Accellerate Silicon Valley Immersion
We help small women-led Canadian startups grow and thrive by connecting them with Silicon Valley investment, advice, and expertise.
Twice a year, we select 10-15 women in leadership or technical roles from small Canadian startups for an immersive program with successful (and mostly female) Silicon Valley investors, founders, experts, and mentors.
In a few jam-packed days, selected participants pitch to real investors, get feedback on their company, attend talks and workshops with industry experts, learn from Silicon Valley startups, meet in 1:1 sessions with investors, experts, and potential mentors, and share meals with new-found Canadian and US friends. Connecting women with women to acellerate Canadian businesses.
New this year: AccellerateU - selected female Canadian University students who are planning or have already launched their own startups. Successful student applicants will be included in all program events as observers; but will not present pitches or be matched individually with investors or mentors.
Applications are reviewed by a Selection Committee, and all decisions are final.
Startup criteria: have real revenue (under $1M), customers, or products that are in pilot, production, or shipping phase.
*Women includes: cis, trans, femme/feminine-identifying gender, queer, and non-binary folks.
Past Session Topics
How to Market your Startup to Investors by Allie Klun, Sierra Ventures
Panel: Inside the Mind of a VC
Founder's Journeys - Successes & Learnings featuring founders in Silicon Valley
Promoting your Business through Stellar Storytelling by Lindsay Riddell - Hotwire
Leadership Workshop with Joanna Bloor
Five things We did at Tesla to Build Culture by Beth Davies, HR Reimagined
Design Thinking - Tips & Tricks for Creating Better Products & Services by Meghan Ede
Startups pitch to a group of local investors, followed by 1:1 meetings for individual feedback and advice
Understanding When & How to Build A Meaningful Relationship with Partners Critical to your Business with Linda Campbell, Director for Ecosystems, Business Development, Strategic Alliances, ITRON
Building a Company for Successful Exit Lunch Roundtable, hosted by Mona Sabet, Tribal Venture
Managing yourself through the 0 to 1 with Nikhyl Singhal, Chief Product Officer, Credit Karma
Podcasting 101: “Developing Your #1 Content Platform” with Julia Scott
How to Think About your Company from the Customer Point of View with Karen Hayward, CMO, Chief Outsiders
Practical tips for building a developer community on your technology platform with Linda Campbell, Director for Ecosystems, Business Development, Strategic Alliances, ITRON
International Expansion Roundtable with by Reena Krishnan
Julie Castro Abrams, Founder & CEO at How Women Lead
Investor & Mentor Sessions
Joan Dea, Corporate director, civic leader, and early-stage Investor
Lara Druyan, Managing Director, Head of Innovation, West Coast, RBC
Joy Peacock, Innovation Center Engagement Director, BNY Mellon
Erika Lunceford, Head of Silicon Valley Innovation Center, BNY Mellon
Lopa Desai, Managing Director, Niraat Ventures
Irv Remedios, CEO, Voxer
Einat Meisel, Partner, Head of O’Melveny’s Israel Practice
Adam Seabrook, Investor, B Capital Group
Nancy Hayes, Angel Investor
Shalu Attri, Vice-President, Citi Ventures
Vartika Ambwani, Vice President, Technology Banking - FinTech, SVB
Ameena El-Bibany, Investor, Rising Tide Fund
Lida Tohidi, Principal & CEO, Pidari
Linda Judge, Startup & Patent Attorney
Securing Your First Enterprise Customer
May Habib, CEO & Founder @ Qordoba
Qordoba is a Strings Intelligence Platform that enables product teams to create compelling user experiences. It is the only machine-learning based solution which extracts text from strings in source code and makes it easy to manage product copy. Companies like Postmates, VISA and Marriott use Qordoba to rapidly optimize and release new copy across product, marketing and customer support.
Heather Kernahan, President North America @ Hotwire
A global marketing tech expert & business leader, Heather has been featured in Fast Company, Fortune, Thrive Global, BizWomen, PR Week and AdWeek. Named one of B2B News Network 2015 B2B Top Influencers, Heather's work spans tech startups to industry leaders.
Michele Perras, Chief Operating Officer @ Alice
Michele was previously the General Manager at Pivotal (global cloud-native development and PCF platform), where she lead the team across the Accenture Pivotal Business Group on strategy, GTM, training, delivery and customer success.
Anna Pickren, Director of Partnerships @ Alice
Alice is a free digital platform that makes smart, instance connections between business owners and the resources they need to accelerate sustainable growth and global impact. Alice is open to all founders and prioritizes access for women and other underrepresented business owners.
Trish Costello, CEO & Founder @ Portfolia
Portfolia is a global entrepreneurial investing platform designed for women, and Managing Director of Portfolia Funds. Trish is internationally recognized for her pioneering work in preparing venture capital investment partners, through the prestigious Kauffman Fellows Program, where she was the founding CEO and CEO Emeritus. Costello played a leading role nationally in increasing equity investments in women’s businesses and in funding initiatives supporting high-growth women entrepreneurs.
Bulbul Gupta, Board Chair @ Upaya Social Ventures
Upaya Social Ventures does seed-stage equity investing in social businesses in India. Bulbul is a long-time leader in the impact investing space, supporting some of the first deals and partnerships when the term was first coined 10 years ago out of Microfinance. Bulbul was an outside policy advisor on Hillary Clinton's campaign, advises family offices on social innovation investment strategies, and is co-founding a think tank using Augmented Intelligence for good - Socos Labs. She is also an angel investor in US-based founders for now, especially women of color and immigrant founders.
Annette Poliwka, Zero Waste & Corporate Responsibility Consultant, Angel Investor
An international expert in waste reduction, recycling, and plastic pollution, Annette has 15+ years of experience in the environmental field, working for nonprofit, government, and private sectors. She's an angel investor with Portfolia and Pipeline Angels, and is on the board of Tending Inc.
Annette studied Communications, Business, and Environmental Science at Fairfield & Georgetown Universities, as well as the University of San Francisco .