The Fierce Founders Accelerator is a 6-month Waterloo-based program designed to give companies that have at least one female founder the tools necessary to transform their idea from an MVP to a scaleable business. We're excited to feature the Fierce Founders of the latest cohort and share their inspiring stories!
Jacqueline Leung is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Pressed, a digital media company that's changing the way millennials consume media that matters. Our goal is to connect people through intelligent conversations by integrating world issues into everyday life. We make the news easy to understand by being concise, speaking like your friend, and giving you context on difficult topics. Our first product is a daily email newsletter that tells you what you need to know to start your day, all from a Canadian perspective. Not a news junkie by any means, Jacqueline created Pressed because it's a product that she needs. Prior to launching her first startup, she spent several years working in marketing roles at companies spanning across industries like sports, food, and media. She has a media degree from Western University and a communications certificate from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. www.pressednews.com
Anita Ramdas is the founder and CEO of ShuffleSpace, a flexible storage solution that allows consumers and businesses to safely store their belongings without ever leaving their home or office, and paying only for what they store. Our seamless customer experience allows users to register for an account online, tell us what they need stored, and schedule a convenient pick up time. The online platform gives customers access to their virtual storage unit anytime, which includes a photo catalogue of their belongings and the ability to schedule pickups and drop offs as needed, all with friendly and efficient 5-star service. Anita previously worked in several startups and in telecom companies, Bell Canada and Nokia in Finland, Singapore, and Germany. She has a Software Engineering Degree from McMaster University and an MBA from INSEAD.
Laura Bryson is COO and co-founder of SWTCH, a company whose mission is to improve electric vehicle (EV) charging accessibility and promote the widespread adoption of EVs. SWTCH’s EV charging management platform (cloud software plus minimal hardware) optimizes shared EV charger usage, creating a streamlined experience both for EV drivers who need charging and property managerswho provide EV charging services. Our innovative approach to EV charging addresses the barriers to greater EV adoption in urban multi-tenant settings through shared charger usage, simple billing, compatibility with existing and future charger installations, and minimal capital costs, while also helping manage increased energy demand in areas of high EV ownership. Laura believes that the transition to electric mobility is critical to achieving environmental sustainability, and that we can accelerate that transition by improving EV charging access in dense urban areas. Laura’s career has been animated by a passion for environmental sustainability, and her experience in the clean-tech space makes her a natural fit for growing SWTCH as COO.
Karen Lau is the cofounder and CTO of Furnishr Furnishr will set up all the furniture in your entire home in a day by pre-curating beautiful furniture packages for you to purchase and handling the logistics to make sure all the items in the package are delivered and assembled in your home all at once. They take away the boxes too! Furnishr can deliver their room designs to any city in North America while passing on cost savings to customers by automating the logistics and working directly with furniture suppliers ie. no middlemen. Karen and her cofounder Mike Van started Furnishr two years ago out of their own frustration from setting up their own home. They quickly learned that there are many gaps in the furniture retail industry that can be solved by technology. And there are many people like them who just want the whole home set up without having to shop for each piece and relive their IKEA nightmares. Indeed, Furnishr has been installing their room designs to people who are moving and AirBnb hosts who just want a nice home set up quickly without having to do the work themselves.
Jade Choy is one of the co-founders of EPOCH (and one of her other co-founders include her brother, Keith). She has a finance and accounting academic background from the University of Waterloo, with experience in consulting, startup business development, and corporate tax. Most recently, Jade was a management consultant in FinTech, in New York, where she focused on developing and strategizing platform implementation for investment banks. Currently, Jade is interested in strategic policy and resource mobilisation that drives social impact and equity.
Amanda Chan is the co-founder of BigBridge Tech and a recent Computer Science graduate from the University of Waterloo. We make a software product called OSIMple, to help bridge inspectors automate their post-inspection data entry. Right now a big inefficiency in the bridge inspection process is having to enter data back at the office after the inspection is complete. OSIMple automates this process and helps bring time back to the inspectors.