May 1, 2023 — Waterloo, ON — The Accelerator Centre (AC) is pleased to announce the 50 companies progressing to Phase 2 of AC:Studio. Phase 1 of the innovative three-phase entrepreneurial support program was launched in June of 2022 with a $10-million investment from the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), and aims to provide 100 high-potential, early-stage companies with up to $100,000 in seed funding by March 2025—creating 1,000 new jobs along the way.
In Phase 1, the AC selected 100 high-potential startups and supported them with initial seed funding of $20,000 and access to the AC’s award-winning mentorship programming.
Of the 100 companies selected in Phase 1:
29% are working on cleantech/sustainability-focused initiatives
26% are working on medtech/healthtech solutions
63% are women-led
5% are indigenous-led
26% are newcomer-led
57 are youth-led (under 40)
To date, the program has made a significant impact, creating 410 new jobs in southern Ontario. Collectively, the companies have also raised $28 million in additional investment and generated $8 million in combined revenue.
“Our aim with the AC:Studio program is to identify startup founders with the potential to build globally successful businesses that make significant economic impact,” says AC CEO, Jay Krishnan. “Through this new model, we can quickly identify the best-of-the-best and double down on supporting those companies. We’re excited and encouraged by our early results and the positive feedback from founders, and we look forward to the next phase of this high- impact model. Through the next phase of the program, we intend to provide companies with more capital, corporate partnerships, strategic mentorship, and additional hands- on tactical support—accelerating the time it takes them to reach escape velocity and scale”.
The following companies will join Phase 2 of AC:Studio in May of 2023.
Best for Bees
Catalyst Entertainment Technology Inc
Encompass Health Insights Ltd.
Evoke Health Inc.
HARDR. Powered by the Oakwood Health Network
Mentor Me Inc.
Pronti AI Inc.
Renergy Technologies Inc.
Toy Exchange Club Inc
WonderWell Toy Co.
In Phase 2, founders will receive an additional $30,000 in non-repayable seed funding from FedDev Ontario, and one year of mentorship and tactical support from the AC’s network of mentors and service provider partners.
“The entrepreneurial grit and tenacity of the 100 companies that started the program with us in the fall is truly inspirational. Selecting the top 50 from this group was challenging because the talent and quality of the ideas in southern Ontario are incredible. We’re confident the 50 startups we’ve selected to move into Phase 2 of the program will continue their rapid growth trajectory and continue to create jobs and keep Ontario at the forefront of the Canadian innovation economy.
Jay Krishnan, CEO, Accelerator Centre
“The Accelerator Centre is working with entrepreneurs and startups to bring new cutting-edge ideas and solutions to Canadians. The second phase of the Accelerator Centre’s AC:Studio program will provide 50 companies with access to mentoring services and funding that will help them reach their potential. We are happy to support this program that will create good jobs for Canadians and help boost Canada’s innovative technology sector.”
The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“Phase 2 of this project will support the development of high-potential start-up companies right here in Waterloo and across southern Ontario. Our region is an innovation hub and the strategic investments our government is making will continue to help more Canadian innovators, entrepreneurs, and businesses to set roots and grow.”
The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Member of Parliament for the Riding of Waterloo
Vice-President, Marketing and External Relations
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario