Since founding Social Robots in 2019, I have funded the business through some modest sales revenue, grant funding, and reinvesting my consulting earnings. Unfortunately, I have also been depleting my personal savings to support the early growth of this business. By 2023, it was time to start ‘pitching’. Being in a pitch competition is an uncomfortable but necessary part of being an entrepreneur – especially if you’re trying to nurture a futuristic technology business like one involving robots!

On June 1st, I travelled from Regina, SK to Calgary, AB to take part in the 2023 ‘HerStory’ Pitch competition hosted by The51 and Alberta Innovates. The event was part of Inventures Canada 2023. I was delighted to be selected as one of the 30 finalists to ‘compete’ in person at this event.

What is unique about HerStory?

Studies show what women entrepreneurs and investors have known for decades: traditional pitch competitions consistently fail women. As stated on their website: “HerStory is quite literally flipping the script. By leading with narrative and encouraging a relatable, honest and feminist approach to information, connection and business building, we’re challenging the traditional pitch model and spurring innovation. HerStory amplifies a diversity of voices and connects modern entrepreneurs with investors, increasing the likelihood of women accessing funding and growing their pathways to success.”

The Impact of Social Robots on Women

The exciting thing I actually enjoy about preparing a pitch deck is the new perspective I find when I do my research. It is so valuable to try to find the key message that will resonate with the audience (potential investor(s)).

When it comes to an investment in Social Robots, the impact goes far beyond me as a female entrepreneur – take a look at some highlights that I shared in my slide deck:

  • among people over the age of 85 women outnumber men almost 2:1
  • Nearly two-thirds of those living with Alzheimers are women
  • Over 70% of unpaid caregivers are women and 1/5th of them reported leaving paid jobs to fulfill their caregiving duties.
  • the senior care workforce is almost 90% female



Lee on stage, holding microphone with Mindy and "Robot Helpers" slide to her right

While I did not return with a ‘cash prize’/investment, I am pleased to celebrate the businesses and female entrepreneurs who did:


I am grateful to The51 and Alberta Innovates for the opportunity to share my story with so many wonderful people.

The 51 logo Alberta Innovates logo

If you or someone you know might like to become an investor in Social Robots, please contact me for our latest ‘pitch deck’!