TORONTO, CANADA — Today, Elevate and Moneris Solutions Corporation (‘Moneris’) announced that they will be launching Canada’s first ecommerce accelerator, eCommerce North. The digital-first program will offer a highly specialized, national offering that includes up to six months of sponsored programming, with the goal of helping 50 Canadian ecommerce startups scale over the next 3 years. Applications are now open, with the first cohort set to launch on May 12.
eCommerce North will offer founders access to Canadian executives and entrepreneurs, such as Elevate CEO and serial entrepreneur, Razor Suleman (CEO Coach), and Moneris Chief Operating Officer, Bruce Nanton (Corporate in Residence). In addition, founders will learn proven growth methodologies from a suite of Entrepreneurs in Residence, including Phillip Gales (Business Ops), Harp Gahunia (Finance & Fundraising), and growth marketing strategy from Jyll Saskin Gales, Rokham Fard, and Nicole Murphy.
The accelerator will equip founders to thrive in a stakeholder-centric world, and will look beyond traditional accelerator programming to include additional coaching on how startups can scale sustainability, equity and mental health.
“For 20 years, we have seen the strength, resilience and passion of Canadian small businesses, and it has never been more tested than over the past 12 months,” says Moneris President and CEO, Angela Brown. “Helping Canadian entrepreneurs transition to a digital future isn’t just a business goal, it’s the right thing to do.”
Elevate and Moneris have also committed that at least 50% of founders will be female-identifying, and 30% will be from other underrepresented groups.
“We know that diversity in tech is an issue, and to fix that we need to start aggressively and intentionally correcting the imbalance of opportunities and access to networks,” says Elevate CEO, Razor Suleman.
The decision to launch an ecommerce accelerator comes in the wake of a challenging year for startups and small businesses, and a rapid resulting digital transformation, prompting government support for this new initiative.
“I’m thrilled that Elevate and Moneris are launching Canada’s first ecommerce accelerator, driven by a commitment to equity and social impact,” says The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. “This is an incredible opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators across Canada to expand, all the while leveling the playing field. Our government applauds the logic behind this and is right there with you.”
The program will be offered to startups across Canada, with a promise to offer a dedicated French cohort in 2022. To be eligible for the program, startups must be a digital-first marketplace or tech enabler with demonstrated traction. Full criteria can be found on the eCommerce North website.