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February 19, 2018

$100,000 awarded to University of Waterloo architect grad at Communitech’s Fierce Founders Pitch Competition

Communitech is pleased to announce Monika Jaroszonek, CEO of Toronto-based Ratio.City has been awarded $100,000 at the Communitech Fierce Founders Bootcamp Pitch Competition Thursday at the Tannery Event Centre. Jaroszonek took top place after pitching her startup which uses open data available in urban markets to help real estate professionals gain competitive advantage. The two-part bootcamp hosted female founders with early-stage startups at the Communitech Hub to develop business skills for their businesses.

“Fierce Founders exceeded my expectations. It really helped me narrow our business plan and focus on our messaging, and how we can better communicate a very technical tool and make it relatable to the general public,” said Jaroszonek. “There was a great group dynamic, which I think is a specific product of being all women with similar experiences and stages of our businesses.”

Twenty-four women took part in the bootcamp over two weeks where they learned about running a startup and business fundamentals including customer discovery, lean startup methodology, problem and solution validation, accounting, funding, marketing and sales. They were also coached on their pitch presentations.

The top eight founders who pitched Thursday include:

Maya Strasser, JAUNTIN’ (Toronto, ON)

Charlene Nadalin, Amintro (Toronto, ON)

Monika Jaroszonek, Ratio.City (Toronto, ON)

Lisa Pfister, PFERA (New Brunswick, CA)

Serese Selande, ORA (Saskatoon, SK)

Daryna Kulya, OpenPhone (Kitchener, ON)

Natasha Dhayagude, Chinova Bioworks (Fredericton, NB)

Erin Laidley, Innovative Protein Technologies (Kitchener, ON)


The pitches were judged by a panel of industry experts, including Michelle Scarborough, Managing Director of Strategic Initiatives and Women in Tech at BDC, Betty Rhiger, Partner at Deloitte Canada, Aaron Bast, Associate Director of MaRS IAF, Eva Lau, Managing Director and cofounder of Two Small Fish Ventures, and Sarah Marion, Senior Analyst at iNovia.

“These women are incredible. The progress they’ve made in just a few weeks is inspiring,” said Kelly McGregor, Fierce Founders Program Manager, Communitech. “Seeing them work together, and learn from each other, in addition to learning from our group of experts shows they truly have what it takes to grow their companies.”

As part of her win Jaroszonek is also welcomed to claim a spot in the next cohort of the Communitech Fierce Founders Accelerator, which focuses on women-led businesses. The accelerator begins April 1, 2018, and applications are open until February 25, 2018.

Fierce Founders is sponsored by DeloitteBDCTDGoogle DevelopersThomson Reuters, the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs and the Government of Ontario. For more information about Communitech’s women in technology programming, please visit



About Communitech

Communitech was founded in 1997 by a group of entrepreneurs committed to making Waterloo Region a global innovation leader. At the time it was crazy talk, but somehow this community managed to pull it off. Today, Communitech is a public-private innovation hub that supports a community of more than 1400 companies — from startups to scale-ups to large global players.

Communitech is a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs and helps tech companies start, grow and succeed in three distinct ways.


  • Communitech is a place – the center of gravity for entrepreneurs and innovators. A clubhouse for building cool tech and great companies.
  • Communitech delivers programs – helping companies at all stages with access to capital, customers and talent. We are here to help them grow and innovate.
  • Communitech partners in building a world-leading ecosystem – making sure we have all the ingredients (and the brand) to go from a small startup to a global giant.