Canadians in Silicon Valley: The AI Opportunity

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Technology to Silicon Valley is like maple syrup to a Canadian. It’s inherent to the identity; a basic common denominator that connects people from across the globe. When you arrive in Silicon Valley, the sweet sense of innovative divination takes over as you begin to realize this is where the big things are happening. This is where people change the world.

As climate change becomes increasingly politicized, the onus is on society’s most passionate citizens and entrepreneurs to solve the world’s most challenging environmental problems. Founded in 2005, Vancouver-based Neurio launched as the evidence surrounding climate change transitioned from speculation to scientifically backed facts. From industry leading sensor technology to sophisticated analytics that provide granular energy information, Neurio is changing how energy is used and managed in a home.

Canadians in California’s Tech Oasis

Neurio fits the persona of a traditional Silicon Valley gamechanger. Janice Cheam, Founder and CEO, traveled to the Californian tech oasis twice to take part in the Canadian Technology Accelerator, an initiative of Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service.

“The Trade Commissioner Service in the Valley has been incredibly useful to us. If we had no connections to a city, it would be difficult to build a network from scratch,” explained Cheam. “What we’ve definitely learned in the years that we’ve been building this company is that you can’t build a company in isolation. You need a village to raise a child and it’s a perfect analogy for companies as well.”

CTA is accepting applications for the 2018 cohort until January 10, 2018. To participate, applicants must have:

  • A fully-built product or service with differentiated tech that already has traction in the marketplace;
  • A revenue generation business with $1 million in revenue and/or investment;
  • A strong management team; and,
  • A strategy for entering new markets.

Once selected, the deserving Canadian company sends its founder or c-suite executive to Silicon Valley to gain ample mentorship, create new and fruitful partnerships, and receive financing opportunities, with the intention of acquiring commercial success abroad.

“The Valley is a really great place for this kind of innovation,” says Cheam. “People here are really plugged in. They are thinking about the technology, the applications, and how to get to market.”

Huge Opportunity South of the Border

Artificial intelligence remains a top tech trend in 2018. That’s why the CTA is recruiting Canadian AI companies to participate in the life-changing program taking place in Spring 2018. For four-six months, the deserving candidates will go international, accessing local programs and workshops, in-market business matchmaking, a membership to HanaHaus, and business development and venture support from private sector partners and industry leaders.

Since 2013, the Canadian Technology Accelerators initiative has supported nearly 500 established companies, raised $408M in capital and $148M in new revenue through 836 partnerships.

Canadian AI companies who fit the bill are required to apply by January 10, 2018 on the CTA website here.