Pow’erUp! A bootcamp for women interested in tech startups and social change

Feb 6, 2016 | Ivey Library, New College | Cost: FREE

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Do you have an idea for a social enterprise, non-profit or tech startup that will make a difference? Do you dream of being your own boss, learning to code and changing the world?
Join female entrepreneurs, coders and activists for a day-long bootcamp that will introduce you to powerful new skills and superhero mentors to help you launch your idea – or inspire you to start something new!

  • Pitching workshop with Helen Kontozopoulos, Dept. of Computer Science Innovation Lab
  • Coding workshop with Ladies Learning Code
  • Networking session with activists, entrepreneurs and coders

Lunch and refreshments are included.

This event is open to currently enrolled University of Toronto Students. Priority registration will be given to students enrolled in the Women and Gender Studies Institute, The Commerce Program and New College. Remaining spaces will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.





9:00AM Registration
9:30AM Keynote Mayrose Salvador, Founder, PuebloScience
10:30AM Break and Refreshments

Breakout Session 01

Coding workshop: Ladies Learning Code Pitching workshop: Helen Kontozopoulos
12:45 Lunch

Breakout Session 02

Coding workshop: Ladies Learning Code Pitching workshop: Helen Kontozopoulos
3:30 Break and Refreshments

Mentor speed-rounds

Helen Kontozopoulos
Sheila Sampath
Karen Sievewright
Lindy Ledohowski

Mentor Bios

Jordan Deutsch, Workshop Facilitator, Ladies Learning Code


Jordan Deutsch is a Web Developer and Co-Founder of digital Studio Up At Five. She is drawn to the capacity development has to represent data narratives and render them more accessible and digestible. She is excited at the prospect of expanding the reach of digital literacy and has been honored to be able to contribute to this goal as a member of the Ladies Learning Code team.
Twitter: @jrdnndtsch
Email: hello@jordandeutsch.com 

Amanda Huang, Youth Operations Lead, Ladies Learning Code


My name is Amanda Huang and I am a Youth Operations Lead at Ladies Learning Code, and a fourth year New Media student at Ryerson University. Although I am a fine arts major, the interesting thing I have learned about visual arts is that it can be blended with code and technology to create wonderful works. I have an interest in the creative side of technology, such as graphic design and have always been a social leader through teaching. Working in education has allowed me to expand my creativity and take leadership, which has led me to many opportunities, such as being involved at Ladies Learning Code and even working weekends at a cooking school! I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and I hope to launch my own start-up one day.
Instagram: itsamanda_h/

Helen Kontozopoulos, DSCIL/Global Smartweek/Red2i

Helen Kontozopoulos

Helen is the Co-founder and Co-director of the University of Toronto’s DCSIL (Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab). DCSIL was founded in 2015 and has been created to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, support tech transfer from academic research and create academic and industry relations. DCSIL has been ranked in the Top 10 tech accelerators in Toronto. She is a lecturer at the University of Toronto, in the Department of Computer Science (St.George campus) and Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences (Scarborough Campus), where she teaches lean startup methodologies, entrepreneurship, UX, CX, design and business innovation. She is on the University of Toronto/IBM Watson teaching team. Helen is the Co-founder and Director of GLOBAL SMARTWEEK, an Internet of Things and machine intelligence conference and learning series based in Toronto. In it’s second year and to expand the conferences vision she co-founded RED2i, a not-for-profit cooperative which integrates research, education, design, development and innovation to drive technological advancement in Canada and worldwide.​​ She is working on her next startup, it’s in the confusion stage.

Twitter: @helenissocial

Lindy Ledohowski, EssayJack.com

Lindy Ledohowski







With over 15 years in English education and 4 degrees, Dr. Lindy Ledohowski is an award-winning educational leader who has published widely as an English scholar and as a pedagogue. She has co-written teaching manuals and offered seminars and workshops on good teaching practice and been awarded over $200,000 in scholarships and awards in her career as an academic. Before turning 35, she was appointed to the Board of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a federal Crown Corporation, and before turning 40 has been promoted to the Chair of the Museum Programs Committee for that museum. She is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, a member of the Ontario College of Teachers, and was both a high school teacher and university professor before co-founding EssayJack Inc. as its inaugural CEO in 2014, driving the business and product development for EssayJack, a revolutionary essay-writing web app in use at the University of Toronto (among other institutions).

