Western Accelerator (Winter 2023)

Jan 16 - Apr 30 | London, ON, Canada


About this Program

The Western Accelerator is a great opportunity for high-growth startups to accelerate the growth of their businesses.

Over the course of 15 weeks (January 2023 to April 2023), ventures accepted into the program will receive hands-on mentorship and educational training from in-house experts and industrial partners. The accelerator space will also be available to the entrepreneurs for co-working and cross-community collaboration during this time. Our goal is to accelerate the life cycle of high-potential ventures and to compress a year’s worth of learning into a few months for these entrepreneurs.

The Western Accelerator is a critical component of the cross-campus Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship ecosystem and is open to all Western students, faculty, and alumni with an expectation of a part-time commitment from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. during the course of the program. The program culminates in Western Angels' Demo Day, which is usually attended by 100+ investors from various industries.

What to expect

As part of your Western Accelerator experience, you are offered programming that will give you the education and real-world feedback needed to launch your business.

During your time in the accelerator, businesses can expect:

- Weekly Programming - Once-a-week, half-day educational sessions on leadership, sales, investors, pitch skills, etc, as well as mentoring sessions with successful entrepreneurs and in-house experts.
- Networking Opportunities - Once a week, join us for hybrid networking events with successful global entrepreneurs, industry experts, investors and service providers
- Pitch day - Program participants can submit an application to participate in Western Angels' Demo Day at the end of the program—a dynamic event where teams deliver their idea and business plans to a large investor-centric audience from the entrepreneurship, business and investment communities
- Mentorship - Weekly / Bi-monthly milestone meetings help you to discuss your progress and to set goals for the upcoming month
- Funding - Receive CA$3,000 / month in the form of a stipend to support your business venture. That's a total of $12,000 spread across the term.

Workshop topics include:

- Value Proposition versus a Unique Selling Proposition
- Design Thinking, including access to labs for product development as needed.
- The legal landscape and Intellectual Property, including access to a set of corporate lawyers through the Western Law School.
- Digital Marketing
- Public Relations
- Sales Strategy
- Accounting
- Financial Planning
- Leadership

And more!

Eligibility Requirements

We look for start-ups that have a high potential to scale and who meet the following criteria:
- At least one founder must have a connection to Western (Student, Faculty, Staff or Alumni)
- Teams must be willing to contribute a part-time effort in-person at Western University in London Ontario (Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. or as required by the programming structure)
- It should be a 'Registered business'.
- Teams can have up to three founders in the program
- Founders working out of the Accelerator must have decision-making ability to pivot and grow their business
- Founders must participate in all the scheduled events, workshops and competitions throughout their time in the Western Accelerator.

What we look for
We look for startups who have completed product development and have made their first sale even if it is an MVP sale. You need to be ready to launch and scale up!

If you are still in the idea or build stage, you may not be a good fit for the Western Accelerator yet. Teams who are in the early stages can find great resources at Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship, including webinars and free coaching with our entrepreneurship advisors.

Competitive applications for the Western Accelerator are start-ups with high potential to scale (i.e., IP and/or a clear competitive advantage addressing a large potential market). We also look for a founding team with the skills, ability and determination to launch their product offering into the market.

Market readiness
Teams applying to the Western Accelerator should have a functioning product or service offering in the market.

Application process
Entrance to our Western Accelerator is a competitive process. We accept 6-8 teams per cohort (Fall and Winter).

There are two parts to the application for the accelerator.

Stage 1
All teams are required to submit a written application via the GUST platform. Please ensure the application is complete and all links are functional.

You will be required to share/upload the following:
- Half-page executive summary
- Company logo
- Company website
- Team picture with all co-Founders/picture of the founder for our website
- Youtube link to your 1-minute Marketing Video / Advertisement that you currently use to attract your B2B or B2C customers.
- Investor Pitch Slide Deck - Here’s a sample of the details we look for in your pitch deck. https://entrepreneurship.uwo.ca/services/ondemand-learning/archived-webinars/2021/archived-webinars/pitch-deck-basics/
- Youtube link to a 3 min Investor Pitch Video - We want to see you pitch the pitch deck above.

Stage 2
Applications are reviewed by an anonymous and diverse panel of Judges, the top-ranked teams will have the opportunity to pitch their business to a selection committee online. In this round, each team will be given 5 minutes to pitch their startup, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A.

The Western Accelerator consists of 2 cohorts per year. The Fall and Winter terms are for teams with a product/service solution in the market - that is ready to scale up. All cohorts are 12-15 weeks in duration.

Please visit our website regularly or join our email list for exact dates for the applications.

All teams that are selected to be part of the accelerator in Winter 2023, will be entered into Round 1 of Western Angels' Demo Day. We aim to host Round 1 for Western Angels' Demo Day in April-May 2023. Teams chosen to advance will have the opportunity to pitch at the finals hosted in May-June 2023. Companies in the accelerator do not have an option to opt-out from Western Angels' Demo Day - if selected.

Feel free to email us at accelerator@ivey.ca for any questions you may have.

Funding Information

  • Funds up to $12k per team
  • Takes up to 0.0% equity
  • Accepts 8 companies


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