Canada opens doors to thirteen Zone accelerated startups

The Next BIG Idea contest presents an opportunity for tech startups from India, to tap into the North American market through a soft landing in Canada.

VoicenData Bureau
New Update

BSE Tower-located accelerator, Zone Startups India has enabled 13 technology startups from a pool of over 1100 applications to be part of the Indo-Canada Bilateral Entrepreneurship exchange program, and the winners will be traveling to Canada in November for the 2-week market access program.


Zone Startups India has been operating the annual Next BIG Idea (NBI) Contest for the past 5 years. The Next BIG Idea contest presents an opportunity for tech startups from India, to tap into the North American market through a soft landing in Canada.

The contest identifies high growth potential Indian startups at an early stage through an application-based process and acts as a gateway to North America. Through a structured program, the contest winners get to validate their business model, get access to local mentors, corporates, investors and Government Representatives in Canada.

At an event that announced the winners, Tara Scheurwater, Acting Consul General and Senior Trade Commissioner, Canada, expressed her willingness to welcome 13 Indian companies to Canada as part of the Next Big Idea contest. The Commissioner has assured that the companies will make connections and simultaneously experience Canada’s outstanding entrepreneurial ecosystem and openness to business ideas and Canadian entrepreneurs.


Established as a joint-initiative with the Government of Ontario, Canada, the contest has gone onto attract industry partners such as IBM, Amazon Web Services, HDFC Bank, Google, and TCS. The Indo - Canada bilateral entrepreneurship exchange program was added as a new dimension in the 6th edition of Next BIG Idea contest 2018.

The contest is sponsored by Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, and supported by Global Affairs Canada, Provincial Governments of Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta. Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is the Canadian industry sponsor of NBI 2018 and the bank will be hosting the tending companies at their Toronto Headquarters. Additionally, Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) is also supporting 3 Kerala based startups to participate in NBI 2018.

Commenting on the exchange between India and Canada, Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director, Zone Startups India said, “Being able to get the Next BIG Idea Contest to become a part of a larger cross-border initiative, supported by 2 Governments, is a major validation for us, with respect to building an international startup bridge.

1,100 applications is a lot, and it came by virtue to extensive roadshows conducted across 20 Indian cities – many of them being tier-2 and tier-3 cities. The fact that each year we are able to attract more applications only shows the burgeoning reputation of the contest and the increasing interest of Indian startups in Canada.”

Notably, over the past five years, the contest has supported 27 companies to soft land in Canada & the winners have made significant progress, having and have raised over $300 mn cumulatively. Popular payment gateway CitrusPay is an alumnus of Zone.

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