Shannon Smith

Shannon is the CEO and founder of Café Noir Design, a boutique Web Design agency in Montreal. She holds graduate degrees in psychology and journalism. Also mother of three.

Posts Written by Shannon

Not so subtle discrimination in the startup community.

On June 3, a new startup accelerator, FounderFuel launched. The group, located in Montreal, Canada, but funding startups internationally launched with 85 members, but not one woman.

“At FounderFuel we believe startup success is more about the people than the idea. We take a lot of care in choosing the smartest and most resourceful, dedicated and passionate people we can find.”

It seems that those are men.

Even men involved in the startup scene noticed. David Crow, cofounder of Influitive Corporation, posted on Startup North that he was disappointed that so few women were participating at FounderFuel and and GrowLab, a Vancouver startup accelerator with a single female team member.

“These programs need to do better on encouraging diversity and actively seeking out different viewpoints.”

Crow even listed specific Canadian women who he felt should have been invited. His suggestions included Leila Boujnane of Idee Inc., Suzie Dingwall Williams of Venture Law Associates, Maggie Fox of Social Media Group, Tara Hunt and Cassandra Girard of Shwowp!, Kristine Matulis of Firstround Marketing, April Dunford of RocketWatcher, Amber MacArthur of MGImedia, and Gosia Green of LearnHub.

When challenged on the issue, FounderFuel admitted that they made a mistake.

“It wasn’t malicious, it wasn’t intentional – sometimes we are just oblivious to our ignorance …”

They apologized for not including any women on the invitation-only roster. They promised to follow up on the only two invitations that had been sent to ...