The Fifth Wave Initiative

  • Location: North America, Canada, Toronto
  • Timing of Applications: Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter
  • Focus: Digital/Media, Media/Entertainment
  • Vertical: Media

The Fifth Wave Initiative is a suite of programs offerings focused on supporting expansion-ready women-owned/led digital media businesses in southern Ontario.

How is Fifth Wave different?

Fifth Wave is Canada’s first feminist business accelerator initiative in the digital media space. We are a women-led team of mentors, entrepreneurs, facilitators and experts, designing a business accelerator program for women-owned enterprises. We believe in creating the right growth strategy for businesses as unique as the women who run them, to achieve optimal success in all aspects of life.

Our mandate is to support an ecosystem for long term sustainability and success. That means strong opportunities and strategies for members using our vast and deep network in marketplaces here and abroad. It also means listening, observing, coaching, sticking by our diverse participants and co-creating pathways to venture success bespoke to the lived experiences of our women entrepreneurs. We’re in this together.

Why feminist? 

Because we want to address the gender gaps that exist for women-led businesses at all stages of development in Canada’s growing digital ecosystem. We also happen to be a group of women who founded IDEABOOST, Canada’s only media and entertainment technology accelerator for nine years running, and we’re eager to weave feminist ideals, such as equity, fairness and commitment to lifestyle values, into business sustainability and scalable growth. And last but not least, we’re doing this because we are part of the federal government cluster strategy funded by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) namely, the Women Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Strategy.

The Fifth Wave Initiative has three components:

  1. Fifth Wave Connect: networking events designed to link participants with business leaders, academics and entrepreneurs from CFC Media Lab’s own extensive network as well as other powerful women’s networks across southern Ontario. Applicants interested in participating in any aspect of the Fifth Wave Initiative must first apply for review and acceptance to the Fifth Wave Connect program.
  2. Fifth Wave Labs: four-month sustainable business growth and/or scale-up bootcamp programs and workshops designed specifically for women-owned/led businesses based on women’s lived experiences. This non-residential four-month intensive bootcamp-style program for 10 companies per cohort each year through 2023.
  3. Fifth Wave Outreach: scale-up activities that support the regional and global commercialization of participant products and/or enterprises