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TechWomen Canada 2012 Program Recap

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Silicon Valley, California, May 21 to May 25, 2012

The TechWomen Canada program is offered by the Canadian Consul General of San Francisco/Silicon Valley, and aims to connect and support Canadian women in the technology sector to their peers in Northern California. Each participant was given the unique chance to explore business and career opportunities in one of the biggest Information Communication Technology (ICT) clusters in the world, Silicon Valley. The 2012 program was spearheaded by Canadian entrepreneur Anar Simpson, founder of II Earth. The purpose of this outreach initiative is to expose Canadian women to the high growth and impact culture of Silicon Valley, which they can use to enhance their technology businesses and careers.

NATI Business Development Coordinator Natasha Hudson was chosen, along with 11 other women from across Canada, to participate in the inaugural offering of the program. And what a week it was!

Participants were paired with mentors at leading companies in Silicon Valley and gained training and skills in their specific area of expertise as well as professional guidance and support. Natasha's mentor is Ron Piovesan, Business Development Lead for Mozilla Corporation, and she spent time at Mozilla HQ in Mountain View, CA, learning how this successful company continues to grow and expand its reach. The mentorship continues online for a period of up to three months, with opportunities to further the relationship established during the week in the Valley.

As a complement to the mentorships, the program also included components of professional development such as "Tech Talks" in the form of entrepreneurship panels and professional workshops.

Tech Talk Topics included:

  • Behind the Scenes of Executive Search, with Suzanne Dalcourt, Leadership Recruiter, Google
  • How to Approach Platform Companies, with Matthew Clark, VP, Zoodles
  • Growth Strategies for Companies & Careers, Panel Discussion with executives from: Cisco Systems, Mozilla, Apple, HP, Cloud Flare, Motorola, and Citrix. 
  • Executing Along the Sales/Support Cycle, with Helen Sunderland, Director, Centre of Excellence, SAP
  • Venture Capital and Angel Funding,Katherine Barr, MDV Ventures, & Brendan Baker, Greylock Partners 
  • Design Thinking, Kris Woyzbun, Project Lead, IDEO

Program participants toured some of the top technology incubators in the region, and explored the world renowned school, Stanford University's Institute of Design.

Facility Tours Included:

Participants also connected with local industry stakeholders through networking events such as the welcoming reception, and the TechWomen Canada concluding reception hosted at Stanford University by the Consul General of Canada, Ms. Cassie Doyle.

By being immersed in the Silicon Valley tech environment, the TechWomen Canada participants were able to establish key contacts with some of the most influential and successful Canadians in Silicon Valley.

TechWomen Canada 2012 was a resounding success; Natasha thought the program provided a deep dive into the world's hotbed of innovation and technology and relationships established during the week in California are already proving valuable in furthering the reach of the province's advanced technology sector.

The Consulate in Northern California plans to repeat the TechWomen Canada program next year, so stay tuned for your chance to connect to the Valley!