in Events, Toronto, Waterloo

Finding next at the University of Toronto

I’m guilty. I’ve been pandering to my alma mater, the University of Waterloo. I love Waterloo and UWaterloo startups. There is so much to love. There are Vidyard, Thalmic Labs, TribeHR, Desire2Learn, PostRank (acquired by Google), . There is even a Waterloo mafia in Toronto with Upverter, Top Hat Monocle, SocialDeck (acquired by Google), PushLife (acquired by Google), Xtreme Labs (Amar, Sunny, Farhan are all UWaterloo 1998 grads along with Social+Capital‘s Chamath) and others.

But have you seen the awesomesauce that is originating at the University of Toronto:

  • Bumptop acquired by Google, founded by UofT CS Masters student Anand Agarawala
  • Sysomos acquired by Marketwire, founded by UofT CS prof Nick Koudas and Nilesh Bansal (UofT CS PhD candidate)
  • BackType acquired by Twitter, founded by Christopher Golda and Michael Montano, both UofT Electrical Engineering Grads
  • CognoVision acquired by Intel, founded by Shahzad Malik (UofT CS PhD)
  • ScribbleLive cofounder Jonathan Keebler is a UofT CS grad
  • Rypple acquired by Salesforce, founded by Daniel Debow (JD/MBA UofT) and George Babu (Engineering, MBA and JD)
  • Canopy Labs founded by Wojciech Gryc a UofT grad
  • Wattpad founded by Allen Lau (UofT Engineering) and Ivan Yuen (UofT MBA + UWaterloo Engineering)
  • DNNresearch Inc. acquired by Google was founded by UofT prof Geoffrey Hinton and 2 graduate students

There are a number of spots on the UofT campus to find high potential growth startups and engineers. You can look at Creative Destruction Lab in the Rotman School of Business. You can look to the Entrepreneurship Hatchery in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering.

You can also attend the Computer Science Department’s Research In Action Showcase on April 17, 2013.

Add your events to our calendar.

Research In Action 2013

  1. David, should one be a bit concerned about the number of Canadian startups being acquired instead of growing in to established companies that employ people, pay taxes and spin out other startups?

    My concern is that we incubate these companies, in some cases with tax payers $, and then they are acquired very early on. Is that what we are trying to do is create companies and sell them? What’s the economic benefit and impact to Canada?

  2. @b2bspecialist:disqus Regarding tax-payers money, in this entire process the tax payers end up making money not loosing. Many govt funds (e.g., IAF) take equity in return of funding. Even when they don’t, the entrepreneurs pay taxes on the money earned on acquisition to Canada. For, even a modest acquisition of $20M acquisition, at least $5M are paid in capital gains taxes (plus lot more if you account tax on employee salaries). None of the companies in the list had $5M of tax-payer funded money, so the net economic impact is positive.

  3. in the long term it improves UofT’s international reputation and attracts superstar talent to UofT CS: both prospective grad students and faculty candidates want to be in a university where they can spin off their research. Getting world class talent can only mean good things for Canada.

  4. There are a lot of startups that are growing very well but don’t have exits coming up. Early exits means investors get their money back and can reinvest in new startups instead of waiting for all their investments to eventually IPO. It also fuels the next generation of successful entrepreneurs who are now also going to put money back into the ecosystem by both investing and starting their next startup.

    In fact, one of my investors is in that case, he got “acquired early” and now he’s putting money back into the ecosystem, and I know he’s going to start his next startup soon and create more success and wealth for the community. If that’s not impact, I don’t know what is.

  5. There are bunch of notables missing, including EventMobi, multiple YC companies like AeroFS and Scoutzie, AlgoAnywhere (sold to 500px), etc

  6. This is how my local tree pruning Calgary company took off. A little volunteer work for the city, a lot of paid work from the people, and a couple solid investors.

  7. I forgot about AeroFS. It also reminds that OANDA is largely made up of a huge group of UofTers.

    AlgoAnywhere was 50% UofT. @zachaysan is a UWaterloo (I was going to write a UWaterlooser ;-) hahahah. Sorry buddy.

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