Welcome to our weekly Canadian startup news segment where we bring you the most important events in the world of canadian startups. We cover all major cities in canada, mainly Toronto, Montreal & Vancouver and other emerging startup scenes.
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YSPACE DIGITAL OF YORK UNIVERSITY LAUNCHES VIRTUAL TECH ACCELERATOR FOR ENTREPRENEURS
York University’s new virtual talent and startup development hub called YSpace Digital, will be offering virtual support and programming for students, entrepreneurs and startups of all types, regardless of their location.
This new digital accelerator program is a four-month-long initiative that is focused on helping pre-revenue tech startups execute their go-to-market strategies and acquire their first customers. With entrepreneurs now needing more support than ever before, this program is well received in this new virtual era.
The program, which is free for participants, runs from May 2021 until the end of August 2021, with program components scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST.
This program includes:
- Workshops: A select group of entrepreneurs will participate in workshops led by industry experts on topics aimed at helping the participants successfully launch and grow their startup.
- Dedicated Mentor: Each participant will be matched with a mentors who are former or current founders.
- Mastermind Sessions: Throughout the program, the entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to participate in Mastermind Sessions which allow them to share their own insights in a small group setting.
- Peer-to-Peer Accountability: Small check-in groups will be formed to keep entrepreneurs on track with their peers, holding them accountable.
- Investor Pitch Practice: Participants will have monthly opportunities to practice their investor pitch and gain critical feedback on improvements.
- Growth Mentor Office Hours: Specific topic experts will offer one-on-one time that can be scheduled to further finetune and grow the startup.
Startups interested in this program are encouraged to apply before Febuary 21st, 2020. Applicants must have an established business model in the validation stage. Those selected for an interview will be contacted by the YSpace team in March.
This four-month program is accelerated yet very solid, and is sure to assist in not only developing technological ventures, but offering truly unparalleled support for startups and entrepreneurs.
NGEN SUPERCLUSTER COMMITS TWO-THIRDS OF $230 MILLION BUDGET TO A NEW COVID-19 SUPPLY PROJECT
The Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) has announced an investment of over $27 million CAD in manufacturing tech projects that aim to bolster the local supply chain and aid the fight against COVID-19 by increasing the country’s supply of some of the most needed products.
The NGen competition, which took place last summer, offered the challenge to companies and startups to use advanced manufacturing tech to build critical products to fight against COVID-19. Winners were selected by a panel of independent experts based on needs identified by the federal government and their long-term viability.
“These projects are not simply investments in products to address the pandemic,”“They are investments in advanced manufacturing processes and technologies that will help meet the immediate needs created by COVID-19, while also developing a sustainable, globally competitive and cost-effective domestic supply that can be applied to industry needs beyond the pandemic.”said NGen CEO Jayson Myers.
The approved projects include two interesting projects:
- The expansion of mRNA vaccine manufacturing capacity by two biotech startups currently working on a COVID-19 vaccine—Toronto’s Providence Therapeutics and Calgary’s Northern RNA—
- A series of personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory-related initiatives.
According to Bains the ex Ministry of Innovation, who has since stepped down and been replaced by François-Philippe Champagne, Supercluster spending has increased since the beginning of COVID-19.
As of October 2020, the initiative had approved over 220 projects related to Canadian SMBs, and committed over $800 million in investment, the majority ($420 million) from industry.
WATTPAD ACQUIRED BY SOUTH KOREA’S NAVER CORP. FOR $754 MILLION CAD
Wattpad is set to be acquired for over $750 million CAD ($600 million USD) by South Korean internet startup Naver Corp.
Naver announced the deal early before market open Wednesday morning local time in South Korea. The transaction includes cash and 248,543,779 in stock shares in exchange for KRW 652.5 billion.
“Both Wattpad and WEBTOON…represent world-leading collections of inspired, imaginative storytelling IP.”
Naver is the country’s largest online search engine and operates a mobile messaging app, as well as other important internet properties.
“I’m not done yet. What I would say is, today is the last episode of season one, but tomorrow is the more amazing first episode of season two,” “It will only be better and I’m so looking forward to growing the company at an accelerated pace.”the CEO said.
Founded back in 2006 by Lau and Yuen, Wattpad’s online self-publishing platforms act as a community for readers and writers. In the past few years however, the Toronto-based startup has turned into a sort of media studio, penning production deals that have seen stories on its platform become books, movies, and even television series on an international level.
Part of Naver’s endeavours includes WEBTOON, a global online comics platform, where, similarly to Wattpad, it works with production companies to create unique content.
The acquisition would align WEBTOON and Wattpad, and combine the Canadian company’s more than 90 million user base with WEBTOON’s 72 million monthly active users.
“Canadian tech has been a bright spot in an otherwise difficult past twelve months,”
“Outcomes like this help feed an ecosystem and have lasting positive impact. I have never felt more optimistic about the Canadian tech ecosystem and think the positive news is just beginning.”OMERS Ventures managing partner Damien Steel said
For more information visit: https://betakit.com/wattpad-to-be-acquired-by-south-koreas-naver-corp/
Stay tuned for weekly updates and the latest news from the world of Canadian start-ups.
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