Good morning, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! I hope that some of you applied to Founder Institute’s Waterloo-Toronto Corridor Fall program
before last week. It’s a partnership between Founder Institutes in Waterloo and Silicon Valley, connecting founders and mentors in each region. If you’re taking part in this week’s orientation, nice work! If you missed the application deadline, similar opportunities could come up again soon, so be prepared. CBC recently featured the Waterloo-Toronto Corridor program
, citing it as “part of a growing trend that’s come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, where North American seed accelerators are expanding beyond the cities they are based in”. Douglas Soltys of Betakit says that’s great news for Canadian startups:
“I think that’s the bigger trend, is that if these programs continue to stay remote, you’ll be seeing more and more Canadian companies participating because the major inhibitor for Canadian companies and getting that presence is the geographical restriction.”
Hopefully an increase in accelerators opening up to Canadian startups operating in Canada leads to an increase in funding for local startups. According to the Canadian Venture Capital Report
, VC activities in Canada in the first two quarters of 2020 “were down 22% and 19% respectively from the same period in 2019”. Of the $2.59B in financing disbursed during the first half of this year, $1,048M went to Ontario, with $522M for Toronto companies. Almost a third of that $2.59B came from investors in the United States.
It’s back to school in the Toronto area! Unfortunately, COVID-19 has meant that students in Ontario’s underserved communities are even worse off when it comes to access to STEM education. You can help! VentureKids Canada
is looking for mentors for students for their 2020 Back-to-School Initiative. If you know anyone (maybe yourself!) who can give an hour a month to the VentureKids Canada Team, please get them to apply
. Help students unlock their full STEM potential.
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.
Damage Labs is a game studio pre-accelerator for historically marginalized and underrepresented founders. Too few studios are led by queer and gender-marginalized people — which means power, capital, and content continues to be controlled by people within a narrow band of identities and experiences. Real, long-term financial sustainability is totally out of reach for most marginalized creators. At Damage Labs, you’ll explore ethical labour frameworks, alternative financing, and structures that centre marginalized creators.
Have a great week, and stay well!