Good morning, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! This city — and Canada as a whole — is fast-becoming an innovation hub. This past week saw news from three initiatives intent on growing that momentum.
Last week, MaRS announced a program
to grow some of Canada’s high-potential companies into global powerhouses. Their new Momentum portfolio
— funded by FedDev Ontario — consists of Canadian multi-sector companies on their way to reaching $100 million in revenue within five years. Today these companies earn a combined $900 million and employ some 6000 people. The hope is to grow the portfolio by 20% per year and create 9000 new jobs by 2025. Some Toronto ventures include Borrowell, Ecobee, League, and Nulogy.
Also last week, the City of Toronto committed $250K
to help expand Ryerson DMZ’s Black Innovation Fellowship
. The program is dedicated to supporting Black entrepreneurs in Toronto’s tech-driven innovation sector. The funding from the City and others will “help the DMZ recruit more senior Black executives as mentors, attract more Black talent to run the BIF program, and distribute grant funds to high-potential BIF startups.” Thanks to donations like these, the DMZ is closer to its $1M fundraising goal.
Lastly, you may have caught Clearbanc’s release of Valuation
, a free tool that lets startup founders know how much their company is worth. It’s the brainchild of Michele Romanow, Clearbanc co-founder and president, who got the idea from her six years on Dragon’s Den. Valuation
uses AI and its extensive data infrastructure “to analyze a company’s position in the market, revenue trajectory, and potential for growth alongside competitors in the vertical.” Once they receive their report, founders can choose to “access growth capital, connect with investors to explore raising venture capital; meet buyers to explore selling the business; and take additional funding through Clearbanc’s 20-minute term sheet if they qualify.”
Here are some upcoming deadlines for applying to accelerators, grants and funding, or other competitions. Don’t miss out! If you know of others, please submit any application deadlines and I’ll post them if they’re relevant.
As a national video series, Startup & Slay Digital aims to raise the profile and visibility of women business owners of colour or racialized women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous women, those who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community, or those who come from an immigrant or refugee background. This year’s program is online. Startup & Slay is now taking applications for 2020. Selected 2020 honourees will share their stories through virtual meetups and engage with an even larger audience.
Calling all leaders and innovators! The York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) is now accepting applications for its Fall 2020 Incubator Program. Receive extensive education, ongoing mentorship and the chance to showcase your venture to industry representatives. YEDI’s Incubator Program is the perfect way to transform your venture from an idea to a reality.
Intuit Canada and Toronto’s Highline Beta have joined forces for the Intuit Prosperity Accelerator. They’re primarily looking for companies making an immediate impact on small businesses and consumers’ most pressing challenges post-COVID-19. Seed stage tech startups with a product in market are preferred, but businesses of all stages — including pre-seed and ideation — are welcome.
Have a great week, and stay well!