Global Affairs Canada and Trade and Invest British Columbia join WTIA council to launch accelerator focused on virtual, augmented reality
The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) has announced the selections in its inaugural Canadian XR Startup Market Accelerator program, a partnership between WTIA, Global Affairs Canada, Trade and Invest British Columbia. Final selection of participating startups has been made and is now underway for the first 8 weeks of the new year. The accelerator program will play a vital role in the expansion of the integrated extended reality (XR) industry, which encompasses virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and voice.
The eight-week program will prepare ten Canadian VR, AR and voice-related startups for expansion into the American market. The virtual accelerator includes a mix of curriculum, introductions and mentorship to help participants grow their entrepreneurial skills and begin market validation in the U.S. The ten participating startups are:
- Avalon Holographics
- Cela Inc.
- Engage Creative Technologies
- Humanitas Solutions Inc.
- Luxsonic Technologies Inc.
- Virtro Technology
The remote XR Startup Market Accelerator includes workshops on sales, fundraising and other stage appropriate topics, customized to the individual organizations. The program also provides mentorship and coaching designed to help with localization efforts and U.S. go-to-market strategies. Founders will receive introductions to local companies for market validation and relevant local community leaders and investors. All participants will also benefit from a free WTIA membership, including access to benefits like AWS Credits, Carta Cap Table Management software, HubSpot marketing automation, and Brex corporate credit cards, among others.
“Extended reality is on the cusp of reimagining legacy industries like healthcare, construction and hospitality, and these ten companies represent some of our industry’s best and brightest ” said Michael Schutzler, CEO, WTIA. “Through this program, each participant will receive tailored, individual guidance as they work to expand into the U.S. market, bringing unparalleled innovation into the rapidly developing industry.”
“The Canadian XR Accelerator program will help strengthen regional connections among entrepreneurs, innovators and investors,” said Ravi Kahlon, British Columbia Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “We’re excited to work with great partners like Washington Tech Industry Association and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service to seed new growth in the AR/VR and digital technology industry.”
“The greater Cascadia region has grown into a hub of XR market leaders with the likes of Microsoft, Facebook and Google in Seattle; plus, Electronic Arts (EA) and Finger Food Studios in Vancouver,” said Brandon Lee, Consul General of Canada in Seattle. “This XR Startup Market Accelerator program provides a great opportunity to further develop the region as an industry leader, coupling cultural and economic links between Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Led by some of the industry’s brightest minds, the ten accelerator participants – which hail from Vancouver, BC to St. John’s Newfoundland – are primed for a successful step into the U.S. market.”
The Canadian XR Startup Market Accelerator runs through February. WTIA has hosted multiple virtual accelerator programs over the past year. The Accelerator Programs are primarily funded through the Consulate General of Canada in Seattle and Trade and Invest British Columbia. [24×7]