The companies will move into Phase 2 of the AC’s innovative AC:Studio program and receive an additional $30,000 in seed funding from FedDev Ontario, mentorship from the AC’s award-winning mentor team, and tactical supports from industry experts like Uvaro, SnapPea Design, and Conestoga College.
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 an 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”.
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.
To view the full list of companies – including Windsor-Essex-based WonderWell Toy Co. – that are joining phase 2 of AC:Studio in May of 2023, click here.
“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
About the Accelerator Centre
At the AC, we exist to help ambitious dreamers impact global change through their businesses. The AC is ranked Canada’s #1 private business accelerator and is among the top five such organizations globally. We offer an extensive selection of customizable opportunities for startups across Canada—allowing founders to rapidly bring their innovation to life. We work with our global partners to bolster the innovation ecosystem in Waterloo and beyond.
AC:Studio is funded by FedDev Ontario and is delivered in partnership with WEtech Alliance, Innovate Niagara, Conestoga College, SnapPea, Uvaro, Bereskin & Parr, RSM Canada, and Gowling WLG.
About FedDev Ontario
For more than 13 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Vice-President, Marketing and External Relations
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario