why women tech founders in canada?

kari lamotte & tammy meyers

filling a gap

About WTF

Our first mission was to understand what gap we were filling in a tech community loaded with organizations to further the advancement of women, both in and out of tech. We selected a group of 8 female founders, representing various stages of startup development, from pre-revenue to $10 Million in annual revenues (all incorporated), and asked them what they needed and how a group like this could help them.

Of particular excitement right now is the energy building in the BCTech community to support women in tech. We will be working to ensure this group is complementary to the programming offered there, and that we also share opportunities that may be of interest to this community as their initiative continues to grow.

our first initiative

Coffee Connections

Our first initiative is the organization of “Coffee Connections”. Each month, a founder is paired with another founder to set up a coffee date at some point convenient to the two of them. Over this coffee, they will have a chance to tell their story, get to know another founder, and to build relationships across the industry. As these relationships build, we can create opportunities for programs that are highly targeted to the experience of female founders.

Of particular excitement right now is the energy building in the BCTech community to support women in tech. We will be working to ensure this group is complementary to the programming offered there, and that we also share opportunities that may be of interest to this community as their initiative continues to grow.

Kari LaMotte

co-founder

With so many groups helping women to achieve in their tech careers, why is it that women leading technology startups often feel like something is missing? It’s a question I know I’ve been trying to solve ever since founding my own tech company and experiencing the feeling of being “lonely at the top.”

After running my own startup, Groupanizer, for 7 years, I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of the delegates for the 2015 TechWomen Canada initiative in Silicon Valley, where 20 Female Tech Leaders from across Canada were immersed in the Valley Tech Scene for a few days. Great event that I highly recommend you check out, if your company is in revenue and scaling.

During that conference, I met 19 other women leading companies (mostly founders), several from Vancouver. I had never heard of any of them before that event, and yet, we all shared the sense of instant connection with each other. We understood the challenges we each were facing and for the first time, there was a sense of community in what we were all trying to achieve. What an amazing feeling to suddenly have a network of people who “get” each other!

Coming back to Vancouver, I decided to make a point of connecting to other female founders, and when I did, I asked them if that feeling was something unique to me. Every single female founder I spoke to shared similar experiences. What was even more interesting was that as I connected with these amazing women on LinkedIn, I realized that they weren’t connected to each other and there was an opportunity for a community to be built.

In Spring of 2017, I ran across a female founder who shared my vision and was passionate about bringing awareness to the unique difficulties you face as a female founder while you build a company. Tammy Meyers is the Co-Founder and COO of QuestUpon, and she joined me to co-found Women Tech Founders – the organization of female founders you see today.

What an amazing feeling to suddenly have a network of people who “get” each other!

Tammy Meyers

co-founder

I began my startup journey in 2011 with our location-based augmented reality company, now known as QuestUpon. We bootstrapped, did a few pivots along the way, hired staff, joined accelerators, worked with advisors, wrote grants, won awards, etcetera.

Through this amazing startup rollercoaster I found myself noticing that I was often the only woman, (or one of the only women), in the room, whether that be in our company, or with advisory groups, investor meetings, and tech events. Some of my previous career roles, (cable industry; heli-logging industry), often had few women in them too. So working in a male-dominated industry wasn’t exactly a new thing for me to deal with. However, when I started learning about the statistics of gender inequality in the tech industry, I started paying more attention.

In July 2016, the Canadian Press did a feature on myself and other women entrepreneurs disrupting the male-dominated tech industry. It was this interview, and others that followed, that started me talking about this topic more openly, and inspiring me to further change in the industry. I saw a lot of ‘women in tech’ groups popping up, and I joined one that was for C-level leaders.

Yet it wasn’t until I met Kari LaMotte, and we started talking about our experiences of running our own startups and the various challenges we’ve faced as women entrepreneurs that I realized I’d never had this type of conversation with another woman co-founder. It was so enlightening and inspiring to know that the things I was going through were normal for women in my role! How had I not come across these women (founders/co-founders) before?!  

From this meeting, and others that followed, Kari and I decided to co-found this group, WTF – Women Tech Founders. We look forward to help each other get connected, lead, grow, and feel empowered.

IT WAS SO ENLIGHTENING AND INSPIRING TO KNOW THAT THE THINGS I WAS GOING THROUGH WERE NORMAL FOR WOMEN IN MY ROLE!

get in touch

Whether you want more information or to become a member, contacting us is the first step