Startup Next, the global pre-acceleration program backed by Techstars and Google for Entrepreneurs, is returning to Toronto this winter.
The program, which helps startups prepare for an accelerator or investment, gives participants access to the high-impact mentorship, best practice tools and resources, plus the opportunity to gain access to capital.
This year, Startup Next has already helped more than 20 startups around the world get into top accelerators, including Techstars and 500 Startups. Eight more startups have collectively raised $6.7M for their initial seed rounds.
This is the second time the program has been delivered in Toronto. Graduates from the first cohort of startups include Sampler, the SaaS platform that helps marketers distribute product samples using peer recommendations.
Since completing Startup Next, Sampler has raised over half a million dollars in seed financing, secured a pilot with program sponsor Coca-Cola and travelled to New York and San Francisco to pitch their product as part of Startup Next’s global program. More than half of Sampler’s seed round came from investors who were introduced to Sampler through Startup Next.
Taking part in Startup Next helped Sampler unlock the true potential of their product, said co-founder Marie Chevrier.
“Startup Next helped me see the bigger picture. We started the program with a working product but we left the program with the larger vision that was necessary in order to raise capital. Through Startup Next, we realized that our product had a lot more potential to help our clients with a lot more than what we had planned. I wouldn’t trade my experience with this program for anything.”
Other graduates from the spring cohort include art discovery application ArtLocal and Commissioner.io, a player development platform for youth sports. Art Local have since been accepted to museum-led incubator New INC at New Museum in New York. Commissioner.io went on to be accepted to NMotion, a sports accelerator in Lincoln, NE.
Startups hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sampler, ArtLocal and Commisioner.io are invited to apply for the fall cohort of Startup Next. Teams have until November 14 to complete their applications.
Startup Next Toronto begins on November 28 and concludes with a demo night for investors and media on January 16, 2015. For more information and to apply please visit Startup Next Toronto.
The program is designed for startups that are looking to get into an accelerator or raise a seed round and have a team in place. These startups have to be working on a technology-enabled startup idea, attacking a big market and have some sort of evidence of execution and customer validation. Being in a short and fast program, teams will need to be motivated, coachable and work hard in their own time to get the most value from the program.
Who’s behind this?
Startup Next is an initiative of UP Global, the organisation behind Startup Weekend and Startup Digest, and its backed by Techstars, Google for Entrepreneurs and Global Accelerator Network.
Startup Next Toronto is organized locally by Nathan Monk (Senior Strategist, ICT Venture Group at MaRS), Chris Eben (Managing Partner, The Working Group) and Holly Knowlman (Marketing Manager, The Working Group). Contact the organizing team: firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Working Group (TWG)
The Working Group (@TWG) is one of North America’s leading design and development studios. Established in 2002, we work with leading brands and exciting startups to design and build market-defining software products.
We love what we do, and our approach is guided by our unwavering drive to solve problems for our clients. Pairing our domain expertise with yours, we collaborate to craft the right solution for your business.
About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada’s next generation of growth companies. MaRS’ ventures have created over 6,500 jobs and, in the last three years alone, they have raised over $1 billion in capital and earned over $500 million in revenue