Queen’s University and L-SPARK are delighted to announce the 10 companies selected to participate in the second Compass North Bootcamp. Led by L-SPARK and created in partnership with the Queen’s Partnerships and Innovation (QPI) team, the Compass North program focuses on accelerating the growth of women-led technology-based or enabled companies in the greater Kingston region. Incorporating lessons learned from the first Compass North program, delivered in spring-summer 2020, and feedback from the first cohort, Compass North now includes two components: a Bootcamp program and an Accelerator program.

Ten women-led companies have been selected, from a pool of strong applicants, to progress through the six-week Compass North Bootcamp program, which began on March 1. The Bootcamp provides women founders with access to professionals and mentorship via workshops, reviews of their company structure and business governance, and one-to-one coaching from female mentors to prepare and present a pitch for an opportunity to participate in the intensive five-month Compass North Accelerator. Five women will be selected to participate in the Accelerator program, during which the founders will benefit from an immersive mentorship experience with their coach and weekly operational reviews with the L-SPARK team. Selections for the Accelerator will be made following the pitch day on April 12, 2021.

“Several of the women in the second Compass North cohort have already been involved with other aspects of the WE-CAN Project,” says Kerry Ramsay, WE-CAN Project Manager. “It’s exciting to watch them progress in their businesses as they grow and scale to meet future demand.”

The 10 companies and women-founders currently attending the Compass North Bootcamp are:

Ace Nutrition and Diet Consulting (Michelle Deschenes) – provides nutritional guidance, coaching and on-going support to ensure client success

Bluebird Investigative Research & Development (Melony Rocco) – specializes in providing international open-source intelligence investigation services

Conflict Navigator (Joan McLeod) – inspires and equips families, teams and leaders to use Conflict First Aid™, a simple, four-stage sequence that voluntarily deescalates and better addresses mishandled, unhealthy or toxic people, concerns or complaints

Fictionary (Kristina Stanley) – provides a one-of-a-kind creative editing software for fiction writers and editors

Girl Boss Chess (Ingrid Gayle) – a global collective of ambitious women on a mission to empower girls through the game of chess

House of Three (Lisa Henderson) – creates custom floorplan designs and BCIN (Building Code Identification Number) licensed blueprints for residential homes, additions, and small commercial projects

Locazoa (Rachel Kuzmich) – offers an online marketplace for buying and selling farm products in Prince Edward County

Moore Details (Jennie Moore) – helps small businesses and professional organizations optimize their accounting systems to understand their profits and grow their business

Phytopur (Kimberly Robinson) – develops and sells essential oil blends made from natural terpenes and fatty acids known for centuries to be helpful when struggling with pain and inflammation

Zamia Media (Ana Mandri Rohen) – a boutique communications firm specializing in creating unique communication and fundraising initiatives for non-for-profit organizations while building partners’ capacities so that they can increase their impact

L-SPARK has engaged numerous women mentors, with expertise and experience ranging from Sales and Marketing to Engineering and Leadership, to coach the Bootcamp participants in their pitch preparations. L-SPARK has also engaged Dentons, Osler, PwC, MNP, and Logan Katz to meet with the founders to review and provide guidance regarding company structure and governance matters.

Compass North is part of the WE-CAN Project at Queen’s University, which receives support from the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Ecosystem Fund through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The mission for WE-CAN is to inspire and empower existing and aspiring women-identifying entrepreneurs, through the provision of tools, resources, expert mentors, networks and building of community, to expand existing businesses and to launch new ventures.

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