At opportunities organized by Canada’s leading entrepreneurship programs, more than 100 U.S. and Canadian financers lined up to evaluate 43 of the most investment-ready tech startups in the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor.
The investors were introduced to the companies at an invite-only Demo Day event held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View California on November 7, as well as a similar event held for Canadian investors in Toronto on October 19.
“Our aim is to unlock venture capital by bringing together top startups and investors from across the region,” said Jay Shah, Director of the Velocity entrepreneurship program in Waterloo. “Venture investment dollars are always looking for the best ideas, and the Canadian tech ecosystem is exploding with bold global, venture-backable businesses.
“This initiative is illustrative of how the region’s incubators, accelerators, and universities can work together to fuel investment and accelerate growth.”
The Demo Day series was initiated by the Corridor’s leading entrepreneurship programs, including the University of Waterloo’s Velocity program, Communitech, the Accelerator Centre, MaRS, Ryerson University’s DMZ, OneEleven, and the University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab.
“The Investor Demo Day initiative was a valuable opportunity for us to connect with a ton of investors in a highly dense exchange of information,” said Ryan Denomme, co-founder and CEO of Nicoya Lifesciences. “I also asked a few investors how they felt about the quality of the pitches and the participating companies, and they said the event was in the top three of demo days they have been to, which is a great testament to the quality of the companies that are building businesses in the Corridor.”
Startups were each given three minutes to pitch their opportunity to investors, followed by an opportunity to engage in one-on-one discussions throughout the day.
A total of 70 per cent of the companies were looking for seed funding, and 30 per cent were seeking Series A funding. Many startups have a business-to-business focus and are developing technologies ranging from Internet of Things (29%), to clean tech (20%), to marketplaces (13%), and financial technologies (11%).
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