Mumbai-based startup accelerator StartUp Reseau, launched by Ajay Ramasubramaniam and Sweta Tiwari, announced the shortlist of 35 Indian startups participating in the inaugural cohort of Startup Bridge Canada (SBC).
Announced by Startup Reseau in December 2020, SBC is a six-week pre-market entry startup programme for growth-stage Indian enterprises to access and understand Canada and build their strategy for the North America foray.
Ramasubramaniam, Co-founder CEO, Startup Reseau, says, “As an organisation, we are always looking to unlock global market opportunities for Indian startups seeking to expand internationally, by way of structured market access programmes. With a strong focus on being a developer of startup ecosystem in emerging markets, we continue to remain bullish about prospects for Indian startups in mature markets such as North America and Europe.”
To further facilitate the entry of Indian firms in Canada, Startup Réseau has tied up with the Governments of Alberta, British Columbia,and Ontario, along with economic development agencies such as Toronto Global, Montreal International to help a cohort of Indian entrepreneurs grow, scale, and promote their businesses in Canada, and access the larger North American geography.
Stewart Beck, President, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, said, “Canada is a recognised global leader in machine learning and digital innovation. Canadian immigration policies and startup environment have attracted highly qualified technology talent and savvy investors from around the World making Canada an excellent choice for Indian entrepreneurs to establish their beachhead for growth in North American and European markets.”
The inaugural edition of Startup Bridge Canada received 276 applications from which 35 startups make up the cohort. The programme will run virtually and has been inaugurated by H.E Ajay Bisaria, High Commissioner to Canada. “Both India and Canada have in place robustly expanding startup ecosystems. In fact, Canada’s investment capacity complements India’s entrepreneurial spark to create vast opportunities for startups. In a recent telephonic conversation, the Prime Ministers of the two countries reiterated a desire to work together for building a more sustainable and resilient global economy. Combining Canada’s advanced knowledge and investments with India’s skills and markets makes the perfect recipe for the success of startups. It is not surprising that the first Indian Unicorn of 2021 has a strong Canada connect,” says Ajay Bisaria, High Commissioner to Canada.
The 35 founders in the cohort have cumulatively raised in excess of $26 million and run an ARR of over $16.5 million. The average team size of one-thirds of the cohort is 40 team members.
The shortlisted startups operate in a wide variety of industries, including financial services, infrastructure, large enterprise accounts and ESG. Over 50% of the cohort applies fast growing technologies like AI and ML.
The virtual programme will take place over the course of six weeks beginning on February 15, 2021.