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W Venture, a program committed to advancing entrepreneurial women is back this Fall 2022 - Currently searching for 10 innovative companies in BC

W Venture, a program committed to advancing entrepreneurial women is back this Fall 2022 - Currently searching for 10 innovative companies in BC

VIATEC Technology Sector Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leadership Educational/Training Mentorship

Accelerate Okanagan, University of Victoria and VIATEC continue alongside the Digital Technology Supercluster to advance innovative entrepreneurial women in British Columbia.

W Venture, an entrepreneurship program for women-led tech-enabled companies is being offered again this fall for women in Victoria and the Okanagan who are ready to accelerate their business. Participants will gain the necessary skills to confidently address their unique business challenges, giving these women-led companies the greatest chance of success. This is done through personalized, hands-on support from curated mentors and subject-matter experts while connecting with a community of peers from across the province.

“When we launched W Venture in the Fall of 2020 in the height of COVID, we couldn’t have predicted the program would have for such a positive impact on women entrepreneurs in BC.,” says Program Manager Shelley Voyer. “The first cohort of W Venture leaders continue to make significant strides building widely successful ventures. With 97% of them saying they would recommend W Venture to someone they know, I’m thrilled to be able to run the program again and continue to help women thrive and build remarkable companies in BC.” 

W Venture is an intense 12-week first program that pulls together experts to apply hands-on support to solving the most critical problems each venture is facing to growth.  

“I have participated in numerous accelerator programs since 2012. W Venture was by far the most impactful on my business and my development as a woman entrepreneur”, Angela Nagy, CEO, GreenStep Solutions Kelowna, BC.

"Finding my community as a woman in Cleantech has empowered me to push my limits as a CEO. The support and encouragement from my fellow female leaders inspires me to think big, act boldly and work harder to achieve the success that women before us could only dream of achieving” Susan Blanchet, CEO, Origen Air, Victoria, BC.

“I can't recommend this program highly enough. It's like nothing else in terms of how hands-on it is in helping women-identifying entrepreneurs succeed. If we ever want to diversify the startup ecosystem, we must have more women at an executive level, and there is no better way I can think of for that to happen than to continue to support women founders via W Venture.” Eve Olynk, CEO, MeepMeep, Victoria, BC

“W Venture has given us a breadth of clarity in terms of what it means to properly develop our company! It feels like we’ve just completed business school and are ready to continue forward with more knowledge than we ever expected. We will be forever grateful. What a community!  Because of W Venture, we've made connections with people we would have never dreamed of meeting.”  Jess Devenport, CEO, Paintillio, Sechelt, BC

W Venture will be delivered remotely to allow women entrepreneurs from across British Columbia to access the program. Applications are open now until July 29th, with the program kicking off on September 12, 2022

For more information about W Venture and to apply, please visit

For media inquiries, please contact: 

Shelley Voyer
Program Manager


Accelerate Okanagan (AO) is a not-for-profit organization that gives entrepreneurs the mentorship, connections, and community they need to build technology driven ventures.  At Accelerate Okanagan we work with everyone from students to well established companies. Aspiring entrepreneurs, startups, job seekers, career-changers, companies looking to expand and grow, and companies with proven track records come to Accelerate Okanagan to learn and foster their success. Our programs are designed to meet the ever-changing needs of our community.

The University of Victoria (UVic) is one of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities, offering life-changing, hands-on learning experiences to more than 21,000 students on the edge of the spectacular BC coast. As a hub of transformational research, UVic faculty, staff and students make a critical difference on issues that matter to people, places and the planet. UVic consistently publishes a higher proportion of research based on international collaborations than any other university in North America, and our community and organizational partnerships play a key role in generating vital impact, from scientific and business breakthroughs to achievements in culture and creativity.

Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC) VIATEC’s mission is to cultivate the most cohesive tech community in the world by providing resources to tackle shared opportunities and challenges while boosting a sense of belonging and shaping the Greater Victoria region. VIATEC works closely with its members to offer a variety of events, programs and services. In addition, VIATEC serves as the front door of the local tech sector and as its spokesperson. To better support local innovators, VIATEC acquired their own building (Fort Tectoria) where they offer flexible and affordable office space to emerging local companies along with a gathering/event space for local entrepreneurs.

Purpose Five (P5) worked in partnership with the B.C. Government and Ernst & Young to build gender-inclusive software, inCONNECT, when it was selected as one of only two women-owned companies in the first cohort of the Startup in Residence Program in British Columbia.  While building websites and digital marketing for purpose-driven organizations, P5 developed the Women Leaders in BC Tech BLAST Program and the Women in Tech Mastermind Intensive, FLIP THE SWITCH to support B.C. Women in Tech Leaders, in partnership with The Discovery Foundation, VIATEC and other generous sponsors. Now doing business as Mint C.R.O., it delivers an Engineering Approach to Marketing in an 8-week training program called Conversion Experts: Business Growth Backed By Science.™ In the last 18 months they have co-invested tens of thousands of dollars towards women-owned companies and entrepreneurs by teaching them how to accelerate their market validation, revenue growth, increase Return on Ad Spend, and reduce Customer Acquisition Costs.

Digital Supercluster: Ahead of the curve starts here. The Digital Supercluster is building a better Canada by growing Canadian businesses, creating a digitally skilled workforce and positively impacting lives across our country. We accelerate the development and adoption of digital technologies that keep Canadians healthy, address climate change and drive economic productivity. Through a powerful combination of co-investment, cross-sector collaboration, IP creation and digital talent development, we unlock the potential of Canadians to lead and succeed in the digital world. 


● $474,000 has been invested in W Venture by the Digital Supercluster

● $632,000 has been invested in to the total project for both cohorts

● 10% of Victoria’s tech companies have a female founder

● 39% of the tech workforce in the Okanagan is female per venture


“The strength of our community lies in our ability to collaborate and our willingness to stay curious & think differently. If we want to solve the complex problems our communities are facing, we will need innovative solutions. W Venture aims to support those entrepreneurial women who are doing just that.”

- Brea Lake, CEO, Accelerate Okanagan

"Supporting entrepreneurial women is a critical pathway to a thriving innovation economy, and it starts right here at the University level with our students, alumni and faculty. Our on-campus venture incubator is a hub that builds capacity and long-lasting networks, and we are proud to help women entrepreneurs accelerate their ideas into successful ventures.”

- Jerome Etwaroo, Associate Director, Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre

“It’s important that any program feels welcoming and supportive to entrepreneurs considering participating. It’s also vital that the participants feel a sense of belonging and identify with others in the program through shared perspectives. Most accelerator programs were developed by men and we’ve learned that those programs aren’t always the right fit for women entrepreneurs. We’re proud that we have been able to bring together this group of experienced partners with the funding needed to empower some of the trailblazing women in our communities to build a program that will better serve and support current and future women founders in tech.”

- Dan Gunn, CEO, VIATEC

Additional Info

Media Contact : Shelley Voyer Program Manager

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