L-Spark partners with Queen's University on Women in Tech Accelerator

Alyssa Furtado, co-founder and CEO of RateHub.ca, speaks at a launch event for the Compass North program. Provided

Kanata-based L-Spark is taking its accelerator expertise to Kingston, where the company known for helping SaaS companies scale is partnering with Queen's University to give that same boost to women making their marks in tech.

L-Spark and Queen's recently announced Compass North, an accelerator program targeting female entrepreneurs in Belleville, Kingston and Brockville.

Applications are open now for the five-month accelerator, which features mentoring and workshops from a number of business leaders in Ottawa and the surrounding region.

The new initiative aims to address a lack of diversity in Canada’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. According to federal government stats, fewer than 16 per cent of all businesses across the country are owned by women. L-Spark and Queen's note that representation then plummets when considering STEM fields.

Among the mentors and advisers lending their expertise to the program are Ottawa-based business leaders such as Thusha Agampodi from Magnet Forensics and entrepreneur Karla Briones, in addition to the L-Spark team.

The program is funded through a grant from the federal government. Queen's University is receiving $3.2 million from the feds to promote and support women-led businesses.

Applications to Compass North close March 20. The first cohort of the program will run from April to September.