Sunil Sharma Joins Techstars to Lead Toronto Accelerator

Aug 18, 2017

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!