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Toronto is becoming one of the best places to build a startup, but most of the early-stage entrepreneurs we speak to aren't aware of the local tech resources that are available to help them.

With applications for the Toronto Founder Institute now open, we're excited to release the Toronto Startup Resource Guide, which is currently in Draft v3 below! It was developed by the Toronto Founder Institute and local leaders: Ben Stacey (.LL, .), Fi Toronto (., Haze Shift), Ryan Micheletti (Director of Global Operations), Sunil Sharma (MD, Techstars Canada)

This is just a draft, and while we spent many hours on this research, more input is needed. Please leave your comments on this collaborative Google document to help us complete the list. There are definitely omissions on this current version. 

Are you looking to build a startup in Toronto? Then apply to the Toronto Founder Institute today!

Text version included below, for ease of searching:

Startup Stages


There is no one right way to build a technology company, but for the sake of simplicity we have outlined a basic, common, sequential framework.

1. Idea Stage

This is where new entrepreneurs get inspired, learn best practices, develop skills, validate ideas, and begin to build their team and product.

A. Inspire

  • Toronto Startup Media: Centralized local information, listings, and news. (i.e. startup blogs/ publications/ lists/ FB groups/ newsletters)
    1. BetaKit
    2. Financial Post
    3. Globe and Mail - Report on Business
    4. MaRS Events
    5. SocialFinance.ca
    6. StartupCFO
    7. Startup Digest Toronto
    8. StartupHere Toronto
    9. Startup North
    10. TechVibes
    11. The Logic
  • Inspirational Toronto Startup Events: Open, inclusive startup events that often focus on ideation. (i.e. Startup Weekend, idea fairs, and inspirational meetups)
    1. Amazon Web Services
    2. CIX
    3. Collision
    4. IEEE N3XT
    5. Girl Geeks Toronto
    6. Girls in Tech
    7. Nspire
    8. Startup Founder 101 (Founder Institute) 
    9. StartupTech Unleashed
    10. Startup Toronto
    11. TakeOver (Tribalscale) 
    12. Techstars
    13. Tech Toronto
    14. We Are Wearables

B. Educate

  • Best Practices: Beginner knowledge-sharing tech events. (i.e. beginner events that serve to educate more than inspire).
    1. Entrepreneurship 101
    2. Enterprise Toronto
    3. Lean Coffee Toronto
    4. OPN
    5. Startup Founder 101 Toronto
    6. Startup Grind Toronto
  • Training & Feedback: Skill & Idea development events and startup bootcamps for entrepeneurs. (Includes comprehensive training programs, like Founder Institute, General Assembly, Lean Startup Machine, code camps, etc)
    1. Accela Tech Meetup
    2. Bitmaker Labs
    3. Brain Station
    4. Cryptochicks
    5. Decentral
    6. DMZ Sandbox
    7. Founder Institute Toronto
    8. HackerYou
    9. Ladies Learning Code
    10. Lighthouse Labs
    11. Next Canada

C. Validate

  • Team Formation: Events for Finding Co-founders in Toronto.  (i.e. tech networking events or other resources that facilitate early-stage recruitment and cofounder matching)
    1. DevTO 
    2. FounderDating
    3. Ten Thousand Coffees
  • Build First Product: Hackathons & product events in Toronto.
    1. AngelHack Toronto
    2. Canadian Open Data Experience
    3. CivicTech Toronto
    4. Hack the 6ix
    5. HackerNest Toronto
    6. Hacking Health Toronto
    7. Hackworks
    8. Pakathon
    9. Space Apps Toronto
    10. UofT Hacks
    11. WearHacks Toronto

2. Launch Stage

In this stage, entrepreneurs establish and formalize the company, develop the product, get feedback from customers, and prepare for the next step.

