Why We Did ItThe DRIVEN Startup Program was the first initiative launched by our organization, and the first in Canada to address the barriers underrepresented entrepreneurs faced in the tech industry. We wanted to change the world into one that had more creators, not just consumers. Creating a program that addressed the barriers, and provided support to underrepresented entrepreneurs was the best way to achieve this.
From 2012-2014, The DRIVEN Startup Program trained and supported 12 startup companies that were committed to building transformative technology products and services. We helped our startups raise over 1.2 million in private and government funding, and create 19 job opportunities in the tech industry. Our goals were to accelerate the growth of all our start-up founders. Our mission aimed to make resources and opportunities available equally and provide a platform for underrepresented groups in business.
The DRIVEN Startup Program created value by:
- Promoting equal opportunity access to resources for women, people of colour and highly skilled newcomers
- Providing direct access to start-up capital
- Cultivating a community around mentorship and networking
- Collaborating with other start-up resources in Toronto and beyond
We are proud of the work we have done, but we recognize the need to change amidst a rapidly changing industry. In a few short years, the acceleration industry has ballooned and become saturated. Each year we learned more and more about the individuals we worked for, and realized that in order for our organization to truly create social change we had to reshape and refocus our program offerings. We believe we have identified a smarter, more impactful, more commercially viable way to meet our mission. We were founded in order to enable people, not just their ideas. As a result, we ran the last startup program in 2014 and we are going back to fundamentals by focusing our support on the skill attainment of individuals rather than on backing individual ventures. We would like to thank all our mentors, educators, startups, our funder and the tech community for all its love and support. We urge you to continue your support through our new initiatives Tech Spark and Disrupter (launching Fall 2015).
How We Did