Good morning, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! We’ve touched on startups moving to Toronto from outside Canada, be it because of our large talent base or perhaps due to recent American visa and travel restrictions. Now companies and workers have another reason to move to Canada: the pandemic. With an opinion piece in Business Insider last week
, Yung Wu, the CEO of MaRS Discovery District, describes Canada — and Toronto in particular — as an excellent destination for innovators of all backgrounds to enjoy a high quality of life. Innovation in Canada is less about valuations and short-term profits, and more about fundamentals, like working for the greater good:
The pandemic is seen as a unique chance to rethink the innovation economy through the lenses of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Up here, it isn’t about tearing tech down — rather, it’s about building tech differently.
If you’re interested in hearing about innovation in Toronto and around the world, be sure to check out the two multi-day events happening this week. It starts with MaRS Impact Week
on Monday — five days of speakers from international organizations, institutions, and companies like Shopify, XPRIZE, and NASA. Tuesday through Thursday, make some time in the afternoon for Made in York Region
, with panels, networking, and a $25,000 pitch competition. Follow the links or scroll down to the events listing for more information.
If you look at the list of community opportunities, you’ll see that I’ve added the UofT Hatchery Pitch-A-Thon
. This is your chance to work out a pitch for your idea — with help from mentors from the Hatchery — and present it to founders from Y Combinator. The application deadline is December 11. Don’t miss out on this and four other opportunities closing within the next few weeks. 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.
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.
Do you think you have the next $10B Idea? Do you want to test drive it with Y Combinator and Hatchery founders? The Pitch-A-Thon is the place to be! During the month of January 2021, you will be guided by Hatchery mentors to craft your 60-second pitch. On January 29th, 2021 @ 4:00 PM EST, you will present your pitch to founders from Y Combinator and the Hatchery!
Next AI is a world class program for artificial intelligence-based ventures and technology commercialization. We identify talented ideas or early-stage teams with ambitious solutions and leverage Canada’s leadership position in AI to provide them with the capital, mentorship, education and network to disrupt industries. Participants have access to a world class curriculum, top AI scientists and mentors, venture funding to scale their business, in-kind products and services, a co-working space, and an alumni community for coaching and other resources.
Safe x Connected Cities Accelerator powered by Highline Beta in partnership with Aviva Canada is back for the second round of the Road Safety challenge. This 6 month program is focused on helping early stage startups pilot their road safety solutions with Aviva Canada. Startups focused on road safety are encouraged to apply to qualify for pilot opportunities, mentorship and follow-on funding. The program is looking for seed stage startups in the IOT, mobility, smart city and other relevant areas that bring real, innovative solutions to road safety. We are proud to support this program committed to building safer roads for everyone.
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.
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.
Have a great week, and stay well!