Pre-seed startup accelerator Founder Institute has opened applications for its Toronto Tech Corridor 2021 accelerator program, which will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deadline to apply for the Toronto Tech Corridor 2021 program is November 8.
The 13-week program takes early-stage founders through developing core aspects of their business, including branding, intellectual property, product development, hiring, and go-to-market strategy. This will be the 17th cohort since Founder Institute launched in Toronto six years ago.
The program will run from November 2020 to March 2021. The application deadline for the Toronto Tech Corridor 2021 program is November 8.
Founder Institute sessions are run by volunteer mentors. To date, more than 250 mentors have supported Founder Institute Toronto via session talks, office hours, mentor idea reviews and post-graduation alumni support. The program culminates in a founder showcase, which is set to take place on March 17.
Though Founder Institute is a global accelerator with chapters across 90 countries, Sunil Sharma, managing director of the Toronto Founder Institute, told BetaKit Toronto has become known as the largest Founder Institute chapter outside of Silicon Valley.
Sharma noted that since the Toronto chapter began, 300 startups have launched, including Intelocate, Fairly AI, Babbly, Orbiseed, Braze Mobility, Jauntin, Parlay, and Argentum.
Sharma claimed 90 percent of the Founder Institute Toronto’s most recent class of 40 alumni came from a diverse, racialized background. He stated that one-quarter of the class were Black founders and one-third were female.
According to its website, each Founder Institute alumnus contributes four percent of their company equity to a shared liquidity pool for each cohort. After a liquidity event, such as an IPO or acquisition, the pool’s financial returns are distributed, with one percent each going to mentors, alumni, the program’s leadership, and Founder Institute headquarters.
Founder Institute is one of many startup accelerator programs to go fully online due to the pandemic. The new Google for Startups Accelerator, the first such in Canada, was held online this year. The Google accelerator is set to host its first demo day on November 26.
The new Intuit Canada and Highline Beta Prosperity accelerator is also currently a virtual program. Even later-stage accelerators, such as the Lazaridis ScaleUp Program, are adopting a virtual format.
Image source Unsplash. Photo by Nadine Shaabana.