Ranking Canada’s Accelerators

 

The following chart shows a ranking of Canada’s accelerators, incubators and entrepreneurship programs. Our rankings are based on capital raised post accelerator involvement. This may be seen as a gigantic value judgement as to the purpose of accelerators but the idea behind an accelerator is to accelerate growth and a company needs capital to be able to do that. And if it isn’t capital, then why are accelerators always touting the amount raised by their participants and the value created? So yes, big value judgment but I’ll encourage anyone else come up with a different methodology and we can compare them.

 

Canada’s Top Accelerators

OrganizationInvestor TypeLocationNumber of ParticipantsScore
500 Startups CanadaAcceleratorToronto3720.64
Creative Destruction Lab (CDL)Ent Program, Uni ProgramToronto75113.72
Startup EdmontonEnt Program, IncubatorEdmonton14113.27
HIGHLINEvcAccelerator, VCToronto6112.79
TandemLaunchAcceleratorMontreal4212.06
MEDTEQ+Ent Program, Micro VCMontreal2011.60
EcofuelAcceleratorMontreal2411.31
FounderFuelAcceleratorMontreal9411.25
NEXT CanadaAcceleratorToronto31911.17
Extreme Venture PartnersAccelerator, VCToronto7010.85
UTESTIncubatorToronto8310.74
DMZAccelerator, IncubatorToronto25710.68
B.C. Innovation Council (BCIC)Ent ProgramVancouver1410.01
VelocityIncubator, Uni ProgramWaterloo2609.19
Canadian Technology AcceleratorAcceleratorCalgary358.98
Accelerator CentreAcceleratorWaterloo1138.97
entrepreneurship@UBCAccelerator, Ent Program, PlusVancouver1138.12
Techstars Montreal AI AcceleratorAcceleratorMontreal326.85
Techstars Toronto AcceleratorAcceleratorToronto436.69
L-SPARKAccelerator, Ent Program, IncubatorOttawa606.26
ideaBOOSTAcceleratorToronto375.16
Advanced Technology CentreIncubatorEdmonton653.70
NextAIAcceleratorToronto923.70

Methodology

 

To rank accelerators, we checked Crunchbase for all Canadian based accelerators, incubators, entrepreneurship programs and university programs. This data was obtained data in the summer of 2021 and while recent, it may not be complete. To be included in the ranking, an accelerator had to have made 15 or more investments and have 10 or more companies that had received total investment of greater than $250,000. What we measured was as follows:

  1. Graduation Rate

The first step in raising capital is getting a pre-seed or seed round and this measurement looks at what percentage of firms actually go on to raise such a round. We decided that a firm graduates from the accelerator if they raise over $250,000 of capital. This level removes money invested by the accelerator and shows that some party other than the accelerator itself saw merit in what the company was doing.

  1. Median Financial Velocity

We use financial velocity as one of the measures in the Narwhal List and we’re used it here as well. It measures the speed of raising money and there is a correlation between financial velocity and growth. We chose the median level as it doesn’t distort results in the case that one firm has raised a significant amount of funding. Only those firms that raised above $250 thousand were counted in this metric.

  1. Percentage High Velocity

Finally, we calculated the percentage of superstars that came out of the program. To measure that, we calculated the percentage of firms that had gone on to record a financial velocity above 10. This means that the firm has raised more than an average of $10 million a year since inception. This is the level at which firms need to perform if they want to become Unicorns or have an IPO in the US.

Here are the results.