Good morning, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! By now you’re probably aware that Toronto’s Wattpad
, which connects readers and writers on its storytelling platform, has been sold to South Korea’s Naver
. In addition to claiming the title of “South Korea’s largest web search engine”, Naver owns the digital comics platform Webtoon
, which could collaborate on animated tie-ins to Wattpad’s content. Wattpad approved a cash and stock transaction last Tuesday, with the USD$600M acquisition to be finalized later this year. Congratulations to everyone at Wattpad!
If you’re a regular reader of this newsletter, or are otherwise familiar with Toronto’s network of startup resources, you know that we’re well-served in terms of startup accelerators. It’s for this reason that Ryerson’s DMZ is eliminating its accelerator program, and instead returning to focus on early-stage startups they feel are being neglected. To that end, the DMZ is putting together a new 18-month incubator program
for early-stage startups. A pilot program is already under way with seven companies, with a goal of an official launch on the first of March. Expect to see this new incubator in our community opportunities very soon!
In the meantime, there’s yet another chance for Toronto startups to receive mentorship, networking opportunities, and a leg up in terms of funding and resources. TiE Toronto is dedicated to foster entrepreneurship locally, providing educational programs, networking events, and mentoring opportunities. They want you to apply to TiE Quest 2021, where your startup could win $25,000 in cash and $100,000 in investments. More details below.
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.
The 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.
TiE Toronto has opened applications to the prestigious TiE Quest 2021 and is calling startups to apply. This sought-after event is a multi-stage business venture competition, bringing startups across Canada to receive advice from industry professionals, and network with top angel investors, venture capitalists, fund managers and other professionals. The winner takes home a cash prize of $25,000 and the opportunity to receive $100,000 in investments. We look forward to watching your ideas become reality!
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!