Smart & Biggar hosted an exclusive roundtable networking event, “f2” for Female Founders, at our Ottawa office on Wednesday, June 4th. This inaugural event kicked-off a new initiative focused on bringing together female entrepreneurs to network, share their founder journeys and learn from each other’s experiences.
Partner, Daphne Lainson, and Senior Associate, Jamie-Lynn Kraft hosted four founders who attended to share their stories and network.
Meet the founders:
Assumpta Davis - Founder of Books and Nooks and the “Mish Mash Blog” (E-commerce)
Assumpta, a full-time senior insurance adjuster, wife and mother, is the owner and founder of “Books and Nooks”, an e-commerce business focused on selling books and 'things for your nooks’. In search of a creative outlet for her love of reading and design, she was motivated to develop and launch the business as a way to carve out her own space and create something that was truly for her and women like her. While Assumpta’s husband manages the technical side of the business, she handles the curation of the products offered on “Books and Nooks”, as well as the marketing and promotion of the site. She has been able to grow her audience quickly, largely through word of mouth and viral channels like Facebook and Google. Assumpta also uses content marketing as a tool, creating the blog The Mish Mash to promote products and attract customers to the site.
Eileen Snyders - Founder of Kusasa IMPACT SUPPORT (B2B Financial Management Technology)
Eileen is a serial entrepreneur driven by curiosity and a passion for knowledge. Taking the lessons learned from two previous businesses, she created “Impact Support”, a digital ecosystem and network to provide financial and business management tools and resources to mid-size companies. In Eileen’s experience, business success relies on having the right information to make decisions. Small and mid-size business owners often rely heavily on accountants and bookkeepers to provide information and insights to help them plan ahead financially and be aware of shortfalls before they happen. Through Impact Support, Eileen’s company Kusasa provides accountants and bookkeepers with a virtual ecosystem, platform and tools to help their clients close the insight gap and provide business owners with more control and access to important financial information to run their business more effectively.
Kirsten Smith - Founder of Digital Smith (Consultant / Researcher; Reference Librarian for Hire)
Kirsten’s original dream was to join the Foreign Service after graduating university; when that didn’t work out she returned to school to do a Masters in Library Science. For over 20 years Kirsten worked as a research librarian for news bureaus, various government ministries and in the corporate sector. When companies began eliminating their in-house library departments, she made the move to register herself as a sole proprietor with the goal of staying solvent. Relying on her wide network and strong reputation, she has been hired by a wide range of companies for her services — from research projects, to training staff and teams on how to survive ‘on the hill’, to managing access to information requests — Kirsten’s tagline is “I don’t know everything, but I know where to find it!”
Ellie Ardakani - Founder of META Innovation Technologies (B2B Simulator Tech for Science / Engineering)
Ellie spent the majority of her career working in the Oil & Gas sector, for both E&P companies and service providers, as an R&D geoscientist. She co-founded “Meta Innovation Technologies” to solve a problem that she continually encountered on the job. As a geoscientist, she worked with project stakeholders who struggled to understand and communicate complex scientific concepts. She found that executives would often make decisions about production strategies without understanding the science, and the technical staff could not easily articulate what was needed. Ultimately the companies failed to execute on their growth plans efficiently. Ellie’s frustration led her to start “Meta Innovation Technologies”, where she currently works with subject matter experts and developers to create simulation-based tools that empower deep understanding and communication between engineers, scientists and executives to optimize their processes. Today Meta serves multinational clients with its product and services.
The f2 Roundtable is the first in a series of events focused on female founders, hosted by Smart & Biggar. Our goal is to create an open forum for discussion where you can share the successes, highs, lows and learnings of your journey as a female founder in Canada.
Together we will celebrate the big and small wins of starting a business from the ground up and encourage you to tell your stories, ask tough questions, share hard truths and advice. For more information on future f2 events, please contact Jamie-Lynn Kraft at JKraft@smart-biggar.ca.