Securing funding is a critical step on the path to success for most start-ups. Often, investors are looking to invest in companies who have achieved certain milestones – a potential challenge for many early stage ventures. This is exactly why the YEDI VC Fund was created. YEDI collaborates with private investors, angel investor groups and VCs to help client ventures to obtain the needed investment. As of 2019, YEDI has been accepted into the Canadian Venture Capital Association as a general partner – an opportunity that provides YEDI with access to additional capital and funding resources.
Most recently, YEDI alumni The Chufa Co. and Folium Labs Inc. have secured six-digit investments from YEDI’s VC Fund. Both ventures are taking innovative steps to improve lifestyles both in Canada and abroad. YEDI looks forward to watching The Chufa Co. and Folium Labs Inc. grow and to support them in their successes!
In November, YEDI President Dr. Marat Ressin attended Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. Forbes has described Web Summit as “the best technology conference on the planet”, where founders and CEOs of tech-based start-ups share their success stories and answer the question: where to next?
Dr. Ressin represented YEDI and was amazed to discover that Canadian start-ups are extremely comparable to those from well-known, tech-innovative countries around the world. As described in an interview with York Link, Dr. Ressin says that Canada is a great gateway to North America, which is part of the reason why Canadian representation in international conferences such as Web Summit, is so important.
After being recognized as the #1 university linked business accelerator in the world, YEDI was contacted by several Canadian and international universities who expressed interest in having YEDI programming at their respective schools. Currently, YEDI is working with 5 Canadian universities and 10 international universities to make this a reality in the near future.
Most notably, Russian University of Economics, which is the country’s oldest and largest economics university, created a new department within their university to add YEDI’s programming. The department of Global Finance and Small Business Development by York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (Canada), will deliver YEDI’s content to both local and international entrepreneurs.
YEDI believes that academia has no borders and is proud to envision a future where business leaders from both Canada and Russia who complete YEDI’s programming will better understand each other and help each other flourish in a global economy.
5 years ago, YEDI opened its doors to our first cohort of innovators! Since then, over 400 entrepreneurs have completed our programs, raising hundreds of millions of dollars in funding and sales and creating over 10 000 jobs. YEDI has grown to become the world’s #1 university-linked business accelerator, and we look forward to seeing what the future has in store.
In August 2018, YEDI completed its third entrepreneurship development program for Israeli entrepreneurs. This year 15 innovative ventures were selected to complete a 2-week intensive program. The cohort also included entrepreneurs from the United States who travelled to Israel in order to join the cohort.
The cohort included unique ideas in the health-tech, mobile and educational sectors among others. Upon their successful completion of the program, participants pitched their ventures to a funder audience, including investors, potential partners, municipal representatives, and representatives of the Israeli Innovation Authority.
YEDI’s unique entrepreneurship program in Israel offers mentorship, education, connections, and academic credits. The program aims to help local entrepreneurs develop a global business without leaving their country.
We once again congratulate all the participants for their hard work! The YEDI team is looking forward to seeing their future growth and success, both in Israel and around the world!
On April 27th, 2018, Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament for York Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), celebrated YEDI’s recent ranking by UBI Global as the #1 University Linked Accelerator in the World.
In just four short years, YEDI has pioneered an innovative methodology for business acceleration, which combined with strong partnerships and talented mentors, has propelled them to become the leading acceleration program in the world!
The celebration event was attended by Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament (York Centre), on behalf of the Honourable Minister Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), along with YEDI alumni, community partners, and supporters, to mark the international recognition of YEDI’s program delivery. In 2017, FedDev Ontario made a non-repayable contribution of almost $2 million towards the delivery of YEDI’s Incubator Track program, one of the Institute’s successful programs delivered to 45 entrepreneurs in York Region and the City of Toronto.
UBI Global is a Swedish-based data and advisory firm specializing in mapping, highlighting, and connecting the world of business incubation. According to UBI Global, a top university-linked acceleration program is a business accelerator connected to an institution of higher education that achieves outstanding impact and performance relative to its global peers. The program outperforms its global peers with regard to the value it provides to its innovation ecosystem and its client startups, as well as the attractiveness of the program itself.
This year’s rankings showcased the growth and improvement of Canada’s incubation and acceleration landscape with many of the top programs being from Canada.
