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.
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!