Canadian entrepreneurs are crucial to Canada’s economic growth, and the Government of Canada is committed to helping innovative start-ups to reach their full potential. This was the message delivered today by the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Member of Parliament for Waterloo, during a keynote address at the Accelerator Centre’s AC JumpStart SPARK Showcase.
Held during Global Entrepreneurship Week, this annual event celebrates dedicated and hard-working entrepreneurs who have received support through the AC JumpStart program, a unique incubation and mentorship program that supports technology start-ups across southern Ontario. The Minister also announced that 22 companies will receive support through the seventh cohort of the AC JumpStart program.
During the event, entrepreneurs demonstrated their innovative technologies to industry leaders and potential investors. Three start-ups were selected to pitch their company to the audience, and 56 Game Studios was chosen as the winner.
“The AC JumpStart program is an essential source of early-stage funding for start-ups across southern Ontario. The combination of this funding from FedDev Ontario with our mentor model gives early-stage companies a leg up in building their businesses and positively impacts our community. We are pleased to welcome Minister Chagger to the Accelerator Centre to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week and the success of these companies.”
– Paul Salvini, CEO, Accelerator Centre
The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) invested $8 million, through the Investing in Business Innovation initiative, in support of the AC JumpStart program. The program is delivered by the Accelerator Centre, in partnership with the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College. The Accelerator Centre expects to help a total of 180 high-potential businesses grow, creating approximately 700 new jobs.
“Global Entrepreneurship Week is an excellent opportunity to highlight the amazing work being done by innovative Canadian entrepreneurs. This event is a fabulous demonstration of the impressive talent for which the Waterloo region has become known. Our Government is proud to support programs like the Accelerator Centre’s AC JumpStart program. It provides crucial mentorship and seed funding for early-stage technology companies to succeed and thrive. Today’s showcase demonstrates how, with the right support, bright and promising entrepreneurs can help grow the economy and create good middle class jobs.”
– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Member of Parliament for Waterloo
- Established in 2006, the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo is an award-winning incubator, dedicated to building sustainable and globally competitive technology companies.
- Each AC JumpStart recipient receives up to $30,000 in seed financing, one-of-a-kind mentorship and coaching from a team of in-house experts, as well as access to market research and connections to investors.
- Cohort seven of the program is currently underway; applications for the eighth cohort will open in early 2018.
- In 2013, the Accelerator Centre successfully piloted the AC JumpStart program with the help of a $945,000-investment through FedDev Ontario. The pilot assisted 30 start-up companies, which created 212 new jobs in the Waterloo region.
- Global Entrepreneurship Week, taking place November 13–18, is the world’s largest celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation. Thousands of events and activities in over 130 countries will inspire people to engage in entrepreneurial activity and help them explore their potential to create start-up companies.