Strengthening the entrepreneurship ecosystem for women

Strengthening the entrepreneurship ecosystem for women

The first cohort for Compass North will accelerate growth in women-led technology companies.

By Anne Craig

May 1, 2020


Compass North WEbsite graphic

Queen’s University and L-SPARK, Canada’s largest accelerator for Software as a Service (SaaS) companies, today announced they will be launching the first cohort for Compass North, a Kingston-based accelerator program for women entrepreneurs operating a technology-based business in the Belleville-Kingston-Brockville region. The program is designed to help grow women-led companies with hustle and heart.

“Congratulations to the inaugural cohort of women entrepreneurs and companies selected to participate in the Compass North accelerator program,” says Kimberly Woodhouse, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “Made possible through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund, Queen’s is delighted to be partnering with L-SPARK to facilitate this program, which will build capacity in the entrepreneurship ecosystem for women in Eastern Ontario.”

The program is delivered as part of the Women Entrepreneurs Can (WE-CAN) Project led by Queen’s and supported by the Government of Canada through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund, delivered in the region by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).”

Florina Truica, Chief Technical Officer, Cold Plasma Group

Included in the group of 10 successful companies is Cold Plasma Group (CPG). The company has developed a new sterilization technology, which makes use of the energy contained in cold plasmas to kill microbes without chemicals, heat or radiation. This technology is environmentally friendly, fast and effective and can be applied to disinfect many heat sensitive materials. CPG’s first product is an easy to use sterilizer and a process designed for the sterilization of cannabis flowers.

“The Compass North program represents an amazing opportunity to be part of a network of women in Tech entrepreneurs, and to benefit from the help and guidance offered by an inspiring woman entrepreneur in my community,” says Florina Truica, Chief Technical Officer, Cold Plasma Group.

Other successful companies include:

  • Anthony’s Natural Therapies (Belleville): developing and marketing a therapeutic line of scalp and hair products 
  • Cold Plasma Group (Kingston): developing and commercializing a new, patent-pending process for the sterilization of dry cannabis based on the use of cold plasma treatments 
  • CR Fixture Design (Napanee): an outsource design solution for the fixture and gauge industry, providing shops with high-quality designs and helping them to keep up with demand 
  • Cultivate Media (Kingston): a multi-media platform offering a unique blend of international glamour and small-town charm that seeks to accurately and creatively reflect and engage readers through storytelling
  • HeroHub (Kingston): a charitable ecosystem that creates a greater social impact, by connecting individuals with charities, nonprofits, and their opportunities  
  • iKare.Med (Cornwall and Belleville): commercializing a patent-pending medical device that helps women suffering from bladder leaks; provides reusable and insurable urinary incontinence devices for men and women after life's physical setbacks 
  • QC Integrated Solutions (Kingston): builds and distributes automated testers designed to perform the compliance testing required by manufacturers of disposable AED and ECG electrodes  
  • StayBillety (Kingston and Syracuse): the online home sharing platform serving Groups & Organizations and their communities. Shared Interests. Shared Roof.  
  • The Power Collective (Kingston): designs, develops, and manufactures renewable energy solutions, including the RidgeBlade Wind Turbine, an innovative and unique, affordable, simple and effective way of harnessing the wind's power to produce electricity  
  • The Small Social Company (Napanee): supports small businesses and startup companies with their online advertising and social media presence

“We are proud to partner with Queen’s University on Compass North, which shines a light on women entrepreneurs and helps them grow their businesses,” Patrick White, Managing Director at L-SPARK. “We look forward to providing mentorship and strategic training to this first cohort of promising companies over the next five months.”

For more information, visit the Compass North website.