6 startups on the rise in the social impact arena

4 min readDec 6, 2023

The SVX Launchpad Entrepreneur Accelerator program is in full swing.

On November 23rd, our cohort gathered for the first time to develop their theory of change and hone their venture story to a global audience. Throughout the program, startups will refine their pitches, gain access to impact investors and funds, build connections with funding networks and enhance their financial fitness in their journey to becoming investment-ready.

These 6 startups are changing the social impact landscape. Check out the startup founders and their stories below.

Meghan Antonetta (Gem) McElroy, Bambuddha: Meghan is the founder of Bambuddha.

Bambuddha uses one of the most renewable resources on the planet, bamboo, to create sustainable alternatives. Bambuddha’s bamboo sunglasses are designed with preservation in mind, both for the eyes and for the environment. The lenses are polarized, 400 UV protected and soon to be cellulose based. Due to their lightweight nature, the sunglasses also float. Bambuddha allocates 10% of profits to support wildlife and the planet.

Lee-Anee Reuber, Sekond Skin Society: Lee-Anne founded Sekond Skin Society, a health and fitness app designed around accessibility and inclusion. It allows those who are blind/low vision, deaf/hard of hearing, wheelchair users with/without lower body mobility, and their social circles, to access health and fitness in a way that works for them (including those who use screen readers and integrating American Sign Language into our content).

Sekond Skin Society’s solution is designed so members can follow multiple instructors simultaneously, giving people with disabilities and people without disabilities the opportunity to workout together in the same classes for the first time.

Candace Eberts, Niska Nourishes: Candace founded Niska Nourishes, a brand of focused and handcrafted artisanal herbal teas.

Using only 100% natural ingredients and no additives or flavours, Niska Nourishes sources its ingredients in Canada and would love to start growing its own select variety of herbs and flowers for its blends.

Kathy Manners, Pedal People: Kathy founded Pedal People, a brand that sells globally-handcrafted and wearable art that bring beauty to the bike.

Cycling has traditional been a male dominated business and not inclusive to all shapes and sizes. To help more people get on bikes, she believes we need to make accessories functional, fashionable and fun. Pedal People aims to be a lead player in the cycling industry by curating art based products that bring beauty to the bike so you can find your true personality on the trail.

Laura Virginillo, Modern General Food Group: Laura is the Founder and Product Development Lead of Modern General Food Group, a brand of Crostini, Tomato Jam and Jellies for specialty food markets.

Products are presently in 80+ stores in eastern Ontario and soon with Metro’s 21 locations in the Ottawa Valley. The brand, Modern General, started in Vancouver in 2016 and has shifted to manufacturing in Ontario with a retail outlet in our new facility in Ottawa.

Sarah Sekalala, Siika Foods: Sarah founded Siika Foods, a sauce manufacturing company inspired by fond memories of African women spending hours in the kitchen. For over three years, they have worked hard to simplify cooking processes.

Their popular Mild Tomato Base reflects their dedication to quality and tradition. In the next six months, they are introducing three new tasty sauces, offering more variety to our customers. This month, they are celebrating a big step with new labels and a logo, showcasing their growth.

The SVX Launchpad Entrepreneur Accelerator program is offered under WIN-VC. Learn more by visiting https://win-vc-canada.svx.ca/.




SVX is a financial services firm & impact investing platform connecting ventures, funds, and investors to catalyze investment capital for impact. #ImpInv#SocEnt