With the application process for the third cohort of SheBoot now closed, co-founding partners in the program, Invest Ottawa and Capital Angel Network (CAN), have turned their attention to sifting through submissions from a crop of “extremely high-calibre” candidates.
“We're starting the interview process right now,” said Julia Elvidge, CAN director and co-founder of the SheBoot program. “It's going to be great to meet some of the faces behind these applications so we can get to know them a little better.”
Although the full participant list has not been finalized, SheBoot organizers took full advantage of the energy and excitement at the IOTraction Pitch competition on June 14 to announce the first official participant in the third cohort: Tamey McIntosh, co-founder and COO of Braiyt.Ai.
In an interview, Jennifer Francis, a director on the board at Invest Ottawa and chair of CAN, said that McIntosh has actively leveraged the support and opportunities presented by Invest Ottawa, from the earliest ideation days, to Braiyt’s participation in IO Ignition and IO Traction.
Founded in 2019, Braiyt uses AI and machine learning software to tap into security cameras and track metrics such as how many customers are entering brick-and-mortar stores, where shoppers are most likely to gather, and how long they wait in line at the checkout counter. In a recent interview with OBJ, McIntosh said that the predominantly self-funded business has reached a point where it is in need of outside investment to continue to grow, but that the pitching process is daunting.
“Preparing ourselves to raise funds is pretty stressful,” McIntosh told OBJ’s David Sali. “It’s definitely out of my comfort zone.”
This is the sweet spot, or rather the tough spot, that the SheBoot program aims to fill. The six-week program is built to help female founders build the assets and the confidence necessary to pitch for capital.
Launched in 2020 with a clear focus on supporting and enabling female founders with scalable technology or tech-enabled businesses who are investor-ready, SheBoot is creating a runway for participants to access vital investment capital.
Now in its third year, and with an infusion of federal funds, the program has recently expanded eligibility to women founders across Canada.