Canadian Indigenous Business Accelerator 2024
Who is it for?
This program is for Canadian Indigenous-owned companies with an interest in the US Pacific Northwest. To be eligible, companies must have at least 51% or greater Indigenous ownership and be headquartered, or having its production development unit or its main manufacturing facility in Canada. Ownership may be either by individuals (Status and Non-Status Indian, Inuit, and Métis) or by communities/bands. Partnerships or Joint Ventures may be eligible under these guidelines if Indigenous ownership is 51% or more.
While the program is industry agnostic, the focus is on innovative technologies in sectors that are seeing growing demand in the US Pacific Northwest. These include, but are not limited to:
- Life Sciences
- Information and Communication Technologies
- Food and beverage.
The ideal participant will be the CEO and Founder of an innovative, venture-scale startup that:
- Has a product that is at least at minimum viable product (MVP) stage and is export ready.
- Preferred funding stage pre-seed, seed, or series A/B (can be pre investment).
- Has a strong product/service based on customer first focus, clear value proposition, design/ease of use, and both a clear scale offering.
- Has high transactional value, clear profit model and is scalable.
- Can demonstrate traction in customers, revenue, and/or investors (companies can be pre-revenue).
- Has strong commitment to examine the viability and capacity to develop export plans in order to expand its business to the U.S. market, especially through the PNW region.
Content & Activities
The cohort meets virtually for 12weeks on Tuesdays beginning January 9, 2024. Weekly cohort meetings to be held each Tuesday from 4-6pm Pacific Time and will include presentations, demonstrations, discussions, group and individual activities, and Q&A sessions with expert guests. Participants will also be paired with Mentors who can provide support and guidance as needed throughout the program. Content and activities include:
- PNW market overview and profile – Doing business in the U.S. & Opportunities and challenges for Canadian companies
- Hands-on practice with design and innovation processes
- Tips and tools for conducting research and market analysis
- Strategies for validating ideas and gathering feedback
- Essential components of Intellectual Property strategy
- Business model generation
- Financial planning for operations and investment
- Sales and marketing strategies
- Communication and presentation skills for business audiences
- As appropriate, specific advice for Indigenous enterprises doing cross-border business in the U.S.
- Canada`s Trade Commissioner Services, including follow-up business connections and trade support in the PNW market.
- Minimum of 3 Business to Business (BtoB) meetings, including possible in-person activities
- Invitation to attend Canada`s BtoB program on the margins of Reservation Economic Summit (RES) 2024 – March 11-14, 2024, Las Vegas, NV
Cohort members are expected to attend and participate in all 12 weekly online sessions. A limit of 2 individuals from each company can attend. Ideally this would be the CEO/founder plus a knowledgeable partner or staff member.
A computer with microphone and camera capability along with Zoom and Office Suite software is required.
To get the most from the live sessions, we recommend participating from a quiet location with limited distractions, strong internet connection and the ability to turn on a webcam when appropriate, to enhance the group experience. In addition to the live sessions, participants should anticipate 2-5 hours per week of activities outside the scheduled time. This may include reading, completing exercises, meeting with mentors, and preparing final presentations.
The Accelerator Program is funded through the Consulate General of Canada in Seattle and Trade & Investment British Columbia. No fees or equity exchange are required for participation in the accelerator.
- October 4, 2023: Applications Open
- November 30, 2023: Applications Close
- January 9, 2024: Program Kick-off
Applications are currently closed. Please check this page again for future opportunities.