These incubators are hatch­ing the ti­tans of to­mor­row

Toronto Life - - This City -


What it is: Toronto’s mecca of in­no­va­tion. The or­ga­ni­za­tion of­fers 1.5-mil­lion square feet of of­fice space in four tow­ers along Hos­pi­tal Row.

Who it’s for: Com­pa­nies in the early stages of growth in four areas: health, fi­nance, en­ergy, and work and learn­ing.

What they get: Ac­cess to in­cu­ba­tor and ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­grams like MaRS Start and MaRS Growth, and in­vest­ments like the MaRS Cat­a­lyst Fund for cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity. What it costs: Free.

no­table ten­ants: Face­book, Airbnb, PayPal, League.

Ry­er­son DMZ

What it is: The best univer­sity in­cu­ba­tor in North Amer­ica, ac­cord­ing to the re­search firm UBI Global. It opened a New York out­post in June.

Who it’s for: Pre–fund­ing stage start-ups with work­ing pro­to­types.

What they get: Of­fice space, pitch work­shops, one-on-one meet­ings with in­vestors, and ac­cess to an ad­vi­sory coun­cil with big shots like ex–Wind Mo­bile CEO An­thony La­cav­era and for­mer CBCer Kirs­tine Ste­wart. What it costs: $400 a month.

no­table ten­ants: Dot Health, an app that helps peo­ple ac­cess their med­i­cal records; Ac­cessNow, a ser­vice that al­lows peo­ple to find ac­ces­si­ble bars, restau­rants and the like.


What it is: A start-up net­work and co-work­ing space in a sleek, sprawl­ing Front Street fa­cil­ity. Who it’s for: Start-ups that have raised be­tween $1 mil­lion and $5 mil­lion. What they get: Meet­ings with in­vestors, founder events, and Ping-Pong and foos­ball ta­bles. What it costs: A desk in an

open-con­cept of­fice starts at $500 a month.

nO­TAble Ten­AnTS: Zoom, an AI ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant; Drop­bike, a bike-shar­ing ser­vice.

The Founder City Project

WHAT IT IS: A net­work of CEOs and start-up types. Mem­bers meet in small groups monthly and can sign up for in-depth train­ing on scal­ing, re­cruit­ing, di­ver­sity, and more.

WHO IT’S fOR: Founders and tech em­ploy­ees in the Toronto-Water­loo cor­ri­dor.

WHAT THey geT: Men­tor­ing, peer-learn­ing ses­sions and ex­clu­sive net­work­ing events.

WHAT IT cOSTS: $850 for male trainees, free for women.

nO­TAble AlumnI: Wattpad, Big Vik­ing Games, VarageSale.

Next Canada

WHAT IT IS: A na­tion­wide non-profit that of­fers three dif­fer­ent pro­grams for de­vel­op­ing founders and start-ups.

WHO IT’S fOR: Next 36 is an eight-month ac­cel­er­a­tor for com­pa­nies; Next Founders trains in­di­vid­ual en­trepreneurs; and a new stream, Next AI, helps start-ups in ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.

WHAT THey geT: Men­tor­ing from a net­work that in­cludes Hubba’s Ben Zifkin and Top Hat’s Mike Si­la­gadze; an in­ten­sive business-build­ing cur­ricu­lum; a chance to pitch to in­vestors; and ac­cess to ad­vis­ers in op­er­a­tions, sales and me­dia re­la­tions.

WHAT IT cOSTS: Free. mem­beRS: Staffy, an Uber­style temp ser­vice; Crowd­bab­ble, a so­cial an­a­lyt­ics firm.

nO­TAble AlumnI: Bridgit, which makes man­age­ment soft­ware for con­struc­tion sites; Sam­pler, a prod­uct sam­ple de­liv­ery ser­vice.


WHAT IT IS: A 12-week boot camp of work­shops and men­tor­ing that cul­mi­nates with “demo day,” a chance for start-ups to pitch their com­pa­nies to in­vestors.

WHO IT’S fOR: Es­tab­lished start-ups can en­roll in the Ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gram, while new com­pa­nies can en­ter the less-in­ten­sive Fun­nel stream.

WHAT THey geT: Men­tor­ing, of­fice space, le­gal and ac­count­ing ser­vices, and ac­cess to an in­ter­na­tional ex­change pro­gram with place­ments in New York and Hong Kong.

WHAT IT cOSTS: 7.5 per cent of the com­pany’s eq­uity.

nO­TAble AlumnI: Lime­light, an event mar­ket­ing soft­ware; the data an­a­lyt­ics firm Qoints; the por­ta­ble home se­cu­rity sys­tem Alertly.

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