Techstars Toronto, a renowned accelerator program, has introduced its impressive summer cohort for 2023, which includes ten promising African startups among a total of 24 companies. This edition marks a significant milestone in the accelerator’s history as it makes its 100th direct investment, underlining its pivotal role in advancing not only Canada’s but also emerging markets’ tech ecosystems.
Hailing from various African countries, these startups bring diverse solutions to the global stage, addressing pressing challenges and opportunities across multiple industries. The selected startups are:
- CatalyzU (South Africa)
- MPOST (Kenya)
- Seso (Ghana)
- Ladder (Ghana)
- Payfi (Nigeria)
- Cutstruct (Nigeria)
- Chimoney (Nigeria)
- Reeple.ai (Nigeria)
- Oval (Nigeria)
- Hulugram (Ethiopia)
This selection underscores Techstars’ continued commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship on the African continent, recognizing the region’s growing tech talents.
Sunil Sharma, Managing Director of Techstars Toronto, expressed the program’s dedication to nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship. With an acceptance rate of just 1-2% amid numerous applicants, Techstars Toronto plays a critical role in shaping Canada’s and the global tech landscape.
“This 100th investment from our Toronto fund showcases our dedication to fostering innovation in Canada and emerging markets. Moreover, we are lifetime partners to these founders, with skin in the game,” Sharma affirmed.
Since its launch in 2017, Techstars Toronto has made its 100th investment in startups worldwide, with 40% of them originating from Africa. The accelerator made its first African investment in 2019, supporting Nigerian payments infrastructure startup, Korapay. In the subsequent year, it backed cryptocurrency exchange platform Quidax and cross-border payment infrastructure startup Fliqpay.
Techstars Toronto’s impact extends beyond Canada’s borders, attracting visionary tech entrepreneurs from around the world. The 2023 cohort, focusing on the theme of “The Global Diaspora,” offers solutions addressing various pressing global challenges across sectors such as global payment systems, credit scoring for immigrants, international student sourcing, rental housing affordability, cross-border real estate, AI ethics, healthcare solutions, cyber risk assessment, and last-mile drone delivery.
In addition to providing funding and mentorship, Techstars Toronto offers these startups a platform to showcase their innovations during two Demo Days scheduled for October 4th and 5th, providing valuable exposure to potential investors and partners and enhancing the startups’ growth prospects.
Techstars runs over 40 accelerators globally, including the recently launched Lagos-based outpost. According to available data on the Techstars startup directory, African startups find acceptance not only in Techstars Toronto but also in New York and other global accelerators. Techstars’ accelerators, including its Toronto outpost, have invested in approximately 76 African companies, according to BD Funding Tracker and Techstars Directory.