Google to Launch Two New Startup Accelerator Programs for Canadian Businesses

Tech giant Google is expanding access to their accelerator resources with two new accelerator programs for Canadian startups.

These programs join two existing Google accelerator efforts in Canada, doubling the extent of the company’s efforts. While one of the new accelerators is an entirely new program, the other already exists in the United States and is merely expanding accessibility to Canadian businesses.

As COVID-19 Pushes Efforts Online Google Commits to Canadian Growth

The new programs are just the latest in a series of moves from Google to expand their Canadian presence.

In 2020 the company announced the planning of three new Canadian offices in Toronto, Montreal, and Waterloo. These offices are planned to open in 2022. They would bring their capacity in Canada up to a potential 5,000 employees, up from their current 1,500 Canadian employees.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, both the two existing and two new accelerators will be operating entirely remotely. This expands the potential accessibility to more startups across Canada, rather than limiting applications to those within a reasonable distance from Google’s Canadian offices.

Voice AI Accelerator to Support Voice Tech Development

The entirely new accelerator coming to Canada is Voice AI.

The program supports voice technology companies across North America. The three-month program brings experienced mentorship to promising startups. Registration is now open for the inaugural run of the program, which will begin in March 2021.

Google intends to choose ten to twelve startups for this first run of the accelerator program. They will receive advisement from technical experts within Google on the challenges their companies face. The emphasis of this accelerator program will be on product development and machine learning.

Black Founders Program Expanded to Canadian Startups

The Black Founders accelerator program launched for its first group of US startups in August 2020. The program is now being expanded to allow Canadian startups to apply. The second set of startups will go through the three-month program in August 2021. The program is dedicated to supporting Black founder communities. It will provide workshops on product design, customer acquisition, and leadership development.

The first run of the program wrapped up in October 2020. Some tech startups chosen for the program included 4Degrees, a Chicago artificial intelligence company, Workfrom, a crowdsourcing company for remote work, and Goodr, a sustainable food waste management startup.

Google’s New Efforts Join Two Existing Programs

The two new programs join the already in place Google Canada Accelerator and Women Founders accelerator program. These programs both launched in Canada in 2020, providing similar three-month accelerator programs to the newly announced programs.

Startups that have gone through the two programs last year included Curv, a digital therapy company, LumenEd, a remote tutoring company, Coconut Software, with their scheduling management software, and Livestock Water Recycling, a company that develops water and nutrient recovery systems.

In total, 14 Canadian startups have gone through Google’s accelerator programs so far. This is on top of Google’s other efforts to drive Canadian innovation, including individual investments in promising tech companies. With the two new programs joining the two ongoing programs, Google has shown their commitment to supporting burgeoning Canadian startups.

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