Plug and Play to open first Canadian location


Plug and Play, a Silicon Valley-headquartered innovation hub, early-stage investor, and accelerator, is looking to expand its presence in Toronto and Canada more broadly. The organization will open an office in Mississauga, just outside of Toronto, representing its first base in the Canadian market.

“Plug and Play looks forward to fully participating in the amazing tech ecosystem.”
– Farzin Shadpour

Plug and Play’s Canadian expansion is being supported by chemical production company BASF. BASF will, in turn, gain access to the Plug and Play ecosystem of startups in Canada, in order to advance BASF’s products and services. Focus areas for the Toronto location will include supply chain, FinTech, mobility, new materials, food and AgTech, energy, and mining. Plug and Play has not specified when the Toronto location will open.

“Plug and Play looks forward to fully participating in the amazing tech ecosystem in Canada and being able to connect corporations to startups and their innovations,” said Farzin Shadpour, vice president of Plug and Play.

“We’re looking forward to creating a presence in Toronto and [working] with corporations like BASF, who through its many sectors of focus, brings a diverse perspective to our innovation ecosystem for both startups and other partners,” Shadpour added.

Plug and Play runs two programs per year across a variety of industries and its global locations, and has 300 corporate partners and 200 venture capitalists in its network. In 2017, Plug and Play was named the “most active Silicon Valley venture capital firm” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Plug and Play was an early investor in Google, PayPal, Dropbox, and LendingClub. The organization has offices in Berlin, Paris, Munich, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Shanghai, and Tokyo, among other cities globally.

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The new Canadian base will be operating out of BASF Canada’s head office in Mississauga. The organization’s Toronto office will host its first virtual Innovation Day on June 23. The event will feature several startup pitches and a corporate innovation panel.

“This is an exciting and unique opportunity to increase our innovation efforts with our strategic customers in Canada, many of whom are at the early stages of determining how to partner with startups,” said Marcelo Lu, president of BASF Canada.

Over the last few years, several Silicon Valley organizations have looked to tap into Canada’s startup scene. Last year, for example, Silicon Valley Bank, which has helped fund more than 30,000 startups, expanded to Canada. Google Accelerator and Microsoft for Startups have also established their own presence north of the border in recent years.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Syed Ahmed.

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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