Scale(Back)UP accelerator program to support Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent businesses


From: WEtech Alliance

Windsor, ON WEtech Alliance is accepting applications for the fifth cohort of its award winning ScaleUP tech accelerator program. The program, branded as Scale(Back)UP in continuation with a branding refresh in 2020, will look to support the recovery of Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent businesses.   

New this year, the Scale(Back)UP program — powered by Libro Credit Union  and Invest WindsorEssex, will assist regional tech and tech-enabled companies to develop and execute on new strategies for revenue diversification, new market exploration, intellectual property development and fundraising readiness.

Scale(Back)UP will select five entrepreneurs who will receive four months of intensive business mentoring; in-kind services valued at $15,000, access to a global network of support; access to $500,000 in discounts and tech perks; three months of complimentary hot desk space at SOAR Innovation; and the opportunity to pitch for a $20,000 top prize in front of the Windsor Essex Capital Angel Network (WECAN) and members of the Regional Alliance Windsor-Essex during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November 2021.

Selected companies will have fully customized strategies developed to assist them in uncovering new opportunities and finding new pathways to growth.

“Over the last four years, this program has become a slingshot for companies looking to steady their aim as they propel themselves into new markets, new specializations, and new ways to generate revenue,” says Adam Castle, Director of Venture Services for WEtech Alliance. “As an organization deeply rooted in not just our community, but the Canadian technology ecosystem at large, the WEtech Alliance Business Advisory team has been steadily building inroads to new markets and resources so that we can create a broader audience for our portfolio, and our businesses can focus on what they do best, delivering highly scalable, world class products and services.”

ScaleUP, now its fifth cohort has created 150 jobs and has assisted 19 companies in getting 122 new products and services to market, engaging over 8.7 million users around the globe.

New for 2021, Invest WindsorEssex — with the support of The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) — has joined in partnership to help maximize the impact this program has on regional businesses.

“After watching last year’s pitch competition, and getting to know the cohort, we wanted to supercharge the program and create more opportunities focussed on automobility entrepreneurship for this year’s cohort. With more mentorship hours, more prize money, and more resources being placed at the fingertips of these startups, we are excited to see the results on pitch day in November,” said Matthew Johnson, Executive Director for Mobility Partnerships, and Innovation at Invest WindsorEssex.   

The ScaleUP program evolved from the successful StartUP program funded by the Libro Prosperity Fund in 2016. In March 2020, the ScaleUP Accelerator was recognized nationally as one of fifteen winners of the Concentra Empowering Your Community Awards.    

“We continue to be amazed by the impact of the ScaleUP program in our region, now in its fifth year in partnership with WEtech Alliance; there is great potential for positive impact and prosperous growth for businesses scaling up in a post-covid world! We are confident that the ScaleUP cohort will be ready to wow and inspire us again this year through the dedicated and innovative work of their founders, alongside the powerhouse program that WEtech Alliance has continued to refine year after year,” said Lori Atkinson, Libro Credit Union, Regional Manager for Windsor-Essex.

ScaleUP is the first accelerator program in the region focused on scaling startups and that is open to entrepreneurs of all ages. Last year, five companies were selected out of thirty applications.   

The deadline to apply for the fifth cohort is 11:59 p.m. on July 22, 2021.