Welcome to Ascension

A 12-week program dedicated to founders who are raising funding.

Want to learn more?

Register to our upcoming info session on March 1st 12pm-1pm ET.

Ready to apply?

Apply by March 17th, 2023.

Obtaining funding as a startup is key to a strong foundation and to scale up, yet it can be an overwhelming process. To successfully achieve this endeavor, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of the funding landscape and prepare yourself to maximize the opportunities available.

Ascension is a 12-week program that will set you up with the knowledge, tools, and network to build a compelling case to achieve your startup’s capital raising needs.

💰How we define funding: 

  • Non-Dilutive Financing: Refers to financing options that do not include giving away ownership of the company (shares). This can include (but not  limited to): loans, government grants and programs such as HR internship support, tax credits, etc.
  • Dilutive (Equity) Financing: Refers to funding options that involve selling a portion of a company’s equity (ownership) in return for capital. This can include (but not limited to): angel investors, venture capital, accelerators, financial institution and corporate innovation arms, etc. 

How Ascension can help you

It’s a no-fee no-equity program for founders who are seeking to start their financing journey in the next 12 months. The program includes topics such as Financing Landscape and options (non-dilutive and equity); Financial Planning for investment readiness; Equity structures, valuations and term sheets; Technical due diligence; Showcasing market opportunity and traction for financing; Managing relationships with stakeholders (Banks, VCs, Government, etc.). It also includes:

Guidance 🧠

You will get tailored and personalized guidance from top caliber experts, experienced entrepreneurs, and seasoned VCs through:

  • Pitch Practice Sessions
  • Office Hours
  • 1-1 Meetings with Industry Experts
  • Workshops
  • Fireside chats

Connections 👥

A supporting network is essential while navigating the arduous task of funding a scalable business.  Through Ascension you’ll have the opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs and experts from the fintech landscape with:

  • Peer2peer sessions
  • Showcase Day
  • Additional Networking sessions

Resources 📚

 As part of the program, you will have access to the following resources:

  • Exclusive access to an archive of recorded workshops for the duration of your enrolment
  • Software credits with the most relevant software for fintech startups (IBM, Amazon AWS, Plaid, etc.)
  • Access to recruitment channels on Fintech Cadence’s job board, Slack Channels and community newsletters

Visibility 📣

One key aspect of Ascension is the visibility that this program provides.  We aim  to amplify your achievements, and engage you with the national fintech ecosystem through:

  • Networking sessions with industry experts, leaders in the financial landscape, and with other startups participating in the program
  • Opportunity to be showcased at Fintech Cadence’s events
  • Social Media exposure

We're seeking fintechs who:

  • Operate a business incorporated in Canada
  • Have a validated problem
  • Have at a working prototype of your solution and/or have proven traction
  • Be an early-stage fintech looking to raise funds within the next 3 to 12 months
  • Have not raised more than $1M in equity funding
  • Have at least one founder or senior member on the team with technical expertise
  • Have at least one founder working full time on the startup
  • Have large sale growth ambition and potential
 
Have any questions about this criteria? Let’s connect, reach out to our to team at [email protected]

Key dates

Ascension is the only incubation program in Canada dedicated to  fintech startups maximizing their funding opportunities.

*Recruitment for this program is on a rolling basis. However, interviews will only be conducted during the dates stated above.

Key takeaways from the 12 week programming

Practice your pitch tailored to funding to maximize your investment opportunities.

Understand in detail the non- dilutive and dilutive funding options available in Canada.

 

Exposure to the documentation you need to make a solid business case in front of investors, banks, grants providers, etc.

Gain knowledge on the terms and valuation metrics relevant for the early-stage funding process.

Connect with entrepreneurs, experts, VCs, and capital providers from across Canada.

Check out our info session ℹ️

Applications Closed 📝

Partners

Thank you to the support of our partners.

Program Partners

FAQ

Don’t see your question? Reach out to us using the form below to connect!

You will need to allocate 3-4 hours per week for the duration of the program. Please note, the program was designed to compliment your startups work and not add extra work to your process. This is why it is important that your startup is focusing on raising capital during the program. Note that a detailed schedule and curriculum will be provided at the start of the program.

The program will be delivered online. Note that even though the last week of the program may have in-person components, we’ll accommodate an online format for startups outside of Montreal – we can discuss further if you are selected and are located outside of Montreal.

You can participate in the program as long as you are in the pre-series A stage (not have raised more that $1 million).

Fintech Cadence does not invest in participating fintechs. Through the program, you will meet with key capital provider stakeholders (government entities, VC’s, Financial Institution venture arms, angel investors etc.), however, we can’t guarantee there will be financing given by any of these stakeholders by the end of the program.

Only the Fintech Cadence team will have access to the information submitted via the application. Also, note that the partners and experts involved in the program will be  required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before participating.

There is no cost for startups to participate. Additionally, Fintech Cadence does not take any equity from startups.

Want to chat? Let's connect.

Alumni

The entire Fintech Cadence team has been instrumental in helping us build our network, develop new partnerships, and improve our messaging.

Jen Leger, Co-Founder at QUBER, Ascension 2021

The Ascension program helped us take the necessary step back in order to make the right decisions for Emma. Their weekly monitoring, coaching and scheduled meetings with experts have made a big difference in our entrepreneurial journey. Their commitment to our success is remarkable.

Felix Deschatelets, Co-Founder & CEO at Emma, Ascension 2020

Ascension allowed us to access guidance from successful mentors, key industry connections and tools to accelerate Allset's growth. We are thankful for the support and highly recommend this program to entrepreneurs in the fintech space

Xavier Freeman, Co-Founder & CEO at Allset, Ascension 2018

Explore our startups

Past Demo Days

Ascension 2021

Featuring:

Kalsa, Mind The Gap, Orchid B, Monkiri, Blankit Health, Upky, QUBER, knnct Markets, Whatifi, Boss Insights, Rivvi, Alfi, Green Apple Pay, Fifo, Bounc3.

Ascension 2020

Featuring:

Benefi, Buy Properly, Emma, Leav, Lender’s API, Paypage, Peer Circle, Quantolio, Ratebroker, Sprout, Tribou.

Ascension 2019

Featuring:

Lyra Insight, Daswealth, Carboscope, CHK PLZ, Kaira, Xeohive, Walo