One of the country’s most well-known technology accelerators is expanding its presence towards both coasts of Canada.
OneEleven has announced they will be opening locations in Ottawa and Vancouver. The Toronto-based tech accelerator was created by OMERS Ventures in 2013. Beyond these two new locations, OneEleven also has plans to open up shop in Boston and Europe soon, with Berlin and London as rumours.
The first step in this expansion will be the Ottawa location, as OneEleven has office space at 66 Slater Street, one block from Canada’s tech darlings Shopify. The new location will open in July and consume one floor, with the option to expand further later on. Vancouver’s location will come later on this year.
The new offices will all be owned by Oxford Properties, the real estate arm of OMERS. Oxford has space in Boston, London and Berlin, along with throughout Canada, so expansions to those locations will be much easier.
The current Toronto office houses over 30 companies and new ones join on a regular basis, with five new residents coming in the last month alone. Due to a large number of new companies and the constant demand to be a part of OneEleven’s infrastructure, the accelerator found the need to expand.
The accelerator’s model is a bit different compared to some traditional models. Companies at OneEleven pay out of their own pocket for space and services instead of handing over equity, which is often a good bet as equity can quickly become more valuable than service fees for fast-growing companies.
Some of those fast-growing companies that are now OneEleven graduates include Tulip Retail, who raised $40 million last summer to roll out their retail app; Wealthsimple, a fintech startup that recently passed $2 billion in assets; and Rubikloud, who raised $37 million just two months ago. With a swath of hugely successful graduates, newcomers to OneEleven will be both be excited to take advantage of what the accelerator offers in addition to keeping more equity.
In terms of what OneEleven does offer startups, the accelerator focuses on mentorship and networking opportunities. Aside from working beside some of the most promising up and coming companies in the country, OneEleven organizes community-led peer groups on a number of topics, exclusive pitch opportunities, in-house events and more.
OneEleven has also signed on Dean Hopkins as an advisor for the expansion. Hopkins will eventually take on a more formal role and served as a tech advisor for Thomson Reuters over the past decade and a half.
The accelerator recently partnered with Aviva to open an insurance technology growth incubator.