5 Things we learned from the Accelerator Centre’s Annual Report

5 Things we learned from the Accelerator Centre’s Annual Report

The Accelerator Centre (AC), a renowned institution within Waterloo’s tech ecosystem, has played a significant role in shaping Canada’s technology landscape. Since its establishment in 2006, the AC has provided invaluable support to numerous successful companies in Waterloo, such as Miovision, Clearpath Robotics, ApplyBoard, and Magnet Forensics, the latter of which recently achieved a staggering $1.8 billion sale.

The AC recently unveiled its 2023 Annual Report, which not only delves into its impressive history and influence but also offers a glimpse into its future direction. You can find the complete report here, but we wanted to highlight five intriguing insights from Canada’s top-ranked incubator.

Did you know:

  1. In the last year, the AC has doubled revenue, headcount, and nearly tripled the number of startups they support?

    CEO Jay Krishnan highlights that the AC has “supported over 300 startups across a range of industries, providing mentorship, access to capital, networks, and platforms to scale. These startups have gone on to achieve remarkable success, generating millions of dollars in revenue, creating jobs, and making significant contributions to our community.”

  2. Since 2006, the AC has supported over 750 startups, which have raised $1.8B+ in investment and created more than 5,500 jobs, mostly here in Canada?

    Tabatha Laverty, VP of Marketing and External Relations notes that the “amazing community of founders, funders, corporate partners, mentors, and staff team are a big part of why we have been recognized by UBI Global yet again this year. This recognition is a key steppingstone on our path to building the #1 full stack startup hub in the world and we are excited to continue collaborating with the international community to share our lessons learned and help grow companies.”

  3. The AC launched their 2-Year EDI Action Plan, a roadmap to making the AC the most inclusive innovation hub in the world and committed to sharing their progress?

    In their commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusivity, the AC has implemented an EDI (Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive) strategy. They’ve expanded their mentor network by 62%, welcoming a diverse set of perspectives. They took part in the Government of Canada’s 50-30 challenge, meaning their board, senior management, and mentor teams have achieved 50% gender parity. and 30% of their board, senior management, and mentor teams include diverse groups (Racial, disability, LGBTQIA+, etc). The AC has also established a formal EDI code of conduct, seamlessly integrating it into their staff and program policies.

  4. Since 2017, AC programs have been ranked among the most effective entrepreneurial support programs globally.

    This year, the AC was recognized again by UBI Global as a World Top 5 Private Business Accelerator in their World Benchmark Study 2021-2022. The ranking measures and benchmarks impact of over 1,800 accelerators and incubators globally to recognize the world’s best innovation hubs.

  5. In early 2022, they launched their newest venture creation program, AC:Studio funded by the Government of Canada.

    The AC:Studio program is designed to support high-potential startup founders, whether they have an existing business idea or they are looking for their next startup adventure. This hybrid accelerator/venture studio program combines the best of their award-winning AC:Incubate program with a venture studio model that funds high-impact startups, matches great ideas with talented founders, delivers up to $100,000 in seed funding grants for startups and small business and much more. Learn more about the AC:Studio and their mission here.

While this is only serves as a brief summary of the report’s findings, it demonstrates why the Accelerator Centre one of the top incubators in the world, fostering innovation, supporting entrepreneurial ventures, and driving economic growth for the past seventeen years. To gain a deeper understanding of the organization’s accomplishments and impact, we encourage readers to explore the complete annual report.