Microsoft for Startups and OneEleven Partner to Help Startups Scale

As Canada’s startup ecosystem grows and thrives in today’s digital landscape, there’s an increased focus within the tech sector on how to drive scale and support the growth of companies introducing new products, innovations and industries.

At Microsoft for Startups (MFS) and OneEleven, we believe in scaling great ideas and great ambitions. But we also know that some startups face barriers to achieving their potential, despite the impactful solutions they’re developing and massive market opportunities they represent.

This May we joined forces on a special event to transform talk into action, with the mandate of propelling the scale of some underrepresented startups. Together, we identified six companies doing difficult and important work, through the products they’re developing and the systemic barriers their founders face.

Six Degrees of Difficulty was an invitation-only showcase where each founder outlined the challenge, opportunity, and tactical support they need to rapidly scale. The audience was then asked to take one action — in the form of introductions, access or amplification — on behalf of each presenting company.

This event was just one small piece of a newly minted partnership between OneEleven and Microsoft for Startups, a strategic alignment to bring MFS expertise to a community of more than 50 fast growing technology companies.

Our work together will leverage our aligned commitment to scaling high promise startups by deploying creative, tactical actions designed to meaningfully propel their growth.

“OneEleven plays a significant role in the startup ecosystem in Toronto and across Canada, helping local companies build to scale with a focus on growth, investment capital and best-in-class partners,” says Adam Nanjee, Managing Director, Microsoft for Startups Canada. “We look forward to working with them to support, build and accelerate Canada’s startup community.”

This partnership will deliver the benefits of the Microsoft for Startups offer to eligible OneEleven members, including up to $120,000 in free Azure credits, as well as enterprise grade technical support and development tools. Dedicated resources will also be available to prepare marketing and sales teams to effectively sell their cloud solutions to enterprise organizations in partnership with Microsoft’s global sales organization and partner ecosystem.

It will also bring MFS qualified programs, advisory and support into OneEleven’s 100,000 square foot Toronto facility and drive our collective efforts to improve diversity and inclusion, as well as increase visibility of underrepresented founders, including the continuation and expansion of our Six Degrees of Difficulty series.

"Microsoft is an ideal partner for OneEleven as we help Toronto technology companies grow. They understand the promise of tech is about more than just new tools, it's about unlocking new opportunities and markets, and supporting new approaches and new leaders,” says Siri Agrell, Executive Director, OneEleven Toronto. “I look forward to working closely with them as we continue to scale our OneEleven member companies and the broader Toronto sector."

Together, we will host a quarterly dinner series for CTOs, not just in our community but across the ecosystem, helping the technical backbone of the sector collaborate, problem solve, and trouble shoot collectively.

MFS will also help mentor OneEleven’s incoming founders, providing 1:1 office hours for entrepreneurs to meet with Microsoft experts and discuss how to navigate their immediate pressures and needs across strategy, technology and business topics.

Scaling’s not easy, whether you’re building a company, an ecosystem or a partnership. But together, we’re excited to help propel the growth of Canada’s innovative startup community.