Stephen Beauchamp here – Deal Flow Coordinator at the Angels & Entrepreneurs Network.

Last month, I attended the Techstars Toronto Demo Day, a virtual event hosted live via YouTube. If you follow Techstars on social media, you may have been invited to tune in, too. Because of the global pandemic, Techstars shifted their demo days from what are normally in-person events to virtual gatherings.

Techstars Toronto is known as a “city program.” Unlike some accelerator programs that are sponsored by corporations and focus on particular industries or verticals, city programs are open to startups from any industry within a certain geographic area. Nevertheless, the programs are highly selective, and the Managing Directors at Techstars take great pride in choosing promising companies.

This year’s class of Toronto startups varied among different industries and phases of development. Artboard Studio stood out with its 30,000+ monthly active users. The online graphic design platform was already on the path to success and was the #1 product on Product Hunt three times.

Other startups included:

  • Babbly, an app that helps parents analyze their children’s language development skills using their smartphones’ cameras
  • CarScanner, a system of robotics and cameras to document vehicles for dealerships and other automotive industry participants
  • Fable, a direct-to-consumer home décor brand operating at a $2.5 million run rate
  • Gini, a customized multivitamin supplement and wellness company with 62,000 users already
  • Livelii, a company helping freelance employees access employment benefits not typically offered to them by their contractors
  • May Day, a smart calendar software helping people recover more personal time
  • Orbi Seed, a property data software for the insurance industry
  • Peekage, a subscription service connecting brands with customers who want to try free samples and provide product feedback
  • Quidax, a cryptocurrency payment processing platform with 120,000 users and 200 merchants on board

Viewers were also treated to several panel discussions with the various founders of the startups. Topics included COVID-19 and its impact on local economies (many of the founders were from outside of the U.S. in places like Turkey, Lagos, Nigeria, and Poland).

The final event of the day was a discussion with two of the three partners of NEXT VENTŪRES: Lionel Conacher and Lance Armstrong. Conacher is a well-known cyclist and endurance athlete in his own right, but Lance Armstrong was once a global icon after winning the Tour de France for seven years straight from 1999 to 2005. The two discussed the origin of their firm and focused primarily on how their complementary skill sets helped their team succeed.

The whole event carried a sense of optimism focused on the startups emerging from the previous three months’ hard work and fine tuning. You can check out a replay of the Demo Day event by clicking here.

I’ll be back soon with another Accelerator Briefing.

Stay tuned,

Stephen Beauchamp