The Accelerator Centre Launches Hybrid Venture Studio Program with a $10-million investment from the Government of Canada Through FedDev Ontario

The Accelerator Centre Launches Hybrid Venture Studio Program with a $10-million investment from the Government of Canada Through FedDev Ontario

The program offers founders up to $100,000 in seed funding grants and brings together innovation partners at Uvaro, SnapPea Design, Conestoga College, Innovate Niagara, and WEtech Alliance to locate, curate, train, and build high-potential business across southern Ontario

Delivering on its vision to create the #1 full-stack startup hub in the world, the Accelerator Centre (AC) is announcing the launch of a new, regional-first hybrid venture studio program to support early-stage startups across southern Ontario.

With $10 million in funding support from the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the unique program combines the best of the AC’s flagship program, AC:Incubate, with the globally successful venture studio model to create the new program, named AC:Studio.

Through AC:Studio, the AC will work with existing early-stage companies across southern Ontario to provide critical funding and support. Additionally, the AC will work to curate new businesses by matching aspiring and serial founders with high-impact IP from industry and academia. The three-phase program will provide 100 high-potential, early-stage companies with up to $100,000 in seed funding between now and March of 2025.

The program is an expansion on the AC’s long-running AC JumpStart program, which provided $30,000 in seed funding grants and mentorship to 318 companies from 2014 to 2021. Uniquely, the new AC:Studio program will provide startup founders with the funding and mentorship the AC is known for, while expanding supports to include training and tactical resources from ecosystem partners like SnapPea DesignUvaro, and Conestoga College’s Gig Lab to help founders execute and accelerate their time to market. The program takes a regional approach, working with Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) partners WEtech, Alliance, and Innovate Niagara to identify and curate high-potential startups for participation in the program.

“There is no doubt, startup founders need enhanced access to capital, particularly seed funding. The AC has long played an important role in Waterloo ecosystem by providing that capital through the AC JumpStart program. Today, we’re proud to be able to continue working with our partners to provide that critical funding through the AC:Studio model. However, we also know that today’s early-stage founders need more intensive supports to accelerate their success. Optimally, they need funding, mentorship, access to talent, and tactical help getting the job done. That’s why we’ve gone beyond the status quo with our hybrid accelerator/venture studio model and brought together a full network of support that curates, funds, and accelerates startups to global success.”

Jay Krishnan, CEO, Accelerator Centre

“Today’s investment in the Waterloo Accelerator Centre and the Venture Studio Innovation Program will provide Canadian entrepreneurs with the access to the support, mentorship and services they need for growth and success. Supporting Canadian jobs and economic growth in Canada’s technology sector is a priority for the Government of Canada. We are proud to support this program that will create good jobs for Canadians and help secure Canada’s place as a global leader in the technology sector.”

The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

About the Accelerator Centre

The AC exists to help ambitious dreamers impact global change through their businesses. The AC is ranked Canada’s #1 private business accelerator and is among the top five such organizations globally. They offer an extensive selection of customizable opportunities for startups across Canada—allowing founders to rapidly bring their innovation to life. They work with their global partners to bolster the innovation ecosystem in Waterloo and beyond.