Trailblazing CEO intent on helping other women rise up tech ranks

Ever a trailblazing entrepreneur, Sue Abu-Hakima is keen on making the technology and business sectors more accessible for women and minorities.

By Lucy Screnci.

The CEO of Amika Mobile has broken barriers for standing out in the software engineering sector, a field typically dominated by men.

“We need to shift from a boys’ club to more of an inclusive club,” she says. “We need to do our best to encourage women to take on risk, without funding, for example.”

In addition to proposing a venture fund exclusively for women, Ms. Abu-Hakima has been rallying industry partners and government agencies to allow women to access funding more easily.

At the recent Startup Canada Day on the Hill, for example, Ms. Abu-Hakima and some of her peers made requests to increase support for women.

“A number of studies show that women are underserved in terms of banking or procurement,” she says.

Now that Ms. Abu-Hakima is a veteran tech CEO, she notes that she relentlessly encourages young people to go into the science, technology, engineering and math fields, especially women.

Despite sometimes sticking out in the industry, she has forged on. Her journey as an entrepreneur has led her to develop technology that now saves countless lives.

After exiting her first company, Amika Now!, nearly 10 years ago, Ms. Abu-Hakima launched Amika Mobile soon after in 2007. She used the capital from her exit to fund the company as well as government grants and support from angel investors.

Amika Mobile is a broadcast technology platform that allows emergency alerts to be issued on any device on a network, using automatic discovery technology. Amika is currently the only vendor in the world with this capability.

Spurred by several mass shootings in the United States, Amika has recently partnered with Tracer Technologies, a firm that makes sensors that trigger an emergency alert to people nearby when a gunshot is detected.

Amika Mobile’s innovations have not gone unnoticed. The company recently received the best emergency communications solution award at the US GOVIES, a major industry awards show, for the second year in a row.