Media release

Communitech announces second cohort of Fierce Founders Uplift program

Ten founders from underrepresented groups to receive non-matching funding and professional coaching 

KITCHENER, ONT., April 20, 2022 — Communitech is pleased to announce the second cohort of underrepresented women founders accepted to its Fierce Founders Uplift program. Fierce Founders Uplift was launched in early 2021 and designed to provide support to women and/or non-binary founders from underrepresented groups as they work to grow early-stage startups or small businesses. Founders in this program will receive $10,000 in non-matching funds and professional coaching from one of Communitech’s experienced growth coaches. The program, which has been tailored to the needs of each founder, began in early April 2022 and will run through to August 2022.

Participants of Communitech’s second Fierce Founders Uplift cohort include: 

"Ever since my co-founder and I have launched our company, Communitech has been a supportive partner that helped us reach our potential. So when we heard about the opportunity to benefit from their help in a systematic way - that includes dedicated coaching support, a lively community of founders and mentors, access to grant capital, and intros to investors - we couldn't say no,” said Assel Beglinova, co-founder and CEO at Paperstack. “We are super excited to be selected as part of the second cohort of Communitech’s Fierce Founders Uplift and are looking forward to what this program brings."

Communitech's women in tech initiatives have helped women entrepreneurs start, grow and succeed since 2014. Today, Communitech’s Fierce Founders Uplift aims to help level the playing field by providing these founders with vital resources to support them on their founder journeys.

“We know that many women, especially Black, Indigenous, and women of colour, face multiple systemic barriers to success,” said Lisa Cashmore, Vice President of Founder Services at Communitech. “The need for programs to support all women, including those from racialized communities, is as important as it has ever been. Communitech is honoured to be able to provide a real opportunity to help level the playing field through its Fierce Founders programming and pave the way for future generations of entrepreneurs across Canada.” 

Communitech Fierce Founders Uplift is a part of the Fierce Founders series of programs. Participants of Fierce Founders Uplift can also apply for Fierce Founders Intensive Track - a program for women and/or non-binary founders to receive $50,000 in matching funds and hands-on experience with Communitech’s roster of experienced growth coaches. Founders with businesses not yet ready to participate in Fierce Founders Uplift are encouraged to apply to Fierce Founders Bootcamp - a fast-paced business and personal growth program for earlier stage companies.  

Funding provided by Uplift is not required to be matched by the founders themselves, which is often a requirement in other startup programs. Communitech’s Fierce Founders programming is supported by Google for Startups, FedDev Ontario, BDC Capital's Women in Technology Venture Fund, WSIB and BMO. 

For more information about Communitech Fierce Founders Uplift and other Fierce Founders programs, please visit our website

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For media inquiries, please contact: 

Candace Beres

Manager, Strategic Communications



About Communitech:

Communitech was launched in 1997 by a group of founders committed to making Waterloo Region a global tech leader. Today, Communitech is Canada’s leading innovation hub, supporting a community of more than 1,200 founders of startups, scale-ups and at-scale companies on their journey to a billion dollars in annual revenue.  

Communitech helps founders start, grow and succeed in three distinct ways

  • Communitech is a convenor – the centre of gravity for founders, innovators and partners. It’s a clubhouse and connector for those building trust-based tech and world-class companies.

  • Communitech delivers programs to help founders with what they need most – accelerating access to talent, sales and growth capital. 

  • Communitech is helping to build a world-leading ecosystem with trust at its core – making sure we have all the ingredients (and the brand) to help founders build successful companies, solve meaningful problems and secure Canada’s position as the largest tech ecosystem on the planet.