L-SPARK is looking to accelerate Canadian startups who have a vision that matters, a large addressable market, and a prototype (if pre-revenue deep technology), or $5-10K in MRR (if a B2B or B2B2C software company).
What else do we look for?
Passion. Leadership. Coachability. Determination. Focus. Commitment. A healthy dose of perseverance.
01. Application Process
Applications for the L-SPARK B2B2C + B2B SaaS Accelerator will open in April 2022. In early September, shortlisted startups will pitch to a selection committee made up of the L-SPARK team, investors, and key partners, who will determine the final cohort.
02. Program Cost
L-SPARK’s fee is performance based. If the company raises money during the 6 month program or in the following 12 month period, L-SPARK receives a 3% equity stake in the company. If the company does not raise funding in that 18 month window (6 month program + 12 months), there is no fee for the L-SPARK Accelerator Program.
03. Added Benefits
In addition to the benefits outlined above, L-SPARK also provides office space, internet and kitchen facilities at no additional charge at our office in Ottawa for the duration of the program. Office space is available to rent upon the conclusion of the program.
What does L-SPARK look for in the startups they work with?
We’re always on the hunt for companies that excel in three categories: people, product and market. We work with founders of B2B and B2B2C SaaS companies who:
- Are ready to scale up with the help of investment
- Want to transition from a services to a SaaS company
- Have deep domain expertise but lack experience in scaling a software company
- Are passionate about building a software product that will change the way our world operates
Typically, we look for the following attributes: strong and versatile founding team members, a market-ready and viable B2B SaaS product with proven market need, traction, a strong reason for seeking entry into the Accelerator, IP ownership, and a determined drive to meet aggressive goals.
Why would a founder choose L-SPARK?
Most companies in Canada are not able to attract risk capital in order to grow into global companies. We created L-SPARK to position companies to be able to build a plan to deploy capital that is raised from institutional investors so that they have a chance to become a global player.
Companies want to participate in our B2B SaaS Accelerator program because of its focus on SaaS and its emphasis on revenue generation. We have seen that our focus helps founders navigate the unique challenges of scaling and growing a B2B SaaS startup. In particular, our delivery of SaaS-specific content aids founders in understanding how to become investor ready, reach important metrics and measure growth accurately by outlining accurate KPIs.
We have pulled together a strong group of experienced mentors and advisors who have thrived as software CEOs, sales experts and marketing advisors. They also help founders validate momentum so they can attract institutional investment in order to build globally competitive companies.
What do I get access to during the L-SPARK Accelerator program?
Founders have access to:
- A C-level mentor with startup and enterprise software experience for 1 day per week
- Introductions to potential channel partners, clients and investors
- Business development and go-to-market strategy support (access to sales and marketing advisors)
- B2B SaaS workshops, practice pitch opportunities and other programming
- Discounted rates for infrastructure and software services
- Assistance with government grants and programs like IRAP, OCE, NSERC
- The opportunity to participate in SAAS NORTH, Canada’s leading SaaS conference
Do I get to choose my mentor?
The L-SPARK team will work with you to pair a mentor to your company based on the needs of the startup and the mentor’s skills and experience.
How much funding do you provide startups?
Today, L-SPARK does not have a fund so we do not invest in the company. In exchange for the six months of intensive services, L-SPARK takes a 3% equity in your company upon selection and your agreement to participate.
What is expected of me if I’m chosen to participate in the L-SPARK Accelerator?
We expect participating startups to be fully engaged in workshops, programming and pitch sessions. The program is intensive so consistent participation in weekly operational review meetings is key to keep track of and meet milestones.
More than this, being in the L-SPARK space is key to networking with peers and accessing advisors who can compliment the guidance offered by your mentor.
I’ve applied, what should I expect?
Once your application is received, a member of the L-SPARK business development team will be in touch to learn a bit more about your company and team.
If your startup is shortlisted for the L-SPARK Accelerator, you will be invited to participate in a bootcamp at L-SPARK. A mentor will be assigned to work with you to help refine the content of your slide deck, and you’ll receive pitch coaching.
The bootcamp culminates in a Pitchfest, where founders present to a selection committee made up of members from leading Canadian Venture Capital groups and Corporate Partners. The committee is responsible for recommending the companies that will be invited to participate in the program.
What happens after graduating from the B2B SaaS Accelerator program?
The L-SPARK team checks in with alumni to learn of any developments or news with each company. You will still have access to many of the support systems that you had when you were in the program. We want each alumnus to remain a member of the L-SPARK family, so we host alumni events and will continue to provide invites to closed events on an ad hoc basis.
"The L-SPARK SaaS Accelerator took Corfix from a great idea to a thriving and rapidly expanding tech company. Getting to work directly with industry leaders and visionaries gave us an arsenal of new proficiencies and the confidence to apply them. In only six months they taught us everything we needed to know to grow our business, as we increased our MRR by 750% and tripled our team during their mentorship. The value of this program cannot be overstated, and will continue to manifest in our future success."