Toronto event-turned-tech hub Elevate and payment processing firm Moneris have announced the 10 startups joining the first cohort of the organizations’ joint eCommerce North accelerator.
The six-month accelerator, first announced in February, will offer startups digital-first programming, one-on-one coaching, and access to a network of leading Canadian executives and entrepreneurs. The accelerator will also include coaching on how startups can scale initiatives such as sustainability, equity, and mental health as their businesses grow. The program will begin May 12 and will culminate in a demo day in November.
eCommerce North represents the second innovation program Elevate has launched in the last year.
eCommerce North represents the second innovation program Elevate has launched in the last year. In July, Elevate cancelled the fourth edition of its tech festival due to COVID-19, but secured $5 million from the City of Toronto and other corporate partners to create a new innovation hub. Elevate partnered with the Design Exchange, a Toronto venue, to launch the Elevate Social Innovation Exchange, which offers year-round programming.
The eCommerce North accelerator is tapping a sector that has grown to become one of Canada’s most successful and lucrative in recent years. Tech firms such as Shopify and Lightspeed have scaled into e-commerce unicorns with international repute.
Much of the growth seen in Canada’s e-commerce sector can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on how we buy and sell. The sector has been one of the true winners of the pandemic, as merchants across the country have been forced to move to online retail channels.
Sen Sachi, head of program design at eCommerce North, said the accelerator saw a large response for the program, which demonstrates the need for more support across Canada’s e-commerce sector.
In addition to providing support and programming, eCommerce North is also committed to the federal government’s 50-30 Challenge, aimed to improve access for racialized persons, people who identify as LGBTQ2, people living with disabilities, as well as First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The first cohort of this program includes five woman-identifying founders and eight founders from underrepresented groups.
The ten startups participating in the first cohort of eCommerce North are:
Beam.City (Toronto, ON) – offers a platform aimed to make digital ads easy.
Beeja May (Toronto, ON) – has developed a new way to buy and sell used children’s clothing online.
Cooks Who Feed (Mississauga, ON) – ethically produces handcrafted aprons, which donates 100 meals for every apron sold.
DropCommerce (Victoria, BC) – connects Canadian and American brands with e-commerce stores, aiming to bridge the gap between dropshipping, and high-quality products.
Kabo (Toronto, ON) – creates fresh dog food customized to a dog’s dietary needs, which is delivered through contactless delivery.
QuoteMachine (Montréal, QC) – helps retailers sell more with a personalized, human approach to digital commerce.
Satya (Vancouver, BC) – offers a certified organic product to treat severe skin conditions, like eczema, without using steroids.
Silk and Snow (Toronto, ON) – offers mattresses and bedding that are manufactured using high-quality, traceable materials.
Sociavore (Kitchener-Waterloo, ON) – has developed a self-serve website builder and e-commerce platform for managing a restaurant online.
Ugly Dukling (Toronto, ON) – collaborates with brands, blockbuster films, and celebrities to create lifestyle and beauty collections.
Image source John Lamb via Getty Images.