Email: lindy@essayjack.com

Twitter: @doctorlindy

Emily Porta, Rangle.io

Emily Porta

Emily is a Scrum Master at Rangle.io, where she helps developers help themselves. She is also a web developer, former librarian, and educator. A passionate champion for women in technology, she serves as the founder and lead of Rangle’s first ever Women in Software initiative, and as a Lead Instructor at Ladies Learning Code. She has experience with web development, product management, pitching and presentations, market research, startup life, project and development management. Contact her for advice any time (really!) at: emily.porta@rangle.io, and follow her @agentemily

Mayrose Salvador, Pueblo Science









Dr. Mayrose Salvador is the executive director and co-founder of Pueblo Science, a Toronto-based charity focused on engaging and inspiring youth to pursue a lifelong interest in science and engineering. Through her leadership, Pueblo Science has impacted over 2,000 teachers and 125,000 students in Canada and in remote communities of the Philippines, Guyana, Thailand, Bolivia and India since 2011.

Dr. Salvador is also currently involved with BreqLabs a start-up making a hand-based controller for virtual reality and for rehabilitation purposes. She is also a key contributor in a Grand Challenges Canada funded project developing fortified snacks for kids in the Philippines to combat iron deficiency.

Dr. Salvador is a Physical Chemistry scientist passionate about educating the next generation of problem solvers and innovators. She received her BSc in Chemistry from the University of the Philippines and her PhD at the University of Toronto working on optics and nanotechnology.

Sheila Sampath, Shamless Magazine

Sheila Sampath

Sheila Sampath is an educator and an activist designer, who has been crafting creative for social good since 2003. Former chair of the board of directors at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multi-cultural Women Against Rape, she has a background in grassroots activism and organizing which she incorporates into her strategic approach to graphic design and popular education as Principal and Creative Director at The Public an activist design studio specializing in changing the world. She is the Editorial and Art Director of the award-winning Shameless— Canada’s feminist voice for young women and trans youth, teaches in the faculty of design at OCAD University and serves on the board of the South Asian Visual Arts Centre. She tweets about her feelings at @sheilasheila and more important things at @thepublic and @shamelessmag.


Karen Sievewright, Managing Director, Banting & Best Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship University of Toronto

Karen Sievewright

Dr. Karen Sievewright is Managing Director of the University of Toronto’s Banting & Best Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Karen graduated from the Department of Materials Science at the University of Strathclyde in 1986. She completed her postgraduate Masters and PhD degrees in Materials Science in 1987 and 1989, at the Institute of Materials Science, University of Manchester in 1995. She completed an MBA at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management in 2003.

As a Professional Engineer, Dr. Sievewright spent the first eleven years of her career on applied research in the field and on the shop floor in the oil and gas and aerospace industries. Over the last thirteen years she has held successively senior roles in the not-for-profit sector focussed on funding and support for innovation and entrepreneurship in Canadian business. Her roles include: Director of Research, MMO; Director of Research, Toronto Region Research Alliance; and President and Executive Director, HalTech Regional Innovation Centre.

Dr. Sievewright is committed to making the innovation economy work and has been involved in many volunteer roles for NSERC, Ontario Research Fund, MaRS. and OCE. Most recently she was a Board member of Centennial College’s Applied Research Committee, Angel One , and Chair of the Ontario Research Fund College Infrastructure Fund.


Nika Stelman, President, Rotman Women in Business Association, 2016

Nika is a graduate of the Design and Management program at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. There, she focused on the intersection of innovation, sustainability, and strategy to tackle complex organizational challenges.

Post Parsons, Nika worked as a consultant at Karp Resources, a boutique firm that provokes and generates food systems innovations for large and small companies, start-ups, non-profits, and government agencies throughout the United States. Nika has also provided consulting services for women entrepreneurs in Guatemala and Uganda.

Currently, Nika is a second-year MBA student at the Rotman School of Management. She is the President of the Women in Management Association, Director of the Rotman Design Challenge, and Partner at Impact Consulting Group – a student run strategy consultancy.

Contact: Nika.stelman@gmail.com

 Lily Tse, Founder, ThinkDirty


Lily is the Founder / CEO of Think Dirty®. Think Dirty is an advocacy commerce platform that educates consumers about the potential toxic ingredients in personal care products, and encourages them to vote with their money for the most socially and environmentally responsible manufacturers. Lily is the winner of Mastercard Women Entrepreneurship Program with Ryerson DMZ. Now part of the DMZ, Think Dirty was the winner of Digifest It’s a Start Competition, Futurepreneur Spin Masters Innovation Fund, CFC Media Lab IdeaBOOST, Launch Festival Demo Pit scholarship and MaRS JOLT Incubator.

Prior to founding Think Dirty, Lily has been an award-winning Art Director in advertising and design for 13 years. She worked on campaigns for major international brands in consumer packaged goods, retail, financial, auto, telecommunications and non-profit sectors. Her passion is focusing on ventures that focus on triple bottom lines: people, profit and planet, and continuing to support women and entrepreneurship.