Mumbai-based Startup Reseau, which was launched by Ajay Ramasubramaniam and Sweta Tiwari, has announced a shortlist of 35 Indian startups participating in the inaugural cohort of Startup Bridge Canada (SBC).
Startup Reseau announced SBC in December 2020, a 6-week pre-market entry startup program for growth stage Indian startups to access and understand Canada and build their strategy for North America foray.
Startup Reseau Co-founder CEO Ajay Ramasubramaniam said, “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 programs.”
“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,” he added.
The 35 startups that have made it to the program are:
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In addition to the proximity to major US business hubs, Canada presents a stable economy, large corporations and their innovation and R&D centres, great talent, a strong tech ecosystem, ease of doing business, favourable business immigration, and startup visa program.
To further facilitate entry of Indian startups in Canada, Startup Réseau has tied up with the Government of Alberta, Government of British Columbia, Government of Ontario and economic development agencies including 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.
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada President Stewart Beck 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.”
“In the province of Alberta, Canada, you will find world-class research universities, significant pools of capital, an affordable quality of life, a highly educated workforce and top ranked ML and AI research. With more than $1 billion in tax incentives for R&D and commercialisation and a highly accessible Startup Visa program, the province is welcoming eager minds and innovative companies,” said Invest Alberta Corporation CEO David Knight Legg.
Trade & Invest British Columbia Managing Director Rooma Bussi said, “We are delighted to partner with StartUp Reseau on this initiative. British Columbia has been at the forefront of technology research and innovation in North America and is the #1 startup ecosystem in Canada and top 15 globally.”
“With almost 11,000 tech companies, ranging from innovative startups to global Fortune 500 companies, technology is one of the fastest growing sectors in British Columbia. Combine this with B.C.’s world class talent and business friendly government policies and you have the perfect environment to make your business a success,” he added.
The inaugural edition of Startup Bridge Canada received 276 applications from which 35 startups make up the cohort. The program will run virtually and has been inaugurated by Ajay Bisaria, High Commissioner to Canada.
“Both India and Canada have in place robustly expanding startup ecosystems. Canada’s investment capacity complements India’s entrepreneurial spark to create vast opportunities for startups,” said Ajay Bisaria.
“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,” he added.
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, while there are three startups with team sizes exceeding 100 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 / ML.
The virtual programme, which began on February 15, 2021, will take place over the course of six weeks.