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Techstars Startup Digest Toronto - Is a SPAC in your company’s future?

Good morning, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! We have a couple of new opportunities this week for
Issue #20  •  October 5  •  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! We have a couple of new opportunities this week for those of you looking to further your idea, product, or service. Entrepreneur First’s Toronto program is accepting applications for its April 2021 cohort. If selected, you’ll get help finding a cofounder, developing your idea, and growing your resulting company. Look to Thursday for Entrepreneur First Toronto’s open office where you can learn more.
If you’re looking to establish a North American presence for your company, LatAm Startups Scaleup Bootcamp for Toronto can help with the first phase of its startup program. Find out more about this opportunity and Entrepreneur First’s program below.
You’ve probably heard of Ecobee, the Toronto home-automation startup backed by Amazon’s Alexa Fund. Late last week, word got out that it’s in talks to go public, but not through a traditional IPO. Instead, Canaccord Genuity, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), would acquire Ecobee and take it public — possibly with a value of $USD490 million. Ecobee could very well be Canada’s next unicorn.
If a SPAC sounds like a shell company, you’re not far off. Investors fund SPACs with the intent to purchase a yet to-be determined target company, often within a set timeframe of 2-3 years. SPACs come with an experienced management team and can take private companies public on a faster timeline than IPOs, which are often expensive, time-consuming, and risky. High-profile companies that have gone public through SPACs include Burger King, Virgin Galactic, and electric truck manufacturer Nikola. These big names have given SPACs more credibility, contributing to their increase in popularity in recent years.
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 Scaleup Bootcamp Program is a market validation program supporting startups to evaluate their real possibilities to enter the North American market, validate business model and other assumptions. This is the first stage in the LatAm Startups program.
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.
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.

Have a great week, and stay well!
Ian Stevens ◦
MaRS invites you to a special discussion on how to help your organization thrive through these volatile times and beyond. Hosted by MaRS CEO Yung Wu and Ted Sargent, the University of Toronto’s vice president of research, innovation and strategic initiatives. The panel features CEOs of LSK Technologies, Xanadu, Deep Genomics, and Geneseeq.

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 become successful bosses of thriving businesses. Nadine Spencer, president of the marketing agency BrandEq, and president of the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA), will be offering inside tips, tactics and strategies for female success.

Toronto is emerging as a tech superpower claiming the title of fastest growing tech hub in North America. With plenty of government support, abundance of talent, it’s no surprise that Canada is attracting international companies. In this webinar, you’ll learn about available programs to help you take the first step to set up your business in Canada, including the Startup Visa Program.

Cybersecurity can appear to be intimidating and confusing, but it’s easier than you’d think! Protecting your business from harm and learning about cybercriminals, security breaches, and antiviral strategies is essential to ensure your business’ safety from attacks. Join this #Startupchats for discussions and to share strategies.

After a successful inaugural campaign last year, How She Hustles returns with the 2nd Startup & Slay Digital Series featuring seven women and one non-binary entrepreneur from three provinces who have shown how their startup is slaying the Canadian market. Join us online every Wednesday in October.

Do you have an excellent startup idea, plan to launch your own business soon, or build a minimum viable product? That’s great! But are you aware of the legal issues that usually pop up along a founder’s journey when they least expect them? Join us and get expert insights on how to run your startup business safely and avoid unnecessary legal risks.

We fund exceptional individuals to build their own companies from scratch, pre-team, pre-idea. Join us and find out why entrepreneurship is the career path to scale your ambition, what we look for in future founders, how to apply, and what the programme looks like in detail.

Whether you’re on the edge of a new industry or looking to enter an established sector, you need to quantify and understand the industry players, segments, and size. This workshop will introduce you to sources of industry information such as market research reports and trade journals, as well as provide strategies to help you do your own analysis and estimations. 

Are you an early-stage venture or do you have a business or social enterprise idea? Are you ready for a market research challenge that will enhance your research skills? Join EDGE’s workshop and receive practical tips about your research process. This research challenge will help you take the first steps in testing your idea. You’ll get the chance to complete primary and secondary research in a fun and engaging way. You’ll navigate different types of open-source databases and gain experience with Sheridan’s Entrepreneurship Library Guides.

Discover the untold stories about successful fundraising rounds, with firsthand accounts from the people in the room. In each episode, you’ll hear from each side — the founder and the investor — about the process of closing a deal. You’ll also learn more about the ongoing relationships that drive businesses forward. Each week, TechTO’s Alex Norman interviews buzzworthy founders and investors.

Does your startup need funding? Do you want to learn how funding works, how to start raising it, and where you can go to get it? Join us for our interactive, fundraising event, featuring investors from the Silicon Valley and Toronto ecosystems. We’ll discuss best practices for a global startup seeking to raise money. You’ll learn expert tips, pitfalls to avoid, what investors are looking for, how equity works, and much more.   •   Share

You’ve done it — you’ve built a company you believe in, and it’s a vision that’s attracting others who want to help. But how do you make sure they stay to help you see that vision through? Learn the answer to that question and more on this episode of #StartupChats, where we discuss best practices for retaining employees for startups, and how to hold on to those employees who help bring your vision to life.

Join us at a 3-series pitch session for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small to medium businesses, looking to build new businesses and partnerships in the GTA. This event will focus on creating opportunities for new businesses to promote, communicate, and gain social, economic, and human capital for entrepreneurs.
Techstars Startup Digest Toronto is curated by:
Ian Stevens Ian Stevens -
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