GrowLab accelerator launches to provide tech startups with funding and training

New GrowLab accelerator launches. Provides startups with up to $25,000 seed funding; $150,000 follow-on funding. Accelerator fund now accepting applications from next generation of tech entrepreneurs.

Prominent Canadian and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors today announced the launch of a new accelerator program based in Vancouver. GrowLab is a “startup boot camp” for entrepreneurs whose companies will receive up to $25,000 in seed funding, four months of mentorship, free office space and the opportunity to pitch investors at the end of the program for follow-on funding. The program is accepting applications from entrepreneurs globally and will be based in Vancouver for the first three months, with the fourth month in San Francisco.

"The value of this program for someone starting out in an entrepreneurial career is incalculable," says Michael Tippett, Growlab's executive director.  "Every city should have a GrowLab.  I wish it had been around when I got started."

The accelerator is now accepting applications for its Fall Program at www.growlab.ca, deadline for submission is June 15, 2011. Five companies will be chosen for the first cohort beginning August 15, 2011.

"We are so excited about the talent and ideas coming out of this next-generation entrepreneur," says Debbie Landa, creator of the GROW Conference. "We created GrowLab to provide financing and mentor support to help build tomorrow's great companies.

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GrowLab aims to find the world's smartest Internet entrepreneurs who are passionate about technology and changing the face of traditional business. "Our approach is entrepreneur-centric," says Leonard Brody of Clarity Digital.

"We're founded on the principal that if we find and support talented entrepreneurs, their ideas can grow into truly disruptive companies."

The four founders of GrowLab are Boris Wertz, one of Canada's top angel investors and former COO of AbeBooks.com; Debbie Landa, Founder of Dealmaker Media and creator of the Grow Conference and Under the Radar; Jason Bailey, Founder of SuperRewards (sold to AdKnowledge); and Leonard Brody, president of Clarity Digital (former CEO of NowPublic). GrowLab’s Executive Director is Michael Tippett, co-Founder of NowPublic.

In an effort to continue building a strong startup ecosystem, the accelerator has signed on many high-profile angel and venture investors including lead partner’s BDC, iNovia Capital and The Blackberry Partners Fund, along with Rho Canada, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Growthworks, Yaletown Venture Partners, Chris Albinson, and Mike Edwards.


“Accelerators like GrowLab play a pivotal role in providing entrepreneurs with “smart capital” – both financing and expertise. Says Senia Rapisarda of BDC Venture Capital. We are pleased to partner with GrowLab to offer each company that successfully graduates from the program up to $150,000 in follow-on funding. BDC believes strongly in GrowLab’s model and the follow-on funding demonstrates our commitment to this initiative.”

"GrowLab's program lets startups spend their final month embedded in Silicon Valley," says Kevin Swan of iNovia Capital.  "This unique bridge between Canada and the Valley ensures the entrepreneurs access to expertise and an international network that will set them up for success.”
John Albright of The BlackBerry Partners Fund says, “We're focused on finding and supporting exceptional entrepreneurs from around the world. Supporting GrowLab is an excellent way to seed innovation and help founders build companies that will shape our future."

"The response has been overwhelmingly positive today," says Tippett, after the morning announcement of the company's plans.  "We had a great write up in the international press, the Wall Street Journal did a great piece.  The local media is also really positive.  There is clearly an intense interest in the project.  We've got a great team and it's amazing to see what happens when you bring this kind of talent together in one organization."

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