Rootd is the #1 ranked mobile app for panic attack and anxiety relief with a 4.8/5 rating across 49,000+ reviews on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The popular app has broken the 2 million download mark in the App Store and recently Wysocka recently revealed that she has made her first million dollars.
2022 BIV 40 under 40 Award recipient Mehrsa Raeiszadeh is the co-founder and COO of much-heralded MintList, a startup focused on revolutionizing auto sales for both consumers and dealers.
Raeiszadeh is a Process Engineer by profession and has worked globally for life sciences and technology companies while racking up numerous academic prizes and seven international patents. Raeiszadeh grew up in Iran where she also set national swimming records as a child.
Founded in 2020 with business partner and auto-veteran Mike Wood, MintList (formerly known as TrafficDriven) won the 2021 New Ventures BC Competition and then raised a $2.6 million seed round led by Toronto’s StandUp Ventures.
Shortly after being acknowledged as a top 30 under 30 for her leadership of the recruitment business Envol Strategies, Brianna Blaney launched Pocketed with co-founder Aria Hahn. Pocketed helps businesses access billions of dollars in grants and tax credits with their intelligent matching platform and marketplace for non-dilutive funding.
Based on a business’s profile, Pocketed automatically generates a list of eligible funding programs. Then, through the Pocketed marketplace, users can connect with the right service providers to increase their success rate and get faster access to funds.
Pocketed raised a $1 million seed round in 2021 led by Mike Volker’s WUTIF Capital, won $25,000 at last year’s Odlum Brown Forum Pitch Finale, and announced a collaboration with industry leading EY Canada to support small businesses.
You’ve likely seen Maninder Dhaliwal making the rounds speaking at various high-level, BC innovation and entrepreneur engagements and panels. Dhaliwal is one to watch and one to aspire to as a female founder, immigrant, consummate connector, and true champion of the power of networking and mentorship. This includes chairing the non-profit angel investor network, TiE Vancouver.
Her “day jobs” include Managing Partner at Startup Studio – Accelerator and Venture Fund and Board Chair and Co-Founder at Lionsgate International. She also sits on the Departmental Audit Committee for Environment and Climate Change Canada as she was appointed in 2017 by the Treasury Board of Canada on a joint recommendation by the Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Comptroller General of Canada.
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