Applications are now open for a new incubation program launched in Brampton, Ontario this week.
The new incubator, called BHive and announced during Collision, is aimed to be a “soft landing pad” for international startups looking to break into the North American market. The incubation program is six months long, and will give startups office space, networking opportunities, mentorship, and business support services.
The innovation and technology sector will play a key role in economic resiliency as we move forward from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
BHive will be run by the City of Brampton in partnership with the Toronto Business Development Centre.
Notably, BHive will also provide startups with employees coming to Canada via the federal Startup Visa Program with endorsements to help accelerate their application process. According to the federal government’s guidelines for the Startup Visa Program, international startups using the program are required to receive an endorsement from an authorized designated entity.
The City of Brampton claims it is home to more than 275 tech companies, including Medtronic and Rogers Communications. Over the last few years, Brampton has been looking to help tech startups with a variety of partnerships and initiatives.
In September, the City partnered with Ryerson University to launch the Ryerson Venture Zone, a pre-seed, non-equity incubator that helps grow early-stage technology startups. The city is also home to the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre, a Cyber Security Accelerator, the Catalyst Cyber Range led by Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst, which was launched in partnership with The DMZ.
“The innovation and technology sector will play a key role in economic resiliency as we move forward from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will provide skilled employment opportunities for our community,” said Paul Vicente, vice-chair of economic development and culture for the City of Brampton. “The City is committed to advancing our thriving innovation ecosystem, and continues to build an Innovation District that is second to none.”
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The launch of an internationally-focused incubator comes as many accelerator programs, Canadian and international, have been able to increase their global reach in recent months.
Techstars Toronto’s 2021 cohort features a large portion of international startups, hailing from countries like Nigeria, Vietnam, India, and the United States. Speaking with BetaKit recently, managing director of Techstars Toronto Sunil Sharma said the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on global remote work has given Techstars greater access to international companies.
Google, which runs a number of accelerator programs, this year opened access to its typically US-focused programs to Canadian startups and founders. Y Combinator has also seen a number of Canadian startups enter and graduate from its batches in recent years, with its most recent cohort including 13 Canadian companies.
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