New intensive pre-accelerator to increase access to entrepreneurship ecosystem

MONTREAL, QC (March 30 th , 2020) – Did you know that women represent only 15%
of startup founders in Montréal (Bonjour Startup Montréal, 2020)? YES, a charitable
non-profit that provides resources, tools and strategies to improve employment and
entrepreneurship opportunities for Quebecers, is supporting the growth and success of
women entrepreneurs with an innovative new pre-accelerator program aimed at
increasing the participation of women in Montréal’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. The 3-
month intensive program is part of the ELLEvate Women Entrepreneurs project,
funded by the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund (Regional
Stream), part of a federal strategy seeking to double the number of majority women-
owned businesses by 2025, with the support of SAP Labs Canada.

Panelists speak at an ELLEvate event

“As a global leader in enterprise software, SAP knows that diversity and inclusion fuel
innovation. That’s why we are thrilled to do our part to offer skill-building opportunities
for over a thousand women in Quebec to launch and scale their innovative ideas
through YES’ ELLEvate Women Entrepreneurs program” noted Cindy Fagen, Chief
Operating Officer of SAP Labs Canada.

The ELLEvate pre-accelerator program will provide participants with the education,
tools, resources, network and hands-on experience needed so that they can enter into
the accelerator system in Quebec with their best foot forward. The program will
culminate with a pitch event in September, where participants will have the
opportunity to win over $20,000 in prizes.

Some of the program’s inclusions are:

  • Opportunity to pitch for over $20,000 in prizes
  • Exclusive workshops with industry leaders and ecosystem partners
  • Weekly meetings with a dedicated ELLEvate business coach
  • 3 months of access to a Coworking space
  • 3 hours with high-caliber investment, legal and accounting experts
  • Mentorship opportunities with seasoned entrepreneurs
  • Access to industry workshops and events

Important Dates:

  • April 1 st , 2020 – Call for applications opens
  • April 30 th , 2020 – Call for applications closes
  • Late May, 2020 – Selection and notification of participants
  • June – August, 2020 – Pre-Accelerator program
  • Early September, 2020 – Pitch Competition

Note: some dates may be adjusted in response to COVID-19

For more information about the ELLEvate Pre-Accelerator, please visit:
For more information about YES and the ELLEvate Women Entrepreneurs Project,
please visit

About YES:
As a not-for-profit organization, YES enriches the community by providing English-
language support services to help Quebecers find employment, and start and grow
We help people start successful careers – for themselves, and for our community.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Kathy Slotsve
Director of Communications &
Stakeholder Engagement
514-878-9788 ext. 337
[email protected]

Aki Tchitacov
Executive Director
514-878-9788 ext. 301
[email protected]