Lazaridis Institute selects 10 startups for fifth cohort of ScaleUp Program


The Lazaridis Institute, housed at Wilfrid Laurier University, has selected 10 tech startups to participate in the fifth cohort of its ScaleUp Program.

The ScaleUp Program aims to help companies accelerate their growth with mentorship, programming, and access to a global network of experts. The 10 selected companies represent a wide range of verticals, including artificial intelligence, healthtech, cleantech, and IoT. The Lazaridis Institute said it saw a record number of applications this year, with Ontario dominating in representation and BC, Alberta, and Quebec making up a combined 40 percent of applications.

“When you consider the number and the calibre of the companies that applied, it’s clear that Canadian tech is taking off.”

“The latest group of companies participating in the Lazaridis ScaleUp Program represents the best in Canadian tech, 10 companies that have what it takes to compete at a global level,” said Kim Morouney, managing director of the Lazaridis Institute. “Our task, and our privilege, is to provide the mentorship, support, and access to networks that they need to grow rapidly and maintain their competitive advantage.”

One of the companies accepted to the Lazaridis ScaleUp Program includes Maple, a telemedicine platform that provides on-demand access to medical providers. The startup recently raised $14.5 million Series A and partnered with LifeLabs and Dot Health.

Another selected startup is DarwinAI, based in Kitchener-Waterloo, whose platform works to help developers accelerate deep learning development. In September 2018, the startup raised $3.9 million in seed funding led by Obvious Ventures and iNovia Capital.

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Toronto-based Upchain will also be participating in the fifth cohort. The startup allows engineers, designers, salespeople, purchasers, and other product stakeholders to collaborate on a single platform. In early 2018, Upchain raised $7.4 million in funding.

“Selecting the final 10 companies for this cohort was really difficult,” said Morouney. “It’s a great problem to have. When you consider the number and the calibre of the companies that applied, it’s clear that Canadian tech is taking off. There are more companies with the potential to dominate their markets than ever before.”

Companies in the first four cohorts of the ScaleUp Program have accessed more $375 million in capital, according to the Lazaridis Institute. Some big raises from alumni in the past few months include with $19.6 million, Vendasta raising $40 million, and Terramera closing $59.6 million. The institute noted that one hundred percent of ScaleUp’s cohort companies are still in operation in Canada today.

The 10 companies selected include:

The fifth cohort of the ScaleUp Program will launch in Toronto on October 17. Over the next eight months, the group will meet in six different cities across North America for workshops led by globally-recognized tech executives.

Image courtesy Wilfrid Laurier University

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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