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Techstars Startup Digest Toronto - Six ways to get your startup off the ground

Good morning, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! As if creating a startup from a germ of an idea, fi
Issue #23  •  October 26  •  View online  •  Suggest a link
Techstars Startup Digest Toronto
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.
Good morning, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! As if creating a startup from a germ of an idea, finding market-fit, growing a customer base, and retaining users wasn’t challenging enough, you also have to contend with other companies cutting into your market share, and sometimes outright stealing your innovations and passing them off as their own.
That last scenario is what Toronto’s Nulogy, which offers supply chain SAAS, is currently up against. Nulogy alleges that one of its clients, Menasha, “misappropriated its trade secrets, broke a software licence agreement, and developed a supply chain software similar to Nulogy’s” — all while being “induced” to do so by Deloitte LLP. Last week it was announced that, over the summer, Nulogy filed a $60 million lawsuit against Menasha. Best of luck to everyone at Nulogy.
If you’ve got a germ of an idea and want to learn how you can make it a reality, York University’s LaunchU has restarted their Founder Fundamentals workshops. It’s an 11-week series with classes on building entrepreneurial skills, and it’s free. This is the second week, where you’ll learn how to develop a strong customer persona — look for it on Thursday.
We also have two new opportunities below, meaning there are currently six programs on offer that will help you take your idea, product, or service to the next level. The two new additions are The Hub at University of Toronto Scarborough, offering some seed money, and Founder Institute’s Toronto Tech Corridor Virtual 2021 program, which assists selected startups with ongoing feedback from experienced mentors and investors. If the Founder Institute program interests you, and you’re a startup from Brampton, you could participate for free. More details below.
Please note that the Black Innovation Fellowship Bootcamp’s registration deadline is now this Friday. There’s still time! Details 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 Fellowship Bootcamp is a six-week program designed to support very early-stage Black tech founders around the world. The bootcamp aims to help founders validate their business ideas and market opportunity, as well as build their first prototype and MVP — with many of the benefits of DMZ’s core programming. You’ll also get exposure to domains critical to building a venture: sales, marketing, operations, technology, finance, leadership and more. Upon completion, startups get a chance to fast track their application to our core Black Innovation Fellowship Program.
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.
In this annual event, seed money is awarded to promising students and recent alumni who want to launch a new business initiative. It’s an entrepreneurial competition — think “Dragons’ Den” but without the need to give up any equity. The Hub does not take equity and there are no payments owed to the facility for its services. You are simply pitching your idea for some initial seed funding. This year, you can win up to $5,000 (cash, plus up to an additional $5,000 in Amazon Web Service and/or Google credits).
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. Our 14-week, program includes a series of challenging growth sprints, in addition to weekly feedback sessions where you will receive constant feedback on your progress from experienced mentors and investors. Attention Bramptonians: Applicants from the Brampton community can participate for free if selected for our Brampton Fellowship.
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 ◦ ianstevens.ca

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Monday
TechTO Together features in-depth conversations with technology leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Our special guests share inspirational stories about their career journey, along with practical strategies that you can apply today. TechTO’s interactive events bring you into the discussion, building a tech community where we can all win, together. Join us for a conversation with Andrew Robb, former COO of Farfetch.
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Tuesday
Every week, an early-stage founder will share their pitch deck and over the course of the episode, Alex Norman will give his unfiltered feedback on what works, what doesn’t, and what needs to be improved. Both our founder and the audience will leave with valuable insights on what investors care to see in a pitch, which metrics matter, and how to share your business’s story in a way that resonates. Halfway through the episode, you will get to sit in the investor’s chair and vote on whether or not you would invest.
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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.

TorontoStarts Presents Investor Round Table, an open panel discussion with investors. Join us live and bring your questions. Our panelists this week are Danielle Brewin Graham of Sandpiper Ventures, Stuart Browne of Pycap Venture Partners, and Alex Morsink of Equivesto.

Wednesday
On the next edition of MaRS Mornings, we speak with Peter Kalen of Flexiti Fiancial, one of Canada’s premiere startups for point-of-sale (POS) financing and payment solutions. Peter will talk about becoming an entrepreneur after decades in the corporate world, how Flexiti won over thousands of retailers across the country, and what excites him as tech leader going forward.

If you’re a founder of a company, right now you need to be putting out content and pitching your ideas to investors, customers, and collaborators. OutLoud’s founder and CEO Will Greenblatt will show you how to be captivating on camera, and give you a chance to practice your pitch or video for an audience and receive expert feedback and coaching, as well as network with other founders from around Toronto and the world.

Thursday
Developing a strong customer persona and utilizing that to drive your buyer journey is important. Oftentimes, the experience of the journey is just as important as the end product or service being offered. Get a better picture of your customers and how prospects interact with your brand through the different parts of the funnel: awareness, consideration, decision, advocacy.
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Friday
The City of Toronto in partnership with Parkdale Centre presents a webinar for women-identifying entrepreneurs/women founders. In this webinar, we will explore the internal and external factors that prevent us from being our own successful advocates. We will discuss strategies for being mindful of your time and energy for your well-being, and how to gain the confidence needed to advocate for yourself as you’re growing your business
Techstars Startup Digest Techstars Startup Digest Toronto is curated by:
Ian Stevens Ian Stevens - https://ianstevens.ca/
ian.stevens@startupdigestmail.com
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