As YEDI embarks on its fifth year, it is looking forward to welcoming international entrepreneurs, growing the Incubator Track, and expanding the YEDI Business Acceleration campuses.
“Congratulations to the York Entrepreneurship Development Institute on being ranked the #1 University-linked Business Accelerator in the World by UBI Global for 2017/2018! This accomplishment brings great pride to the southern Ontario region and Canada.”
– Michael Levitt, Member of Parliament (York Centre)
“The successful delivery of incubator track and accelerator programs is vital in supporting the growth of high-potential, early-stage businesses and positively impacts the startup ecosystem in Canada. I am pleased to see the success YEDI is having in providing Canadian entrepreneurs with innovative tools and skill development, along with opportunities to engage investors, enhances their ability to scale-up and expand into new markets.”
-The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
In March, YEDI concluded the first ever Canadian Global Start-Up Mission led by a university-linked business accelerator, and the results have exceeded the best expectations. Among many other successes, new agreements valued at $7.35 million were signed between YEDI, Canadian mission participants and Israeli ventures and organizations.
Many start-ups are looking to access global markets very early, and for several, their first entry market will not be Canada. Accessing emerging markets can be challenging due to significant differences in culture, business environment and in often language barriers. These “born global” start-ups need help overcoming these common differences to doing business abroad, as well as accessing business networks.
In partnership with Canadian and Israeli institutions, 10 Canadian ventures spent a full month experiencing and learning from Israel’s unique start-up ecosystem. Selected entrepreneurs participated in an intensive global entrepreneurship development program led by business leaders and start-up founders. Throughout the program, entrepreneurs visited global companies and unique start-ups, and met with top leaders of Israel’s start-up ecosystem and government officials responsible for the growth and development of SMEs.
$7,350,000 in overall agreements and MOUs signed by YEDI and mission participants
$580,000 total investment secured as a result of the mission, with $50,000 distributed during the mission
Met with Government Ministers and Chairs of Parliamentary Committees responsible for growth and innovation in Israel
YEDI authorized to issue letters of support for Israel’s Innovation Authority granting opportunities to Canadian-Israeli projects
Ariel University in collaboration with YEDI was invited by Israeli government to submit a funding application for up to $20 million Shekels in order to build a YEDI Business Acceleration Campus and international entrepreneurship development program in Israel.
Visited institutions and support services including: Israeli Knesset, Israel’s Innovation Authority, Technion University, Ariel University, Volcany Center, Barkan Manufacturing Zone, and Haifa Port Authority.
Visited successful global start-ups: Fiverr, Foresight, Allot, StoreDot, Our Crowd and many more.
“The trip was an invaluable and eye-opening experience. It provided us with knowledge, connections and platforms from which to build international collaborative projects and business partnership opportunities that will strengthen our venture and its growth in Canada and internationally.” Natalya, Founder of Cleanopy
“YEDI has developed tremendously since the 2015 UBI global rankings; our alumni network grew by five times and the number of jobs created by them grew tenfold. YEDI developed strong partnerships across the ecosystem and around the world. This helped us to provide alumni with all resources needed for growth. We see this as a great example of collaboration between academia, industry and government!” Dr. Marat Ressin, YEDI President
UBI Global is a Swedish-based data and advisory firm specializing in mapping, highlighting, and connecting the world of business incubation. Through a network of more than 500 member organizations from over 70 countries, UBI Global provides matchmaking, ranking, benchmarking, and research services to corporations and business incubation programs.According to UBI Global, a top university-linked acceleration program is a business accelerator connected to an institution of higher education that achieves outstanding impact and performance relative to its global peers. The program outperforms its global peers with regard to the value it provides to its innovation ecosystem and its client startups, as well as the attractiveness of the program itself.
“YEDI operates based on a unique model and therefore it was important for us to see how we compare to other accelerators in order to validate that our choice of model was indeed correct. Additionally, the scientific research provided by UBI has been incredibly valuable as we are able to understand which areas require a greater focus and how we may improve. Due to the research provided in 2015, we were able to implement significant improvements which helped us improve our ranking this year. Moreover, YEDI is linked to one of the top business schools in the world, and it is important for us to maintain this high level of education.
