Extreme Startups, Canada’s premier startup accelerator program, is launching today with $7 million in committed funding for the world’s most promising new technology companies and ideas. Some of Canada’s leading venture capital investors have teamed up to provide funds and resources for Extreme Startups, a rebranded and expanded version of the Extreme University accelerator program founded by early-stage venture capital investor Extreme Venture Partners.
The program’s structure was carefully crafted to foster technology companies with the best chance of surviving and thriving in both current and future markets. Leading-edge resources will help cohort companies capitalize on strong market conditions and opportunities.
“Extreme University has been Toronto’s longest-running startup accelerator program and has been a successful breeding ground for the new generation of technology startups,” said Amar Varma, co-founder of Extreme Venture Partners. “Building on this success, we are expanding into a year-round program and providing promising entrepreneurs with even deeper access to funding, industry connections, and mentorship.”
The core elements of Extreme Startups reflect the changing market conditions and the massive opportunities that exist for tomorrow’s most innovative companies:
Funding – Top Canadian investors Extreme Venture Partners, OMERS Ventures, Rho Canada Ventures, BlackBerry Partners Fund and BDC, have come together to commit $7 million to grow the program allowing participating companies to receive up to $200,000 of investment: an initial investment of $50,000, with up to $150,000 in a convertible note provided by BDC.
“As venture investors, we collectively benefit from a deeper bench of talented entrepreneurs excited about building world-class companies. This program is designed to accomplish just that. It’s a new channel to early capital coupled with the right physical environment to optimize for success. In time, it will transform the Canadian tech ecosystem, which is in everyone’s best interest,” said Peter Carrescia, Managing Director – OMERS Ventures.
Industry Partner/Collaborators: Participating companies in the program gain access to developer-level resources from leading technology companies and industry pillars. Extreme Startups is in the process of finalizing those negotiations and will be announcing the participating companies soon.
Focus: The program will admit 2 cohorts of 5 companies per year. The participating companies will receive attention and deep access to mentor resources.
A tight knit group of handpicked mentors comprised of seasoned entrepreneurs will give weekly “startup school” sessions to the companies. Session topics will address real problems that startups face on a daily basis, from product development to sales and marketing, user acquisition, product-market fit, and beyond.
To augment the mentorship effort, Extreme Startups is proud to announce that serial entrepreneur Dan Debow will join the inaugural cohort as the “Entrepreneur Link.” Debow recently sold his company Rypple to Salesforce.com and was also previously a Co-Founder of Workbrain, which sold to Infor for $230 million. The Entrepreneur Link is a role specifically created to give participants a real life person “who has been there, done that” and who can act as a link between the cohort teams and the entrepreneur community.
“If you are an ambitious entrepreneur or developer looking for a startup accelerator for your company — with some of the best industry and peer collaborations in the world – then we want to hear from you,” said Debow.
Applications open today and close March 1, 2012 for the spring 2012 cohort commencing on March 19, 2012. Teams may apply online.