WEtech Alliance accepted the Award on behalf of i.d.e.a. Fund partners at Technology Councils of North America’s Summer Conference in Seattle
WEtech Alliance and partners are thrilled to announce that the i.d.e.a. Fund has been recognized on the international stage, winning an Award for innovation in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
The 5th annual TECNA Innovation Award, sponsored by Victoria State Government Australia, were held Thursday, August 10th, in conjunction with the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA) Summer Conference in Seattle, Washington, hosted by TECNA member, Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA), and presented by CompTIA.
WEtech Alliance’s President and CEO, Yvonne Pilon, and Director of Venture Services, Adam Castle, were on hand to accept the award on behalf of all i.d.e.a. Fund partners.
The i.d.e.a. Fund is a southern Ontario-focused initiative that was developed to help clean growth firms access the tools they need to succeed by providing financial and business advisory supports to develop or redesign green products, services, processes and technologies that reduce impacts to our environment and create made-in-Canada climate change solutions.
The program fosters inclusion and diversity, with a focus on continuing Canada’s transition to a green economy.
“This award is a testament to the collective effort of our team, our partners, and the inspiring individuals who have participated in the i.d.e.a Fund Program,” says Susy Kustra, WEtech Alliance’s Program Manager of the i.d.e.a Fund Program. “Together, we are reshaping the future of green innovation, making it more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.”
Supported by a $10-million Government of Canada investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the i.d.e.a. Fund is led by Innovation Guelph, in partnership with five Regional Innovation Centres (RICs): WEtech Alliance, Haltech, Innovate Niagara, Innovation Factory and TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario.
“We are thrilled and honoured that the i.d.e.a. Fund program was recognized as an innovative initiative in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” says Alison Crumblehulme, CEO of Innovation Guelph. “This collaboration aimed to address a gap in our ecosystem as it relates to underrepresented entrepreneurs by reducing barriers and providing equal opportunities to future-proof their businesses and build capacity for long-term sustainability. The brilliant founders and business leaders we have worked with throughout the program have been nothing short of inspirational.”
The Technology Councils of North America represents over 60 technology associations spanning the United States and Canada, collectively supporting more than 22,000 tech-related companies.
The TECNA Innovation Awards celebrate the achievements of tech associations and councils across North America, acknowledging their exceptional contributions to the industry. Out of six distinct categories, the i.d.e.a. Fund secured the award for Innovation in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
“I am proud of our partners WEtech Alliance, Innovation Guelph and all Regional Innovation Centres on this tremendous international recognition for skillfully delivering vital support through the i.d.e.a. Fund that is growing cleantech innovators and job creators across Southern Ontario, in partnership with our federal government thanks to a $10 million federal investment. That is partnership delivering prosperity and sustainability.” says Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament Windsor-Tecumseh.
- Across southern Ontario, 125 companies received non-repayable contributions of up to $3,750,000 in Cohort 2.
- In 2022, 117 companies received non-repayable contributions of $3,500,000 through Cohort 1.
- Led by Innovation Guelph, the fund is being delivered in partnership with five other Regional Innovation Centres (RICs): WEtech Alliance (Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent), Haltech (Halton Region), Innovate Niagara, Innovation Factory (Hamilton), and TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario (London).
- Fifty percent of the businesses receiving support through the fund will be owned or led by women and 30 percent owned or led by Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, Black communities, racialized communities and members of the LGBTQ2+ community.
- WEtech Alliance has been a member of TECNA since 2018.
- WEtech Alliance previously won the Creative Marketing Award at TECNA’s inaugural Innovation Awards in Madison, Wisconsin in 2019.
- In 2022 Windsor-Tecumseh M.P. Irek Kusmierczyk won the Canadian Official of the Year Innovation Award
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