Silicon Valley-born Founder Institute Officially Opens in Toronto

The “World’s Largest Startup Accelerator”  has planted its foot in the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor.

The Founder Institute announced today that it will officially launch its first chapter in Toronto. After launching its first Canadian chapter in Montreal last month, the Founder Institute is now present in two Canadian cities. It claims to have graduated over 1,100 startups, and wants to launch over 40 “meaningful and enduring companies” per year in Canada.

The Silicon Valley-based Founder Institute decided to officially launch in Toronto “after a successful trial period across the city in April drew over 150 interested applicants.”

“It is long overdue that we launch a chapter in Toronto, which is truly one of the best places in North America to launch a technology company,” said CEO Adeo Ressi. “The Founder Institute aims to be complementary to the already robust startup ecosystem in Toronto and Waterloo, help entrepreneurs who are just starting out in the region build sustainable companies, and provide a link to our Silicon Valley and global startup network.”

In five years the program has helped entrepreneurs launch over 1,116 companies in over 55 cities and 6 continents. It’s a four-month program where participants “learn by doing,” and build a company in an efficient and cost-effective manner. It uses a step-by-step curriculum based on Silicon Valley best practices.

Founder Institute said less than 40 percent of enrolled founders graduate from the program. It suggested that a correlation exists between that statistic and its 89 percent survival rate.

“Unlike most incubators who demand significant market traction from applicants, our goal is to train early stage founders and get them ready for top later stage programs in Toronto or worldwide,” said Kamal Hassan, Toronto’s codirecter.

“We are excited to be launching Founder Institute here in Toronto given its massive international presence,” added the chapter’s other codirector, Sunil Sharma. “With Toronto having the most diverse population in the world, and with the opportunity to attract the world’s best founders to Canada with the new Startup Visa Program, we are thrilled to be connecting into the Founder Institute’s world-class network.”
Other successful entrepreneurs who have signed on to mentor founders in the Toronto program include:

  • Adeo Ressi: Founder/CEO, Founder Institute
  • Ali Asaria: CEO, Tulip Retail
  • Ameet Shah: Studio Director, Zynga Toronto
  • Andrew D’Souza: President, Bionym
  • Ariel Garten: CEO, InteraXon
  • Brice Scheschuk: Co-founder and CFO, Wind Mobile
  • Chris Ye: Co-Founder, Uken Games
  • Farhan Thawar: VP Engineering, Pivotal Labs
  • Haroon Mirza: Entrepreneur in Residence, OMERS Ventures
  • Michael De Monte: Co-Founder, ScribbleLive
  • Wendy Robertson: Partner, Mediagenic
  • Allen Lau: Co-Founder, Wattpad
  • And many more to be announced.


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