YEDI Concludes First International Start-Up Program in Armenia

Since its inception, YEDI has been committed to the goal of educating and supporting start-ups both at home in Canada and around the world. There is an ever-growing entrepreneurial presence in developed and developing countries globally, and YEDI is always looking for new opportunities to bring its renowned International Start-Up Program to new nations.  Most recently, YEDI ran its program in Yerevan, Armenia. 

In recent years, Armenia has been experiencing positive and impactful changes that are greatly supporting the country’s goals for the near future. YEDI believes that it can assist Armenia in improving their exports, attract investments, and help Armenian ventures to reach global markets. This is what drew YEDI to bring the International Start-Up Program to Yerevan in partnership with the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. This January, Plekhanov University opened a new department in their Moscow Headquarters (Global Finance and Small Business Development by York Entrepreneurship Development Institute [Canada]) for YEDI to deliver its programming within the university. This gives YEDI the ability to utilize any of the 22 branches of Plekhanov University to run similar educational programs. 

The news of YEDI’s commitment to supporting Armenia’s economic goals caught the attention of many officials in the Armenian government, important educational figures and media personnel. The program’s concluding venture fair was attended by a representative of Armenia’s President Armen Sarkissian, Armenia’s Minister of Economy Tigran Khachatryan, several members of the Armenian Parliament, a representative from the Russian Consulate in Armenia, a Trade Commissioner from Russia, the Director of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (Yerevan Branch) Tamara Vardanyan, as well as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (Yerevan Branch) Arman Vardanyan. 

During his welcome speech, Minister Khachatryan expressed his full support of YEDI’s programs and has committed to providing YEDI land to build an acceleration campus in Yerevan. 

“I want to thank the organizers of this program in Armenia and from my end, I am ready to support and assist further cooperation of this partnership.” – Minister Khachatryan. 

YEDI believes that academia has no borders and will continue to support and partner with developing economies globally by running educational seminars and programs in countries around the world. 

News Armenia, Euromedia and Lurer’s media coverage including video of the venture fair: 




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YEDI VC Fund Receives Designation Under Canada’s Start-Up VISA Program

The YEDI VC Fund is now an officially designated Venture Capital fund by the Government of Canada under its Start Up Visa Immigration Program. YEDI has been a designated Incubator since 2017 and has supported an array of international entrepreneurs thus far. This important milestone will enable YEDI to support growth-oriented international ventures who look to Canada as a new home for both themselves and their organizations. YEDI now has a newfound ability to assist international entrepreneurs.

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 and especially for those abroad. This is precisely why the YEDI VC Fund was created. YEDI collaborates with private investors, angel investor groups and VCs to help client ventures obtain the needed investment. 

YEDI aims to use this Start-Up Visa VC designation to help innovative start-ups from around the world become established in Canada and realize the full potential of their ventures. Hopeful applicants may apply to YEDI for an opportunity to obtain a Letter of Support and begin their Start-Up Visa application process. As a designated Venture Capital fund, YEDI will support selected candidates through a minimum investment of $200,000 in addition to education, mentorship and network support.

As of January, 2019, YEDI became a member of the Canadian Venture Capital Association as a general partner – an opportunity that provides YEDI with access to additional capital and funding resources.

To learn more about the Start-Up Visa immigration program, please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/business/start-up/

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YEDI Speaker Series: Legal Panel 2019

On Thursday July 11th, 2019, YEDI hosted a Speaker Series: Legal Panel featuring two guests – Saba Samanian and Allan Oziel. As the Toronto Ambassador for Women of Wearables, Saba presented about a very timely and compelling topic – privacy in wearable technology. With wearables becoming increasingly popular, she is passionate about helping individuals understand the legal backend of the technologies, including personal rights in privacy protection. Allan, Trade-Mark Agent at Oziel Law, introduced the attendees to a very critical topic for tech-startups – software licensing. The audience learned about the key aspects of a proper licensing agreement, as well as the different options they have when deciding on a licensing structure. The event was attended by both YEDI alumni and community members eager to learn more about law in business and to meet like-minded entrepreneurs in the YEDI community.

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YEDI x NCCA Canada Communications Event

On Wednesday April 3rd 2019, NCCA Canada hosted its Business Communication UP Event in partnership with YEDI and the City of Toronto.

Attendees experienced a full day of professional development and networking, where they learned how to develop vital business communication skills necessary to start, grow and lead a business. The event included expert keynote speakers, interactive seminars and a panel discussion hosted by industry professionals from the executive coaching world. Topics of conversation included social media marketing, creating an authentic elevator pitch, hiring a corporate trainer, and running a successful small business.

NCCA Canada and YEDI are thrilled to know that attending entrepreneurs are now more skilled in effective business communication, and wish all of them luck with their ventures! Stay tuned for more NCCA Canada and YEDI events in the future!

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YEDI VC Fund Investments

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!

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YEDI President Marat Ressin Attends Web Summit Conference in Lisbon, Portugal

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.

One of YEDI’s current goals is to become more present in the Western European market. See the interview with York Link to learn more: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-h_3VLUQ5g.

YEDI is looking forward to attending Collision, Web Summit’s ‘sister conference’, in May at the Enercare Centre in Toronto!

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YEDI Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary of Inaugural Program

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.

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YEDI Concludes a Successful Entrepreneurship Program in Israel

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!

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YEDI Concludes Extremely Successful Global Start-Up Mission to Israel

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



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