Being part of UBI’s global rankings has allowed us to connect with leading accelerators and incubators around the world, share resources and learn from each other so that we may provide the best services and support to entrepreneurs.” Dr. Marat Ressin, YEDI President
This year’s rankings showcased the growth and improvement of Canada’s incubation and acceleration landscape with many of the top programs being from Canada.
As YEDI embarks on its fifth year, we look forward to leading the first Canadian Global Start-Up Mission to Israel, welcoming international entrepreneurs, growing the Incubator track and expanding the YEDI Business Acceleration Campuses.
The YEDI team is extremely proud and humbled by this announcement. We share this honour with our partners, mentors, donors, collaborators and most importantly our alumni. Thank you!
We are delighted to share that YEDI will lead a global start-up mission to Israel for 20 Canadian entrepreneurs March 4-30, 2018. This exciting opportunity, in partnership with Canadian and Israeli institutions, will allow participants to immerse themselves in Israel’s diverse and unique start-up ecosystem in order to grow their businesses and foster global connections. Selected entrepreneurs will participate in an intensive, free four-week global entrepreneurship development program led by top business leaders and start-up founders. Throughout the program, participants will meet with top leaders of Israel’s start-up ecosystem, visit global companies, unique start-ups; and meet with government officials responsible for the growth and development of SMEs.
With the help of our Canadian and Israeli partners, the program is made available at no-cost to selected entrepreneurs. This includes full tuition, co-working space-time, flights, accommodations, meals and site visits.
March 4 – 18 – Intensive two-week program
March 19 – 30 – Workspace at WeWork Israel for further business development
Applicant is Canadian citizen or permanent resident between the ages of 18-29 with an incorporated business;
The applicant is looking to:
Immerse themselves in a selected global market through an exploratory visit which includes academic programming in partnership with local top-ranked universities;
Develop strong business relationships that are only possible through sustained face-to-face interaction;
Gain first-hand knowledge of the opportunity within that market; and
Achieve tangible business goals in the selected global market outside of Canada and the U.S.A, such as: sales, investment, and strategic partnerships
Marking the closing of 4 months of hard work, graduates of the Spring 2017 Incubator Track and Existing Not-For-Profit Track pitched their ventures to YEDI’s funder audience on June 27th and July 14th.
The events featured remarks by Dr. Marat Ressin (President, YEDI) and various YEDI partners and supporters including Dr. Alan Middleton (Executive Director, Schulich Executive Education Centre) and Raphael Costa (Manager, Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre).
Following the formal pitch presentations, which took place at Vaughan City Hall and at our YEDI Business Acceleration Campus, the participants offered a closer look into their ventures and projects while networking with guests from different industries and organizations supporting entrepreneurship and changemaking in Canada.
YEDI would like to congratulate all of our graduates for their hard work! We look forward to seeing you grow and succeed even more. Thank you as well to everyone who attended the Venture Fairs and for your continuous support of YEDI.
Have a start-up idea? Growing an existing venture or not-for-profit organization? Applications for the Fall 2017 Youth Program and Not-For-Profit Tracks are accepted until September 20, 2017. Please follow this link to apply and learn more about YEDI’s various program tracks.
On May 6, YEDI became an officially designated organization by the Government of Canada under its Start Up Visa Immigration Program. This important milestone will enable YEDI to support international entrepreneurs who look to Canada as a new home for both themselves and their ventures.
We value personal connections and encourage hopeful applicants to review our International Start-Up training programs which allow entrepreneurs to become familiarized with Canada’s business landscape and meet with organizations supporting small business growth and development. Upon program completion, entrepreneurs will have the tools and expertise necessary to pitch and potentially bring their ventures to the Canadian market. Participation in the program will allow both participants and organizations to have a better understanding of each other and increase applicant’s chances of obtaining a letter of support.
To learn more about the Start-Up Visa immigration program, please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/business/start-up/
We are delighted to announce the opening of YEDI’s second Business Acceleration Campus. On May 1, YEDI opened the doors to its new facility located on the second floor of the IMPROVE Centre in the City of Vaughan. The new Campus features 50,000 sq. ft. of office space, shared co-working space, boardrooms and a 250 seat auditorium. Ventures looking for a dynamic, resourceful and vibrant co-working space are invited to submit an application.