The Future of Tech is Female

By Anne Marshall ● March 08, 2019 09:30


March 8 is International Women’s Day, and we are pleased to highlight that 30 per cent of IDEABOOST’s female participants are working in technology – and 24 per cent of our founders are women. That represents a much higher proportion than similar accelerators in and near the Greater Toronto Area.

Twelve of these innovators shared with us their experiences as women in fields still largely dominated by men. These women described some of their hopes and predictions for the future and the women who have inspired them along the way.


Ann Poochareon, Co-founder, Little Robot Friends Inc

Years in business: Two and a half

What does your company do?

Little Robot Friends creates toys, apps, and teaching materials for introducing kids ages seven and up to the world of coding and electronics.

What’s the most exciting thing about being a woman in your industry?

That I have a direct impact on teaching girls about technology, and can maybe inspire them to one day make something cool.

Female role model: Admiral Grace Murray Hopper.

A woman talking into a microphone. Text overlaying the image reads: Having female mentors who understand what it's like being talked down to, or constantly singled out is something I didn't think about much until I actually met a female business coach and leaders in my field. – ANN POOCHAREON, Little Robot Friends


Taylor Klick, CEO, ivvi and Influence for Impact

Years in business: Five

What does your company do?

Ivvi (influencer strategies) is a digitally integrated technology that predicts rising trends and influencers who are about to go viral. We work closely with brands on strategy and campaign management, and launch successful viral movements for businesses around the world.

How important has female mentorship been to your professional journey?

Instrumental. Over the years I’ve been in close contact with many female leaders who have pushed me outside of my comfort zone, launching me into new career heights. Watching women of influence command presence in a boardroom, speak on stage to thousands, or seamlessly create business relationships inspires me.

Female role models: Ada Lovelace, Jessica Alba, and Karlie Kloss.

"Recognition is key. Often times overlooked, it’s imperative that we recognize those achieving goals and advancing the industry – especially in relation to women."

- Taylor Klick, ivvi


Christine Gow, CEO, AccessAR

Years in business: One

What does your company do?

AccessAR creates social media lenses and filters for event, conference and festival organizers, as well as fashion, lifestyle, food, beverage and cosmetic brands.

What needs to change to bring more women into your field?

An understanding from ALL genders that effective communication and creative collaboration builds better products.

Female Role Model: Dr. Angela McRobbie, Professor of Communication and Culture at Goldsmiths University, London, and author of The Aftermath of Feminism. Anyone who identifies as a feminist should read this book!

A headshot of a woman. Text overlaying the image reads: Don't be intimidated if you happen to be the only woman at the table. Don't be afraid to question information that is given to you. Don't be afraid of sounding stupid, EVER. – CHRISTINE GOW, AccessAR


Wendy Whaley, CEO, Prosthetics of Mind

Years in Business: Less than one

What does your company do?

Using Game Engine Tech combined with Biometrics, we create alternative meditative experiences that empower, inspire and connect people suffering in medical scenarios.

What do you think the future holds for female entrepreneurs in tech, entertainment and new media?

Women will rule the world of tech. As the requirements of technology become more organic and integrated with our being, women will be drawn to the industry.

Female role model: Simone Giertz. She is a strong, upbeat woman. She doesn’t let a brain tumour get her down, and she invents the most truly awesome machines for generating happiness.

"It feels good to be a successful woman in a tech industry. I feel as though women bring a softer, more sociological and sensorial approach to tech that is desperately needed."

- Wendy Whaley, Prosthetics of Mind


Rachael Hosein, Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer, Flipside

Years in business: Five

What does your company do?

We are virtual reality software developers, and the creators of Flipside, a real-time animation studio.

What do you think the future holds for female entrepreneurs in tech, entertainment and new media?

I think the future will hold what we demand of it. We have a chance to influence the industry and really make an impact. The future is bright and full of opportunities.

Female role model: Nan Goldin. Her focus on storytelling through documentation is something that really resonates with me, and has deeply influenced how I see the world.

A headshot of a woman with a VR headset around her head. Text overlaying the image reads: As a visible minority and a woman, growing up I didn't see people that looked like me in the games I played or shows I watched. I’m lucky that I had some influential people around me that opened my eyes to the possibility of a career in tech, and I hope to be that person for others. – RACHAEL HOSEIN, Flipside


Archita Ghosh, CEO, e.d. films

Years in business: Five

What does your company do?

