Last week, INcubes - a Toronto-based accelerator - teamed up with 1871 for Going Global, a showcase for Chicago and Canadian startups that are ready to expand internationally into each other's respective markets. Held in Toronto, the event featured 10 early-stage companies operating in a variety of categories, including FinTech, CyberSecurity, and the Internet of Things.
Explained 1871 CEO Howard Tullman, "It is critical for companies to be globally enabled from the earliest stages of their development in order to be successful in today’s economy. With access to capital, customers and talent, Chicago is the best place for international companies to launch into the US market."
Added Ben Zlotnick, Founder of INcubes, "Toronto is ranked in the top 10 for global startup ecosystems, but our companies cannot focus only on the domestic market. For our companies, global expansion is a necessity, not an option."
Six Chicago startups were signaled out as "Canada-ready" and presented to a roomful of attendees that included US Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, Toronto Mayor John Tory, and Managing Director of Google Canada Sam Sebastian. The 6 Windy City businesses were:
  • TraknProtect: Based out 1871, TraknProtect combines GPS and bluetooth technologies to protect, monitor, and track personal valuables, like laptops.
  • Georama: An an interactive travel discovery platform, Georama helps its users "experience the world anywhere, anytime." The startups generates revenue by providing SaaS solutions to airlines, hotel groups, tourism organizations, and more.
  • Omicron Financial:  Omicron helps millennials expand their access to financial markets through a variety of mobile and online tools.
  • Buy Side Design: Another 1871 member, Buy Side Design is a media and design company for the financial industry, providing firms and traders with creative content and imagery.
  • Dough: Founded in 2013, Dough is an easy-to-use DIY trading platform for options investors. Dough's partner company, tastytrade, is a financial network that provides 8 hours of live programming daily.
  • Xaptum: Operating in the Internet of Things space, Xaptum is a cloud service startup providing the infrastructure behind real-time, smart-thing communication. (They're "telecom for the internet of things").
Outside of the Chicago startups, four Toronto companies that are ready to launch into Chicago and the U.S. markets presented - PatientServLimelightnVest, and Change Room.
The Going Global event is another example of 1871's commitment to fostering relationships with foreign innovation hubs across the globe. In the past year, the shared space has formalized agreements with incubators London, Tel Aviv and Mexico City.
Concluded Tullman, "We are excited to continue our partnership with INcubes as we highlight the thriving startup ecosystems in Toronto and Chicago."