A. Start

  • Establish: Toronto law firms & banks for startups
      1. Aird & Berlis
      2. Alterna
      3. Bennett Jones
      4. Blakes
      5. BMO
      6. Caravel Law
      7. CIBC
      8. CIBC Innovation Banking
      9. Cobalt
      10. Conduit Law
      11. Dentons
      12. Fasken Martineau
      13. Goodmans
      14. Gowlings
      15. LaBarge Weinstein
      16. McCarthy Tetrault
      17. Norton Rose Fulbright
      18. Osler
      19. RBC Royal Bank
      20. SabetaIP
      21. ScotiaBank
      22. Silicon Valley Bank
      23. Stikeman Elliott
      24. TD Canada Trust
      25. Torys
      26. Wires Law
      27. WeirFoulds
                                                        • Toronto Workspaces: Co-working and flexible workspaces for startups in Toronto.
                                                          1. Acme Works
                                                          2. Agile Offices
                                                          3. Bento Miso
                                                          4. BrightLane
                                                          5. Centre for Social Innovation
                                                          6. Co-lab
                                                          7. DevHub
                                                          8. East Room
                                                          9. Foundery
                                                          10. GizmoLabs
                                                          11. Hacklab
                                                          12. iQ Office Suites
                                                          13. LabTO
                                                          14. Make Lemonade
                                                          15. MakeWorks
                                                          16. NorthSpace
                                                          17. Project:SPACES
                                                          18. Regus
                                                          19. Spaces
                                                          20. Startuptive
                                                          21. The Fueling Station
                                                          22. WeWork
                                                          23. Women on the Move
                                                          24. Workhaus
                                                          25. Workplace One

                                                        B. Develop

                                                        • Formalize: Toronto accounting, development and HR tools for early-stage startups.  
                                                          1. AVAJ
                                                          2. BDO
                                                          3. Bennett Gold
                                                          4. Blanclabs
                                                          5. Boast AI
                                                          6. Brightlights Inc
                                                          7. Climax Media
                                                          8. Collins Barrow
                                                          9. Deloitte
                                                          10. Design Co-Founders
                                                          11. DevDec
                                                          12. Extreme Innovations
                                                          13. Fasken
                                                          14. FireStitch
                                                          15. Found
                                                          16. Full Stack HR Inc  
                                                          17. Functional Imperative
                                                          18. Jaxx
                                                          19. Kinetic Cafe
                                                          20. KPMG
                                                          21. Linkus
                                                          22. Peak Performance HR
                                                          23. Richter LLP
                                                          24. Source Code Staffing 
                                                          25. The App Labb
                                                          26. The Working Group
                                                          27. TribalScale
                                                          28. Welch LLP
                                                          29. Xen Accounting
                                                        • Toronto Incubators: Groups that prepare companies for seed investment and provide advanced mentorship. (i.e. advanced knowledge sharing, later stage events and resources)
                                                          1. Accel 
                                                          2. CDMN
                                                          3. DMZ
                                                          4. George Brown Digital Media and Gaming Incubator
                                                          5. HumberLaunch
                                                          6. Impact Centre at U of T
                                                          7. RIC Centre
                                                          8. Ryerson Zones
                                                          9. The Hatchery
                                                          10. Treefrog Accelerator
                                                          11. ventureLAB
                                                          12. YEDinstitute

                                                        C. Launch

                                                        • Toronto Seed Accelerators: Seed funding mentor programs (Techstars-style programs that provide funding)
                                                          1. Creative Destruction Lab
                                                          2. Extreme Accelerator
                                                          3. Highline
                                                          4. IDEABOOST Canadian Film Centre
                                                          5. JLabs
                                                          6. UTEST
                                                        • Pitch & Demo Events: Tech events that showcase Toronto startups for investment.
                                                          1. Brightlane Entrepreneur Awards
                                                          2. Funding Roadshow
                                                          3. Product Hunt Toronto
                                                          4. Spin Master Innovation Fund
                                                          5. Startupfest
                                                          6. Up-Start!

                                                        3. Growth Stage

                                                        Here, a startup proves their utility, receives recognition, and scales up. This usually requires funding, angels, VCs, and ways to connect them to startups.

