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Techstars Startup Digest Toronto - Is 2021 the year for your idea to shine? Start here!

Issue #32 — View online — Suggest a link
Techstars Startup Digest Toronto

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.

Welcome to 2021, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! We’re off to a rough start to be sure, and life under lockdown continues to be difficult, demoralizing, and depressing for many. It’s OK to be tired. It’s OK to feel frustrated. It’s OK to feel slow and unproductive. Give yourself, your coworkers, and your employees the space to heal and manage the unique hardships we’re all facing.
This year can still be the year you take your idea or early-stage startup to the next level. The pandemic will continue to bring disruption for some time, which means opportunities abound for those who can recognise them. Take Xesto, a startup with roots in the University of Toronto. Buying shoes online often involves some guesswork and finger-crossing when it comes to fit. Xesto hopes to change that with its shoe-sizing app, identifying foot sizes within 1.5 millimetres thanks to collaboration with researchers at UofT.
That collaboration between Xesto and UofT was made possible by the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP) program which supports research and development collaborations between companies and universities. If you’re interested in learning more about this program, check out Tuesday’s event on the OCE grant application process.
Alongside grants, there are two new opportunities available to you in these early days of 2021. Ryerson’s DMZ is offering a six-week bootcamp to support early-stage Black tech founders with exposure to the many facets of entrepreneurship. The Founder Institute is also accepting applications for its Waterloo-Toronto cohort. (BTW, the Founder Institute also has programs in Western Canada and Montréal. If you know people in those regions, be sure to let them know.) More information on these two opportunities can be found below.
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.
The Black Innovation Bootcamp is a six-week program designed to support very early-stage Black tech founders. The Bootcamp aims to help founders validate their ideas and market opportunity, as well as build their first prototype and MVP.  Founders get exposure to the different domains important in building a venture: sales, marketing, operations, technology, finance, leadership and more. You’ll also benefit from DMZ’s core programming such as coaching from entrepreneurs-in-residence, expert workshops, and dedicated support from a DMZ Program Lead. Upon completing the Bootcamp, startups will have a chance to fast track their application to our core Black Innovation Program.
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.
At the Founder Institute, you won’t “learn” how to build a business. Rather, you will build your business alongside top startup experts using a proven, structured process that has helped some of the world’s fastest growing companies raise over $950M in funding. Over the course of four months, founders and teams can either launch through basic or advanced tracks via the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator. Build your startup along the Innovation Corridor and Silicon Valley and build your worldwide network of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, and alumni.
Have a great week, and stay well!
Ian Stevens ◦

Techstars Startup Digest Techstars Startup Digest Toronto is curated by:
Ian Stevens Ian Stevens -
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