Startup Guide Toronto

Planning to start a startup in Toronto? We are pleased to start a new series on Startup City Guide across the world. In this post, we bring you all the startup resources you need to know in Toronto. There are plenty of Toronto startups and exciting companies in the city. Toronto is Canada’s largest city with a population of over 2.5 million people and an annual growth rate of 0.86%. This urban city is a host to the CN Tower, the Toronto Maple Leafs, diverse restaurants, and cultural performances leaving individuals from every walk of life attracted to this city. Let’s dive in and learn about some of these startup resources:

Startup Meetups

Toronto is full of new startup and tech meetups. It’s safe to say there’s no shortage of meetups as there’s always something happening. Here’s the list of active meetups in Toronto:

FoundersCoffee
StartupTech Unleashed
F*ckup Toronto
TechTO
MarketingTO
SalesToronto
TravelTech Toronto
HealthTO
FinTech Toronto
Retail Toronto
OneEleven Events
HackerNest Social
StartupGrind
Growth Hacking Toronto
The Hip Haus
Toronto Account Based Marketing
Customer Success Toronto
Open People Network
Toronto Enterprise Sales Forum
InnovateWork TO 
Product Tank Toronto
Toronto Product Management Association
Startup 4 Chinese GTA

Conferences and Annual Events

Here’s the list of all annual startup conferences and events that occur in Toronto. There are some great conferences here on this list:

Young Entrepreneur Conference
Social Light Conference
Canadian Innovation Exchange
Startup Open House
Dx3 Canada
Intrapreneurship Conference
World AI Forum

Startup Competitions

Startup Competitions are a great way to win some non-dilutive funding. Non-dilutive sources of funding can you give your startup not only a great boost, but also you can get exposure with these startup pitches. In addition to the list below, you can check out our Startup Competition page to see the upcoming ones.

Dragons’ Den
The Queen’s Entrepreneur Competition
University of Toronto Scarborough Startup Competition
Unlock Your Big Idea Pitch Competition
It’s a Start Pitch Competition
The CNE Innovation Garage
Telus Small Business Competition
The Vinetta Project Pitch
CIX Summit: Most Innovative New Canadian Tech Companies
FinTech Cup
Toronto Tie
Lion’s Lair
Starting Point Student Entrepreneurship Conference
Rotman Design Challenge
Health Edge
Toronto Enterprise Fund
N100
The Pitch
Student Entrepreneur National Competition
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
Pitch for the Purse: Women Entrepreneurs Canada
Ivey Pitch Startup Challenge
RBC Epic Business Model Canvas
Disrupt Mining $1 Million Pitch competition
Synapse Life Science Pitch Competition
Pitch to Rich Virgin Mobile Canada
Pythons’ Pit HIgh School
Make Your Pitch Competition High School

Startup Courses 

If you’re looking to learn about Entrepreneurship check out the courses we currently offer.

FoundersBeta Startup Courses 

Startup Jobs

If you’re looking to break into some startups we have all startup job listing here including Y Combinator startup jobs feed. You can also join our Facebook Group Startup Jobs here. 

Startup Coach

Talking with a startup coach can accelerate your startup at the speed of light. You can book a time to talk with us here. We can help in terms of Growth hacking, Building an MVP, Finding a cofounder, Breaking into Startups, and much more!

Cofounders

If you’re looking for a cofounder join our FoundersCoffee to meet with potential cofounders. Additionally, you can post your opportunity on our Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/foundersbeta/

Beta Testers

Finding beta testers is one of the biggest challenge you will face. You can post it on our forum here and also our Facebook group and we can help connect with our audience: https://www.facebook.com/groups/foundersbeta/

Startup Accelerators and Incubators

Toronto has a huge number of startup incubators and accelerators. Some tend to be university affiliated, while others focus on specific industries. But what exactly is the the difference between startup incubators and accelerators? Startup incubators tend to focus on early-stage while an accelerator focuses on fuelling the growth and expansion of a startup. Whether you think you might need an incubator or not depends where you are with your startup. Some incubators and accelerators can a lot of value while others tend to be useless and won’t add much value. Here’s the complete list of startup incubators and accelerators in Toronto:

Creative Destruction Lab
Entrepreneurship Hatchery
Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab
Impact Center
Start@UTIAS
Health Innovation hub
UTEST
ICUBE
The Hub
YEDI
LaunchU
DMZ
Fashion Zone
Biomedical Zone
Legal Innovation Zone
Clean Energy Zone
Science Discovery Zone
Transmedia Zone
iBoost
Joe Fresh Centre
Startup Me Up
DMZ Women Founders Accelerator Program
Imagination Catalyst
OneEleven
The Next36
Digital Media and Gaming Incubator
Infiniti Lab Toronto
Toronto Fashion Incubator
Jlab
ACCEL at the Centre of Entrepreneurship
Edge Sheridan College Mississauga
Lazaridis Scale Up Program
Lazaridis Scale Up Program Women Cohort
Ideaboost
IBM Innovation Space Toronto
Canadian Technology Accelerator Boston
CleanTech North
WaterTap Ontario
Ontario Brain Institute: Build Your Neurotech Venture
Y2 Labs

Startup Funding

Funding is always challenging in the beginning of a startup. Usually because it takes a while to generate sales but also support yourself. Check out these list of startup funding.

