Conestoga news

June 25, 2015 12:21 PM

Mentorship program supports local startups

Participants of Conestoga’s Centre for Entrepreneurship were among the 40 local startups introduced at a launch event at the Accelerator Centre on June 24. The startups were selected to participate in the Centre’s JumpStart program, which is aimed at helping young technology companies in the region by providing access to essential resources and experts.

Centre for Entrepreneurship.JPGEach business chosen for the program will receive $30,000 in seed funding (to be matched by the recipients) and over $10,000 of in-kind mentorship services from industry experts over a 12-month period. Participants will also have access to market research and connections to investors.

The Government of Canada’s Economic Development Agency directed $8 million to the program in January 2015 and it is expected 180 companies will participate over the next four years. AC Jumpstart is delivered through the Accelerator Centre and its partners, which include Conestoga College, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo.

The current cohort of AC Jumpstart participants is diverse and represents a range of businesses and products. The startups selected to participate through Conestoga’s stream are ApplyBoard, Avias, NGTronix and StressWelliQ. The product offerings of these companies include electronic golf trainers and a software platform for international students.

“These companies represent the future of the region,” said Paul Salvini, CEO of the Accelerator Centre. “The work going on in our research labs today will trickle down into our great companies of tomorrow." Salvini also noted the startups will drive economic development both directly and indirectly by attracting other companies to the region.

This is the second AC JumpStart program to be launched through the Accelerator Centre. Startups that participated in the 2013 program created over 200 new jobs in Waterloo Region, generated over $3 million in combined revenue and are expected to raise $5 million in private investment.

For more information about the program, visit the AC JumpStart website, or contact Conestoga’s Centre for Entrepreneurship