First look: Here are the 7 Canadian startups backed by ODX, On Deck’s $100M accelerator fund (so far)
7,500 startups applied. Meet the seven locals that got in.
Five years ago, Erik Torenberg found himself between gigs. The San Francisco-based entrepreneur had recently finished a two-year stint at ProductHunt, the popular product surfacing website, where he was a member of the founding team. He wanted to find others in the same “searching for something” boat, so he started organizing dinner parties to bring these types of people together. He also developed a phrase to describe this period in one’s life—the on deck state—when you’re in between things or thinking of leaving your job or starting something new. He built a community to help people navigate this time, help them find co-founders and evaluate their ideas. Fittingly, he called it On Deck.
Over the next few years, the community grew into a company that provides education-based cohorts for founders, investors, product leaders and creators. By 2021, the business grew to more than 90 employees and 3,000 fellows (cohort participants) from around the world. “A lot more people were On Deck than I thought,” he wrote in March of 2021 after On Deck raised USD $20 million in Series A funding.
Fast-forward four months and On Deck announced its expansion to Canada with B.C.’s Yashar Nejati tapped as country manager. (Nejati previously co-founded and sold This Open Space.) As part of the news, Nejati also shared the names of On Deck Canada’s first Founding Fellows, leaders of promising startups that now stand to benefit from On Deck programming. The group includes Vancouver’s Brandon Waselnuk, CEO of Codex, and Sid Bharath, CEO of Broca.
It was a busy year for the venture, yet On Deck saved its biggest piece of news for the fall. On October 21, it announced a new $100M fund and accelerator to back founders, which it called ODX. For startups that successfully applied to ODX, On Deck said it would invest $125,000 in exchange for 7 percent equity. Companies would also gain access to networks, tools, customers and support. The ODX team wanted to move fast—like, really fast. “As soon as you're ready to build, we'll commit in 48 hrs,” Nejati tweeted that day. “It's your turn.”
Within a month, seven Canadian startups, including five from Vancouver, were funded—and now, for the first time, on their first day of ODX programming, Vancouver Tech Journal is revealing who they are.
Withe (Vancouver, BC)
Withe lets sales teams video chat with customers on-demand, right from their website. Their software helps businesses build face-to-face relationships with their customers, capture the moment of interest, and demo products live. No downloads required.
Quil (Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON)
Quil lets e-commerce brands switch to reusable packaging, without any additional hassle or investment in return logistics. Quil collects used bags, cleans and preps them, and then sells them back to customers for their next use.
Nnect (Vancouver, BC)
Founder(s): Shreyansh Manchanda
Nnect is a subscription-based social delivery product that enables users to purchase meals with friends while supporting local restaurants. Individuals or teams can select a plan that gives them daily or weekly orders.
Moment Wealth (Toronto, ON)
Founder(s): Miguel Fernando
Moment Wealth is a mobile productivity app and desktop suite that helps investment advisors automate processes so they can spend more time doing what they do best.
Nuport.io (Vancouver, BC)
Nuport is a route optimization and distribution planning software for manufacturers and distributors.
Curio (Toronto, ON)
Curio is a drop-in group coaching platform for professionals to help improve mental health, productivity and performance.
Whitespace Labs (Vancouver, BC)
Founder(s): Xiang Gao
Whitespace Labs Inc. is building tools to help companies streamline their design processes and move design work forward at a high quality and velocity.
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