YSpace, the entrepreneurship and innovation hub of York University within the Office of the Vice President of Research & Innovation, celebrated a significant occasion on September 28th by hosting the Technology Accelerator Demo Day. During this event, the top three startups from the 2023 cohort were recognized for their innovation in Tech with up to $30K in cash awards.
The Technology Accelerator stands as a prominent program, spanning four months, with the primary aim of assisting market-ready Tech startups in shaping their pathway for growth and capital readiness. It facilitates entrepreneurs in obtaining specialized guidance from entrepreneurs-in-residence, growth mentors, and other experts with a tactical approach. Participants engage in intensive workshop sprints, mastermind sessions to nurture their leadership skills, and receive tailored mentorship support throughout the duration of the program.
The Demo Day, sponsored by the City of Toronto, RBCx and Houser Henry & Syron, served as the grand finale of the Technology Accelerator program. For the participants, it was the moment they had been diligently preparing for, a chance to present their ground-breaking ideas to a panel of industry experts and potential investors.
Five promising start-ups from this year’s cohort of 12 companies, took to the stage, each armed with innovative solutions poised to disrupt their respective industries. Among the participants were Linggo, Benefi, Carity, Aruna Revolution, Happipad.
“The YSpace team has had the privilege of supporting the growth of 12 highly innovative ventures through this year's accelerator cohort,” remarked, Nafis Ahmed, Entrepreneurship Manager at YSpace, the driving force behind the accelerator program. “The Demo Day is a celebration of these incredible ventures and their accomplishments over the last 5 months, creating an opportunity for the founders to connect with investors and leaders within the tech ecosystem. We are truly proud of their achievements and excited to follow along their entrepreneurship journey.”
Following the riveting pitches, three standout startups emerged victorious. Third place for $5000 went to Aruna Revolution, for revolutionizing the way we manage our menstrual health by creating compostable menstrual pads, that are made of local food and crop waste. Securing the second-place prize of $10,000 was Carity, for transforming car buying and selling through consumer-lead digital solutions, powered by conversational AI. The coveted title for first-place, cash award of $15,000, went to Linggo, which provides assistive communication technology and clinical training to support a person's ability to communicate, develop language and socialize with others on a daily basis.
Ling Ly Tan, co-founder of Linggo, shared her experience working with YSpace and being part of the Tech Accelerator program, saying, “The YSpace Technology Accelerator went above and beyond my expectations, and has been the best accelerator experience I've had to date. Nafis and the entire team provided unwavering support for our team, facilitating valuable connections with many opportunities to meet with well-matched investors. The mentors assigned to us played a pivotal role in reshaping our company's strategy and driving its subsequent growth. Moreover, I was really impressed by the depth of knowledge and backgrounds of the speakers who presented to us on fundraising and business strategy during the program.”
David Kwok, Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at YSpace, expressed his pride in the program’s achievements. “I truly believe that we have built something unique and different here,” he noted. “Our tactical approach and hands-on focus to help the companies grow is second to none. Year after year, we’ve seen the caliber of the companies improve and that is really a testament to the program that we’ve built and the team that we have. Also, the reach of the program has expanded beyond Ontario with two of our top five being from Nova Scotia & British Columbia!”
The next cohort applications will be launching in January 2024, learn more about the Technology Accelerator program here.