BFN Accelerate Program

By mmuise

The BFN Accelerate, a classic cohort-based accelerator model, is designed to be complementary to other opportunities within the University of Toronto (U of T) Entrepreneurship community and can be completed concurrently with initiatives delivered by U of T's accelerators. Its structured program delivers education and workshops tailored to Black entrepreneurs, including workshops/sessions with an emphasis on market and customer research, MVP product development, competitor analysis, beta testing, revenue generation and product-market fit.

Comments on Funding:

BFN is committed to providing non-dilutive funding to cohort startups that meet the program milestones. BFN Accelerate cohort members will be exposed to funding opportunities via pitch competitions, VCs, corporate partners, donors/alumni, etc.
BFN offers exclusive grants and awards to our participants. Each startup accepted into the cohort will have access to up to $5000 to be exclusively used towards eligible startup services. BFN Accelerate startups will have the opportunity to compete for up to $25,000 throughout the program and at BFN’s annual Demo Day in October.

Deadline: Applications are closed. Stay tuned for future intake announcements.
  • Applicants must be 8-10 startup companies (industry and sector agnostic) from the U of T community with at least one Black-identifying founder.
  • Applicants must have completed U of T’s Intellectual Property (IP) Education Level
  • This is recommended for all applicants with no prior knowledge of intellectual property. Level 1 is open to all University of Toronto students, faculty, staff and alumni on Quercus.
  • For applicants who already have a strong foundation in their IP knowledge, completion of Level 1 can be replaced by completion of a Level 2 Topic.
Application Steps:

1. To complete the U of T’s Intellectual Property Education Level 1, applicants must register. This is recommended for all applicants with no prior knowledge of intellectual property. 2. Current U of T students will receive CCR credit upon completion on Quercus. For non-U of T applicants who require a UTORID for access, they have to select “BFN Applicant” on the registration form, and they will be provided with a temporary UTORID upon verification. Please note, requesting a new UTORID may take up to 2-3 business days to process. 3. If applicants already have extensive knowledge or experience with IP matters and wish to take Level 2 without taking Level 1, they have to request a waiver of the Level 1 pre-requisite on the Level 2 Registration Forms by typing “BFN Application Waiver” in the field that asks “What date did you complete Level 1?”

Documentation Needed:

No specific documentation has been identified.

Other Things to Note:

1. If the primary applicant from U of T is accepted into the BFN Accelerate cohort, the venture co-founders that are not from U of T are welcome to join sessions; however, the primary U of T founder and applicant should be the primary participant in sessions.
2. Non-Black team members are also welcome to attend BFN Accelerate sessions.

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