Good morning, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! As expected, Toronto is back under lockdown — back to Zoom parties, back to shopping from bed, and back to climbing the walls of our homes.
For many of us, though, it’s back to isolation, anxiety, and depression. Please, do whatever you can to make sure the next four weeks don’t get to you — whether that’s scheduled or spontaneous daily calls with friends, family, and coworkers; practising new skills with a supportive online community; or just walks outside to see an actual face and remind you that people still exist. You’ve got this — just don’t do it alone.
It’s likely no surprise that Toronto once again tops the Canadian tech talent rankings. CBRE Canada’s Scoring Canadian Tech Talent report
has Toronto dropping slightly, with Ottawa at #2 and rising. It’s interesting to note that five of the top 12 cities (Toronto included) are within a 2½-hour drive of the GTA.
Though Toronto is first in tech labour pool size, it tops no other category. In tech employment growth, Guelph ranks number one. Waterloo is highest in quality of labour (Toronto is third), and talent quality to cost (where Toronto is also third). That said, Toronto’s tech labour pool grew by 66,900 workers between 2014 and 2019 — that’s more than half a Waterloo!
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.
Entrepreneur First is the world’s leading talent investor. We invest time and money in the world’s most talented and ambitious individuals, helping them find a co-founder, develop an idea, and start a company. Twice a year we select up to 100 people to join our program. The first part of the program focuses on finding the right co-founder, and developing your idea. We call this Form. The second is called Launch and helps you grow your company — with investment from us — culminating in a demo day in front of the world’s best investors.
Next AI is a world class program for artificial intelligence-based ventures and technology commercialization. We identify talented ideas or early-stage teams with ambitious solutions and leverage Canada’s leadership position in AI to provide them with the capital, mentorship, education and network to disrupt industries. Participants have access to a world class curriculum, top AI scientists and mentors, venture funding to scale their business, in-kind products and services, a co-working space, and an alumni community for coaching and other resources.
Safe x Connected Cities Accelerator powered by Highline Beta in partnership with Aviva Canada is back for the second round of the Road Safety challenge. This 6 month program is focused on helping early stage startups pilot their road safety solutions with Aviva Canada. Startups focused on road safety are encouraged to apply to qualify for pilot opportunities, mentorship and follow-on funding. The program is looking for seed stage startups in the IOT, mobility, smart city and other relevant areas that bring real, innovative solutions to road safety. We are proud to support this program committed to building safer roads for everyone.
With another Demo Day done, it’s time to start forming the 2021 cohort for Techstars Toronto Accelerator. Apply today. If selected, over the course of three months your team will gain access to funding and dozens of mentors — individuals with deep industry, investment, or entrepreneurship experience. These experts are matched to your needs, and are committed to contribute to your long-term success. Once you complete the program, you’re not on your own. You’ll still have access to Techstars resources, with its worldwide network of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and alumni.
Trying to find your footing during these uncertain times? YEDI is here to help! The YEDI Incubator program presents an intensive 16-session program and guided process including lecture-based learning, seminar training, deliverable milestones, peer workshops and mentorship by subject matter experts. Offering a hybrid entrepreneurial environment comprising of innovators from a diversity of sectors. At the end of the term, entrepreneurs have the unique benefit of graduating with a formal Executive Education Centre at the Schulich School of Business certificate and pitch their ventures to investors at the YEDI Venture Fair.
Have a great week, and stay well!