CIX launches program to help Canadian tech flourish in the Valley

The Canadian Innovation Exchange is launching a program designed to help give emerging Canadian tech companies from early-stage start-ups to more developed players the chance to develop stronger connections in the Valley.

CIX is accepting applications for its accelerator program until March 11, 2011.

In partnership with DFAIT and the Consulate General in San Francisco, CIX is taking applications for the CIX Canadian Technology Accelerator, a new program to support the innovation community in Canada.

The accelerator program will place three qualified Canadian companies in the Plug and Play Tech Center (PnP) in the heart of Silicon Valley for three months, rent paid, starting in June 2011.

Andrew Maxwell, board member of the Canadian Association of Business Incubators, said that accelerators and their cousin, incubators, can have a great effect on both the companies they house and the community at large. “The evolution of incubators from multi-occupation, mixed-use buildings to high-technology regional accelerators for commercialization is receiving increased attention at all levels of government and academia,” he wrote.

And there are accelerators and incubators closer to home. For instance, the Waterloo Research and Technology Park Accelerator, opened in May 2006, can be seen as a regional hub to connect a wider community of entrepreneurs interested in commercializing their technology product or service.

PnP, however, provides the chosen companies access to an even larger start-up community in which they will work alongside more than 150 other tech start-ups from more than 20 countries. They will also meet with experienced mentors and advisers who can guide their growth and development in the Valley and beyond, as well as be introduced to local angel networks and venture capital firms.

The program is open to any Canadian-based digital media and information technology company, and applications must be completed before March 11, 2011. The three companies will be selected by the CIX Selection Committee and be announced in early April.

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