It has now been two weeks since our 4th Ascension cohort graduated from our 3 month incubation program where over 300 community members across Canada joined us in celebration.
As the only Canadian organization that offers fintech-focused incubation programs for early-stage fintechs, we’ve carefully designed a 12-week program devoted to helping our startups achieve their next milestones and being submerged by introductions of industry experts from a variety of backgrounds as well as workshop content.
Our cohort broken down
Every year, we are excited to see a new wave of diverse fintechs and verticals being represented and this cohort was no different. Our startups represented 9 different verticals including Payments, Proptech, Non-Dilutive Financing, Banking, Alternative Lending, Responsible Finance, Insurtech, Wealthtech and Personal Finance Management. Founders came forward from coast to coast including British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Lastly, in the most diverse cohort yet, 47% of our startups had female founders – an incredible ratio given that in 2019, women founders and co-founders only represented 12.2% in the fintech space according to a Deloitte study. Meet the full cohort here.
Building a startup is hard, building a fintech is harder.
Meet our village making it possible and easier for our founders.
Fintechs are faced with some of the toughest landscapes to survive, while innovating and breaking barriers in the financial industry. Among the biggest challenges are the stringent regulatory landscape and the level of readiness required by financial institutions to partner and/or support them as they move forward.
Through Ascension, the teams have had access to a variety of workshops and content through our Business Fundamentals Partners:
In addition, every week they were grouped with industry experts from a variety of backgrounds to help guide and challenge them. These thematics have been focused but not limited to Validation, Data Management & Ethics, Marketing, Sales, Funding and Regulations, all to support the startups achieve their next milestones.
A big shout out to our incredible Industry Experts that contributed to the success of this program.
Our Demo Day
On April 29th, the fintech community was brought together to hear the 15 outstanding pitches of our founders. Pitches were on point and their solutions, nothing but innovative & solving a gap in the market. Venture managers were all ears.
With 9 different prizes to be won and a live DJ, facilitated by DJ Sinca, it was a vibrant experience for us all.
We are grateful to bring a total of $16,000 in cash prizes distributed as 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes as well as bonus in-kind prizes thanks to our wonderful partners and sponsors: Expertus, an IBM Company; MNP; Peak Financial Group for the monetary prizes and District 3, Holt, Finnovate.io, Luge Capital, Portag3 and Fin-ML for the bonus prizes.
We can’t wait to see what our newest cohort will achieve next, but as any startup in any industry, they will need the help of you, our community. The pandemic and global challenges continue to bring forward a number of challenges for many entrepreneurs and so, if you find yourself a fan of some of these startups and you believe you can bring insights or valuable introductions we ask you to please reach out to these founders! You will find their profiles at the end of this article.
We have some really exciting upcoming programs and initiatives open to professionals, talent, entrepreneurs and startups. Here is what coming up:
- If you missed our Demo Day and want to discover the pitches and dance to some incredible music, catch up on it here.
- If you are a fintech founder seeking to be part of our 2022 Ascension Cohort, we’re excited to announce that Applications for our 5th cohort are now open! Visit the program details here.
- If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or talent who wants to discover more about the industry, we invite you to join our 5th edition of our Formathon Program – a 3 week fintech competition kicking off May 26th. There are 3 challenges available covering Payments, Open-Banking and Cybersecurity where the winning solution per challenge will win a $5,000 cash prize! More details here.
- If you want to continue to network with fellow fintech enthusiasts, check out our second edition of our Fintech Drinks where we will speak on Payments and have networking before and after the panel! Join us for the drinks here.
Finally, we invite you to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with all of our upcoming events and initiatives as Canada’s Fintech Hub.
Connect with our founders