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

Posted: Oct 26, 2021

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

Toronto, October 26, 2021 – The Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) is pleased to announce the founders and companies who have been selected for the third 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, and connections and opportunities in the digital media industry. All programming is tailored and delivered through a feminist lens for women-owned businesses.

“I see a lot of potential in this third cohort of entrepreneurs. These women are inspirational in their unapologetic commitment to making a positive impact with their businesses,” shared Nataly De Monte, Director, CFC Media Lab. “The narrative is changing; there is a paradigm shift away from the old school, patriarchal, dominant business culture and these women are at the forefront. Each one of them is a true visionary and I’m thankful that they’ve chosen to participate in our accelerator program.”

Fifth Wave is pleased to welcome Samah Ali, founder of Sisterhood Media and Fifth Wave Labs Cohort 2 alumna, as Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Cohort 3. In this role, Ali will act as a mentor to the incoming group of founders, sharing her industry expertise on a peer-to-peer level from her experiences leading Sisterhood Media, a business dedicated to producing and distributing films, podcasts, and other forms of digital media to audiences from marginalized groups.

“I am keen to connect with the next cohort of female business leaders driven to make changes in their communities, like myself,” added Samah Ali, Founder, Sisterhood Media. “Learning alongside them is a privilege and offering mentorship as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence is an honour!”

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

  1. Candice Houtekier, Art Collision: Art Collision is a bilingual boutique agency offering marketing, public relations and creative content services to a wide range of clients in arts and culture. They help the art world plan, execute and manage their digital strategy.
  2. Anya-Miliana (A.M.) Sulaver, Peeps Magazine: Peeps Magazine is a media company devoted to providing engaging narrative stories that put context ahead of events. Peeps articles share insights of ethnographic researchers who have similar lived experiences to the people they write about, in order to better inform the content and context.
  3. Catherine Chan, FitIn: FitIn is an ethical marketplace for fitness and wellness + a business management SaaS solution designed to support ‘fitpreneurs + wellpreneurs’.
  4. Stacy Lee Kong, Friday Things: Friday Things is a media brand for progressive millennials and Gen Zers that provides intersectional cultural analysis on topics including entertainment, politics, technology, fashion, and more in a bid to explain how issues of race, gender, ability, class, sexuality, etc. show up in pop culture.
  5. Anita Li, The Green Line: The Green Line is a local news outlet that investigates the way we live to produce journalism that helps young Torontonians survive and thrive in a rapidly changing city and take action on issues that matter to them and their communities.
  6. Elizabeth Becker, HiBnb: HiBnB is a marketplace dedicated to the growing cannabis community, providing safe, responsible and inclusive accommodation and activities options to guests looking to explore with cannabis while travelling.
  7. Nana Moore, The Ops Collective: The Ops Collective is a women-led digital agency that designs, builds and launches engaging profitable online courses and provides digital product solutions that help creatives and service providers automate revenue-generating activities.
  8. Jane Ji, Springbay Studio: Springbay is an award-winning educational game development company whose mission is to nurture an eco-focused mindset through gaming.

Cohort 3 is a mentorship-based program running from November 2021 to the end of February 2022. It 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 Entrepreneur-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.

Fifty percent of Cohort 3 is racialized women entrepreneurs working in digital media in Southern Ontario. The broader Fifth Wave Initiative is committed to a minimum 30 percent participation by members of underrepresented and equity-seeking groups. These include, but are not limited to, 2SLGBTQIA+ 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).

To date, dozens of women-owned/led companies have joined the Fifth Wave Initiative and have participated in Fifth Wave Connect programming. Cohort 2 of Fifth Wave Labs wrapped in April 2021; read about the second group of companies supported here.

Learn more about the Fifth Wave Initiative at

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 Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) is an internationally recognized leader in the development of transformational technologies, businesses and entrepreneurs. The CFC Media Lab is a unique production think tank, training institute and business accelerator that supports hundreds of emerging digital content creators, practitioners, entrepreneurs and companies. Our programs and initiatives provide visionary leadership and extensive expertise in strategy, product, business, finance, and ethics needed by Canadians involved in the digital revolution. | @cfcmedialab

Media Relations

Cory Angeletti-Szasz
Director, Marketing & Communications, CFC

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