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Techstars Startup Digest Toronto - Want a chance to pitch to Y Combinator founders?

Good morning, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! We've touched on startups moving to Toronto from ou
Issue #28  •  November 30  •  View online  •  Suggest a link
Toronto
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! 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.
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.
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!
Ian Stevens ◦ ianstevens.ca

Calling Startups in Supply Chain Innovation

Techstars Sustainability ChallengeThe Techstars Sustainability Challenge is an equity-free challenge that brings together founders with industry leaders in sustainability. Top Supply Chain solutions in the areas of Data & Automation and Materials & End-of-life Impact will have access to potential commercial opportunities with our corporate partners. We are looking for proven technologies that are able to be pilotable in 2021.
Applications are now open and close March 1, 2021.

Monday to Friday
MaRS Impact Week is Canada’s leading conference for people who believe that innovation can create a better world. With the goal of finding and adopting viable solutions, we’re hosting the first-ever MaRS Impact Week — five days of immersive online events, can’t-miss conversations, informative breakouts and more. Join thousands of innovators from across the globe in deep discussion on the most pressing technology challenges of our time.

Tuesday to Thursday
This immersive virtual conference will bring together hundreds of like-minded tech professionals for 3 days. Registrants will have the chance to connect with York Region’s vast innovation ecosystem, including, innovators, leaders, angel investors, venture capitalists, media, mentors and startup enthusiasts.

Monday
If you’re a founder of a company, you need to put out content and pitch 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. Don’t miss your chance to be coached by “the best pitch coach in Canada” according to Founder Institute Waterloo.

Tuesday
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 to become successful bosses of thriving businesses. We’ll be offering inside tips, tactics and strategies for female success. Each week industry professionals will share expert insights to women in this hands-on workshop.

Wednesday
Owning a business is a dream for many people. Every new business starts with an idea. This interactive workshop will help you have a step-by-step overview of what you need to do to make it happen. This session is designed for those looking to start their own business, but don’t know where to start. We’ll help you pull together the things you’ll need to get your business started.

This interactive discussion will help you understand the funding options that may fit for your small business. This session is designed as a start in identifying possible funding options for your business. It provides a brief overview, and will be a good start to further research into the subject.

During our open office hour, we’ll be having conversations about why entrepreneurship is the career path to scale your ambition, what we look for in future founders, applying to EF and our admissions process, and what our programme looks like in detail.

Thursday
Email is a challenging way to communicate because you can’t convey your meaning through nonverbal means, such as facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice. At the same time, the audience reading your emails expects your messages to conform to certain cultural conventions which may be new to you. This is the first of a two-part series. In this session, you’ll learn how to choose a greeting that establishes the right level of politeness for the situation, create an effective writing style familiar to Canadian business, and structure messages to suit Canadian reading habits.

Learn more about Techstars’ Toronto, New York, and LA accelerators, the differences between each program, and their selection and sourcing processes. Ask all of your questions about our programs and decide on which one is the best fit for you. Remember, the Techstars Toronto application deadline is on December 20. This is a great opportunity to hear from Techstars Toronto’s program manager, Tariq Haddadin.

Get involved and give back to entrepreneurs in the Open People Network (OPN) Community. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, investor or business leader, pay it forward and support the startup community during these challenging times at #PitchIt e2e. Startups will each have two minutes to speak about their business and what they need help with. If you have a startup, let us know how the community can help you!
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Preparing a business pitch and developing a business idea requires you to have data on your target market. You need data to inform decisions on your business plan. If you want to be innovative in your industry, you also need data gauge your startup’s performance and any new opportunities. Data literacy for entrepreneurs is essential. This session will help you identify your data needs, find relevant data using specialized library resources, and evaluate and synthesize data using critical thinking.

Startups and founders at any stage of their life cycle should be prepared to pitch, whether it is their business or themselves in a very concise manner. However, creating a comprehensive pitch can be a scary thing if you have never done it before and there are so many elements to consider in a pitch. In this session, you’ll learn the slides or topics a pitch deck should cover, rules of thumb for designing presentations, and key elements of an effective pitch.

Friday
In this workshop, participants are presented with a case study about crafting their first non-disclosure agreement, in relation to a potential partnership, and how they want to structure their business’ protection for the future. You’ll also learn key insights on non-disclosure agreements, IP handling, and survival of clauses post-term of the agreement through the use of innovative, online contract drafting and learning tools.
Techstars Startup Digest Toronto is curated by:
Ian Stevens Ian Stevens - https://ianstevens.ca/
ian.stevens@startupdigestmail.com
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