It was a week of good news for Canadian tech startups. The federal government announced the launch of two U.S.-based accelerator programs to help young Canadian companies succeed abroad.
Ten businesses were named as inaugural participants in the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) program for the clean technology sector, based in New York. Another eight were selected to participate in a CTA program based in Boston for startups in the life sciences and information and communications technologies (ICT) sector.
The New-York based program is the first CTA dedicated solely to the fast-growing clean technology sector. Managed as a joint partnership between the Canadian consulates general in New York and San Francisco, with the support of the Business Development Bank of Canada and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, the program aims to give startups easy access to resources in New York and Silicon Valley to spur international growth.
In Boston, eight expanding and innovative companies in the life sciences and ICT sectors will make up the first wave of the program. They’ll be based at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Participating businesses will have the opportunity to be mentored by business leaders and network with venture capitalists.
Companies chosen for the programs were product-ready SMEs with a high potential for growth. Each was in need of strategic partnerships, new customer acquisition, funding and a soft landing for setting up a local business development office.
Participating businesses will receive office space (in the company of like-minded global entrepreneurs), access to industry leaders and introductions to experienced mentors and advisors, including the Canadian executive expatriate group and the C100.
“We’re committed to helping small and medium-sized enterprises succeed abroad,” says international trade minister Ed Fast, in a statement. He added the new accelerator programs bring innovators together with like-minded Canadian companies to accelerate international growth and ultimately create jobs in Canada.