STEM

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Between $1,000 and $5,000 grants to help women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses see more

    Source: BetaKit.com
    Author: Amira Zubairi

    Startup Canada and Evolocity Offering up to $5,000 Grants to Women-Led Businesses

    Startup Canada, in partnership with Evolocity Financial Group, announced that it is offering micro-grants to women entrepreneurs and women-led companies in Canada through the Startup Canada Women Founders Fund.

    The fund, which launched in August 2016, will provide between $1,000 and $5,000 grants to help women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Women receiving the grants will also be featured on StartupNews.ca, receive a guest-spot on THRIVE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs, and get a VIP Pass to Startup Canada Day on the Hill taking place in Ottawa on October 18.

    To be eligible for a grant, applicants must be women entrepreneurs or women-led businesses. They must also be working in the STEM field and be based in Canada. Startup Canada said the applicants will be judged based on a number of criteria, including the applicant’s impact statement on the use of funds, a proven business model, and confirmation that the opportunity would be missed without the investment. The applicants must also agree to leverage the hashtag #StartupWomen and recognize sponsors throughout marketing efforts.

    “Entrepreneurship is a catalyst for economic growth in many countries. Equally as important is the critical role that women play in the growth of an economy,” Startup Canada wrote in a post. “Startup Canada has partnered with Evolocity Financial Group to invest in women-led companies in STEM…providing micro-grants to women entrepreneurs and women-led companies in Canada to help them start and grow their businesses while accelerating gender parity and further unleash the economic potential of women.”

    Past recipients of the fund include Eve Medical, which received funding through Ontario’s Health Technologies Fund in January 2018; and Awake Labs, which is using AI to care for brain and mental health disorders.

    Those interested in the Startup Canada Women Founders Fund have until August 31 to apply.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Event will feature stories & insights of business professionals, entrepreneurs & women in technology see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    SheBiz at St. Margaret’s School to expand horizons

    As many as 200 young women will get a chance to peer into their own futures on Friday as St. Margaret’s School in Saanich plays host to SheBiz, a day-long program designed to expand the horizon for promising young students.

    The program, which is being overseen by the Victoria chapter of Women in Capital Markets — a network of women in the Canadian capital markets — is in its sixth year and is making its first stop in Victoria.

    According to Tamara Bonn, co-chair of WCM Victoria’s steering committee, the day will feature the stories and insights of business professionals, entrepreneurs and women in the technology sector. The hope is that it will open the eyes of young students to what is available to them beyond the traditional courses of study in university.

    “Studies have shown that while young girls have really strong skill sets in STEM [science, technology, engineering and math], the reality is they are not going into those fields in university,” said Bonn, portfolio manager at TD Wealth. “One of the problems is they may not have female role models, or mentorship, to illustrate what a real-life career would look like for them.

    “We want to make sure their eyes are open to the various options. And the skill sets women have are so desirable in our world right now, but it still seems like there are huge barriers for them.”

    The event will run at St. Margaret’s for young women in Grades 10 and 11 from 10 area high schools.

    There will be presentations from accomplished women from a wide variety of businesses, many of which might not have been on the radar for these students.

    Cathy Thornicroft, head of St. Margaret’s School, said events like this are critical in giving young people a broader view of what might be possible.

    “I think our young girls need direct contact with role models who have been successful in the fields of finance. I don’t think we are well represented in that field,” she said, adding that this is equally true of technology and entrepreneurship.

    “I’m not sure if that’s due to confidence or the fact people haven’t told girls they are capable … and should be looking at these careers.”

    Thornicroft said bringing together both finance professionals and the entrepreneurial set is uniquely Victorian.

    “I think Victoria is different than places like Vancouver and Toronto, which have strong finance bases. Here there are huge opportunities for entrepreneurs, that’s the spirit of Victoria,” she said. “And if we can capture [the students] a bit earlier, we may be able to open their eyes to other opportunities.”

    Bonn said events like this make a huge difference.

    When she was starting out in Vancouver, having completed a finance and economics degree, she felt her options were limited.

    “And I knew my skill set wasn’t aligned with accounting, but I didn’t feel like there was a lot of choice,” she said.

    She kept asking questions of people in the finance industry, looking for pathways to different careers and learning what it would take to succeed.

    It’s the kind of thing not taught at university, she said, noting that through her inquiries, she gained insight into what was required for her to forge a new career path.

    “At 21, the next five jobs I had, I had never heard of before,” she said, adding it came down to finding role models who could light the way.

    SheBiz, she said, is about passing that knowledge on. Bonn hopes that by sharing her story and telling students about the chances and risks she took, they might see what’s open to them.

    “Sometimes the biggest thing they lack is not knowing what’s available to them,” she said.

    Bonn admits that it’s difficult to judge the efficacy of things like SheBiz, though she said there has been some improvement in her own corporate world.

    “Generally speaking, I do find myself the only female in the room a lot of the time,” she said.

    “But it’s a little better now in the role I am in, now [that] it’s a senior role.”

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Over 100 young people ages 14-18 years old will be competing on Sunday, February 19, 2017 from 9-5 see more

    FIRST® Students Compete in BC Championship

    Victoria, BC – Feb. 14, 2017- Very few athletes will ever compete in a Super Bowl but what sport can every student in British Columbia go Pro in? The sport of science, technology, engineering and math. Over 100 young people ages 14-18 years old will be competing on Sunday, February 19, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship at the University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Rd, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2. Twelve FIRST Tech Challenge teams from British Columbia, Alberta, Washington State, and Romania will play in this season's “Velocity Vortex” game.

    These students will be exercising their mind, working as teams, problem solving (all workforce skills) as their primary resource to find their spark for competition today with a possible career pathway for tomorrow. “These kids have gotten involved with a FIRST team for different reasons. Maybe it was to socialize or maybe it was because they already had an interest in STEM. Whatever the reason in addition to the robot building and programming skills, they are learning workforce development skills such as troubleshooting; collaboration; communication skills to help each of them go Pro”, Christine Nicholls, FIRST Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner for British Columbia.

    Starting in September, teams have designed, built and programmed a robot to complete in game challenges like shooting particles into a vortex. One team will earn a spot at the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championships in Houston, TX from April 19-22, 2017.

    Opening ceremonies will be at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday. The best time to watch robot games is between 1:30-4:00 p.m. in ELW, Faculty of Engineering building at the University of Victoria. Admission is free and the public are welcome. For more information contact Christine Nicholls at christine.ftc.bc@gmail.com or 778-587-7554.

    About FIRST
    FIRST in a nonprofit organization that ignites youthful minds through education, hard work, mentorship and healthy competition. Students in FIRST, from kindergarten through high school, participate in exciting, Mentor-based, research and robotics programs that help them become science and technology leaders, as well as well-rounded contributors to society. More information about FIRST is available at: http://www.firstinspires.org/ or http://firstroboticsbc.org/