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Startupfest's inclusivity initiative provides less barriers and more opportunities to entrepreneurs like N36'er Sage Franch

Jul 08, 2019

Startupfest started its inclusive initiative in 2018. The program offered 1,000 discounted tickets to underserved and underrepresented communities in the world of entrepreneurship, including Indigenous communities.

“This year the emphasis is on women,” said Startupfest diversity and inclusion emissary Martine St-Victor. Five hundred women who are eligible for the initiative’s discount will pay $50 to attend the four-day conference instead of $500.

Next 36 alumna Sage Franch, CTO and co-founder of a Montreal-based startup, Crescendo, took advantage of last year’s inclusivity initiative.

The startup was in its early stages at last year’s conference. “We made huge connections and we were able to build these connections in person and that’s a big advantage,” said Franch. “Everyone is in a collaborative mode at Startupfest and I think that’s the best thing for these early-stage founders like myself.”

Crescendo found and hired its first employee at Startupfest. Franch will be hosting a workshop at the upcoming conference, but she said this year’s initiative shows “they’re actually putting their dollars where their word is.”

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