Welcome 2019 Class of Techstars Toronto Accelerator

I am thrilled to present to the world the second class of Techstars Toronto Accelerator.  

This class builds upon the success of our inaugural class in 2018 from which 10 fast-growing technology companies were launched across several verticals including AI, food technology, virtual reality, financial services, construction tech, enterprise SaaS, and more.  These companies were successful in raising well over $10M of follow-on capital collectively immediately upon graduation and, of greater significance, growing their businesses into viable disruptive tech companies.

Techstars Toronto Accelerator made a significant and positive impression across the city and country and I am thrilled to launch the sophomore class.

This time our 10 startups are charging head-on into many new verticals including travel, crypto-currencies and secure custody, mobility, quick-service restaurants, cross-border payments, government, logistics, entertainment, financial services, and mental health.

The companies were selected from within the talent-rich Toronto-Waterloo tech corridor and from across Canada and the world.

Toronto has become a magnet for attracting the world’s best entrepreneurs and our profile as a global tech centre has never been higher.  

Our one and only goal is to leverage the broader ecosystem to support and grow these ten incredible companies. Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, and strong partners and mentors help make this happen. The Techstars Toronto Accelerator program provides mentorship and access to all the talent and tech support that Toronto has to offer.

I would like to thank our mentors, sponsors, partners, and alumni for their generous support.

Special thanks to the team at Real Ventures for their true commitment to the success of our partnership and in particular to Janet Bannister who has been the best partner one could ask for.

It is with great pleasure that I announce the class of Techstars Toronto Accelerator 2019!

Balance

Balance offers a safe and easy way to buy, hold, and trade a basket of crypto assets. Our current product offering consists of:

www.balancenow.ca

Eddy Travels

Eddy Travels is a travel assistant to help you find the best flight and hotel deals in your favorite chat app:

www.eddytravels.com

Envoi

Envoi facilitates retailers looking to meet consumer demand for same day delivery, through a crowdsourced driver network. We provide Amazon-level logistics, but for everyone in retail who is not Amazon.

www.envoinow.com

Inkblot

Inkblot is Canada’s top high-quality, secure and affordable counselling platform. We use proprietary matching algorithms to connect clients with the most effective mental health counsellors or life coaches based on their needs and preferences. Our video-counselling sessions are scheduled and take place directly on the Inkblot platform from the comfort of home or a quiet space at work.  Our prices are half the national average and are reimbursable by most private health insurance plans.

Inkblot is focused on providing the best employee mental wellness packages to Canadian organizations of all sizes. Inkblot creates more positive and engaging workplaces and is trusted by organizations like the DMZ, League, and TribalScale.

www.inkblottherapy.com

Koomi

Koomi is the first Point of Sale system made specifically for line-ups, takeaway and on-the-go customers, and has a strong focus on consolidating  online, mobile and regular ordering.

Koomi was created to maximize the customer experience for independent QSRs and stop customer loss during a rush. Koomi’s systems are used in over 350 locations across North America.

www.koomi.com

Kora

Kora was founded with the simple idea of making the flow of money and value into, within, and from Africa seamless, efficient, and cheap. Our flagship product (Korapay) is an online cross-border payment solution that leverages cutting edge technology (including Blockchain settlement) to lower the cost of remittance, while increasing the speed of individual and business payments into and within Africa.

www.kora.network

Madlipz

Madlipz is a dubbing/subbing app that aims to be the ultimate parody platform, available for iOS and Android devices. It has organically reached 35 million lifetime users from +100 countries in the world, and our users speak (and dub) in 80 different languages.

www.madlipz.com

Moregidge

Moregidge is a Toronto-based technology company that is reinventing the homebuying experience. Our platform provides mortgage brokers, realtors, appraisers, and solicitors the tools they need to succeed and grow their business. We leverage an intuitive design, integrated experience, and transparent workflow to empower users, reduce processing times and improve the overall customer mortgage journey.

www.moregidge.com

Proof

Governments are bogged down by red-tape which wastes taxpayer money. Every time a decision is made, +20 people need to sign-off and the process is stuck on paper.

Proof empowers governments to go paperless by streamlining internal approvals, digitizing application forms, and improving policy decisions with data.

www.proofgov.com

Velocia

Velocia is an open loyalty network for integrated mobility and transportation services, relying in part on decentralized technologies, such as the Aion blockchain, to power its functionality. Velocia brings together all mobility participants, so users, service providers, and other stakeholders can interact directly and seamlessly.

www.velocia.io








Sunil Sharma Joins Techstars to Lead Toronto Accelerator

Toronto, much like Canada, is having its moment.  

Converging factors are happening in Toronto, and it’s great for tech startups. I am excited to join Techstars as the managing director for the new Techstars Toronto Accelerator, our first accelerator in Canada. I am looking forward to working in a city that has the ideal conditions for entrepreneurs to launch and grow amazing technology companies.

While this program is located in Toronto, we have a truly global thesis in large part predicated around Canada’s progressive and open immigration programs that support the growth and mobility of entrepreneurs and startups, no matter their country of origin.

Techstars is proud to be a designated entity for Canada’s Start-up Visa Program, a movement that encourages immigrant founders to build their businesses in Canada. A designated entity is an organization that has been approved to invest in foreign startups, making it easier for them to immigrate to and build their businesses in Canada.

Techstars Toronto will have a horizontal focus and will operate like our other city programs, like Boulder, Austin, Boston and NYC.

Specific areas of focus include:

  • Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data and Bots
  • B2B and B2C applications and marketplace disruption
  • Fintech including blockchain technologies
  • Vertical SaaS
  • IoT, hardware and embedded system

I have been a student of Techstars for many years, starting with an effort to recreate much of their thoughtful model more than five years ago when I created my first accelerator, Extreme Startups. In addition to Extreme Startups, my background includes managing a Canadian Consulate in California and working as a venture capitalist.  

Diversity of People leads to Diversity of Ideas

Toronto is a research and innovation powerhouse underlined by unparalleled diversity.

Toronto has the ideal conditions for entrepreneurs to launch and grow amazing technology companies. Toronto is a diverse city; it is rich in technical talent; its entrepreneurs are ambitious and driven; and it is a leader in artificial intelligence, fintech, blockchain, mobile applications and more.

Now, we can add Techstars to the mix.

This is Techstars’ first accelerator in Canada. We’re very thankful for all the help from Real Ventures, Canada’s most active early stage venture fund, for their assistance in making this happen. They have always been very focused on building the local ecosystem and encouraged us to launch in Canada.

The first class of Techstars Toronto will run in 2018, though we’ve been in Canada with our Startup Programs since 2010.

We are thrilled to be opening our brand new accelerator inside the equally new WeWork space in the heart of Toronto’s vibrant technology community, and we look forward to investing in a new wave of tech startups in the middle of this thriving city.

I encourage you to apply. The entire team and I are looking forward to working with the ten companies that will form the inaugural class of the Techstars Toronto Accelerator. The deadline to apply is October 15. Apply today!