11 Canadian companies in Y Combinator’s Winter 2020 Demo Day

Y Combinator

This week, Y Combinator (YC) held its Winter 2020 Demo Day, the 30th for the Silicon Valley incubator. To minimize health concerns during the COVID-19 outbreak, YC opted to host the demo day online. For this cohort, 16 Canadian startups participated.

YC also recently announced it could make its summer program entirely virtual.

YC’s summer 2019 cohort comprised 197 companies overall. The 16 Canadian companies mark the largest group of Canadians to ever participate in YC, surpassing YC’s winter 2018 record of 12 Canadian companies.

Recently, YC announced it could also make its Summer 2020 accelerator program entirely virtual, due to safety concerns relating to COVID-19. The incubator said “some or all of the batch may take place remotely over video,” depending on the circumstances.

Here are 11 Canadian or Canadian-founded startups that participated in YC this season. Five of the 16 Canadian startups are not currently being publicized and are considered off-the-record.


Brokrete targets the concrete industry with a real-time ordering app for Apple and Android. The company has developed an application that aims to change the way contractors order and manage ready-mix concrete and software for concrete suppliers to manage deliveries.

The platform lets contractors order concrete and manage the delivery process in real-time from an app. Brokrete’s goal is to completely remove the dispatch component of concrete delivery and create a completely autonomous and intelligent concrete ordering process.

The startup was founded in Gatineau, QC, and participated in L-Spark’s accelerator program for its Fall 2018 cohort.


Lilia calls itself an “egg freezing concierge.” The company helps women figure out their fertility options and make a data-backed decision on next steps. Lilia then researches insurance coverage, lays out the process, and gives guidance on best clinics to go to. Then, the company books customers into a vetted clinic and offers on-demand support.

Alyssa Atkins
Alyssa Atkins Lilia founder and former VP of marketing at CareGuide

The Toronto startup was founded by Alyssa Atkins, who set out to provide women more end-to-end support after her own experience in receiving fertility advice. Within five weeks of launching, the startup brought in $800,000 in pre-seed funding. Atkins took part in the entrepreneurial leadership program Next 36 before working for Canadian startups Top Hat and CareGuide.

Deep Meditate

Deep Meditate is a mobile application that aims to help users meditate and get better sleep. The application offers quick sessions for mental fitness and relaxation through three streams: music, meditation, and sleep. The startup was founded in 2018 by Advait Saravade, a student at Carleton University.

Modern Village

Modern Village has created a toolkit that acts as a chief of staff for busy parents, helping parents proactively manage the week ahead.

Turing Labs

Turing aims to accelerate research and development for consumer packaged goods companies. The software helps companies create new brand formats, enter new product categories, and quickly transform existing products. Turing was founded in Burlington, Ont., by Manmit Shrimali and Ajith Govind.

Menten AI

Menten AI
Hans Melo, CEO of Menten AI.

Menten AI leverages synthetic biology, machine learning, and quantum computing to create new proteins not found in nature, for applications in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

The company’s applications include peptide therapeutics, de novo proteins that serve as delivery systems for specific intracellular biologics, and enzyme optimization and design. The startup has worked in Creative Destruction Lab at the University of Toronto and was founded by Hans Melo, Tamas Gorbe, and Vikram Mulligan.


Breezeful is an online mortgage broker that targets consumers in any financial situation, including people who are self-employed, have poor credit, have been denied by banks, or are new to Canada.

The platform asks users to complete a prequalification form, then matches the user with a digital mortgage expert who will provide unbiased advice and negotiate with lenders. The company also provides advice on closing details and future referral needs once the mortgage is signed and paperwork is complete.

The startup was founded in Toronto and is available for consumers in all Canadian provinces and territories. Some of the brokers consumers can be matched with include Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, and Manulife Bank.


Nelson, BC-based Cyberdontics has developed technology for the dental industry that is intended to automate the shaping of teeth to create crowns in a fraction of the time currently required. The startup says reducing time under the drill from an hour to three minutes would provide a significant advantage to patients.

RELATED: 11 Canadian companies participating in Y Combinator summer 2019 cohort

Cyberdontics claims its technology will save approximately 300 hours per year that dentists may use to build their practice, increase their incomes, or spend time away from the office.


Castodia has created a tool that lets non-technical teams pull data from any database into Google sheets. The tool allows users to search for data, create custom queries, filter and sort information, and reload columns within spreadsheets. The startup was founded in Toronto.

Nplex Biosciences

Nplex Biosciences is a biotechnology company that offers pharma and academia the ability to measure many proteins from blood samples with high sensitivity and cost-efficiency. Its platform is immediately deployable in many research facilities as it is compatible with current workflows, read-out instruments, and automation tools.

The Nplex Biosciences are from McGill University in Montreal

Nplex was launched by bioengineers at McGill University and is focusing on precision profiling the human secretome to provide a complementary and orthogonal read-out within modern drug discovery pipelines. The company is an alumnus of Creative Destruction Lab.


Taiv has developed a custom hardware and software solution for businesses that automatically shows custom content during commercial breaks to drive sales. The company was founded in 2018 in Winnipeg, MB. The startup claims businesses can increase sales up to $3,200 per month using its technology.

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Taiv creates the content by creating a strategy and designing ads to match the brand the company works with. Then, the web application gives businesses control to make changes to the content or its schedule. Brands that have used Taiv’s offering include Boston Pizza, Holiday Inn, and Fionn MacCool’s.

Image source Y Combinator

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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