TEACH ENGAGE INSPIRE
DRIVEN Accelerator Group is a non-profit social enterprise created to improve the socio-economic status of women, people of colour, youth and highly skilled newcomers through innovative technology based programming. The organization was formed in 2012 and developed by a group of corporate professionals who shared the belief that marginalized individuals deserve the opportunity to create successful businesses and careers in digital technology.
DRIVEN Accelerator Group develops programming that trains and supports individuals that are committed to building transformative technology services and products. Our goal is to accelerate the career or entrepreneurial growth of all our program participants. Our mission aims to make resources and opportunities available equally and provide a platform for underrepresented groups.
“We believe talent and innovation are urgently needed to disrupt the status quo. Our commitment to educating future leaders extends to the under-represented and unconventional risk takers that have the drive to build transformative technology products and companies.”
Why We Do What We Do
Simple. We want to change the world into one that has more creators, not just consumers.We are founded on the principle that resources and opportunities offer the most value when all people have equal access. We invest our support in Canadians with great ideas who are leveraging technology to build products and companies that transform the digital landscape.
By cultivating a culture rooted in equality, community and collaboration we seek to accelerate the success of individuals innovating in the fields of digital tech.
Despite being a young organization, we’ve been able to mentor and grow 12 companies since our launch in 2012. We helped our program participants raise a total of 1.2 million in funding for their idea and we’re proud of our alumni for reaching their product and funding milestones. Our experience in the tech space working with underrepresented groups has allowed us to add additional programs to our roster. See how we’re reshaping the tech space.
Meet the DRIVEN Team
TAMAR-MELISSA HUGGINS GRANT
FOUNDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Ambitious, Confident and Focused. Tamar is known for achieving ambitious results through her keen competitive spirit, unwavering confidence and her drive to consistently raise the bar. In 2012 Tamar founded DRIVEN Accelerator an early stage startup program committed to building transformative tech companies led by underrepresented entrepreneurs. Tamar is also the mastermind behind Tech Spark a technological entrepreneurship program developed for the economic advancement of racialized youth. Prior to DRIVEN, Tamar launched Knexxion Communication Group, a boutique PR agency with a focus in media, entertainment, and sports marketing. She spent the early years of her career as a Digital Media Planner focusing on media planning for H&M, Nike Canada and Cadbury Adams. Tamar contributes to The Huffington Post, and is currently authoring her first book Redefining Rebellion. She holds an advanced diploma from Centennial College in Creative Advertising, and Humber College in Public Relations. She is very active in her Christian community, and currently lives in Mississauga with her small family.
DIRECTOR, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Carolyn Van is a fearless shi(f)t disturber in technology, startups, innovation and communications. She is a sought after speaker, advisor and educator to many from post-secondary students to senior level managers and startups to large corporations in the areas of digital media, Women in S.T.E.M, leadership, startups, technology and innovation
Carolyn's technology and entrepreneurial accolades, experience and knowledge have earned her nominations for RBC's Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards and she has been recognized on various public outlets including CTV News, Global Entrepreneurship Week, The Globe and Mail and The Financial Post.
Combined with her knowledge and expertise, digital presence, influence and deep relationships in the startup, technology, interactive media and investment communities, Carolyn is a strong ally for organizations who are looking to innovate and grow.
As Founder and CTO of Formative Innovations Inc. Andrew created a business solutions company that specializes in Strategic Design and Development. He is responsible for the creation and management of strategic initiatives and plays a hands-on role in the design and development of all projects. Previously, Andrew held technical and business advisory positions at DoubleClick and PriceWaterHouseCoopers.
Pierre brings over 20 years of proven success in consulting, product management, and strategic & financial planning for the telecom industry. He specialize in customized, hands-on analytical support for data-intensive, strategic, cross-functional business decisions. Currently Pierre is Advisor & Financial Analysis of Wireless Technology Strategy at Bell Mobility.