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RAISE & RISE Pitch Competition Offers $25,000 for Women Entrepreneurs

In collaboration with Disruption Ventures, The Scotiabank Women Initiative is launching the BC RAISE & RISE pitch competition. This virtual pitch competition and conference presents women entrepreneurs with the opportunity to win a cash investment of $25,000 and more.

RAISE & RISE Pitch Competition

Until March 31, 2021, eligible entrepreneurs can submit their applications to the RAISE & RISE pitch competition online.

A panel of judges will evaluate the applications and select six to move forward for the final round. Organizers will contact the top six finalists on April 9, 2021.

A promotional graphic for the BC RAISE & RISE pitch competition

RAISE & RISE Conference

The conference portion of RAISE & RISE will be led by top industry leaders. They will offer meaningful discussion to women entrepreneurs about how to “raise” capital and “rise” as successful entrepreneurs.

“Women face many challenges when it comes to channeling and raising funding for their businesses,” says Sloane Muldoon, Senior Vice President, Retail Performance, Scotiabank and Advisory Board Member and Chair of The Scotiabank Women Initiative. “Together with Disruption Ventures, The Scotiabank Women Initiative is committed to raising awareness of the gender gap that exists in venture capital and is helping to provide equitable access to capital for women entrepreneurs starting their own companies.”

The virtual conference takes place on April 14 from 9 a.m. to noon PT. The event is free for anyone to attend. For more information and to register, please visit the RAISE & RISE webpage.

Pitch competition finale

The pitch finale will be hosted virtually, by invitation-only on April 15. Six finalists will compete for the grand prize in front of the panel of expert judges. This includes the following successful entrepreneurs and business executives.

  • Elaine Kunda, Founder & Managing Partner, Disruption Ventures
  • Stephen Gaskin, Senior Vice President, BC & Yukon Region, Scotiabank
  • Tracey McVicar, Partner, CAI Capital Partners

The RAISE & RISE webpage will display the grand prize winner on April 16, 2021.

The grand prize winner will:

  • Receive a cash investment from Disruption Ventures for a minimum of $25,000 (CAD), subject to standard terms and conditions
  • Enter the NITRO program powered by Blakes
  • Participate in a three-hour personal and corporate tax planning workshop with BDO Tax Expert
  • Participate in a series of three (60 minute) one-on-one sales effectiveness coaching sessions with Sonya Meloff, Co-Founder, Sales Talent Agency
  • Be featured in a Scotiabank Perspectives article

Prizes for finalists

The event provides a prize package to all six finalists and consists of:

  • A series of three interactive workshops (75 minutes) facilitated by The Scotiabank Women Initiative in partnership with Scotiabank and Roynat Capital
  • A 90-minute training session with Marc Shewchun (Founder and head of Nitro Powered by Blakes)
  • Three roundtable discussions (90 minutes each) from BDO on topics of interest to startups such as SRED, Tax and Valuations

“Raising capital is one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs generally, and particularly for women entrepreneurs,” says Elaine Kunda, founder and managing partner of Disruption Ventures. “It is our goal to provide a platform that provides useful fundraising tactics as well as to bring exposure to potential investors for the companies that participate in our competition.”

Submit your application here.

About The Scotiabank Women Initiative

The Scotiabank Women Initiative is a comprehensive program to help advance women-owned and women-led businesses across Canada through three key pillars: Access to Capital, Mentorship and Education. Since launching in December 2018, The Scotiabank Women Initiative has achieved several notable milestones. In September 2019, the Bank committed to deploy three billion dollars in capital to women-led businesses in its first three years. The program has engaged more than 3,000 women through our Boot Camps and group mentorship sessions across Canada. We formed The Scotiabank Women Initiative Advisory Board of Scotiabank executives, who provide expertise to help women grow their businesses through facilitated small group mentorship sessions and we developed an online Knowledge Centre and Digital Hub for self-directed learning. For more information on The Scotiabank Women Initiative, visit this website.

About Disruption Ventures

Disruption Ventures is the first private Canadian female-founded venture capital fund that invests in businesses founded or managed by women. Recognizing that women-led companies are underfunded, despite their ability to perform and grow successful businesses, Disruption Ventures is committed to being the starting point for the very best female founders when early stage capital is required.  For more information, please visit its website.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. Guided by our purpose: “for every future”, we help our customers, their families and their communities achieve success through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of approximately 90,000 employees and assets of approximately $1.2 trillion (as at January 31, 2021), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit its website.