Accelerator Centre expands cleantech program to align with UN Sustainable Development Goals

accelerator centre

The Kitchener-Waterloo-based Accelerator Centre (AC) has expanded its cleantech program to support companies aligned with the 17 United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.

“To have a truly prosperous society, we need to embrace innovative sustainability in all its forms.”

The expansion of the TD Sustainable Future Program is aimed to make the AC’s accelerator programming accessible to a wider network of startups. AC’s new offering will bring additional support targeted towards novel solutions addressing COVID-19, digital health, the future of work, social innovation, community safety, education, diversity, equity, and poverty reduction.

The expansion to align with the UN goals is being funded with a new $750,000 grant over the next three years from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which originally supported The TD Sustainable Future Program when it launched in 2017. At the time, it also launched with a $1 million investment from TD Bank Group’s corporate citizenship platform called The Ready Commitment. Those funding commitments were intended exclusively to support cleantech initiatives.

The TD Sustainable Future Program has supported 50 entrepreneurs so far. Those companies have generated $9 million in revenue, created 53 new products, and created 102 jobs, AC claimed.

AC is one of several organizations that have sought to adopt the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as outlined by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This year, tech festival Elevate launched a new accelerator program for ventures addressing issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Additionally, tech organizations like Kids Code Jeunesse, the Royal Bank of Canada, and Amplify Capital have also made new commitments to uphold these goals in their activities.

“The expansion of the TD Sustainable Future Program to include all entrepreneurs commercializing new products and services that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals is our way of committing to a vision of a sustainable future that creates prosperity in the community while also protecting our planet,” said AC’s interim CEO John Stevens.

“We believe that strong communities and economies require entrepreneurship and innovation,” added Stevens. “To have a truly prosperous society, we need to embrace innovative sustainability in all its forms.”

AC’s program expansion follows Paul Salvini stepping down from his role as CEO after more than six years at the hub. AC also completed a COVID-19 cohort of its JumpStart program earlier this year, aimed at helping tech companies establish and grow their businesses in southern Ontario.

The TD Sustainable Future Program launches on the week of November 23.

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.