Canadian Technology Accelerators Launch Across Asia

Canadian technology is growing so quickly it is escaping the boundaries of its own country.

Earlier this week, a new Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) launched in Taipei. This follows the launch of another CTA in Singapore late last month. In total, there are four CTAs planned for Asia, with details on the Tokyo and Hong Kong locations being announced soon.

This rollout model for Asia follows the successes of the CTA program in the U.S., where similar accelerators in San Francisco, Boston/Cambridge, New York City, Philidelphia and Silicon Valley currently operate. These initiatives focus on information and communications technology as well as life sciences. Beyond the physical CTAs, there is also a virtual cleantech program in the U.S.

“The CTA programs in Asia will facilitate the entry of Canadian companies into new overseas markets and will provide mentorship and advice from industry leaders, access to potential investors and connections in local business communities,” said a spokesperson from Global Affairs Canada, the entity responsible for the launch and maintenance of the accelerator.

Canadian and Taiwanese officials at the launch of Taipei’s CTA.

Taipei and Singapore were chosen for the first two Asian CTA locations due to their strength as supply chain hotbeds and their exponential innovation frameworks. Companies will be part of an intensive four to eight-month immersion program to Canadian SMEs working abroad. The goal will be to unlock export growth opportunities for the high-potential startups who join the CTA. For the newly-opened Taipei CTA, local government officials are hoping it will bring in 10 to 20 Canadian startups within a year, giving them access to the Taiwanese market.

“We position Canada as a world leader in turning ideas into solutoons, science into technology, skills into jobs, and startups into global comapnies. I hope that will be the case for some of the startups represented here in Taipei today, ” Sarah Taylor told a mixed audience of Taipei locals and Canadian expats at the launch of the Taipei CTA. Taylor is the director general of North Asia and Oceania for Global Affairs Canada.

“It should be no surprise as to why Canada chose Taipei as one of four locations in Asia for our new accelerator program. This is the first time we are opening tech accelerators outside of North America. As someone who has worked in Asia for a long time, it’s high time we bring this model to Asia and Taiwan.”

A few startups—including Studio 1 Labs—were on-hand for the launch of the new CTA in Taipei. They, along with other Canadian companies like Fluent AI and SmartHalo, are in Taipei as part of the Garage+ incubator. Members of the Canadian technology industry were also present at the CTA Taipei launch, including MaRS Discovery District executives.