38 min

Trailblaze with Sunil Sharma Trailblaze

    • Entrepreneurship

As a key leader in the tech startup community, in this episode of the podcast, Anthony interviews Sunil Sharma, managing director of Techstars Toronto. Sunil shares his journey of becoming a partner at Extreme Ventures, bringing Techstars to Canada. He also shares his experience working as a Canadian diplomat and his involvement in the government of Canada's Foreign Affairs Department. Sunil talks about how he helped bring the Collision conference to Toronto and his connection to Africa, sharing the story of finding a Nigerian fintech company to invest in early on at Techstars. Sunil and Anthony discuss the tech boom in Africa, the types of programs and funding available for entrepreneurs, and the challenges that entrepreneurs face when trying to bring their businesses to Canada. They also discuss immigration policy and visas for entrepreneurs and what we can do to help entrepreneurs come to Canada. Lastly, Sunil and Anthony look to the future of the tech world and what they are most excited for such as metaverse, VR, and crypto.



Recorded March 2022



About Sunil Sharma: Sunil Sharma is the Managing Director of Techstars Toronto (Techstars is the world’s biggest startup accelerator). At Techstars, Sunil has made 76 direct investments in tech startups based in 16 countries across the world. He is also the Director of the Founder Institute in Toronto and Waterloo (Founder Institute is the world’s biggest startup pre-accelerator). At Founder Institute, Sunil has launched more than 350 new startups.  Sunil is also Co-Host of the Collision Conference and Web Summit (Web Summit including Collision and RISE is the world’s biggest tech conference). Prior to Techstars, Sunil was a Managing Partner with Extreme Venture Partners, a Canadian early-stage venture capital fund where he led more than 20 investments and deployed more than $5M in capital.  Sunil was also co-founder and Managing Director of Extreme Startups where he ran 3 successful cohorts and made 15 investments as part of one of Canada’s earliest tech accelerator funds (backed by 5 prominent Canadian VC funds). Sunil is a public speaker, often delivering keynotes on globalization of startups, immigration, marketing and fundraising. Sunil is often called upon as a judge at startup competitions and as an MC for large conferences and events (such as Collision). Sunil possesses a rare background that spans across the worlds of entrepreneurship, investment and international diplomacy. Sunil was a career member of Canada’s Foreign Service where he last served as the Consulate Head in Southern California. Previously Sunil represented Canada at the United Nations and served at the Canadian Space Agency. Sunil was born in Canada to immigrant parents. Sunil has lived extensively across Canada including many years in Edmonton, Halifax, Moncton, Kamloops, Victoria, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.  



Connect with Sunil and Techstars:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sunilsharmaco 

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/sunilsharmats 

Techstars Toronto Accelerator: https://techstars.com/accelerators/toronto 



Thank you for listening to Trailblaze!



Share your thoughts about this episode of Trailblaze on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnthonyLacavera

Instagram: https://instagram.com/anthony.lacavera 

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/anthonylacavera 



For more about Anthony Lacavera and to subscribe to the mailing list visit https://anthonylacavera.com.

Trailblaze is produced by CreatorClub. Create your own podcast at https://creatorclubstudios.com.

As a key leader in the tech startup community, in this episode of the podcast, Anthony interviews Sunil Sharma, managing director of Techstars Toronto. Sunil shares his journey of becoming a partner at Extreme Ventures, bringing Techstars to Canada. He also shares his experience working as a Canadian diplomat and his involvement in the government of Canada's Foreign Affairs Department. Sunil talks about how he helped bring the Collision conference to Toronto and his connection to Africa, sharing the story of finding a Nigerian fintech company to invest in early on at Techstars. Sunil and Anthony discuss the tech boom in Africa, the types of programs and funding available for entrepreneurs, and the challenges that entrepreneurs face when trying to bring their businesses to Canada. They also discuss immigration policy and visas for entrepreneurs and what we can do to help entrepreneurs come to Canada. Lastly, Sunil and Anthony look to the future of the tech world and what they are most excited for such as metaverse, VR, and crypto.



Recorded March 2022



About Sunil Sharma: Sunil Sharma is the Managing Director of Techstars Toronto (Techstars is the world’s biggest startup accelerator). At Techstars, Sunil has made 76 direct investments in tech startups based in 16 countries across the world. He is also the Director of the Founder Institute in Toronto and Waterloo (Founder Institute is the world’s biggest startup pre-accelerator). At Founder Institute, Sunil has launched more than 350 new startups.  Sunil is also Co-Host of the Collision Conference and Web Summit (Web Summit including Collision and RISE is the world’s biggest tech conference). Prior to Techstars, Sunil was a Managing Partner with Extreme Venture Partners, a Canadian early-stage venture capital fund where he led more than 20 investments and deployed more than $5M in capital.  Sunil was also co-founder and Managing Director of Extreme Startups where he ran 3 successful cohorts and made 15 investments as part of one of Canada’s earliest tech accelerator funds (backed by 5 prominent Canadian VC funds). Sunil is a public speaker, often delivering keynotes on globalization of startups, immigration, marketing and fundraising. Sunil is often called upon as a judge at startup competitions and as an MC for large conferences and events (such as Collision). Sunil possesses a rare background that spans across the worlds of entrepreneurship, investment and international diplomacy. Sunil was a career member of Canada’s Foreign Service where he last served as the Consulate Head in Southern California. Previously Sunil represented Canada at the United Nations and served at the Canadian Space Agency. Sunil was born in Canada to immigrant parents. Sunil has lived extensively across Canada including many years in Edmonton, Halifax, Moncton, Kamloops, Victoria, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.  



Connect with Sunil and Techstars:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sunilsharmaco 

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/sunilsharmats 

Techstars Toronto Accelerator: https://techstars.com/accelerators/toronto 



Thank you for listening to Trailblaze!



Share your thoughts about this episode of Trailblaze on social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnthonyLacavera

Instagram: https://instagram.com/anthony.lacavera 

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/anthonylacavera 



For more about Anthony Lacavera and to subscribe to the mailing list visit https://anthonylacavera.com.

Trailblaze is produced by CreatorClub. Create your own podcast at https://creatorclubstudios.com.

38 min