Celebrating Black History Month | 48Hrs Alumni Share Their Mentorship Insights | BDC Report on the Canadian Technology Industry

A newsletter from one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.

Thursday 2.4.2021


This month, C100 will be spotlighting great Canadians in tech that are a part of the Black Community. Below are just a few resources created by C100’s valued Partner Community.

Black Canadians have some of the lowest participation rates in tech among all racial groups. Created by Phil G. Joseph and supported by Real Ventures, a C100 Corporate Partner, Rep Matters is an interview series that highlights Black entrepreneurs and investors in the Canadian tech ecosystem (including C100 Co-Chair Andre Charoo), with the goal of being a catalyst for increased Black participation and representation in this space.

We invite you to join them on their mission of building a more diverse and equitable tech ecosystem by following Rep Matters on LinkedinTwitterInstagram and/or Facebook. For any further information, email info@repmatters.tech

ICYMI, Disruptors is an ongoing podcast series brought to you by RBC, a C100 Foundational Partner, and hosted by SVP John Stackhouse about reimagining Canada’s economy in a time of unprecedented change.

In this episode, Why Are There so Few Black Entrepreneurs in Canadian Tech, John Stackhouse interviews Abdullah Snobar, Executive Director of Ryerson DMZ, and Isaac Olowalafe Jr., a Toronto real estate investor and founding partner of the DMZ’s Black Innovation Programs. These programs are designed to support Black entrepreneurs, from developing key skills to accelerating growth-stage companies. Listen to this episode here and continue reading to learn more about the DMZ’s Black Innovation Programs.

Ryerson DMZ’s Black Innovation Programs (BIP) provide startups led by Black entrepreneurs with the strengthening support of a top university-based incubator network, as well as additional programming, mentorship, events, and connections to industry, capital, and an alumni network to support their success and growth. This consists of three core programs:

  • Launchpad – a free skills development platform that helps aspiring founders develop the knowledge and skills needed to kickstart the entrepreneurial journey.
  • Bootcamp – a free six-week Bootcamp that helps early-stage founders validate their business idea, create a minimum viable product and build a roadmap for implementation.
  • Fellowship – an 18-month incubator program that helps startups improve their minimum viable product, test and refine their go-to-market strategies, build a powerful team and develop a winning sales strategy.

Learn more about these programs on the Black Innovators Program website. The Bootcamp and Fellowship cohorts are about to kick off, but keep your eye out for the next round of recruitment by following the DMZ on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.


C100 saw a record number of nominated founders for the C100 Fellows mentorship program (f/k/a 48Hrs in the Valley), with a 73% increase in nominations from the year before!

Mentorship is a vital part of an entrepreneur’s journey. The following four founders, and 48Hrs alumni, shared their words of wisdom on what makes for a great mentorship experience:

  • Ali Asaria, Founder & CEO of Tulip Retail
  • Eva Wong, Co-Founder & COO of Borrowell
  • Sam Pillar, Co-Founder & CEO of Jobber
  • Noura Sakkijha, Co-Founder & CEO of Mejuri

A reminder to all nominated founders, applications to C100’s Fellows Program are due THIS Friday, February 5th


Calling all entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, Western University, a Corporate Partner of C100, is hosting an online event featuring some familiar, friendly faces from the C100 Charter Membership Community. These Canadian tech leaders will share their personal journeys and entrepreneurial experiences, from founding to scaling their businesses. Featured panelists are:

  • Chris Albinson (C100 Co-Founder and Charter Member), Founder & Managing Director of Breakaway Growth
  • Sukhinder Singh Cassidy (C100 Charter Member)Founder & CEO of the theBoardlist
  • Patrick Spence (C100 Charter Member), CEO of Sonos
  • Kristina Klaussen (C100 Charter Member Alumna) Founder & CEO of PandaTree.com
  • Eric Morse, Executive Director of Pierre L. Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship


The Business Development of Canada (BDC), a C100 Foundational Partner, has released its latest report on the technology industry in Canada. A few key insights from this report include:

  • Between 2010 and 2019, the Canadian tech sector experienced 4.3% industry annual growth, a rate more than twice that of the Canadian economy, and over nine years has experienced 35% job growth, triple that of all other industries. In 2019, the tech industry contributed $57B to Canada’s GDP.
  • In 2020, as businesses transitioned to remote work, 97% of the tech workforce retained their jobs throughout the pandemic.
  • While the pandemic caused a 3% output decline to mid-2020, the tech sector had already recovered to pre-pandemic levels by the fall of 2020 and is expected to grow by 5.3% in 2021 and 17.4% by 2025.
  • 40% of Canadian businesses intend to significantly increase investment in technologies over the next three years.