Summer Company
Starter Company Plus
SmartStart Seed Funding
Canadian Digital Network
CDMN Soft Landing
Embedded Executive Funding Program
MaRS Catalyst Fund
Canadian Medical Association’s Joule Innovation grant program
Embark Funding Program
MITACS
Industrial Research Assistant Program
Built in Canada Innovation Program
Bioenterprise Ontario Seed Fund
FedDev IBI
SR&ED
ICTC
SDTC
OMDC Funding
Canada Summer Jobs
Chinese Angel Mentor Program
Women Entrepreneurship Fund
Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization Funding
Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment 
Grand Challenge Canada

Here’s a list of all venture capital in Toronto. Some focus certain industry such as Fintech or software related products.

Venture Capital Firms

OMERS Ventures
Version One
Relay Ventures
Rho Ventures
Golden Venture Partners
iNovia Capital
Real Ventures
Georgian Partners
Plaza Ventures
Impression Ventures
Round 13
Klass Capital
Mantella Ventures 
McRock Capital
Gibraltar Ventures
Tandem Expansion Fund
IAF MaRS
BDC
Women in Technology Fund
Panache Ventures
Lumira Ventures 
Fundica Roadshow 

Angel Investors

Alex Norman @alexandernorman
Hussien Fazal @hussein_fazal
Ameet Shah @ameetshah
Ken Nickerson, iBinary @kcnickerson
Chris Ye @cye
Mike Serbinis @mserbinis
Dennis Kavelman @dkavelman
Andrew D’Souza @andrewdsouza
Ameet Shah @ameetshah
Alkarim Nasser @alkarim
Derek Szeto @derekszeto
Alex Black @WaterlooAlex
Fahd Ananta @fahdananta
Randall Howard @randallh
Jesse Rasch, Hedgewood
Dominic Bortolussi @dombort
Greg Wolfond, Blue Sky Capital
Daniel Debow, @ddebow
Jevon MacDonald, @jevon
Jonas Brandon @jonasbrandon
Ben Yoskovitz, @byosko
David Ossip, @dossip
David Stein @dstein
Dennis Bennie, XDL Capital
Mark Skapinker @markskapinker, BrightSpark
Nick Koudas @koudas
Anand Agarwala @anandx
Chris Eben @ceben
Tom Williams @tomwilliams
William Mougayar @wmougayar
Chris Carder @KineticCafe
Larry Innanen Linkedin
Mike Stork
Bruce MacLellan
Todd Finch @toddmfinch
Allen Lau @allenlau & Eva Lau @MrsEvaLau
Albert Lai @albertsupdates
Jennifer Lum @lum
Nigel Stokes @MindAngler
Chris Erickson
Marzio Pozzuloi @MarzioPozzuoli1
Mark Ruddock @MarkRuddock
Brian Sharwood @bsharwood

Hackathons

UofT Hacks
YorkU Hacks
ElleHacks
RU Hacks
Hack the Valley

Women Entrepreneur Resources 

Connections Silicon Valley
Women in Technology Fund 
Women Entrepreneurship Fund
RBC Women Canadian Entrepreneur Award
Women of Distinction Award YWCA
DMZ Women Founder Accelerator Program 
ElleHacks
Girl Geeks Toronto

Student Organizations

If you’re a student looking to get involved on your campus check out these entrepreneurship club to get started for potential events or opportunities.

Rotman Entrepreneurship Organization
UTM Entrepreneurs Club
REVCA University of Toronto
Ryerson Entrepreneurship Association
Entrepreneurship Development Association YorkU
Schulich Startup Night
Nspire

Entrepreneurs Awards

Being a founder is the most challenging yet rewarding work. These awards celebrate entrepreneurship in Canada.

Enactus Student Entrepreneur
Ey Entrepreneur of the Year
RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award
Vision to Reality Award PWC
Women of Distinction Award YWCA
Wise 50 Over 50

Do you have a favourite startup resource? Let us know as we map out the global startup ecosystem.

If you have any questions about starting a startup book a time to chat with us here!

About the Author

Eric RIn Pursuit of World-Class Excellence. Eric is founder of FoundersBeta with a wealth of expertise in startups, building high-performing teams, and product development. He is a top ranked tennis player and always up for a conversation about startups. Check his projects at www.ericrafat.com