Last week the Holt Accelerator and our 2018 cohort of teams put on a sellout show to over 300 attendees for our first ever demo day!

While it may have been cold outside, the action inside the packed out L’Astral was anything but —  with a great crowd made up of sponsors, advisors, financial institutions, investors, and other Fintech enthusiasts, the excitement in the air was palpable!

A Window Into The Future

The theme for our demo day was, fittingly, “A window into the future.” Fast forward to 2028, and what has changed in the world of Fintech? Managing Partner, Jan Arp, and our 13 teams were going to tell you.

Arriving from the future via his Stradigi AI time machine, Jan took to the stage to take us through the different areas of finance and the disruption happening across the entire space —  from lending to payments to credit scores and AI chatbots, it’s clear that the future of Fintech promises to be an exciting road ahead.

Accompanied by live music and sing-a-long hits from the 80s, each of the 2018 cohort startups had their time in the spotlight to showcase the hard work that has been put into the past 12 weeks, their individual progress, and plans for the future post-accelerator.

All of the teams were on the hunt for potential investors as well as new clients to serve —  and a room full of contacts from all over Canada was certainly the place to do it.

After 13 pitches, some cheesy jokes, and a few musical numbers, the night drew to a close with all of our teams on stage saying a special thanks to our incredible team of advisors.  Right from the start, our team of over 100 top industry mentors has been instrumental in the success of both the Holt Accelerator itself and the 13 startups. With leading experts across all industries joining our ranks, the 2018 cohort have received world-class mentorship throughout the program, opening the doors for further collaboration in the future. And we can’t wait to see what’s next!

To end a fantastic night, we all headed to the official afterparty at Bordelle, where the celebrations continued and the drinks flowed late into the night. It was a great occasion to speak with many new faces, as well as old, and give a toast to the strength of the fintech community here in Canada —  let’s keep this momentum going into the new year and beyond.

A Look Back: The Road to the Fintech Show

How did we get to the future of Fintech? The journey to demo day began many months ago —  April, to be exact, when we officially opened the applications for the 2018 cohort. 3 whirlwind months later, we had hit our target of 400 international applications and the search for our top teams began.

“Selection Day,” held at the start of September, welcomed 34 international startups who were chosen from the 400+ total applicants we received to pitch for our team of over 60 mentors, with just 13 making it onto the accelerator program.  

From mentor workshops and pitch practice, to meetings with FIs and investors, the accelerator has met the needs of each of our startups on their unique journeys. We’ve also been to countless events across Canada in this short time to showcase the talent we’re working with and present our united vision for the future of Fintech in Canada —  it’s an exciting time to be a part of the community!

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The success of the Fintech Show and the Holt Accelerator would not have been possible without the help of each and every mentor involved, all of the attendees, and, of course, to our trusted partners, Holdun.

An enormous thanks must go to the backbone of the Holt Accelerator, the Holdun family, who have been hands on from the start, showing their enthusiasm to find and assist the financial entrepreneurs of the future.

“Everything has been thought out to get the best out of the program and unleash the selected startups’ full potential. There is a rich diversity of selected fintechs, in which cross pollination of ideas and networks, will certainly contribute to creating a better society.”

Brendan Holt Dunn, Managing Partner.

A further special thanks to our event sponsors who made the night possible and who have continued to support Holt at every turn.

Gold: Holdun, Stradigi AI, Rokk3r  Silver: Exagens, BCF, AppX, Flinks, Valtech  Bronze: Desjardins, BDG, Ivado, Fairstone, Finance Montreal, Montreal Newtech 

And finally, thanks to our teams who really made The Fintech Show a night to remember —  the past 3 months have been a pleasure.

The Class of 2018:

  • Commercial Passport
  • Consilium Crypto
  • CreditScript
  • Curu
  • FundSeeder
  • IvyLender
  • KapitalWise
  • LMX 
  • LoanConnect
  • Owl
  • PrestaGente/BerriBlock
  • QuantumSense
  • SmartPay

What’s next for the Holt Accelerator? We’re doing it all again next year. 2019, here we come!