Canada's Trade Commissioner Service (TCS), Brand LA, and The Daraja Collective launched the SoCal Black Tech Express (SBTX) Accelerator for Canadian founders looking at L.A. for potential growth and expansion. This is a high-intensity program that supports Canadian entrepreneurs, Black-owned and Black-led start-up companies interested in opportunities in the Southern California market. Below are the seven companies selected in 2023.
B2BeeMatch – Ontario
Chimoney - Ontario
Clavis Studio – Alberta
Collogh Cares Inc. – Quebec
Gift Better Co. - Ontario
Holdr – British Columbia
SUBSKRYB - Ontario
Brand LA's mission extends to elevating the voices of underrepresented leaders and innovators in our region. The nonprofit agency was chosen for the second year in a row to lead the program's Marketing Communications efforts and key strategic sessions with the companies' founders. Other partners include Expert Dojo, TiE SoCal, Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce, amongst others!
The Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles Canada's Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) launched its first Black tech accelerator last year. Now in 2023, the initiative has garnered the attention of an extended support network.
“The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) is proud to support underrepresented Canadian entrepreneurs in their U.S. business objectives as part of the Government of Canada’s wider commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all. The SoCal Black Tech Express program is unique globally. It was the first TCS-led startup accelerator program dedicated exclusively to serving Canadian Black entrepreneurs with their startup’s goals and objectives outside of Canada. In making connections to SoCal-based investors, VC funds, corporate partners, and local network, we ensure that Canadian Black entrepreneurs are able to access more capital, partnerships, and have a larger voice in the ever-growing and changing Los Angeles market," said Maddie Morris, Innovation Trade Commissioner.
The Daraja Collective serves as a strategic platform to connect engineering and entrepreneurship, by creating opportunities and thriving ecosystems, where technical and social innovation have the most significant impact.
"The Daraja Collective is excited to be a part of the SoCal Black Tech Express again this year. The program has grown in the number of companies that will receive the knowledge and skills they need to be export-ready in the Southern California region. We've also added a multi-day in-person portion. This events will include investor roundtables, networking, and ecosystem-building opportunities. We are ecstatic to be able to provide this expanded programming to companies, as TCS continues its amazing work to increase access to Canadian Black founders in the U.S." Founder and CEO, Stacyann P. Russell told Brand LA.
The SoCal Black Tech Express program's second cohort will benefit from access to L.A.-based VC fund and investors; much-needed regional exposure to industry partners; strategic and targeted mentorship; advisory services aimed at counterbalancing discrimination against Black-led companies; access to relevant regional events; learning and coaching sessions, and strategic visibility in the Southern California region.
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