🔬Canada has signed a tentative deal with US-vaccine maker Novavax to produce its vaccine in a Montreal-based facility. Conditional on public health approvals, it’s estimated that this vaccine would be ready for distribution in Fall 2021.

📰General Partner at Luge Capital, Karim Gillani (C100 Charter Member) authored a piece for BetaKit on why 2021 will be an exciting year for the FinTech sector and his predictions.

🛒 After Amazon reported a third-consecutive record profit and topping US$100-billioon in quarterly sales for the first time, Jeff Bezos announced that he will be stepping down as Amazon’s CEO this summer, becoming its Executive Chairman. Bezos also shared that this is an opportunity to focus on other initiatives including the Day 1 Project, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post and more.

🤝 Acrew Capital, led by founding partner Theresia Gouw, has announced a new Diversity Capital Fund dedicated to increasing diverse equity into the cap table. Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Founder & Chairman at theBoardList (and C100 Charter Member) has joined as a founding partner of this fund, which targets LPs from underrepresented backgrounds and will invest in growth-stage businesses on the road to IPO.

🤝 Toronto-based Top Hat raised a US$130-million investment from Georgian and announced that founder Mike Silagadze (C100 Member) will step down as CEO. Earlier this year, Top Hat has closed its third acquisition within a year with its most recent purchase of Dallas-based Fountainhead Press. Early investor, Founder and General Partner Version One Ventures and Boris Wertz (C00 Charter Member) shared his thoughts on the consolidation play.

📱Chances are, GameStop has come across your newsfeed quite a bit last week. Wealthsimple has landed the number one spot in the Canadian Apple App Store. While the app’s popularity was already on the rise, this comes amidst a trading frenzy courtesy of the Wall Street Bets Reddit community.

🔬 Following a big year for Canadian biotech, RBC (a C100 Foundational Partner) has made an undisclosed investment with Toronto-based Lumira Ventures, Canada’s largest life science venture capital fund in two decades.

🚀Montreal-based businessman and philanthropist Mark Pathy will be the only Canadian on a four-man trip to the International Space Station in a privately chartered flight in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. Mr. Pathy will become the 11th Canadian to travel to space and the second Canadian to do so as a private citizen.

♀️Shopify and Technovation have expanded their partnership with a shared mission to foster the next generation of women in technology and entrepreneurship. While they will continue to support young womxn in Canada, this partnership will engage more than 2,000 new participants from the United States, Ireland, Germany and Brazil.

💪 Business Insider shined the spotlight on Tonal speaking with Founder and CEO Aly Orady (C100 Charter Member) and how sales grew eightfold over the course of 2020.

☁️ mCloud Technologies Cord., led by Co-Founder and CEO Russ McMeekin (C100 Charter Member), has closed the third tranche of its private placement offering and has announced that mCloud will be relocating its corporate headquarters to Calgary.

📰 With a new administration, we may see rolled back restrictions that had been previously placed on H-1B visas for foreign workers in the US. Arif Janmohamed (C100 Charter Member) was quoted in this article covered by the Wall Street Journal.

🛒 Toronto-based Clearbanc’s Co-Founder and CEO Andrew D’Souza (C100 Charter Member) spoke to Forbes on how 2020 accelerated the future of e-commerce and what that means for 2021.

🎉Toronto-based enterprise software company Tealbook (C100 48Hrs Alumnus), led by Founder and CEO Stephany Lapierre, has raised US$14.4-million in venture financing, led by RTP Global.

🎉 Great Places to Work has announced the 2020 list of Best Workplaces for Start-Ups in Canada featuring some companies familiar to the C100 Community including ten(!) 48Hrs Alumni; BenchSci (Liran Belenzon); BlueDot Inc. (Kamran Khan); CareGuide (John Philip Green); CrowdRiff (Dan Holowack); FundThrough Inc. (Steven Uster); KOHO Financial (Daniel Eberhard); Medchart (James Bateman); Opencare (Nikolai Bratkovski); PartnerStack (Bryn Jones); and PostBeyond Inc. (Ivan Tsarynny).


Consider deepening your engagement with C100 as a Member.

C100 Members are entrepreneurs, investors, and operators in the technology field, with a special focus on Canadians living abroad who wish to connect with one another and to give back to Canada’s ecosystem. They enjoy high-value, intimate virtual events, a Members-only C100 Slack space, and exclusive Member communications. All prospective Members must have their application sponsored by at least one active C100 Member.

C100’s mission is to support, inspire, and connect the most promising Canadian entrepreneurial leaders through mentorship, investment, partnership, & talent. Apply to join as a member today!

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