MONTREAL, May 9, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - BDC Venture Capital is taking an exciting step to further help innovative Canadian technology SMEs break into lucrative US and global markets. Today, BDC Venture Capital is announcing a strategic partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) to expand the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) program in the United States. The partnership will enable further development of new accelerators in Boston, New York City, San Francisco and Philadelphia.
"This partnership will help some of the most promising Canadian companies access new clients and investors in the US and abroad, which will result in a strengthening of our venture capital ecosystem as a whole," says Jean-René Halde, President and Chief Executive Officer of BDC. "The intent is that this translates into greater and faster growth of new Canadian companies that are more competitive and improve long-term economic prospects for the whole country."
Two years ago, BDC Venture Capital took on the mission to connect Canadian startups to opportunities elsewhere around the globe, driven by the conviction that Canadian entrepreneurs have what it takes to take on the world and must think of growth outside Canada's borders in order to take their businesses to the next level.
"The Government of Canada is taking every opportunity to provide the right tools and business connections to help our leading Canadian entrepreneurs succeed abroad," said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. "The Canadian Technology Accelerator program has already proven to be an effective way forward for ambitious, innovative Canadian start-ups and high-growth firms to tap into new, dynamic markets in the United States. By working in close partnership with the BDC, we are providing our SMEs with the best opportunities for growth and expansion."
The Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) program was launched in 2009 by DFAIT's Trade Commissioner Service. Similarly to privately-run accelerators in Canada, DFAIT's CTAs in the United States host selected Canadian technology SMEs for a number of months, providing them with office space free of charge, mentoring and networking opportunities as well as introductions to key players in the local business and tech communities. The program is delivered in collaboration with local partner facilities such as RocketSpace, Plug and Play, General Assembly, QB3 and Cambridge Innovation Centre, among others. Canadian entrepreneurs are provided with the opportunity to pitch their product to potential US clients, strategic partners and financiers. The CTAs cover the high tech sectors of IT, life sciences, gaming, clean tech and healthcare, with some of the CTAs specializing in one or two of these sectors.
BDC Venture Capital's involvement with the CTA program ties in logically with its role, especially with the work it is currently undertaking with accelerators at home, such as Growlab, Extreme Startups, Hyperdrive and FounderFuel. In fact, BDC Venture Capital will be promoting synergies between the two and will connect top technology SMEs coming out of the Canadian accelerators to the most relevant CTAs. BDC Venture Capital will play an active role regarding the direction and evolution of the program. The initial agreement is valid for one year, with an option to renew.
To find out more, consult the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) program website.
About BDC Venture Capital
With more than $1 billion in current and planned investments and more than 25 years of industry experience, BDC Venture Capital is an investor of choice focusing on IT, health, and energy/clean technology companies, as well as venture funds, with high growth potential. From seed through expansion to exit, our mandate is to help build outstanding Canadian companies, while working to create a sound financial ecosystem for Canadian technology ventures. Find out more at www.bdc.ca/vc or on Twitter @BDC_VC.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA
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