A peek into Canada’s thriving startup scene!
Despite the US’ skills gap, it seems that Trump has done everything to deter everyone, even the brightest of minds, from coming to the US. As a result, Canada is now in prime position to sweep up talent looking to enter the North American market. Numerous article across the web from Wired to Business Insider have highlighted the impact of Trump’s policies which have encouraged jobs and talent to hope across the northern border.
This movement aside, Canada’s entrepreneur scene is a natural hive of entrepreneurial activity. Investment is on the up and rising industries within the world of technology are booming in Canada, such as AI which is excelling at an incredible rate. Apps are also coming in strong as startups across the country put innovative ideas into users hands, such as Wazzio which recently launched an app allowing people to search through a selection of services based on proximity and availability. Moreover, Saas startups are picking up the pace with huge potential thanks to the country’s resources and programs.
Last month, L-SPARK, Canada’s leading accelerator for Software as a Service (SaaS) companies, announced that applications are officially open for the fifth cohort at the L-SPARK Accelerator. Through participation in the accelerator, L-SPARK aims to scale Canadian companies into globally competitive firms by nurturing rapid month-over-month growth.
The L-SPARK Accelerator is a chance for enterprise SaaS and cloud startups to connect with Canada’s SaaS experts and propel their revenues to 10x revenue growth. This year, however, L-SPARK has opened up the program to include Cyber, IoT and deep tech companies who have a product in market and ideally have $10-30K in monthly recurring revenue (MRR).
Selected companies will be put through an intensive program, given tactical and strategic support, relevant workshops and advertisement from L-SPARK’s experienced team. Overall, the L-SPARK accelerator helps companies increase revenue, build their team, perfect product-market fit, establish sales channels, navigate government funding and give pitching advice.
This year, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis to a maximum of six companies. L-SPARK has changed this from their previous September start date because they recognized that when companies need support, they often need it urgently and don’t necessarily want to wait for a specific start date. Rolling applications will therefore allow companies to apply, move through the selection process, and be accepted into the program right when they need help the most.
Applications are now open and companies should apply through the L-SPARK website here.
Since the launch of the first cohort in January 2015, L-SPARK has accelerated 36 companies and have helped them to raise a collective total of $26M and counting. With over 10,000 SaaS investors, corporate partners and startups now in their network, L-SPARK is looking to continue its success by accelerating six more companies.
“We’ve closed a $7.4M Series A. We’ve grown our company three-fold and we’re close to 60 people right now. We’ve also just closed our largest contract to date. One of the things that has helped us get here are the connections we’ve made and work we’ve done at L-SPARK,” said John Laslavic, CEO of Upchain and L-SPARK alumni.
“L-SPARK does an amazing job of bringing together superstar mentors and advisors to give their portfolio companies an unfair advantage. I think that’s a winning formula,” said Aydin Mirzaee, CEO of Stealth Startup (former co-founder and co-CEO of Fluidsurveys)
Evidently, Canada has a bright future ahead. As long as entrepreneurs and programs such as L-Spark continue to thrive, the country will remain a beacon of hope while the US becomes increasingly unattractive for foreign talent.