Good morning, Toronto startups and entrepreneurs! It looks like we’ve seen the last gasp of winter — great news if you’re feeling cooped up and yearning to do some work outside.
Toronto’s Clearbanc — now Clearco
— has a little more cash to help e-commerce startups, thanks to a recent $350 million funding round. This brings Clearco’s valuation to just below $2 billion
. The company plans to use the new funding to fuel further expansion into the UK.
Hiring not on your company’s radar? What about the environment? If you’re looking to commercialize a cleantech innovation, take a look at RBC’s Women in Cleantech Accelerator
below. Participants in this 12-month program will not only get access to corporate partners, business advisors, and investors, they’ll also get an opportunity to work in a federal government lab facility. See the community opportunities below for more detail.
Those of you working to bring your hardware product to a bigger market should apply to ventureLAB’s 2021 HardTech Pitch Competition
, held in late June. Up to $25,000 in prizes are on the table, with select companies able to fast-track an application to the Hardware Catalyst Initiative
, Canada’s only hardware and semiconductor lab and incubator. Scroll down for more.
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 best place in the world to meet a co-founder and build a startup from scratch. If you’re talented, ambitious, and looking to found a company, then EF is for you. On our 6-month programme starting in September, you’ll join like-minded people who want to co-found a startup right now. You’ll be supported by a global network of founders, advisors and investors. We’ll cover your living costs while you test out your ideas, and you’ll never have to pay us back. If we believe your company has the potential to succeed at scale, we’ll provide further funding to get you started, in exchange for 10% equity.
The 2021 HardTech Pitch Competition will award up to $25,000 in prizes, and serve as an application to the third cohort of ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative. Eligible companies will fast-track their applications to the initiative, Canada’s only hardware and semiconductor lab and incubator, helping to accelerate commercialization at scale. The competition will be held on June 23 and is open to small businesses developing hardware and semiconductor-focused products. Up to eight finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their solution to a broad audience, including industry leaders, investors, government, media, and more!
The Station FinTech Montréal Accelerator, powered by Highline Beta, is an opportunity for fintech and insurtech startups from across Canada to work closely with Québec’s financial and insurance institutions. It’s a true ecosystem program to help startups and big companies connect. Operated in Montréal, the program will benefit startups with a product in the market that enables safer, faster, and more reliable payments. Participants will receive four months of milestone-driven programming tailored to their needs; hands-on weekly coaching on growth, plan development, fundraising, and corporate engagement strategy; corporate connections with curated events, pitch sessions, and private sessions with advisors; as well as an optional minimum initial investment of $25K.
This program, delivered by Futurpreneur, will provide young, Black entrepreneurs age 18-39 across Canada with a comprehensive offering of $5,000–$60,000 in startup loan financing, as well as up to two years of mentorship, opportunities to engage with a national network of Black entrepreneurs, leaders and community organizations at a range of entrepreneurship events, and a variety of relevant tools and resources. Participants who are keen to scale their businesses even further will also be eligible for up to $40,000 in follow-on financing funded by RBC, based on the first two years of successful business performance.
ATS Labs is a Canadian first — a unique 3-month program tailored to startups serving people with disabilities. Ever been told your product is not scalable, or won’t have a large enough market? So have we. We understand the unique problems you face, so we created sessions specifically tailored for accessibility startups, such as inclusive design, inclusive marketing, co-creation, and more. Starting in August, you’ll learn directly from founders of later-stage accessibility startups, world-renowned inclusive design practitioners, experienced accessibility innovators, healthtech specialists, and successful investors. We’re bringing together founders of accessibility startups from all over the world.
To solve the world’s climate challenges, we need more than just good ideas. We need diversity of thought to deliver meaningful impact. This means women and individuals from underrepresented communities — more than ever — need to be part of the solution. The RBC Women in Cleantech Accelerator is part of the answer. Each year, we recruit a mix of 10 exceptional women entrepreneurs and coach them through an intensive 12-month program, connecting them to top government laboratories, investors and corporate partners so that they may stay dedicated to their mission. Participants get access to a lead business advisor with deep sector knowledge, a potential no-cost opportunity to work with a federal government lab facility, workshops, networking, and market intelligence, capital, talent and communications services.
Have a great week, and stay well!