Good morning, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! With the lockdown extended, and schools closed until at least February 10, parents are having a tough time. We’re not only working, but taking care of children as well as tending to their individual remote learning needs. If your family is like mine, weekday mornings start with tantrums, scrounging for screens around the house, and fumbling for the correct video links. Some of you are doing all that while also coaxing a new venture or startup to life. If your day is equal parts founder, teacher, and parent, I support and salute you. May your search for more hours in the day end soon.
Back in November, I let you know about a few small towns outside Toronto that are vying for the attention of startup founders
. Innisfil was one of them, where Ryerson’s DMZ is working with the town to attract global talent. If you want to know more about people who are starting or growing a company outside of a major urban centre, check out Wednesday’s event, The Distributed Future: Starting Your Next Startup in Small Town Canada, put on by TechTO.
If you’re a student or a faculty member at UofT, you have just under two weeks to apply to its Hatchery NEST cohort for 2021
. One of the NEST’s most recent successes is Kepler Communications
, which raised more than $20MM in seed funding for its network of low-cost telecommunication cube satellites. Read on for more information about this opportunity.
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.
he Hatchery NEST is UofT’s engineering-based process, with more than 94 startups launched since its creation. It’s not just a place to develop startups, but an experiential learning opportunity that instills and nurtures the entrepreneurial mindset in all UofT students and faculty. Teams will work with an advisory board of business and technical mentors to develop a business canvas model, cash-flow runway, minimum viable product (MVP), and undergo rigorous biweekly pitching rounds. It all culminates on demo day, where teams have the opportunity to pitch their startups to a panel of entrepreneurs, investors and mentors, win prizes, and form valuable business connections.
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!