CFC Media Lab Announces Eight Women-Led/Owned Companies Selected for Second Cohort of Fifth Wave Labs

Posted: Dec 18, 2020

CFC Media Lab Announces Eight Women-Led/Owned Companies Selected for Second Cohort of Fifth Wave Labs

Cohort 2 is dedicated specifically to supporting Black, Indigenous and Women of Colour entrepreneurs

Toronto, December 18, 2020 – The Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) is pleased to announce the founders of the eight companies who have been selected for the second cohort of Fifth Wave Labs, a four-month business bootcamp for women-owned/led businesses, and one component of the larger Fifth Wave Initiative, Canada’s first feminist business accelerator.

The Fifth Wave Initiative was created to address the significant gaps that women entrepreneurs face in equitable access to capital, connections and opportunities in the digital media industry, creating tailored programming through a feminist lens for women-owned businesses. Cohort 2 is dedicated specifically to supporting Black, Indigenous and Women of Colour entrepreneurs working in digital media in Southern Ontario.

“We recognize the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 is having on BIPOC women / womxn entrepreneurs in digital media – they are experiencing significant setbacks in maintaining business growth, along with further impediments to accessing capital and valuable networks,” shared Nataly De Monte, Director, CFC Media Lab. “Since it began, the Fifth Wave Initiative has pledged a commitment to at least 30 per cent membership diversity in all programming initiatives, and now, we are making new space specifically for underrepresented, racialized women in our community in Cohort 2.”

Cohort 2 will also see Alison Duke and Ngardy Conteh George of Oya Media Group, alumnae of the inaugural cohort of Fifth Wave, as Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. In this role, they will act as mentors to the incoming group of founders, sharing their industry expertise on a peer-to-peer level from their experiences leadingOya Media Group,a successfulproduction company with high-growth potential in the creation of socially relevant diverse nonfiction content.

“We’re delighted to participate in the second cohort of Fifth Wave as Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and to give back to the program that has helped us grow our business,” shared Alison Duke, President/Co-Founder, Oya Media Group. “We value this opportunity to help other Black, Indigenous and Women of Colour business owners by making space for them and providing access to valuable mentorship and networks,” added Ngardy Conteh George, Co-Founder, Oya Media Group.

The following founders and companies have been selected for the second cohort of Fifth Wave Labs:

  1. Meagan Byrne, Achimo GamesAchimostawinan Games is an Indigenous-owned and operated video game company dedicated to developing Indigenous games for an Indigenous audience and the world, while also helping Indigenous artists and communities develop interactive and digital content.
  2. Hermine Mbondo, B4brand: B4brand is a bilingual English/French multicultural storytelling-driven marketing agency for purpose-driven brands. Their services include Strategy and Branding, Design, Content, Advocacy, as well as a Global Impact Hub for social impact entrepreneurs.
  3. Eden Hagos & Elle Asiedu, Black Foodie: Black Foodie is a versatile digital platform and creative agency focused on expanding the public’s understanding of the Black diaspora through food.
  4. Brooke Woboditsch, CCSFrom broadcast television to digital media, Closed Caption Services Inc. (CCS) is Canada’s frontrunner in full-spectrum media accessibility, providing closed captioning and descriptive video services for broadcasters, producers, educators, governments, productions houses, festivals and more.
  5. Maria Kennedy, Little Engine Moving Pictures: Little Engine Moving Pictures is an award-winning production and interactive company that creates TV, interactive and digital content for an international audience of Kids, Youth, Young Adults and Family.
  6. Amoye Henry & Adeela Carter, Pitch Better: Pitch Better is a market research and business education firm committed to collecting data that offers insights into the economic needs of Canadian Black-owned for profit and non-profit businesses.
  7. Samah Ali, Sisterhood Media: Sisterhood Media is a business dedicated to producing and distributing films, podcasts, and other forms of digital media to audiences from minority groups.
  8. Sonia Godding Togobo, Sunstar Worldwide Studio (SWS): SWS provides editing services to TV producers and production creation services to businesses and organizations.

Cohort 2 is a mentorship-based program running from January to April 2021, and will be delivered virtually through a range of webinars, virtual workshops and events, online sessions, and expert presentations, all designed specifically for women-owned/led digital media businesses seeking sustainable growth plans and scalable business models. In addition to receiving mentorship from the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, the abovementioned founders/companies will also be connected with a Lead Guide mentor and will receive bespoke coaching in business development and modelling, market, sales, strategy, partner development, financing, planning for scale, staffing, company culture and wellness, and fundraising, all delivered through a feminist lens.

Additionally, Cohort 2 companies are eligible for Fifth Wave Service Boost, a new program offering that will provide participants with up to $20,000 worth of accelerated service offerings that align with their growth and sustainable business planning goals, including marketing and promotion, web development, legal and accounting services, UX/UI design, graphic design services, and more. Members of Fifth Wave Connect will also be eligible to receive up to $4,000 from the Fifth Wave Service Boost fund on a first-come, first-served basis until the fund runs out. This is a one-time service boost available only until March 31, 2021.

To date, dozens of women-owned/led companies have joined the Fifth Wave Initiative and have started to participate in Fifth Wave Connect programming. Cohort 1 of Fifth Wave Labs wrapped up in July 2020; read about the first group of companies supported here.

The broader Fifth Wave Initiative is committed to a minimum 30 per cent participation by members of underrepresented and equity-seeking groups. These include, but are not limited to, LGBTQIA2S+ women, women with disabilities, neurodiverse women, Indigenous women, women of visible minorities, women in rural or remote regions, newcomers to Canada, and women from Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs).

The Fifth Wave Initiative is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

Learn more about the Fifth Wave Initiative here:

Fifth Wave Partners: OCAD University’s Super Ordinary Lab; Eve-Volution, Inc.; Digital Justice Lab; The Pivotal Point; Marigold Capital and SheEO.

Fifth Wave Media Sponsor: Liisbeth, a women-led and owned indie feminist media enterprise with a global outlook that publishes an open-access monthly digital magazine and newsletter.

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About CFC Media Lab
The Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) is an internationally acclaimed production think tank, training institute and business accelerator that supports hundreds of emerging digital content creators, practitioners, entrepreneurs and companies. It offers programs and initiatives that provide visionary leadership and extensive expertise in strategy, product, business, finance, and ethics needed by Canadians involved in the digital revolution, including an innovative suite of programs focused on radically inclusive feminist business practices.

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Media Relations

Cory Angeletti-Szasz
Interim Director, Marketing & Communications, CFC

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