MaRS’ Jolt accelerator announces partnership with PayPal, fourth cohort

Updated July 29, 2014 at 4:07 pm ET to reflect further details from MaRS DD.

MaRS Discovery District’s accelerator, Jolt, has announced a new partnership with PayPal Inc., as well as the start of its fourth cohort.

On Monday, it said it will be partnering with PayPal’s Startup Blueprint, making it the first Canadian accelerator to join the program. The partnership will allow Jolt startups to get access PayPal transactions of up to $50,000 in U.S. dollars, without having to pay fees. PayPal will also give these startups mentorship, workshops, and the chance to meet one-on-one with PayPal employees, a MaRS spokesperson said in an email. The Startup Blueprint program already has a number of partners on board from around the world, including well-known U.S.-based accelerators like 500 Startups and TechStars.

Jolt’s latest cohort will see each startup getting $50,000 in funding. It includes B2B-focused startups like PostBeyond, a platform for the enterprise that will allow companies to send social content out to their employees, who can then easily share it on their own social channels.

There’s also SKE Labs, which is building cloud-based connected devices that include sensory awareness. The devices are slated to help consumers access information, get personalized content, and shop online without needing to touch their devices – something that could have a lot of appeal for online retailers and digital marketers.

Among the more consumer-facing startups in the cohort, there’s Think Dirty, which aims to help consumers identify toxic ingredients in their cosmetics and personal care products. The company’s app allows users to scan product barcodes, giving them more details about the products’ ingredients.

Other startups in the cohort include tBOT, an automated kiosk that blends, bags, and serves tea. Then there’s SilverDart Learning, which develops mobile games for high school students in math and science, as well as Peekapak, a children’s kit that’s delivered monthly, allowing kids to play with crafts to learn and to tell stories.

“We’re excited to welcome six new startups to our existing portfolio, four of which are woman-led,” said Susan McGill, Jolt’s executive director, in a statement. “We look forward to helping these entrepreneurs build global entities by leveraging our expertise, programming and active community of world-class partners and entrepreneurs.”

Since Jolt’s launch in July 2012, 17 startups have graduated from the accelerator. Its portfolio is now at 23 investments, which are divided between mobile platforms, ecommerce and the consumer web, software as a service, hardware, and the Internet of Things.

Correction: A previous version of this post said Jolt invested $610,000 in 17 startups. We regret the error.

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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