Big news in the Canadian tech startup space today.
Vancouver is once again home to a Silicon Valley style accelerator program.
GrowLab portfolio companies will receive up to $25,000 in seed funding, four months of mentorship, free office space and the opportunity to pitch investors at the end of the program for follow-on funding. Portfolio companies will be based in Vancouver for the first three months and spend the fourth month in San Francisco.
The four founders of GrowLab are superangel Boris Wertz of W Media Ventures (formerly with AbeBooks.com which was acquired by Amazon), Debbie Landa of Dealmaker Media (creator of Vancouver's Grow Conference and Silicon Valley's Under the Radar), Jason Bailey of AdKnowledge (which acquired his SuperRewards) and Leonard Brody of Clarity Digital (which acquired his co-founded NowPublic). GrowLab’s Executive Director will be Michael Tippett, also a co-founder of NowPublic.
Based on the acquisitions the GrowLab founders have been involved in, this is a superstar team and exactly what an accelerator needs to attract serious capital.
As part of their official launch this morning, GrowLab announced they have raised money from angel and venture investors including lead partner’s BDC, iNovia Capital and the Blackberry Partners Fund, along with Rho Canada, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Growthworks, Yaletown Venture Partners, Chris Albinson, and Mike Edwards.
In addition to the $25K in seed funding, GrowLab has partnered with BDC to offer each company that successfully graduates from the program up to $150,000 in follow-on funding. Smart move by GrowLab to match the much talked about Start Fund auto-investments into Y Combinator grads south of the border and make Vancouver an option for world-class startups.
GrowLab is now accepting applications for its Fall Program. The submission deadline is June 15th and five companies will be chosen for the first cohort beginning August 15th.
Disclosure: Boris Wertz and W Media Ventures is an investor in Techvibes Media Inc.