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Success Stories – Women’s Edition

May 15, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am



Real Talk: Success Stories – Women’s Edition

It’s been a terrific year of learning and networking together and we want to celebrate iF client successes with you! This session will conclude this series…

What’s next!

AWE will live on as a peer-to-peer group!

In collaboration with Haltech, new educational and networking opportunities will resume in the Fall of 2019.

Thank you for your support of this initiative, we look forward to our continued work together!


April Wright, is vice-president and co-founder of Sniper Skin. April is agraduate of Ryerson University, with a Bachelor of Business Management and 20 plus years in the corporate retail environment with companies such as Sears and Jockey. Her husband designed, created, and patented the premium sports grip and together they have launched the product for hockey, lacrosse, baseball, golf and the newest sport, fishing.

Sniper Skin was the Winner of Innovation Factory’s Lion’s Lair in 2015; granted OCE’s Smart Start Seed Fund in 2016; secured personal funding through Angel One connections and Niagara Business & Innovation Fund in 2018, and most recently awarded The Federal Economic Development Women’s Entrepreneurship fund.

In the fall of 2018, Sniper Skin partnered with local company Fox 40, and compiled with recent funding, April is excited to continue the entrepreneurial adventures of growing the brand and expanding globally. April Wright lives in Dundas, ON with her husband and co-founder, Lee.

Anita Grant, Fleeky Inc. is a Ryerson University graduate and holds a B.Comm degree. After spending 4 years in the sales industry, she decided to take her sales skills and passion for entrepreneurship to pursue her start-up full-time. Anita Grant founded Fleeky in 2017 and has been working alongside 4 amazing women to disrupt the beauty tech industry. Fleeky empowers independent beauty professionals with an all-in-one solution to market their services, manage their business and be discovered 24/7 by clients via location, price and reviews.

Dr. Asha Parekh, Front Line Medical Technologies is a co-founder and the CEO of Front Line Medical Technologies Inc. Her background is in biomedical engineering with a specialty in biomaterials and medical devices. Upon completion of her PhD in 2015, Asha joined the Medical Innovation Fellowship, a post-doctoral program run between Western University and The University of Minnesota focused on engineering new medical devices for unmet clinical needs. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical Neurological Sciences, again with a focus on medical devices. Asha has several filed patents and has secured multiple grants and funding for her medical device projects.

Riya KarumanchiSmart Cane is the founder and CEO of an accessible technology company started just before beginning high school, after a chance encounter at a friend’s house. SmartCane comes in to revolutionize the outdated white cane which hasn’t been innovated on since 1921 that poses major safety concerns to its users. SmartCane is a reimagined assistive tech. device for the visually impaired that uses technology to enable ease of mobility and independence – empowering millions of people through safe and convenient travel experiences.


Shann McGrail, Executive Director, Haltech comes with deep background in software and technology, built through 17 years at Microsoft and building her own business, focused on innovation and technology entrepreneurship. Shann brings a highly collaborative, strategic and partner-oriented mind-set, along with experience in the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE)ecosystem as a mentor, strategy facilitator, Executive-in-Residence and board member. Shann is passionate about innovation in our region and leads various high impact Canadian and International initiatives with respect to women in technology. Shann is a supporter of Oakville Improv Theatre Companydoing duty behind the scenes as board member and on stage as a performer!

Light refreshment from At the Table will be served.

At the Table is YWCA Hamilton’s social enterprise that caters a variety of fine foods, while at the same time providing healthy meals and training to women in our Transitional Living Program.

Accelerator for Women in Entrepreneurship

​AWE supports success for women entrepreneurs through inclusive, educational programming and focused engagement that accelerates results for female founded and cofounded companies.

Her Story

​AWE sessions are led by seasoned women in business, each ready to share their experiences and knowledge with up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Learn how they navigated their ways through male-dominated environments and how they turned challenges into opportunities.

Who Benefits

All women entrepreneurs and motivated professionals, particularly those with innovative businesses (i.e. advanced manufacturing), are encouraged to join in the discussion and expand their networks through AWE.

This series was designed with women entrepreneurs in mind. Gender-related issues in the sector have been examined and discussed in depth with the focus being on acknowledging where there are differences as well as opportunities for women entrepreneurs.

Advanced Manufacturing is defined as the use of innovative technology, processes and methodology to improve products and services and has been a key theme of this series.

Topics explored have ranged from the Entrepreneurial Identity for women, leadership presence and confidence, negotiations, selling & social capital, financing, business, marketing and more!

This project has been generously supported by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University


May 15, 2019
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Category: