goPeer, a financial technology startup that makes non-traditional lending accessible on a peer-to-peer platform, won the top prize in York University's LaunchYU Accelerator program this year. As the first prize winner, goPeer will receive the $25,000 Aird & Berlis StartupSource Market Entry Award that includes $12,500 in cash and an equal amount in Aird & Berlis LLP legal services. It will also receive a $10,000 LaunchYU Accelerator Award.
"Aird & Berlis has been delighted to sponsor the LaunchYU Accelerator program for the last four years. As a firm, we know we will succeed if new businesses can develop to their full potential. And that potential needs support," said Randy Williamson, Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP, who is also a York University alumnus and a member of the Board of Governors. "If we can help these businesses set up effective business structures and relationships among their owners, investors, and business counterparts, it will allow these great entrepreneurs to focus on building their business's products and customers. By providing legal services and funding, we help play a small role in their success."
Innovation York's LaunchYU Accelerator program supports entrepreneurs at different stages of growth. It assists emerging entrepreneurs through dedicated workshops with hands-on experience, one-on-one mentorship, investor office hours, and various networking resources.
"At York University, we are committed to encouraging and supporting motivated, emerging entrepreneurs who have innovative approaches to creating products and services that make an impact in their local communities and around the world," said Sarah Howe, assistant vice-president, Innovation & Research Partnerships. "Partnering with organizations such as Aird & Berlis, we are able to meaningfully support promising entrepreneurial ventures and see them succeed."
Since it was started in late 2014, LaunchYU has supported more than 320 ventures and hundreds of entrepreneurs. These ventures have raised more than $18 million in funding and have generated over $3.6 million in revenues.
For more information about the program and this year's participants, click here.