We’re an animation studio and digital tools lab.

What needs to change to bring more women into this type of work?

Inexpensive, accessible, and substantial startup money, and direct access to existing professional and opportunity networks.

Female role model: Alice Munro

"Ask every question you have."

- Archita Ghosh, e.d. films


Christina Guo, Founder and CEO, U-Dimensions

Years in business: Four

What does your company do?

U-Dimensions is a video game marketing and merchandising platform. We specialize in 3D-printed, personalized collectibles based on fan favourite video game characters.

What advice would you give girls and younger women who are interested in starting their own companies, in your field and/or in general?

JUST DO IT. At a young age, you have nothing to lose. Just explore as much as you can and keep trying until you succeed. Even if you fail, the experience will be incredible.

Female role model: Wu Zetian

A woman sitting at a desk, using her laptop. Text overlaying the image reads: We should cultivate the dreams of women from countries with poor gender equality, and help them start the entrepreneurship journey through education, communication and support. – CHRISTINA GUO, U-Dimensions


Eropa Stein, CEO and Founder, Hyre

Years in business: Three

What does your company do?

Hyre is an online platform that uses AI to match qualified event staff (waitstaff, bar staff, chef assists, etc.) with event organizers (hotels, venues, catering companies, etc.).

What's the most exciting thing about being a woman in your industry?

Being a woman in tech is hard. Every single accomplishment or ounce of progress is exciting for me. Being asked to speak about hospitality tech and its evolution in a room full of industry experts was extremely touching. I felt like I was being taken seriously, and industry leaders finally saw me as an expert.

Female role model: Marie Curie. She was a trailblazer.

"When you walk into a room and you are one of the only females present, take that as an opportunity to show everyone in the room your magic."

- Eropa Stein, Hyre


Chloe Doesberg, CEO, Driftscape

Years in business: One and a half

What does your company do?

We provide a mobile app platform for local organizations to share site-specific content.

What advice would you give girls and younger women who are interested in starting their own companies?

Just take a first step – from there, the next steps will be clearer.

Female role model: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

A headshot of woman outside by the sidewalk. Text overlaying the image reads: You don't need to have everything figured out to get started. – CHLOE DOESBERG, Driftscape


Margaret Lam, Founder, BeMused Network

Years in business: Five

What does your company do?

BeMused Network is a networked-marketplace, designed to foster meaningful connections in the arts and culture sector to increase its economic and social impact.

What needs to change to bring more women into this type of work?

We need to spotlight how women define success for themselves, as a counterpoint to the glamorized success stories we often read. If women hear other women talk about how they define success and how they pursue it, more women will be able to see themselves achieving similar success and have more confidence diving in.

Female role model: Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen Fund

A woman working at a desk looking at a computer screen. Text overlaying the image reads: Turn whatever disadvantage you think you have into an advantage. Be a renaissance woman and pursue eclectic interests, without worrying about how they will converge in your professional life. – MARGARET LAM, BeMused Network


Zoey McKenzie, Founder, Them It Mobile Apps Inc.

Years in Business: Six

What does your company do? Software development.

How important has female mentorship been to your professional journey?

Mentorship is the key to growing in your career. Since I had a hard time finding people who looked like me or who could relate to my personal and business challenges, I have committed to mentoring several startups.

Female role model: My mother, Andrene Gregory. I had the privilege of watching her become a published author and build her life coaching business from the ground up.

"Not everyone in tech wears a hoodie. There’s a hidden world of women and minorities contributing to the technology we use everyday. Don’t let not seeing people who look like you be a barrier to pursing a career in this industry."

- Zoey McKenzie, Them It Mobile Apps Inc.


Joanne-Aśka Popińska, Founder, Tribe of Pan

Years in business: One

What does your company do?

VR media. We produce immersive media content with leading businesses, brands, organizations, and institutions.

What needs to change to bring more women into this type of work?

Women need to support women. Not just talk about being supportive, but truly help each other. I want to see more doing, rather than talking. And if you know a guy who supports women as people and entrepreneurs, help him to help us. We need wise men to be there for and with us.

Female role model: My grandma. She got her masters in a Soviet country when women were not really appreciated yet. All her life, she made sure to work and earn money on her own, no matter what her husband's situation was. She was doing it not only to "support" a family, but to make sure she was always independent. She didn't count on people making it easier for her. That makes me much stronger today.


tags: