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Techstars Startup Digest Toronto - Guess who's tops in Canadian tech talent — again!

Good morning, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! As expected, Toronto is back under lockdown — back
Issue #27  •  November 23  •  View online  •  Suggest a link
Locally curated talks, workshops, and other events for those interested in creating a startup, growing one, or who want to connect with startups in the Greater Toronto Area.
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!
If you’re looking to tap into that tech talent and build your own startup, there are two new opportunities available to you. If you have an idea or a fledgling startup in the AI space, NEXT Canada’s Next AI is accepting applications for its 2021 cohort until mid-December. For AI ideas and more, York University’s York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) can help. You don’t even need to be a York student, just an adult Canadian or resident with a unique and innovative idea. Applications to the incubator close at the end of January. Read on for these and other opportunities.
Community Opportunities
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!
Ian Stevens ◦

Calling Startups in Supply Chain Innovation

Techstars Sustainability ChallengeThe Techstars Sustainability Challenge is an equity-free challenge that brings together founders with industry leaders in sustainability. Top Supply Chain solutions in the areas of Data & Automation and Materials & End-of-life Impact will have access to potential commercial opportunities with our corporate partners. We are looking for proven technologies that are able to be pilotable in 2021.
Applications are now open and close March 1, 2021.

Newcomer to Toronto? Think you might have that entrepreneurial drive? Thinking of starting a business, or have already launched one? Then this course is for you. It’s a training program, helping women to become successful bosses of thriving businesses. We’ll be offering inside tips, tactics and strategies for female success. Each week industry professionals will share expert insights to women in this hands-on workshop.

Owning a business is a dream for many people. Every new business starts with an idea. This interactive workshop will help you have a step-by-step overview of what you need to do to make it happen. This session is designed for those looking to start their own business, but don’t know where to start. We’ll help you pull together the things you’ll need to get your business started.

B Corps represent a movement of entrepreneurs who are proud of their companies’ positive impact, whether it’s improving the livelihoods of their workers, strengthening community ties, or revolutionizing current green practices! They define success as more than money, and measure it using the B Corp assessment. Using a free, confidential online tool based on the B Corp assessment, you will learn how to develop novel metrics of success by measuring your company’s current impact in governance, employees, community, and environment.

Join UTIRAN (Iranian Association at the University of Toronto) to learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. Our guest speaker is David Jorjani. David has been a founding member or advisor of several tech startups in multiple industries. He has also built and led software engineering teams developing products used across the globe. David teaches at the University of Toronto and has taught software engineering, software design, and digital business strategies.

Force est de constater que les groupes sous-représentés, notamment les femmes, les minorités visibles et les nouveaux arrivants au Canada, sont confrontés à des défis uniques et systémiques lorsqu’il s’agit de lancer et de faire croître une entreprise, défis qui ont été amplifiés par les répercussions de la COVID‑19. Découvrez les ressources de la Ville de Toronto destinées aux femmes entrepreneures et favoriser la relance économique.

Join this candid conversation with Emily Mills, founder of How She Hustles, one of Canada’s leading networks for diverse women. Hear her reflections on how she grew her passion project into a side hustle, and left a media company on her own terms to become a full-time entrepreneur. Plus, the trials and triumphs of ‘success’ and how she navigated the 10th anniversary of her company during a global pandemic.   •   Share

The secret to hitting your goals is the right planning. Setting up a formal sales plan makes sure you and your prospect — and anyone else associated with the purchase decision — are on the same page. It also helps the sales process breaking the plan up into little, achievable pieces. How do you make accountability work to your advantage by creating commitment and buy-in? And how do you minimize distractions, balance competing obligations, and make sure you stay on track?   •   Share

Every week, an early-stage founder will share their pitch deck and over the course of the episode, Alex Norman will give his unfiltered feedback on what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to be improved. Both our founder and the audience will leave with valuable insights on what investors care to see in a pitch, which metrics matter, and how to share your business’s story in a way that resonates. Halfway through the episode, YOU will get to sit in the investor’s chair and vote on whether or not you would invest.   •   Share
Techstars Startup Digest Toronto is curated by:
Ian Stevens Ian Stevens -
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