CFC Media Lab Launches Fifth Wave Initiative

Posted: Apr 1, 2020

CFC Media Lab Launches Fifth Wave Initiative

Announces 10 women led/owned companies as first cohort for Fifth Wave Labs

Toronto, Ontario, March 31, 2020 – The Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) is proud to introduce Fifth Wave, Canada’s first feminist business accelerator. The program is designed to boost women-owned/led businesses in southern Ontario’s leading digital media sector, weaving feminist ideals of equity and fairness into business sustainability and scalable growth strategies.

“Fifth Wave is a highly-networked suite of programs unique in their focus on responsive, custom advisory services, that facilitates connections with like-minded mentors, experts, peers and educators and designed around the lived experiences of women entrepreneurs.” said Nataly De Monte, Managing Director, Fifth Wave. “During the unprecedented times of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to create deep connections with social values-aligned professionals where we can learn from each other and strengthen our community within the digital media ecosystem.”

For the near future, CFC Media Lab is shifting to a virtual content delivery model where all programs and resources will be available online, some of which include: webinars and virtual events, blog posts, newsletters, CFC news, and expert presentations.

“In launching Fifth Wave, we are committed to fostering connection and engagement that is rooted in the creation and maintenance of genuine relationships,” said Petra Kassun-Mutch, Executive Entrepreneur –in-Residence, Fifth Wave and Founder Liisbeth Media. “We are intentional about providing meaningful content, key insights and value to program participants while everyone learns to navigate the new normal and co-create the new social contract of the future.”

Fifth Wave participants will re-explore and broaden the meaning of success and value in today’s changing business landscape through three programs:

  • Fifth Wave Connect: A virtual and online series of events designed to link participants with values-aligned business leaders, academics and entrepreneurs from CFC Media Lab and other women’s networks across southern Ontario.
  • Fifth Wave Labs: A four-month business bootcamp program with virtual workshops and online sessions designed specifically for women-owned/led businesses seeking sustainable growth plans and scalable business models.
  • Fifth Wave Outreach: Scale-up activities that support the regional and global commercialization of participant products and/or enterprises.

To date, more than 40 companies have joined the Fifth Wave Initiative and have started to particicpate in Fifth Wave Connect programming. Today, we announce the founders of the ten companies who have been selected for the first cohort of Fifth Wave Labs:

  1. Chloe Doesburg, DriftscapeDriftscape is a mobile app that provides a platform for local organizations to share site-specific stories, tours and events. For Users, the app provides a way to explore what is around you. For Organizations, Driftscape is a powerful tool to tell and share your stories.
  2. Deborah Day, Innovate by Day – Innovation by Day is a leading strategic marketing and digital content studio. It builds and engages audiences through the creation of strategic campaigns and audio visual content that drives results.
  3. Emma Lopez Hechem, AVA Animation & Visual ArtsAVA Animation and Visual Arts is a studio that specializes in award winning animation and projections mapping content. They create, stage and direct large format projections for live entertainment all around the world.
  4. Katie Nolan + Lindsay Tapscott, Babe Nation Films Babe Nation is a Toronto-based boutique indie production company that champions female and emerging voices behind and in front of the camera. Producers Katie Bird Nolan and Lindsay Tapscott specialize in the hands-on creative development and production of character-driven scripted content from a diverse slate of international filmmakers.
  5. Lindy Ledohowski, EssayJackEssayJack is an interactive web platform that pre-structures student essays with text boxes, interactive tips and prompts, split screen composing, and a live word count. It reduces writing anxiety, procrastination, and plagiarism, helping students to write better essays and get the essay help they need.
  6. Jackie McLachlan, My Wine Canada – My Wine Canada is a Canadian marketplace that enables Canadian consumers to shop for and buy wine directly from wineries across Canada.
  7. Ngardy Conteh George + Alison Duke, Oya Media Group Oya Media Group is a Black women-led production company whose mission is to contribute their voice to an underrepresented demographic, concentrating on new forms of socially relevant diverse content in the Canadian and International media marketplace.
  8. Sarah Selecky, Sarah Selecky International An online creative writing school that approaches writing as an art and also as a contemplative practice. Bringing the belief that skills come from love, and that both are necessary.
  9. Sasha Boersma, Sticky Brain Studios Sticky Brain Studios is a company that designs smart experiences that make users think, helping companies connect with audiences by creating interactive games, apps, and digital content. Since it formed in 2013, the Sticky Brain team has delivered more than 50 games and digital products for clients.
  10. Erica Pearson, Vacation FundA new employee vacation savings platform bringing to life a cost-effective strategy for competitive companies to attract talent, reduce the risk of burnout, and increase employee retention. Vacation Fund allows employees to direct a portion of their pay cheques into a seperate vacation fund and allows companies to top up contributions.

Be part of Fifth WaveFifth Wave Connect Application details

Companies seeking to participate in networking opportunities should meet the program criteria: owned and/or led by women; based in southern Ontario; and focused on tech, tech-enabled products, web-enabled platforms, apps, as well as content and/or services in the digital media sector. Applicants need to apply for review and acceptance; adjudication of applications is made on a rolling basis throughout the year. Acceptance into Fifth Wave Connect is a prerequisite to apply to Fifth Wave Labs, an annual cohort of up to 10 companies will be part of the accelerator bootcamp. Each annual cohort of Fifth Wave Labs will be announced on the CFC Media Lab website.

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

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.

To learn more visit: / Fifth Wave FAQ

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

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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 intersectional feminist business practices.

CFC Media Lab Facebook | CFC Media Lab Twitter | CFC Media Lab Instagram

For more information, contact:

Cory Angeletti-Szasz
Manager, Communications, CFC
Office: 416.445.1446 x463
Mobile: 647.273.2795

Amy Mulhern
AIM Public Relations, Inc.
Mobile: 647.544.8466

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