Techstars Startup Weekend Toronto Women

    Friday, November 22 - 24, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. 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:

- 1-month Half-Pressed memberships to the coworking space and a community of women-identified people Make Lemonade

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

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
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

10:00 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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 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.

Coaches and Mentors

Fay Wu
Managing Director, NFQ Ventures/SheEO Activator

Helping high-growth companies accelerate & scale; grow markets, design people strategies, manage risks, measure performance and get financed is what Fay does best. She thrives on strategic challenges and designing creative solutions to seemingly impossible problems. Fay coaches and mentors CEO’s and is involved with Ryerson DMZ and MaRS. When work-life needs re-balancing, you will find Fay camera in hand, scuba diving, and exploring remote parts of the world.

Stacey Feero
Senior Product Manager

Stacey is a people-first product management professional. People use products & people build products. She brings a human-centred approach to her product management style. She has worked in tech for eleven years & has been in product roles for five of those years. She is the co-founder & chapter lead for Women in Product Toronto: a community where women-identified product professionals can authentically connect by listening, sharing, & learning from one another.

Ambika Sharma
Digital Marketing and Sales Consultant, Google

Digital marketing and sales consultant with over 8 years experience working with Government, Automotive, Retail, Telco & Energy sectors in India, US, Australia and now Canada. I am passionate about digital technology, client services with a highly analytical, consultative selling approach . I am a quick learner who is adaptable and thrives in challenging and fast paced environments. Also Responsible for co-running a Melbourne-based social start-up with the mission to accelerate economic development in developing countries by using roads to generate and locally distribute electricity to people in underdeveloped nations.

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

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. Sarah has worked with the Canadian, US, European and United Arab Emirates markets in both start up and corporate (through acquisition) environments. 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

The word people most often use to describe me is passionate. Cliche? Probably. Apt? Definitely. I am a positive, high energy leader who loves to learn and take on new challenges. With a high tolerance for ambiguity, I am able to make sense of complexity, and develop and communicate solutions to complex problems in a way that is relevant to the audience. I build strong relationships through open dialogue and a sincere desire to know the people I work with and understand their unique value. Putting these things together, 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.

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.



Community Partner

Organizing Team

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

  • Daria
  • Mansha
  • Gayathri
  • Shaira
  • Elyse


Sally Ng
CEO, The Triple Effect & DigiLearn

Event Staff

Hooshmand Shokri Razaghi

Ivy league PhD candidate in CS.

Event Blog

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