Techstars Startup Weekend Toronto Women

    Friday, November 22 - 24, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Toronto Women

Friday, November 22 - 24, 2019

Friday, November 22 - 24, 2019
Event starts at 6:30 pm

The Catalyst at FCAD
80 Gould St
Toronto, ON M5B 2M7

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Your idea in 54 hours

It is our time to RUN the world!

Even though women account for half of the world’s working-age population, they hold under a quarter of senior roles across the world and only 5.2% of CEO positions at S&P 500 Companies. Diversity in economic development remains a major challenge of our time. We believe that by boosting women entrepreneurship we can sow the seeds for a better future; and by encouraging local initiatives, we can have a huge global impact.

How it works

Beginning with Friday night, women (and those who identify as women) pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas followed by a 54-hour of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders providing another opportunity for critical feedback before a final winning team is chosen. Please see the event schedule for more details.

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with? 

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

Do I have to pitch an idea to attend?

No, but we encourage you to! You can pitch an idea you've been thinking about for years, or something last minute you think of during the event. It's a great experience and invaluable practice for public speaking.

Prizes for the winning team:

- Two memberships at Founder Institute Toronto.
- Four 1-month Half-Pressed memberships at Make Lemonade, a coworking space and a community of women-identified people Make Lemonade.
- An opportunity to pitch your startup at the next event by Female CoFounder (Q1 2020.)
- Mentorship Lunch with Klick in January 2020  

What do you need to bring?

Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.

Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.

Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • An amazing chance to expand your network and meet women developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.

Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!

Still have questions, feel free to reach us at “”.

Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!

No talk, all action!

Follow us:
Twitter @toronto_sw

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Friday November 22nd

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:15 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:30 pm
Form Teams; Begin Work
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:30 pm
Wrap Up
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday November 23rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

9:30 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 24th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

4:15 pm
Final Presentations

6:15 pm
Judging & Awards

6:30 pm

6:45 pm
Go Home!


Golnaz Golnaraghi
Founder, Divity Group & Accelerate Her Future/SheEO Activator

Golnaz is the Founder of Divity Group and Accelerate Her Future. After a 15-year marketing management career with large multi-national service firms, Golnaz pursued teaching future leaders in college and university. Her passion to help advance representation and leadership of self-identified women of colour at all levels in organizations is what led her to create Accelerate Her Future. Golnaz offers facilitation, program development and consulting services through Divity Group and is Social Enterprise Lead at Sheridan's EDGE. She is an investor and proud funder of women-led start-ups through SheEO and Tease Tea Founders Fund. Golnaz is a TEDx speaker and published author in the areas of gender and diversity.

Event Judges

Nathalie Crosbie
Director of AI Strategy, BMO I Startup Coach, Ryerson SVZ Incubator

Nathalie Crosbie is the Director of AI Strategy at BMO Financial Group. She has fifteen years experience providing strategy, product, ux, and people leadership to create award-winning experiences. Prior to her current role, she served as consultant and advisor to AI startups in Fintech, Legaltech and Health, and held Product & UX leadership roles with Canadian household names like Shopify and Rogers.

Irene Mukasa
Director, Marketing & PR, #movethedial

An agile marketer with a love for storytelling, Irene has spent nearly a decade helping companies build strong brand narratives and compelling content. Having led integrated marketing and communications campaigns for a number of brands in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, transportation, consumer goods and now tech, she is passionate about merging humanistic marketing with the latest digital trends. Irene is currently the Director, Marketing & PR for #movethedial, a global movement dedicated to increasing the leadership and participation of all women in tech.

Coaches and Mentors

Michele Molino
Founder @ Female CoFounder, Product Manager @ Pivotal Software

Michele is the Founder of Female CoFounder, a community that connects women to others who want to build tech products, together. She is also a Product Manager at Pivotal Software and has previously worked on brands like Virgin Mobile, CraveTV, Bell and Lucky Mobile. Michele is a proud Schulich alumni who graduated with Honours and Distinction specializing in Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Finance. Now she’s creating an opportunity to uplift women who are excited about building the future of tech. 

Sarah Cox
VP + Partner/SheEO Activator

Sarah is an experienced business builder, mentor and global healthcare IT enthusiast. She has a wealth of experience in selling to the largest US hospital systems, home care providers, insurance companies, distribution companies, as well as the leading Health EMR/ERP software organizations. She passionately believes in supporting women led businesses, which is reflected in her work with SheEO, and loves to help elevate others. Sarah is a proud Nova Scotian and is currently VP + Partner with Joeyband, is an advisor for several start-ups and provides consulting services.

Katie Archdekin
Owner and Business Manager, Redpoint Ventures/ SheEO Activator

I am a person who can see what needs to be done, quickly gain stakeholder support and then motivate and manage a team to get results. These skills have served me well in a wide variety of roles including strategy consulting, change management, corporate development, data analytics and general management. A year ago I joined my husbands wholesale sales agency, Redpoint Ventures, because we wanted to more deeply integrate our lives and live our core values that put family first. Together we are working to modernize, diversify and strengthen our family business.

Tashika Gomes
Founder/SheEO Activator

Tashika wants to live in a world where women-led businesses thrive. As the founder of The Virago Studio, a creative studio empowering female entrepreneurs, she’s worked with leading brands and small businesses across the GTA. When she’s not providing creative strategies to small businesses, you can find her making waves on her live-aboard boat at the Toronto Harbourfront. The first print edition of The Virago magazine, a women’s business and lifestyle publication, is set to be released in summer 2020. It will showcase inspiring stories from women-led businesses across Canada. Find out more about The Virago Studio and The Virago Magazine at @theviragostudioTO

Linda Montgomery
CMO- Coinchange

Linda Montgomery is a tech industry marketing and growth leader, a startup advisor, a mentor to female founders and a pitch coach. She has launched or re-positioned 25 companies/business areas, led over 35 new product/service launches, contributed to multiple company exits and 5 IPOs with both Silicon Valley and Canadian based high-growth startups. Currently Linda works as CMO/Advisor for FinTech and Digital Asset/Blockchain companies and is a volunteer advisor with MaRS Discovery District.

David Jorjani
Senior Product Manager,| Sessional Lecturer, University of Toronto

David Jorjani has been a founding team member or advisor at several startups. He currently leads product development at where they use artificial intelligence in recruiting. He also teaches software engineering at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. His expertise is in working with early stage startups to identify the core problem and to lead engineering teams in building effective solutions.

Sahib Singh Sapra
Co-founder, ROFL Inc.

Sahib Singh Sapra, is a serial entrepreneur, consultant and a growth hacker. Co-Founder of ROFL Inc and a global think tank. He is an IIBA certified Business Analyst as well as Google certified Digital marketer with a strong background in solving complex problems, analysing information, building growth strategy and market analysis. A creative and strategic thinker who graduated with a Masters in marketing from Manchester Business School , UK. He has experience working with emerging startups to Fortune 500 including top consulting firms, banks, media companies in the UK, EU, India and Canada.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Toronto Women team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.

Signature Sponsors

Premier Sponsor


Community Partner

Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Toronto is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Daria
  • Mansha
  • Gayathri
  • Elyse


Sally Ng
CEO, The Triple Effect & DigiLearn

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