From the program that gave you such startups as Sonder, Unsplash, Mejuri, Bus.com, BenchSci and LiveScale comes the 13th cohort its history. From a talent perspective organizers say 2020 yielded the strongest Top 20 contenders in recent years. There were over 175 applicants, 75 interviews and extra diligence to ensure that those selected as finalists were adapting rapidly to the sudden economic downturn. Following that exhaustive process, these elite eight startups will be part of the next cohort.
B2B Quotes – B2B Quotes is a web platform devoted to finding professional service providers matched to your company’s exact business needs.
Gallea – An online to offline Art Marketplace. Making authentic and local art part of your daily life.
Lunchbox – A social platform that enables students to create their own work experiences together, empowering them to shape the impact they aspire to have in the world.
Oxilia – A flexible recruitment marketplace for locum and veterinary professionals. Leveraging AI to match the needs of clinics to a dynamic new generation of vet professionals.
QuoteMachine – A sales platform seamlessly integrated into retailers’ operations to scale custom orders online and collect payments faster – with financial peace of mind.
Simplyk – The first fee-free fundraising platform for charities to better empower non-profits to change the world.
Stamped AI – A tech-enabled audit firm that takes care of year-end financials in a fast and affordable way, using a smart mix of seasoned CPAs and technology.
Waverly – A first-of-a-kind Empathetic AI-Driven Personal Content Curator.
“We believe companies that put down roots during uncertain times are better positioned to thrive when the world steadies itself again. We remain optimistic about the prospects of the Canadian technology startup environment,” wrote FounderFuel in a statement.
The program has also made strides to emphasize founders mental health as well as diversity and equality over the years. However, in the case of the latter, the statement went on to say “The current environment has also highlighted a sore-spot for us. FounderFuel values diversity and was proud to have women represent 45% of our top 20 finalists in 2019 and 37% of the final cohort. We are disappointed by our lack of support for diverse founders in the FounderFuel program this year. Compared to 2019, FounderFuel 2020 saw significantly fewer applications with female co-founders. As a result, there were 10% fewer female founders in the top 20, and 20% fewer in the selected cohort.”
While these statistics seem somewhat askew from claims of the strongest group of contenders in recent years, the statement did reiterate “Diversity of experience and thought lead to innovation. In order to improve the diversity of our cohort in 2021, we will actively engage with communities beyond those orbiting the startup ecosystem, and educate minority founders about the VC path and the support they can receive to become the change they wish to see in the world.”