In my ongoing conversations with entrepreneurs, I’m inspired every day by the tenacity, innovation and value that they bring to their communities. Our Director of Developer Ecosystem, David McLaughlin, has spent many years working with local markets around the globe to understand how Google can support startups to scale and grow. One of his key takeaways has been that the world's best ideas come from developers on the ground, connected to local communities. He became invested in helping these passionate entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successful and sustainable businesses.
Our Global Accelerator Program was born out of this passion, to help developers be successful as they solve locally-relevant challenges. The accelerators are each tailored to their market to provide startups with the best of Google’s people, network and technology.
Take TerraTalk as an example. As Japanese teachers struggled with teaching English in growing classroom sizes, entrepreneur Yoshiyuki Kakihara looked to technology to create a solution. Working with Google through the Accelerator program in Tokyo, he built an AI-powered app that could hear and process what students in the classroom were saying. The app reinvigorated the classroom, and created an atmosphere filled with conversation and English learning games.
Looking closer to home, we see incredible startup potential. Our ecosystem has never been stronger: the Toronto-Waterloo corridor was recently ranked a top 15 Global startup ecosystem, Canadian venture capital funding levels are unprecedented, and every day there are more and more Canadian success stories. PointClickCare as an example, is an industry innovator based in Canada, aiming to solve the global challenges for long term care. Plum is also a proudly local company that is using AI to help companies hire, grow and retail top talent.
We’ve been working with startups in Canada for many years, through programming and partnerships with other ecosystem builders. We’re excited to take that work to the next level, bringing the best of Google to the Canadian startup community.
The Google for Startups Accelerator Canada
A few weeks ago, we announced that the first Google for Startups Accelerator was opening in Canada. This will be our 12th accelerator around the world, and the program will provide access to Google’s programs, products, people and technology, with the goal of helping startups build great products and services.
We plan to work with Seed to Series A tech startups that are headquartered in Canada. Selected founders will outline the top challenges facing their startup, and will be paired with relevant experts from Google and the industry to solve those challenges. Participating startups receive deep mentorship on technical challenges and machine learning, as well as education and connections to relevant teams from across Google.
The Google for Startups Accelerator will be based out of Kitchener-Waterloo and commences this spring. Applications for the first cohort are now open through March 15th, and we look forward to working with the next generation of Canadian founders and innovators.