                                                        A. Recognition

                                                        • Toronto Investor Networking:  Events and groups that connect professional investors with founders.
                                                          1. China Canada Angels Alliance
                                                          2. Cranson Capital
                                                          3. Girls Raising
                                                          4. GreenSky Capital
                                                          5. Keiretsu Forum
                                                          6. MaRS Centre for Impact Investing
                                                          7. National Angel Capital Organization
                                                          8. Network of Angel Organizations
                                                          9. SheEO
                                                          10. Toronto Investors, Entrepreneurs & Mentors Network
                                                        • Major Media: Mainstream local business press that often showcase local startups.
                                                          1. Bloomberg
                                                          2. BNN
                                                          3. Canadian Business
                                                          4. CBC News
                                                          5. CityNews
                                                          6. CTV News
                                                          7. Global News
                                                          8. National Post
                                                          9. Toronto Star
                                                          10. Toronto Sun

                                                        B. Funding

                                                        • Toronto Angel Investors: Seed-stage investors and micro-vcs.
                                                          1. 500 Startups Canada
                                                          2. Angel One
                                                          3. Benjamin Yoskovitz
                                                          4. Canadian Media Fund
                                                          5. Daniel Debow 
                                                          6. Extreme Venture Partners
                                                          7. Female Funders
                                                          8. Freycinet Investments
                                                          9. Futurpreneur
                                                          10. Golden Triangle Angel Network
                                                          11. GreenSky Accelerator Fund
                                                          12. GreenSky President’s Club Angel Network
                                                          13. Jennifer Lum
                                                          14. Jevon MacDonald
                                                          15. Ken Nickerson
                                                          16. Maple Leaf Angels
                                                          17. MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund
                                                          18. Nigel Stokes
                                                          19. RBC Generator Fund
                                                          20. Ryerson Futures
                                                          21. Spark Angels
                                                          22. Todd Finch
                                                          23. Two Small Fish Ventures 
                                                          24. Wonderment Ventures
                                                          25. York Angels
                                                        • Toronto Venture Capitalists: Series A and beyond
                                                          1. ArcTern Ventures
                                                          2. BEST Funds
                                                          3. Blockchain Founders Fund
                                                          4. Brightspark Ventures
                                                          5. BDC Capital
                                                          6. Emerald Technology Ventures
                                                          7. EnerTech Capital
                                                          8. Espresso Capital
                                                          9. Genesys Capital
                                                          10. Georgian Partners
                                                          11. Gibraltar Ventures
                                                          12. Globalive
                                                          13. Golden Venture Partners
                                                          14. Hedgewood
                                                          15. iGan Partners
                                                          16. iNovia Capital
                                                          17. Impression Ventures
                                                          18. Information Venture Partners
                                                          19. Investeco
                                                          20. Klass Capital  
                                                          21. Mantella Venture Partnersl
                                                          22. McRock Capital
                                                          23. OMERS Ventures
                                                          24. Plaza Ventures
                                                          25. Real Ventures
                                                          26. Relay Ventures
                                                          27. Rho Canada Ventures
                                                          28. Rogers Ventures
                                                          29. Round13 Capital
                                                          30. Tandem Expansion Fund
                                                          31. Trellis Capital
                                                          32. TSX Venture Exchange
                                                          33. Wellington Financial
                                                          34. Whitecap Venture Partners
                                                          35. XDL Capital

                                                        C. Growth

                                                        • Infrastructure: Office space, HR, local business insurance. (i.e. office space/ HR/ insurance providers for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
                                                          1. Aviva Canada
                                                          2. Colliers
                                                          3. Cushman Wakefield
                                                          4. Full Stack HR Inc
                                                          5. GuruLink
                                                          6. Hallmark Insurance Brokers 
                                                          7. Hays
                                                          8. Highcourt Partners
                                                          9. Hired
                                                          10. Intact Insurance
                                                          11. Randstad
                                                          12. SpaceList
                                                          13. Spencer Stuart
                                                          14. TelSec
                                                        • Expansion: Toronto Growth accelerators and consultants. (i.e. programs and business consultants for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
                                                          1. MaRS Discovery District
                                                          2. One Eleven
                                                          3. Q1Capital
                                                          4. Surepath Capital

                                                        4. Toronto Startup Success Stories

                                                        Successful homegrown companies that have raised significant institutional funding, employ a large workforce, or have achieved liquidity.

                                                          1. 360 Insights
                                                          2. Achievers
                                                          3. Aion
                                                          4. Borrowell
                                                          5. CareGuide
                                                          6. Ecobee
                                                          7. Eventmobi
                                                          8. Figure1
                                                          9. Flipp
                                                          10. Freshbooks
                                                          11. Hubba
                                                          12. Influitive
                                                          13. LEAGUE
                                                          14. Muse (Interaxon)
                                                          15. Nymi
                                                          16. Polar
                                                          17. Pressly
                                                          18. SecureKey
                                                          19. Top Hat
                                                          20. Tulip Retail
                                                          21. WattPad
                                                          22. Wave
                                                          23. WealthSimple
                                                          24. Well.ca

                                                        Supporters


                                                        To facilitate the steps, every ecosystem needs strong supporters.

