Startup Travel Program Brings Canadian Founders to San Francisco

San Francisco

Even though we focus our coverage on startups outside of Silicon Valley, no one can deny that the Valley is the leader in the tech space. Decades ahead of other ecosystems, Silicon Valley is the model for every other city trying to become a tech hub.

While cities everywhere else shouldn’t try to be the “next Silicon Valley,” there’s obviously great benefit in learning from what’s happened there and in San Francisco. Despite up-and-coming venture funds, accelerators, and networks all over the world, for now that part of California is still the hub.

With that in mind, Volta Labs in Halifax is sending startup teams to San Francisco to learn, network, and soak up life in a full grown ecosystem.

Eligible companies will be from Nova Scotia and meet the following criteria:

  • Have a product in the IT sector
  • Be less than 3 years old, with fewer than 10 employees
  • Have received less than $250,000 in funding
  • Provide a pitch deck/demo

The program will cover 75% of expenses, up to $5,000 for the teams to stay at least two weeks.

“Getting people to San Francisco and New York may lead to fundraising, partnerships, or customer acquisition,” program champion Ben Yoskovitz said on his blog. “But in my mind, the primary goal of a Startup Travel Program is to have entrepreneurs experience an amazing startup ecosystem and bring some of that back with them.”

Yoskovitz goes on to say that the program does guarantee that Rolodexes will be opened for traveling teams. The idea isn’t to be handed a network, but to provide finances and let the teams make things happen while they’re on the ground.

There will never be another Silicon Valley. But leaders in budding ecosystems can learn a lot by experiencing the culture there and thinking deeply about how it translates back to their hometowns. The idea isn’t imitation, but continued growth and innovation.


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