The Big Push Launches Canada-Wide Pitch and Pair Program to Accelerate the Growth of Women-led Technology Companies

 

TORONTO — February 12, 2019 — The Big Push, a business accelerator that provides women-led technology companies with access to expert resources in a unique “sweat for equity” business model, is launching its Pitch and Pair program across Canada. The Pitch and Pair program matches promising women-led technology startups with The Big Push experts. The program provides the opportunity for startups to present their company and identify their specific acceleration needs and priorities in front of an audience of experts that are willing to roll up their sleeves and provide the services required. Pitch and Pair events have been scheduled to take place in Montreal (March 2019), Vancouver (June 2019), and Ottawa (October 2019).

“This is more than just one evening of networking,” says Sharon Zohar, founder and CEO of The Big Push. “Each Pitch and Pair program takes place following an extensive due diligence process where each person in the room – including startup founders and experts – undergo extensive vetting by The Big Push Investment and Recruitment Committees. Everyone selected to attend understands their role as an active participant in the evening: startups showcase their business and identify the areas in which they require support, and experts pick the company they would most like to work with. Following the event, startups and experts are paired and the work begins.”

Investment Selection Committee

The investment selection committee responsible for vetting the startups is comprised of leading Canadian venture capital firms and accelerators, including Disruption Ventures, a technology fund that invests in early-stage companies led or founded by women. Elaine Kunda, serial entrepreneur, founder and Managing Director of Disruption Ventures, will lead a fireside chat with the 10 startups participating in the upcoming Pitch and Pair event in Montreal. Commenting on her involvement, Kunda explains that, “This is a great opportunity, not only for women but for the Canadian economy as a whole. We need to do things differently to change course and support entrepreneurs in this underserved market. I am very much aligned with the mission of The Big Push to make this happen.”

Real Venturesa leading early-stage venture capital firm, is a recognized community partner offering resource support and deal flow for The Big Push Pitch and Pair programs. According to Isaac Souweine, Partner at Real Ventures, “The Big Push aims to build a more diverse ecosystem and we think their unique take on acceleration, which goes way beyond the traditional model of mentorship to provide hands-on support, has great potential. We look forward to supporting The Big Push as they bring their model to Montreal.” 

Other community partners participating in the investment selection committee include Panache Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund with a strong commitment to diversity; and, The Holt Accelerator, a fintech accelerator program based in Montreal.

What is a Pitch and Pair Event?

The first Pitch and Pair event took place in Toronto in October 2018. It resulted in more than $1.75 million in services being offered to startups led or founded by women. The Big Push has created a differentiated formula that brings together 10 promising women-led companies with more than 200 highly vetted senior experts from within The Big Push community for one evening of ‘match making’. Each event is designed to help accelerate the growth of presenting companies by embedding a team of experts over a 9-month acceleration period. The experts commit to a minimum of 15 hours of service each month, providing “hands-on” work in their respective areas of expertise (e.g., sales, marketing, public relations, recruitment, finance etc.). The value of services provided through the acceleration period ranges from $150,000 to $250,000.

The Big Push Pitch and Pair Montreal

On March 26, 2019, The Big Push will bring its acceleration model to Montreal with the support and sponsorship of Finance Montreal. The event will take place at Deloitte from 5:30-8:30pm. For more information about the Montreal Pitch and Pair, and how to apply as an expert or startup, contact Corinne Surur, Program Executive at The Big Push Montreal Chapter, at pitchandpairmontreal@gmail.com

Nationwide Livestream Events

The Big Push will provide exclusive opportunities to vetted experts that attended the Toronto program to participate in the Montreal event via livestream. Goodmans LLP, a leading law firm in the technology sector, is once again a sponsor of the event and will host a livestream of the event in their Toronto office. 

As scheduled launches of the Pitch and Pair program hit cities across Canada, The Big Push will provide the host sponsor of past events the opportunity to livestream the program, culminating in a final Pitch and Pair event to be held in Toronto later in 2019 where 10 of the most promising women-led Canadian startups will pitch to nearly 1,000 participating experts from The Big Push.

About The Big Push

The Big Push is a business accelerator that gets early-stage, women-founded technology companies investment ready using a service for equity model. With support from The Big Push, early-stage companies can scale faster without the need to pay for additional labour costs. Hands-on services, support, and resources are provided to women-led or women-founded technology startups through a collective of senior executives with expertise across key practice areas spanning finance, design, law, research, sales, public relations, software development, recruitment, and marketing. For additional information, visit thebigpush.ca.

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