                                                        1. Toronto Startup Leaders

                                                        Successful local founders who lead the ecosystem & frequently mentor newbies.

                                                          1. Allen Lau
                                                          2. Andrew D’Souza
                                                          3. Anthony Lacavera
                                                          4. April Dunford
                                                          5. Arati Sharma
                                                          6. Ben Stacey
                                                          7. Ben Yoskovitz
                                                          8. Ben Zifkin
                                                          9. Brice Scheschuk
                                                          10. Bruce Croxon
                                                          11. Dan Debow
                                                          12. Dean Hopkins
                                                          13. Farhan Thawar
                                                          14. Iain Klugman
                                                          15. Janet Bannister 
                                                          16. John Philip Green
                                                          17. John Ruffolo
                                                          18. Jordan Banks
                                                          19. Karl Martin
                                                          20. Kirk Simpson
                                                          21. Matt Golden
                                                          22. Michael Hyatt
                                                          23. Michael Serbinis
                                                          24. Michele Romanow
                                                          25. Mike Katchen
                                                          26. Mike Silagadze
                                                          27. Paul Slaby
                                                          28. Richard Hyatt
                                                          29. Ryan Micheletti
                                                          30. Salim Teja 
                                                          31. Sheldon Levy
                                                          32. Somen Mondal
                                                          33. Sue Britton
                                                          34. Sunil Sharma
                                                          35. Tami Zuckerman
                                                          36. Tom Emrich
                                                          37. Yung Wu

                                                        2. Toronto Government Startup Resources

                                                        Public organizations that facilitate local economic development

                                                          1. Business Development Bank of Canada
                                                          2. Canadian Trade Commissioners
                                                          3. City of Brampton
                                                          4. City of Innisfil
                                                          5. Digital Finance Institute
                                                          6. Enterprise Toronto
                                                          7. Export Development Canada
                                                          8. FedDev Ontario
                                                          9. Finance Montreal
                                                          10. IRAP
                                                          11. Ministry of Research and Innovation (Ontario)
                                                          12. Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (Canada)
                                                          13. Ontario Centres of Excellence
                                                          14. Sustainable Development Technology Canada
                                                          15. Toronto Global
                                                          16. Toronto Financial International

                                                        3. Talent

                                                        Major local business or tech universities and employers that attract and retain local talent.

                                                        • Local Toronto Tech Universities (universities with prominent technical or business programs)
                                                          1. Centennial College
                                                          2. Climate Ventures
                                                          3. Durham College
                                                          4. George Brown College
                                                          5. Humber College
                                                          6. OCAD University
                                                          7. Ontario Brain Institute
                                                          8. Ryerson University
                                                          9. Seneca College
                                                          10. Sheridan College
                                                          11. University of Ontario Institute of Technology
                                                          12. University of Toronto
                                                          13. York University
                                                        • Toronto Tech Employers
                                                            1. Amazon
                                                            2. Apple
                                                            3. Autodesk
                                                            4. Bell
                                                            5. Blackberry
                                                            6. CGI
                                                            7. Cisco
                                                            8. Constellation Software
                                                            9. Dell
                                                            10. eBay
                                                            11. Facebook
                                                            12. Google
                                                            13. GMP Securities
                                                            14. HP Canada
                                                            15. LG Electronics
                                                            16. Microsoft
                                                            17. Motorola
                                                            18. Paypal
                                                            19. Rogers
                                                            20. SAP
                                                            21. Samsung Electronics
                                                            22. Shopify
                                                            23. Siemens
                                                            24. Sony
                                                            25. Telus
                                                            26. Xerox

                                                                                                            *  *  *

                                                                                                            Learn more about the Startup Ecosystem Canvas here, and leave us your thoughts on the Toronto Canvas on this collaborative Google document (This is just a draft, and more input is needed!)

                                                                                                            Are you looking to build a startup in Toronto? Then apply to the Toronto Founder Institute today

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